Democrats Push for Equal Access to Federal Benefits for Immigrants

New Legislation Aims to Provide Immediate Federal Benefits to Immigrants

Last week, Democrats in the House and Senate announced a revolutionary plan that wants to offer immigrants instant access to government benefits, removing the current five-year waiting period. LIFT the BAR Act, presented by Rep. Pramila Jayapal, Rep. Tony Cárdenas, and Sen. Mazie Hirono, intends to eliminate what they perceive as “cruel, xenophobic, and unreasonable barriers” experienced by immigrants in receiving crucial services. This proposed law has triggered a nationwide debate on immigration policy and welfare assistance.

The Need for Change: According to a news statement from Rep. Jayapal’s office, non-elderly immigrants are anticipated to comprise 8 percent of the population in 2024 yet account for a whopping 31 percent of the non-elderly uninsured population. This inequality underlines the essential need for fair access to healthcare, nutrition aid, and other important public services. The LIFT the BAR Act intends to address this situation, ensuring that immigrants and their families no longer have to wait to obtain these important services.

Supporting Voices: Rep. Jayapal, herself an immigrant who came in the United States at the age of 16, eloquently highlighted her dedication to eradicating these obstacles. She stressed the necessity of treating immigrants with respect and stated that the measure is an imperative and fair step towards reaching this objective. Similarly, Sen. Hirono underlined the injustice of enforcing arbitrary waiting periods, preventing millions of legitimately existing immigrants from obtaining crucial services.

Financial Implications and Opposition: FAIR believes that the LIFT the BAR Act would not only offer immediate advantages to immigrants but also extend benefits to illegal immigrants with delayed deportations, including DACA holders and parolees. FAIR cautions that the cost of this measure might climb into the billions, blasting its proponents for violating the long-standing norm that foreign people should not become an economic burden on American taxpayers.

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