Today, Congressman Todd Akin (R-MO) introduced a bill which would prevent illegal immigrants from receiving entitlement benefits like Medicare, Social Security or food stamps. The bill is called the Validating Entitlement Recipients through Indicated Federal Immigration Status (VERIFI) Act, H.R. 6000. The VERIFI Act will require the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) program to verify that an individual is not an illegal alien prior to becoming eligible for federal entitlement programs. DHS's SAVE program ensures that only U.S. citizens and legal non-citizens who meet the eligibility requirements actually receive benefits. Congressman Akin released the following statement:
"The idea of illegal immigrants receiving federal benefits like food stamps or Social Security is crazy to most Americans. We welcome legal immigrants who can contribute to these programs and then receive benefits for which they are legally eligible.
"Unfortunately, the rule of law is under assault by the Obama Administration, particularly when it comes to immigration. This has caused numerous states, to enact their own state laws to protect their citizens and borders because the federal government has failed to act. Furthermore, Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security are already unsustainable in meeting their future obligations to American citizens. Investors' Business Daily found that adding roughly 5 million illegal couples would cost Social Security another $500 billion.
"Illegal immigration in the United States is a serious issue, causing both economic and security threats. The United States has a strong history as a nation built by immigrants and founded on the rule of law. However, we cannot maintain our obligations to American people who qualify for and deserve these entitlements if we allow illegal aliens to receive benefits that they are not legally allowed to receive. We must secure our borders and fix our immigration system, and VERIFI is a step in the right direction."