U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Ranking Member of the Senate Budget Committee, issued the following statement today regarding new revelations that the Department of Homeland Security has an entire web portal devoted to advertising welfare benefits to new immigrants:
"The Department of Homeland Security's effort to enroll immigrants in welfare raises serious legal, social, and financial issues.
Federal law prohibits the granting of visas to those likely to be welfare reliant, yet DHS actively promotes these benefits to millions of new arrivals every year. DHS knows this, which is perhaps why they refuse to comply with an oversight request on this very issue from the Ranking Members of four Senate Committees.
It is a long-held principle of immigration that those seeking a life in America are expected to be able to care for themselves financially and contribute to the financial health of the nation. The Administration's actions show this principle is no longer in effect. Encouraging self-sufficiency must be a bedrock for our immigration policy, with the goal of reducing poverty, strengthening the family, and promoting our economic values. But Administration officials and their policies are working actively against this goal. At the same time, those who would be self-sufficient are denied or delayed in their admittance.
This is of course a financial issue as well. America spends enough each year on welfare to equal $60,000 for every household beneath the poverty line. Welfare is now the largest item in the budget and is projected to grow another 30 percent in the next four years. We should not pursue an immigration policy that places even more strain on the funding for domestic programs.
DHS should remove any sections of its website, and any portions of its materials for new arrivals, that promote or encourage welfare reliance. And DHS should respond, at once, to the outstanding oversight request on its failure to enforce legally mandated welfare restrictions. The American people deserve to know the hidden truth about how our immigration system is being run."