U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Ranking Member of the Senate Budget Committee, issued the following statement today regarding newly released data from the State Department demonstrating that only 0.0033 percent of net applications for admission to the United States were denied on "public charge" grounds in 2011, despite the federal law prohibiting admission of any individual deemed likely to be a public charge:
"The data just provided by the State Department, like that recently provided by the Department of Homeland Security, dramatically confirms that federal public charge law is not being enforced. This helps explain the results of a study showing that 36 percent of immigrant-headed households receive at least one major welfare program, adding billions to the cost of such programs.
A central economic principle of American immigration is that those seeking entry into the United States must be able to care for themselves financially. This is logical and necessary and common to virtually all nations. It is not good for the immigrant or for the United States to allow entry to people unlikely to thrive in America, especially when millions who would thrive await, entry legally. But the data provided leaves no doubt: this principle is no longer being applied--despite a firm and unambiguous legal requirement.
It is further proof that even the most fair and basic immigration laws of our country are being ignored. When basic principles and laws like this are ignored, it is no wonder the American people doubt any promises of future enforcement."