Govt Cover-Up: Migrants Cash Welfare Scheme!

The Democrat-led state of New York has quietly initiated a program to provide cash welfare payments to thousands of migrants, a decision made under the direction of Governor Kathy Hochul (D) that significantly alters the landscape of welfare eligibility for non-citizens.

Under the revised guidelines of the Safety Net Assistance (SNA) program by the New York Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA), migrants in the process of seeking asylum are now eligible to receive taxpayer-funded assistance.

This discreet rule change, implemented in May 2023, expands eligibility to include “non-citizens who are considered permanently residing under color of law (PRUCOL).” While PRUCOL does not denote an immigration status, it has been interpreted by the OTDA to extend benefits under SNA, a program traditionally aimed at New Yorkers facing severe financial distress.

Critics contend that this alteration places an undue financial burden on New York taxpayers and acts as a magnet for further migration to the state, exacerbating an already dire situation. With a staggering influx of over 173,000 migrants to New York City since early 2022, the strain on state resources is substantial. If even a fraction of these individuals become eligible for SNA benefits, the number of new beneficiaries could surpass 17,000 in New York City alone.

Representative Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY) and New York City Councilman Robert Holden (D) have voiced strong opposition to the expansion, labeling it as harmful to local taxpayers and an unjustified giveaway at the expense of long-standing residents. Their sentiments echo the growing discontent among New Yorkers who feel sidelined in favor of non-citizens.

In defense of the program, the Hochul administration argues that it is a necessary response to a migrant crisis exacerbated by what they perceive as federal inaction. A spokesperson for OTDA emphasized that migrant payments under SNA constitute only a fraction of the $4.3 billion allocated by Hochul to address the migrant influx, suggesting a degree of fiscal responsibility amidst the crisis.

However, such justifications fail to assuage the concerns of critics like Michael Kracker, chair of the Erie County Republican Committee, who finds the payments “deeply offensive” to struggling New Yorkers, including homeless veterans in need of state aid. Critics like Kracker argue that the state’s priorities are misplaced, prioritizing newcomers over its own citizens.

This development unfolds within a broader national debate over immigration policy and welfare eligibility. While advocates argue for humanitarian assistance to migrants, opponents view it as an incentive for illegal immigration and a misallocation of scarce resources, potentially leading to a bottomless fiscal pit, as cautioned by Lora Ries, director of the Border Security and Immigration Center at The Heritage Foundation.