Welfare lobbyists now looking for ways to maintain General Assistance for illegals
AUGUSTA – Maine Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Mary Mayhew on Monday reacted to news that roughly one-third of the Portland immigrants who have been receiving General Assistance welfare are illegal aliens by any definition of the term.
The federal government includes in its definition of illegal aliens, "an alien who entered the United States legally but who has fallen 'out of status' and is deportable."
As reported by the Portland Press Herald Monday: "As many as one-third of the 900 or so immigrants who live in Portland and have been at the center of a debate about public assistance may be ineligible for city aid because they have expired visas and have not applied for asylum, according to a preliminary analysis by city staff."
"For too long, legislators in Augusta have taken Maine citizens' tax dollars and prioritized welfare dollars for illegal aliens over aid to elderly and disabled Maine citizens, and Governor Paul LePage is fighting to reverse that trend," said Commissioner Mayhew. "Portland officials examined what we had long suspected to be true only after they were faced with the prospect of paying for the GA welfare program without state taxpayers' support. Demanding accountability in the General Assistance program and all other welfare programs by challenging the status quo and asking questions is the only way to change the misuse of public funds. Money does not grow on trees and our elderly and disabled Mainers have been paying the price when programs such as General Assistance in Portland dole out taxpayer funded benefits to illegal aliens."
Welfare lobbyists quoted by the Press Herald indicated an intention to fight to maintain welfare benefits for illegal aliens despite overwhelming public opposition and in clear violation of federal law.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, as repeated by Maine DHHS, even among immigrants who have filed asylum applications, 68 percent did so on a defensive basis, meaning they applied as illegal aliens in response to deportation hearings being initiated against them. Therefore, potentially 80 percent of the Portland immigrants in question are either illegal aliens or applied for asylum as illegal aliens.
"Mainers want their tax dollars going to support their elderly and disabled citizen neighbors, not illegal aliens," added Commissioner Mayhew.