Editorial

Why don't all states require proof of citizenship?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Nebraska and Michigan were singled out in a story by The Associated Press as the only two states that require proof of citizenship to provide welfare benefits.

And it's true that the requirement is keeping people off the Medicaid rolls, according to a federal study done after the requirements were put in place at the national level.

"People are not getting the help they need and they're eligible for," said Sharon Parks of the Michigan League for Human Services in Lansing.

Unlike Michigan, where the applicant must pay for the birth certificate, Nebraska will foot the bill, resulting in little dropoff in welfare rolls here.

You can't blame Michigan for doing what it can to keep ineligible people out of the welfare system; it's one of the few states that give health care coverage automatically to children and adults on welfare. With the struggling auto industry, times are hard in Michigan, and a food assistance program, which is easier to qualify for, had a record number of participants last month.

Missouri plans to join Michigan and Nebraska in requiring proof of citizenship, and other states, like Virginia, at least require applicants to show a birth certificate, Social Security number, or at least sign an affidavit of citizenship.

For us, the obvious question is not why some states require strict proof of citizenship before providing benefits, it's why don't all of them?

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  • Why is it then that Nebraska requires proof of citizenship for welfare benefits but hundreds of immigrants (illegal) are working here? Why can't the State make it mandatory that every employer send in proof of citizenship when they send in their tax information on their employees? Maybe that would cut down on these illegals coming up here and taking away jobs from people who could really need them? Make the employers more responsible and make it less appealing for immigrants to come here to our "HOME STATE"!

    -- Posted by Rural Citizen on Thu, Jun 26, 2008, at 4:42 PM
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