This week, the Southern Poverty Law Center told Yahoo News about calls on their Alabama hotline reporting denial of food stamps for citizen children of undocumented immigrants. Of course, the denials are probably the result of confusion about the law on the part of state workers:
Barry Spear, a spokesman for Alabama’s Department of Human Services, said in an email to Yahoo News that it is not the agency’s policy to demand proof of citizenship from the guardians of Americans who need food stamps. “We are unaware of any violations of the policy,” Spear said.
Illegal immigrants are prohibited from accessing most welfare benefits, including food stamps, non-emergency Medicaid and cash welfare programs. Their children, if born in America, can access welfare programs as citizens. (The Pew Hispanic Center estimates that about 4.5 million American citizens under 18 years old have at least one undocumented parent.)
Enough excuses already — there are no unintended consequences to HB 56. The law is evil, cruel, stupid, overly-broad, and more than a little bit fascist. There is no “fixing” it. Alabama’s Republican legislators should do the right thing and just repeal this legislation. When kids are going hungry, all of their rhetoric about Christian family values is revealed as just so much wind.