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Reprinted from, home of The SPOTLIGHT archive

Foreigners Abuse U.S. Welfare Programs

  • Want to get on the gravy train? Declare yourself a foreign refugee.
By P. Samuel Foner

There is a "network of enterprises and sympathizers" who bring illegal aliens into the United States and wire them in to the welfare system. That according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. "This is an underground railroad," wrote the Enquirer's B.G. Gregg.

The pipeline funneling illegal immigrants to the Cincinnati area -- and presumably other areas as well -- begins in border towns such as Nogales, Arizona and San Ysidro, California and ends with "residents who assist them in the name of mercy or profit," says Gregg.

Opines syndicated columnist Charles Reese: "The U.S. refugee program has become a racket. The Refugee Act of 1980 needs to be repealed especially the 1989 Lautenberg Amendment."

The aforementioned amendment, named after its chief sponsor, Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), was introduced with the intention of helping Soviet Jews. All they needed to prove was that they were Jewish and had, at some time or other, lived in the now defunct USSR.

That was accepted as prima facie evidence that they were the victims of specific discrimination and therefore eligible for refugee status -- and all the goodies that go with it.

Says Reese: "Ordinary immigrants must work or live off the largess of their sponsors; refugees qualify for a ton of public benefits the day they set on U.S. soil."

The American Immigration Control Foundation (AICF,P.O. Box 525, Monterey, Virginia 24465) commissioned a study by Don Barnet which came up with, in part, the following conclusions:

  • More than half of all Southeast Asian refugees in California are on Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) and other welfare programs. The refugees on AFDC in California exceed the caseloads of all recipients in 38 states.
  • Forty-none percent of the cash paid to seniors through the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program is given to non-citizens.
  • A federal study of about 620,000 refugees admitted to America between 1990-1995 found that 61 percent were receiving food stamps and about 50 percent were getting Medicaid and cash assistance through AFDC, SSI or General Assistance.
  • According to the FBI, about half of the 4,000 "Russian" mobsters operating in the United States arrived as refugees under the Lautenberg Amendment.
  • And, according to Reese: "Two Russian doctors writing in a Russian language newspaper in New York city, reported widespread abuse and fraud in Medicaid and Medicare by Russian immigrants..."

It should be noted that U.S. officials call refugees from Russia and from the ex-USSR "Russian." Most aren't.

Then there is the Dang family of Peabody, Massachusetts. They lived in a home valued at about a third of a million and ran a number of convenience stores. The typical "immigrants worked hard and realize the American dream" story? Not exactly. "This is the state's largest welfare fraud case ever,' said Essex County District Attorney Kevin Burke.

The state filed charges against My Dang, his wife, Phung Thi Dang, their son, Dung Dang and Dung's girlfriend, Lieu Dang. The two women also face charges of false representation on their welfare applications.

An investigation revealed that Phung Thi Dang was receiving $701 a month in state and federal benefits and Lieu Dang was getting another $474.

At the same time they were slopping at the public trough, the Dang family bought a home for $298,000 and recently installed a $14,500 swimming pool. The Dangs also own three new cars, two Acuras and a Toyota 4-Runner.

According to papers filed by the prosecution, the family is accused of conspiring to receive housing and medical assistance, food stamps and funds from other benefit programs.

In Cincinnati, the Enquirer found an in-place support network that included housing and an employment agency -- all for illegal aliens, mostly Hispanic.

Says Reese: "Congress needs to repeal its present mishmash of obsolete laws, which are being flagrantly abused, and rethink the whole subject."
The so-called "balanced budget bill," which restored much of the aid to aliens that was thrown out by the previous Congress, doesn't help.