It’s always nice to see the Providence Journal catching up on topics that Anchor Rising covered long ago. Here’s Monique Chartier writing in 2011:
When someone goes to the State of Rhode Island and applies for social services, one of the first pieces of information for which they are asked is a social security number. However, there are instances when the applicant/recipient may not have one (more on that in a sec). When that happens, the staff at the Dept of Human Services is permitted to enter a “666” by-pass number – a nine digit number that starts with 666.
Know how many people are receiving benefits under a 666 by-pass number?
And here’s Katherine Gregg writing in the Providence Journal the other day:
The numbers: As of February 8, there were 3,419 people without Social Security numbers listed as receiving benefits by the new state computer system that tracks eligibility determinations and payments of publicly-subsidized benefits in Rhode island, from cash assistance to health care.They have been entered into the state computer system with the code “666” or “000” in lieu of a Social Security number.
That tiny increase brings to mind Monique’s 2011 question: “Are we to believe that there is a steady new batch of 3,300 applicants continuously coming into the system who need to use the by-pass number while waiting for a social security number or a copy of their card to arrive?”
Curious, indeed. Gregg got the state to insist that “fewer than” 750 of the beneficiaries using the bypass numbers are illegal immigrants. Per Monique’s earlier question, one wonders to what extent they are the same people receiving benefits six years ago, or whether there’s amazingly consistent churn.
We shouldn’t forget, by the way, that the bypass numbers can’t be the complete count of illegal immigrants receiving benefits. Consider this recent video of illegal immigrant activist Jose Vargas acknowledging that his grandfather bought him a Social Security Number. One gets the impression that such things are common, given that Vargas raises the matter as evidence that illegal immigrants pay taxes.
In summary, we still don’t know how much Rhode Islanders are paying for illegal welfare benefits.