Illegal Aliens and RI Social Programs: Qualifying Documentation Ranges from Strong to Alarmingly Weak


Presumably responding in part to the “DACA” memo that President Obama issued two years ago and the corresponding plummet of the rate of deportation of illegal alien children, the southern border has seen a real ramping up of these arrivals, especially since October of last year. Note that not all of them are children – far from it.

In late breaking regional news on this front, the Boston Herald reports today that

Illegal immigrants are being secretly flown to Massachusetts and kept in local lockups in an under-the-radar operation that has alarmed lawmen who are raising health and security concerns amid recent spikes in detainees coming up from Texas during the latest border crisis.

Thanks to WPRO’s John Depetro for the heads-up via Twitter about this alarming development. Taken in combination with the discovery by WPRO’s Tara Granahan last week that the State of Rhode Island 1.) has a “refugee” coordinator and 2.) received instructions from the federal government as to how to deal with illegal alien arrivals, it is not difficult to image that Rhode Island officials – in a completely misguided and unacceptable act of purported compassion – are standing by to also receive a group from the southern border.

It is important to note that there is a broader context that has laid the groundwork for the accelerated arrival of both children and adult illegal aliens. The United States and certain states, including Rhode Island, have actually enticed people to come here illegally by refusing to take some very reasonable – some would say minimal – steps. E-verify has neither been implemented or enforced universally, so an illegal alien is drawn to the prospect of employment. As noted, deportations of those under 18 have plummeted. And it is not at all clear that states, gatekeepers of social program benefits, have taken sufficient care that the benefits of costly social programs go only to those who qualify for them.

What Rhode Island is doing with regard to that last, important item is the subject of this post.

In response to an inquiry from Ocean State Current-Anchor Rising, the Executive Office of Health and Human Services sent over several documents. One of those listed all of the documents that an applicant for social services can submit to verify citizenship qualification for those benefits. That list in its entirety is reproduced at the end of this post. The list begins with the following sentence.

Acceptable verification of citizenship is divided into four (4) tiers.

So the acceptable documentation is divided into four tiers, with the “First Level” being the strongest proof and the “Fourth Level” being the weakest. The Fourth Level of documents – the weakest – begins with the admonition:

Fourth level documentation should only be used under the rarest of circumstances. It is only to be used when absolutely no other documentation exists that will establish the individual’s U.S. citizenship.

Keep in mind, however, that these are all acceptable forms of documentation to demonstrate citizenship qualification for a social program.

At least four documents strike me as particularly weak. Feel free to review the list yourself and let us know of others that are troublesome to you.

Under the Third Level of documentation:

ii. Life or health or other insurance record showing a U.S. place of birth created at least five (5) years before the initial application day.

Are life and health and “other” insurance companies that fussy about verifying the citizenship status of those who purchase their product? So how is this reasonable proof of citizenship?

And the other three weak documents are under the Fourth Level of documentation:

ii. Institutional admission papers from a nursing home, skilled nursing care facility, or other institution created at least five (5) years before the initial application date and indicates a U.S. place of birth.

iii. Medical (clinic, doctor, or hospital) record created at least five (5) years before the initial application date that indicates a U.S. place of birth.

But how do we know that that medical clinic or institution did anything other than take the person’s word for his/her place of birth?

And the weakest “proof” of citizenship on the list: self-declaration backed up by the word of two buddies. (Okay, okay, that last part is an editorial description. But isn’t that all it would take? Two friends willing to sign an affidavit knowing that the risk of being rumbled for perjury is near zero?)

v. A written affidavit may be used only in rare circumstances when the state cannot prove evidence of citizenship in any other way.

* Affidavits must be given by at least two individuals – one must be of no relation to the applicant.

* Each person must attest to having personal knowledge of the events establishing the applicant is a citizen, and must also prove their own citizenship and identity.

* If the person knows why documentary evidence establishing the applicant’s claim of citizenship is not available, the affidavit should contain that information as well.

* The State must obtain a separate affidavit from the applicant/recipient or other knowledgeable individual explaining why the evidence does not exist or cannot be obtained. It must be signed under penalty of perjury by the person making the affidavit.

Current-Anchor also asked the State of Rhode Island for a breakdown of the number of qualifying documents – i.e., 100 First Level documents, 50 Second Level Documents, 25 Third Level, etc – produced by applicants for a given period of time. The spokesperson for the state responded that they were unable to furnish these numbers as it is logistically not feasible for the state employee taking the application to collect and retain this information.

So it is impossible to know whether the State of Rhode Island is disbursing social program benefits, funded by our hard earned tax dollars, on the basis of strong or weak documentation. We know, minimally, that weak documentation is accepted. Accordingly, it is not difficult to infer that this makes Rhode Island something of a draw for illegal immigration, with the corresponding burden on not just social programs but also our education and medical systems, not to mention the impact on wages and unemployment.

In light of the strong draw of free social program benefits which involve, in part, state tax dollars, wouldn’t it be reasonable and prudent for the State of Rhode Island to tighten up the list of qualifying documents and limit them to, say, First and Second Level documents only?

Complete list of documents accepted by the State of Rhode Island for an applicant to demonstrate citizenship qualification for social programs.

A. CITIZENSHIP – Acceptable verification of citizenship is divided into four (4) tiers.

1. FIRST LEVEL (PRIMARY DOCUMENTATION)

a. The following forms of documentation qualify as both proof of citizenship and identity:

i. A U.S. Passport

* Passport does not have to be currently valid to be accepted as proof of citizenship

* Passports issued with a limitation are not considered evidence of U.S. citizenship but is considered proof of identity.

ii. A Certificate of Naturalization (Forms N-550 or N-570)

iii. A Certificate of U.S. Citizenship (Form N-560 or N-561)

b. Applicants and recipients born outside of the United States who were not U.S. citizens at birth, must submit First Level documentation as evidence of U.S. citizenship.

c. If the applicant/recipient does not possess any of the above forms of documentation, then documentation of both the individual’s citizenship (preferably from the Secondary tier of documentation) and identity is necessary.

2. SECOND LEVEL (SECONDARY)

a. If documentation from the First Level (Primary Documentation) of citizenship is not available, the applicant/recipient must submit both a document from one of the lower levels of citizenship documentation as well as a document from the list of acceptable forms of identity documentation.

b. Secondary level documentation includes:

i. A U.S. Birth Certificate

ii. A Certification of Birth Issued by the Department of State (Form DS-1350)

iii. A Report of Birth Abroad of a U.S. Citizen (Form FS-240)

iv. A Certification of Birth Issued by the Department of State (Form FS-545 or DS-1350)

v. A U.S. Citizens I.D. Card (Form I-197 or prior version I-179)

vi. An American Indian Card, I-872 issued by the Department of Homeland Security with the classification code “KIC” issued to identify U.S. citizen members of the Texas Band of Kickapoos living near the U.S./Mexican border

vii. Final Adoption Decree showing the child’s name and U.S. birthplace

viii. Evidence of Civil Service employment by the U.S. government before June 1976

iv. An official military record of service showing a U.S. place of birth

x. A Northern Mariana Identification Card, I-873 (issued by the INS to a collectively naturalized citizen of the United States who was born in the Northern Mariana Islands before November 4,1986)

3. THIRD LEVEL

a. Primary and Secondary levels of documentation must be exhausted before third level documentation is used to verify citizenship as third level documentation is only acceptable if primary and secondary documentation cannot be obtained or does not exist.

b. Third level documentation includes:

i. Extract of a hospital record on hospital letterhead established at the time of the person’s birth and was created at least five (5) years before the initial application date and that indicates a U.S. place of birth.

(For children under sixteen (16) years old, the document must have been created at or near the time of birth or five (5) years before the date of application.)

ii. Life or health or other insurance record showing a U.S. place of birth created at least five (5) years before the initial application day.

4. FOURTH LEVEL

a. Fourth level documentation should only be used under the rarest of circumstances. It is only to be used when absolutely no other documentation exists that will establish the individual’s U.S. citizenship.

b. Fourth level documentation includes:

i. Federal or state census record showing U.S. citizenship or a U.S. place of birth

ii. Institutional admission papers from a nursing home, skilled nursing care facility, or other institution created at least five (5) years before the initial application date and indicates a U.S. place of birth.

iii. Medical (clinic, doctor, or hospital) record created at least five (5) years before the initial application date that indicates a U.S. place of birth. (For children under sixteen (16) years old the document must have been created near the time of birth or five (5) years before the date of application.) An immunization record is not considered a medical record for purposes of establishing U.S. citizenship.

iv. Other documents that were created at least five (5) years before the application for Medicaid. These documents include:

* Seneca Indian Tribal Census Report,

* Bureau of Indian Affairs Tribal Census Records of the Navajo Indians,

* U.S. State Vital Statistics Official nomination of birth registration,

* An amended U.S. public birth record that is amended more than five (5) years after the person’s birth or statement signed by the physician or midwife who was in attendance at the time of birth.

v. A written affidavit may be used only in rare circumstances when the state cannot prove evidence of citizenship in any other way.

* Affidavits must be given by at least two individuals – one must be of no relation to the applicant.

* Each person must attest to having personal knowledge of the events establishing the applicant is a citizen, and must also prove their own citizenship and identity.

* If the person knows why documentary evidence establishing the applicant’s claim of citizenship is not available, the affidavit should contain that information as well.

* The State must obtain a separate affidavit from the applicant/recipient or other knowledgeable individual explaining why the evidence does not exist or cannot be obtained. It must be signed under penalty of perjury by the person making the affidavit.

QUICK SURVEY

Of the following two issues related to Rhode Island’s public schools, which one is a greater concern?

YOUR CART
  • No products in the cart.
0