Immigrants who previously received food stamps (SNAP) in the United States began to abandon them after the inauguration of Donald Trump, fearing that this could be an additional reason for their deportation, and would also simplify the search for immigration and customs officers.
This was told by staff nutrition centers and lawyers, reports the Washington Post.
According to the staff of the programs for issuing coupons, many call them and ask about the possible consequences of using coupons for immigrants, many simply refuse the program and are trying to find additional, for someone already a third job, to cover losses from losing coupons.
Even green card holders are afraid – they are afraid that using coupons can cause them to prevent them from obtaining citizenship in the future.
The journalists could not contact the immigrants themselves to hear their views on this matter.
According to the Department of Agriculture, in 2015, 1.5 million non-citizens of the United States received food stamps, and another 3.9 million children-citizens living with parents who do not have US citizenship also received coupons.
The rules for obtaining state aid are strict, and immigrants tend to use food allowances at a much lower rate than Americans. The research showed that families of illegal immigrants often suffer from malnutrition.
For legal immigrants who entered the country after August 1996, the right to participate in the program of receipt of coupons is determined depending on their age and time of stay in the United States. Adults are eligible to participate in the program after living in the US for at least 5 years, or if they are refugees or incapacitated. Children who have entered the United States by legal means get the right to help from the state much faster.
Illegal immigrants are not eligible for food stamps, although they can live in a family with a “mixed immigration status”, one of whose members can receive coupons. For example, illegitimate parents can receive coupons for their child citizens.
Recently, legal immigrants began to fear that using coupons could create problems for them. Such fear among the visitors was always, but they increased many times after the inauguration of Trump.
Legal immigrants fear that receiving coupons can negatively affect them during the process of obtaining citizenship. Illegals who submit applications on behalf of their children are increasingly afraid of any contact and cooperation with government agencies.
At the same time, lawyers cannot give exact figures, but they say that the refusal to participate in the program for the first 2 months of 2017 has grown almost 2 times compared to the same period in 2016.