Will I Be Deported If I Apply For Public Benefits?

According to a recent Associated Press report, immigrants with no legal status increasingly are declining to file applications for public benefits such as food stamps, or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, as they are now called, out of fear of being deported. Although undocumented immigrants themselves are not eligible for food stamps and other public benefits for themselves, benefits are available for their children, no matter how they arrived in the country. However, current public attitudes toward immigrants are so hostile that they may choose to not even apply for benefits for their children, simply in hopes of avoiding deportation. Many immigrants fear that if they apply for benefits, then their personal information, including their current immigration status, that is necessary for the application will result in some sort of alert to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Although the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has publicly stated that no individual will be deported, denied entry to the U.S., or denied permanent status as a result of receiving food stamps, some immigrant families still are not willing to take the risk. USDA maintains to that the state agencies that administer SNAP only are required to report immigrants with no legal status who attempt to receive food stamps for themselves, rather than from their children. USDA data indicates that 3.9 million U.S. citizen children who live with non-citizens parents receive food stamps. While food stamp numbers have declined in recent years, some of the attrition is due to other facts, such as an improved economic status for some families. However, it is likely that these figures now will drop significantly, due to the culture of fear created by Trump’s stance on immigration. During his first 100 days in office, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested almost 40% more immigrants whom they suspected were undocumented during this time period than the same time period in 2016. Landerholm Immigration, A.P.C. is an Oakland immigration law firm who has dedicated all of its resources to protecting the interests of immigrants who are seeking to remain in the U.S. and facing potential deportation. We are prepared to build the strongest case possible in order to defend you against deportation. Contact us today to set up an appointment and discover what assistance we can offer to you and your family.

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