Illegal immigration issues find way to nation’s heartland

Jarod Griswold

The Department of Social Services has many tax-paid programs. These programs are sometimes used by illegal aliens coming into the U.S. and, more importantly, right here in Missouri.

According to the Department of Social Services for Missouri, there were 557 claims by illegal immigrants that the Social Service department in Missouri paid out between July 2006 and June 2007.

According to Sara Anderson, a spokesperson for the department, these claims are considered to be by illegal immigrants because they either declined to declare that they were illegal or they had no documentation to provide at the time of there service.

“We are spending taxpayer’s dollars, and it does take money.” Anderson said.

Tax money is helping to fund illegal immigrants in Missouri. According to the department of Social Services about $7.5 million dollars was spent between June 2006 and July 2007 to help fund social service programs. Out of that $7.5 million dollars about $322,000 dollars was used to fund illegal immigrants using social service programs.

The department of Social Services is “Not an agency that’s going to let someone suffer through a hardship” Anderson said. There are certain programs than can help illegal aliens. The only way for someone to qualify is by presumed eligibility. For example if someone were to go to an urgent care facility that is based on income and can’t provide documentation right away, social services will help pay medical bills to help cover costs. But once they have helped someone they will check to see if they are a legal U.S. citizen before they can get into any other program.

The Missouri department of Social Services is working to help illegal immigrants gain their citizenship.

“Our employers are willing to point them in the right direction,” Anderson said.

There are social service programs in place to specifically help immigrants through hardships. In Missouri these programs include: Mo. HealthNet for Women, Mo. HealthNet for Children and Emergency Mo. HealthNet.