Five months after the Kansas Department of SRS announced its decision to drop more than 2,000 U.S.-born children from the food stamp rolls, the Senate budget committee has withdrawn an amendment aimed at helping those families affected by the policy change.
While Kansas law prohibits illegal immigrants from receiving food stamps, SRS’s new policy has left thousands of U.S.-born children cut off from food assistance. The amendment which was introduced would have restored aid to these kids by requiring SRS to request a waiver from the U.S. Department of Agriculture allowing for an income eligibility policy that would treat all U.S.-citizen children equally.
Under SRS’s new formula, U.S. children whose parents are illegal immigrants are ineligible for the state’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the program that administers food stamps.
That’s because SRS now applies the same criteria to all families when determining income, even though it doesn’t apply the same rules when counting family members. Undocumented parents are no longer counted as part of the family when the agency determines a family’s need. Consequently, two families of equal size and equal needs will be viewed differently. One family will continue to qualify for food stamps; the other will not.
As a result, thousands of needy U.S.-born children have had their food stamps slashed – a decision based solely on the citizenship of their parents.
Children of illegal immigrants who are born in the U.S. are not here illegally. They are legal citizens and have the same rights as every other U.S. citizen. It’s not okay to let these children go hungry, simply because of a decision their parents have made.