Immigration Reform And The Food Stamps You`re Paying For
June 09, 2006, 05:00 AM
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Here`s a slice of life example of why HR 4437, the House of Representatives` enforcement-first approach to immigration reform, must prevail over the Senate`s treasonous alternative, S.2611.

Earlier this week, I was shopping at Food-4-Less, a giant supermarket warehouse with stores throughout California`s San Joaquin Valley.

In front of me in the check out line stood a young Mexican couple and their two infants. The woman was pregnant.

Neither spoke English nor looked like they were, as our foes are so fond of saying about illegal aliens, "paying taxes and contributing to the US economy."

The couple paid their grocery tab with WIC coupons.

(Brief summary about what WIC is and who qualifies: WIC is the special supplemental nutrition program for pregnant, postpartum and breastfeeding women, infants and children up to five years old—even, of course, the American-born children of illegal aliens, thanks to the "anchor baby" misinterpretation of the 14th Amendment. Those who qualify automatically include any family members receiving Food Stamps, Medicaid, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families as long as their income does not exceed more than 185 percent of the Federal poverty income guidelines.  Others not already receiving these benefits may apply also. In 2006, approximately 8.5 million people participate in WIC at an estimated cost of $ 5 billion, up from $2 billion in 1990. The General Accounting Office has identified significant levels of fraud in WIC.)

I watched the checker arrange the groceries into different groups: dairy products, juices and baby formula, peanut butter, tuna and carrots—all covered by WIC.

Then, with the skill of a Las Vegas blackjack dealer, the checker shuffled through the coupons, sorted them according to category and initialed them without a hitch.

When the transaction was completed, I asked her how she got so efficient at processing WIC forms.

She replied:

        "I`ve been doing this for twenty years."

And that is why we`ll triumph: "Enough is enough!"

Even though I have known about WIC coupons for ages, I felt a renewed sense of outrage and frustration as the scene at the grocery unfolded before me.

I`m lucky enough to be able to afford my own peanut butter but, at the risk of sounding beyond churlish, why should I pay for theirs? Who are they to me? Why is my generosity being taken advantage of?

America has plenty of needy cases among its citizens; my charity should go to them.

The WIC program is an interesting barometer of what`s going on in immigration, both legal and illegal.

According to the latest available data in 2004, Hispanics are the biggest WIC users at 39.2 percent versus 34.6 percent for whites and 20 percent for blacks.

But in 2000, Hispanics trailed whites by 3 percentage points, 38 to 35 percent. In a mere four years, Hispanic participation increased 4.2 percentage points and thus matched, and then surpassed whites and blacks as the largest ethnic group relying on WIC.

And if you analyze the ethnic WIC 2002 enrollment by state, the numbers are amazing. In California alone, Hispanic WIC users exceed whites by a 9:1 ratio and blacks by 10:1. Other states show similar, if not quite so dominant, patterns.

Breaking down the ethnic usage trends by percentage increase found in two-year intervals from 1996-1998; 1998-2000 and 2000-2002, Hispanic reliance on WIC is more evident:

Ethnicity

PERCENT CHANGE

 

1996 to  1998

1998 to 2000

2000 to 2002

Hispanics 8.5 6.8 10.0
Blacks 0.7 -6.6 -5.7

Whites

0.8

-2.1

-7.0

One of WIC`s special research studies arrived at this conclusion:

"The ethnic composition of WIC has been changing steadily since 1992 with the percentage of Hispanics rising and non-Hispanics falling."

Let`s return to my original point—that the WIC program is one reason among many why we will succeed in our quest for immigration sanity.

VDARE.COM has insisted for years that the U.S.`s current immigration policy imports poverty. The WIC statistics undeniably support that conclusion.

Poor people—mostly Mexican—with large families have become increasingly dependent on WIC for their most basic child rearing needs.

And the poverty cycle repeats itself because the mothers and daughters are fecund.

California has been hit harder by destitute aliens than any other state—as VDARE.COM`s Edwin S. Rubenstein reported here.

But what has also happened since 2000 is that other states across the nation have seen a huge increase in their poor immigrant population: Georgia, North Carolina, Connecticut, Florida, Texas, Arizona and Pennsylvania to name but a few.

When residents of those states go to their local market, look around and see WIC coupons being used while they dig into their wallets, they too say: "Enough is enough."

Rep. Christopher Shays, from a largely white, suburban Connecticut swing district and in a tough re-election race, returned to Washington and informed House leadership that, based on eighteen town hall meetings he attended, his voters are growing more "adamant" in their opposition to another amnesty and/or guest worker legislation. [Immigration Deal At Risk As House GOP Looks To Voters, By Jim VandeHei and Zachary A. Goldfarb, Washington Post, May 26, 2006]

Voters are "adamant" because, at the rock bottom minimum, they want to feel that Washington is aware of illegal immigration`s poisonous effect on the country and that efforts to end it—or at least control it— are underway.

They very correctly do not have that impression. Accordingly, voters have become more vocal to assure the outcome they want—border security—is the one that survives the House-Senate deadlock.

My conclusion: Elected officials who undermine the voters` wishes will find themselves out on the street in November

Joe Guzzardi [email him], an instructor in English at the Lodi Adult School, has been writing a weekly newspaper column since 1988. This column is exclusive to VDARE.COM.