Canada leads the way dealing with immigrant welfare cheats.
National Post by Tom Blackwell January 27, 2014
British Columbia’s top court has upheld a decision to revoke almost a decade of medicare coverage for an immigrant couple, confirming in a rare judgment that provinces have every right to deny health funding to people who spend too much time living abroad.
B.C., like most provinces, requires that patients spend at least six months annually in the jurisdiction to benefit from medicare, and alleged Sayed Geissah and Souad Khalaf had lived most of the past several years in the Middle East.
The pair had argued that the Canadian citizenship they obtained gave them the right to reside wherever they wanted, and that B.C.’s medicare agency could not force them to live in Canada when it was too expensive for them to do so.
The Court of Appeal said in a judgment this month that the province had acted legally when it retroactively stripped them of coverage for a nine-year period.
This is also a serious problem in the United States. Naturalized citizens routinely leave the United States immediately after naturalization and take up residence in their allegedly former country of nationality. Usually these are elderly couples who were on Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and never worked in the United States. SSI payments go a long way in Third World nations and American diplomatic posts overseas have a large bureaucracy from the Social Security Administration and the Department of Health and Human Services to service these cheats.
An even more egregious problem is the Legal Permanent Residents (LPR) who immigrate to the United States, apply for various welfare programs, including SSI, then move overseas as well, doubly violating the law—as LPRs are required to live in the United States and welfare recipients have residency requirements. Add to this the absurdity of welfare recipients who can afford to travel internationally, but are too poor to feed themselves and too infirm to work.
Time for the United States to deal with immigrants who treat our passport as a document of convenience and abuse. End welfare and Social Security for those living overseas. All recipients should be placed in the U.S. Customs and Border Protection database that screens international travelers.