Watchdog Report: USDA Promoting Food Stamp Benefits To Illegal Immigrants

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File photo of a food stamps card. (credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

File photo of a food stamps card. (credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — A government watchdog agency is reporting that the Department of Agriculture is promoting food stamp benefits to illegal immigrants.

Documents obtained by Judicial Watchdog show a Spanish-language Agriculture Department flyer given to the Mexican Embassy in Washington. The flyer informs Mexicans living in the U.S. illegally about the fact that they don’t have to declare their immigration status in order to receive benefits for children born in the U.S. under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

“You need not divulge information regarding your immigration status in seeking this benefit for your children,” the statement on the flyer reads, according to Judicial Watchdog. The flyer was distributed in March 2009.

The department’s website states its partnership with Mexico.

“USDA and the government of Mexico have entered into a partnership to help educate eligible Mexican nationals living in the United States about available nutrition assistance,” the statement reads on the department’s website. “Mexico will help disseminate this information through its embassy and network of approximately 50 consular offices.”

Judicial Watchdog obtained the documents through a Freedom of Information Act request last July. The watchdog group sought through the request: “Any and all records of communication relating to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to Mexican Americans, Mexican nationals, and migrant communities, including but not limited to, communications with the Mexican government.”

A January 2012 email from a USDA official to Mexican Embassy employees revealed how the two were working together on food stamp benefits.

Judicial Watchdog reported: “In an email to Borjon Lopez-Coterilla and Jose Vincente of the Mexican Embassy, dated January 26, 2012, Yibo Wood of the USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) sympathized with the plight of illegal aliens applying for food stamps, saying, ‘FNS understands that mixed status households may be particularly vulnerable. Many of these households contain a non-citizen parent and a citizen child.’”

“The revelation that the USDA is actively working with the Mexican government to promote food stamps for illegal aliens should have a direct impact on the fate of the immigration bill now being debated in Congress,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement. “These disclosures further confirm the fact that the Obama administration cannot be trusted to protect our borders or enforce our immigration laws. And the coordination with a foreign government to attack the policies of an American state is contemptible.”

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