A nine year-old viral Facebook post that portrays the United States as soft on illegal immigration enjoyed something of a resurgence in early 2018, most likely in light of ongoing negotiations between President Donald Trump and Congressional Democrats over the fate of immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children by their undocumented parents and who have previously been allowed to stay in the United States under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

    The wording of the post, which was turned into a meme, has been repeated since at least 2009, and has been adapted for Australian and Canadian audiences over the years. There have been small variations here and there, but it typically goes something like this :

    Undocumented immigrants do have some rights and entitlements, but the meme vastly overstates these entitlements, and omits to mention the many burdens and disadvantages placed on these immigrants, including the constant possibility of arrest and deportation.  

    A job

    Adults who enter the United States illegally are not provided with a job. In fact, it’s illegal to knowingly hire any immigrant who isn’t authorized to work in the country (whether they entered the United States illegally or overstayed a visa after entering legally.)

    Of course, that doesn’t stop the practice from happening, and according to a 2017 analysis by the Pew Research Institute, there were around 8 million unauthorized immigrants working or looking for work in the United States in 2014.

    A driver’s license

    This depends on where you live. As of January 2018, there are 12 states (and the District of Columbia) which allow immigrants without legal status to obtain a driver’s license. Some of the states where unauthorized immigrants can drive (California, New Jersey, Illinois) have relatively high undocumented populations .

    Food stamps

    An immigrant who does not have a legal status in the United States is not eligible for food stamps (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), although their children might be. Indeed, undocumented immigrants do not receive most kinds of welfare benefits , even though they do pay taxes. 

    According to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, a non-partisan think tank, undocumented immigrants collectively contribute almost $12 billion per year in state and local sales, income and property taxes. 

    “A place to live”

    Generally speaking, undocumented immigrants are not eligible for federal housing benefits like public housing, rental assistance, and vouchers.

    However, as a 2015 Congressional Research Service report outlines, some undocumented immigrants may live in a household with citizens or qualified immigrants, and thereby indirectly benefit from some public housing assistance (although the level of that assistance is reduced on a pro rata basis, due to the presence of that undocumented immigrant.)

    Undocumented immigrants are eligible for emergency assistance such as homeless accomodation and domestic violence shelters. 

    It is possible for an undocumented immigrant to own a home, either by buying it outright with cash, or by using something called an individual tax identification number ( ITIN ) mortgage. This allows non-citizens (including undocumented immigrants) to bypass the usual requirement of having a social security number to take out a mortgage. 

    Some 31 percent of undocumented immigrants live in a home that is owned by at least one of its residents (as opposed to rented), according to a Migration Policy Institute analysis of data from the United States Census Bureau’s 2014 American Community Survey. 

    Health care

    Undocumented immigrants are not eligible to enroll in Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) Health Insurance Marketplace, significantly curtailing the affordable health insurance and health care available to them.

    However, six states and the District of Columbia have rules that allow undocumented immigrant children to avail themselves of Medicaid benefits, and undocumented immigrants are also entitled to emergency medical care. 

    According to a 2017 Kaiser Family Foundation analysis , non-elderly undocumented immigrants are four times more likely than United States citizens to be uninsured, and fears about immigration enforcement and detection often cause undocumented immigrants to forgo preventive healthcare, leading to worse outcomes. 

    Child benefits

    It’s not entirely clear what the creator of this meme means by “child benefits,” but let’s take a look. Undocumented immigrant tax-payers (using an ITIN rather than a social security number) can avail themselves of a  child tax credit . 

    Low-income undocumented immigrants are also eligible for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children ( WIC ), which provides food and infant formula assistance, as well as nutritional and immunization assessments. 

    Undocumented immigrants are not eligible for TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families), a federal program that provides financial help to low-income families and pregnant women.

    Education

    In 1982, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states are constitutionally barred from denying children a public school education on the basis of their immigration status. As a result, undocumented immigrant children can attend public schools for free, like any other children.

    While attending public schools, undocumented children can benefit from federal nutrition services like the School Breakfast Program and National School Lunch Program . 

    Only two states (Alabama and South Carolina) do not allow undocumented immigrants to attend public colleges and other third-level institutions, and three others (Arizona, Georgia and Indiana) do not allow them to pay lower in-state tuition rates, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

    Undocumented students are not allowed to receive federal financial aid for higher education, but they might be able to get state aid or private scholarships. 

    A tax-free business for seven years

    This is completely false . Undocumented immigrants pay taxes, and there is no provision in law at the federal or state level which grants them any kind of “tax holiday.”

    What happens if I enter the US illegally?
    Section "1325(a) is a regulatory offense, and thus knowledge of alienage is not an element." The maximum prison term is 6 months for the first offense with a misdemeanor and 2 years for any subsequent offense with a felony. In addition to the above criminal fines and penalties, civil fines may also be imposed. more
    What happens if I enter the U.S. illegally?
    Section "1325(a) is a regulatory offense, and thus knowledge of alienage is not an element." The maximum prison term is 6 months for the first offense with a misdemeanor and 2 years for any subsequent offense with a felony. In addition to the above criminal fines and penalties, civil fines may also be imposed. more
    Why do people enter the U.S. illegally?
    Causes. There are however numerous incentives which draw foreigners to the U.S. Most illegal immigrants who come to America come for better opportunities for employment, a greater degree of freedom, avoidance of political oppression, freedom from violence, famine, and family reunification. more
    How many Americans enter Canada illegally?
    Statistics. From January 2017 to March 2018, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police intercepted 25,645 people crossing the border into Canada illegally. Public Safety Canada estimated that another 2,500 came across in April 2018 for a total of just over 28,000, of which 1,000 had been removed from Canada. more
    Who can enter Yemen?
    Passports and visas are required for travel to Yemen. Visas must be obtained from Yemeni embassies abroad. All visitors to Yemen are required to obtain a visa prior to travel; airport visas will not be issued upon arrival. U.S. citizens are typically issued visas that are valid for 30 days. more
    Can Palestinians enter Mexico?
    Mexico tourist visa from Palestine Mexico tourist visa is required for Palestinian citizens. The stay is usually short with a period of 30 days and visa expires in 90 days. Applicant is required to be present when applying for Mexico tourist visa. A total of 12 documents are required for applying Mexico tourist visa. more
    Does Apple enter metaverse?
    Apple isn't building a metaverse At present, the only real risk it faces through not joining the new standards body is familiar to the company: competitors may reach market first with their visions, but Apple will strive to deliver solutions that aim to meet real human need. more
    Is it a felony to enter the US illegally?
    The first offense is a misdemeanor according to the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, which prohibits non-nationals from entering or attempting to enter the United States at any time or place which has not been designated by an immigration officer, and also prohibits non-nationals from eluding inspection by more
    What happens if you enter the United States illegally?
    Section "1325(a) is a regulatory offense, and thus knowledge of alienage is not an element." The maximum prison term is 6 months for the first offense with a misdemeanor and 2 years for any subsequent offense with a felony. In addition to the above criminal fines and penalties, civil fines may also be imposed. more
    What happens if you enter Cuba illegally?
    Technically you could face a $250,000 fine and 10 years in jail for violating the law. Okay, that's enough to make anyone sweat during customs, but in reality the law is rarely enforced. more
    Can Lebanese enter Israel?
    Israel tourist visa is required for Lebanese citizens. The stay is usually short with a period of 90 days and visa expires in 90 days. Applicant is required to be present when applying for Israel tourist visa. more

    Source: www.snopes.com

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