Sen. Rand Paul holding up benefits for refugees until audit of program is completed
Posted by Ann Corcoran on October 8, 2011
Most readers don’t know that we bring elderly refugees to the US and then give them Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
Apparently many senior refugees are not becoming citizens within the proscribed seven years, but refugee advocates want their Social Security extended anyway.
Here is an editorial at the New York Times ranting against Rand for placing a hold on an extension of benefits bill. He first wants an audit of the Refugee Resettlement Program that allowed Iraqi alleged terrorists to be admitted through the program and resettled in his state.
The New York Times:
Here’s an addition to the file marked “Extreme Dysfunction: Congress Edition.” A bill that would extend life-saving cash assistance to 5,600 disabled and elderly refugees — a bill whose support is so broad that it includes Senators Charles Schumer of New York and Jeff Sessions of Alabama, a bill that would pay for itself and even raise a bit for deficit reduction — can’t get through the Senate.
The bill is stalled because Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky has placed a hold on it. He is upset because a separate, unrelated refugee program gave benefits to two Iraqi men who were arrested in Kentucky on terrorism-related conspiracy charges. The two Iraqis never received any benefits under the program in question — Supplemental Security Income — and they were not old or sick. But Mr. Paul seems to have concluded that the country can’t give any aid to a small group of highly vulnerable refugees — including survivors of terrorist violence, torture, dictatorships and war — because of the off chance that some terrorists might get the help, too.
Mr. Schumer’s bill, which was expected to pass in a voice vote until Mr. Paul blocked it, is the latest extension of S.S.I. benefits to refugees who missed a deadline to become citizens.
Good for you Sen. Paul, the whole program is in need of a financial audit!
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