Judicial Watch • Judicial Watch Uncovers USDA Records Sponsoring U.S. Food Stamp Program for Illegal Aliens

Judicial Watch Uncovers USDA Records Sponsoring U.S. Food Stamp Program for Illegal Aliens

Judicial Watch Uncovers USDA Records Sponsoring U.S. Food Stamp Program for Illegal Aliens

APRIL 25, 2013

Documents Reveal that Mexican Government Encourages Maximum Participation in U.S.-Funded Program

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch today released documents detailing how the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is working with the Mexican government to promote participation by illegal aliens in the U.S. food stamp program.

The promotion of the food stamp program, now known as “SNAP” (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), includes a Spanish-language flyer provided to the Mexican Embassy by the USDA with a statement advising Mexicans in the U.S. that they do not need to declare their immigration status in order to receive financial assistance.  Emphasized in bold and underlined, the statement reads, “You need not divulge information regarding your immigration status in seeking this benefit for your children.”

The documents came in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request made to USDA on July 20, 2012.  The FOIA request sought: “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.”

The documents obtained by Judicial Watch show that USDA officials are working closely with their counterparts at the Mexican Embassy to widely broaden the SNAP program in the Mexican immigrant community, with no effort to restrict aid to, identify, or apprehend illegal immigrants who may be on the food stamp rolls. 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 email from Wood to Lopez-Coterilla and Vincente came in response to a request from the Mexican Embassy that the USDA FNS step in to prevent the state of Kansas from changing its food stamp policy to restrict the amount of financial assistance provided to illegal aliens.  In a January 22, 2012, article, the Kansas City Star had revealed that the state would no longer include illegal aliens in its calculations of the amount of assistance to be provided low-income Hispanic families in order to prevent discrimination against legal recipients.

The documents, obtained by Judicial Watch in August 2012, include the following:

  • March 30, 2012 – The USDA seeks approval of the Mexican Embassy in drafting a letter addressed to consulates throughout the United States designed to encourage Mexican embassy staffers to enroll in a webinar learn how to promote increased enrollment among “the needy families that the consulates serve.”
  • August 1, 2011 – The USDA FNS initiates contact with the Mexican Embassy in New York to implement programs already underway in DC and Philadelphia for maximizing participation among Mexican citizens. The Mexican Embassy responds that the Consul General is eager to strengthen his ties to the USDA, with specific interest in promoting the food stamp program.
  • February 25, 2011 – The USDA and the Mexican Consulate exchange ideas about getting the First Ladies of Mexico and United States to visit a school for purposes of creating a photo opportunity that would promote free school lunches for low-income students in a predominantly Hispanic school. Though a notation in the margin of the email claims that the photo op never took place, UPI reported that it actually did.
  • March 3, 2010 – A flyer advertises a webinar to teach Hispanic-focused nonprofits how to get reimbursed by the USDA for serving free lunch over the summer. The course, funded by American taxpayers, is advertised as being “free for all participants.”
  • February 9 , 2010 – USDA informs the Mexican Embassy that, based on an agreement reached between the State Department and the Immigration & Naturalization Service (now ICE), the Women, Infants & Children (WIC) food voucher program does not violate immigration laws prohibiting immigrants from becoming a “public charge.”

As far back as 2006, in its Corruption Chronicles blog, Judicial Watch revealed that the USDA was spending taxpayer money to run Spanish-language television ads encouraging illegal immigrants to apply for government-financed food stamps. The Mexican Consul in Santa Ana, CA, at the time even starred in some of the U.S. Government-financed television commercials, which explained the program and provided a phone number to apply. In the widely viewed commercial the Consul assured that receiving food stamps “won’t affect your immigration status.”

In 2012, Judicial Watch reported that in a letter to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions questioned the Obama administration’s partnership with Mexican consulates to encourage foreign nationals, migrant workers and non-citizen immigrants to apply for food stamps and other USDA administered welfare benefits. Sessions wrote, “It defies rational thinking, for the United States – now dangerously $16 trillion in debt – to partner with foreign governments to help us place more foreign nationals on American welfare and it is contrary to good immigration policy in the United States.”

“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,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “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.”

To view all the documents, click here.

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  • Janet Bosley

    Well it seems my comment is not welcome.. But here goes again for the third time…
    an ILLEGAL does not need to be a citizen to get SOCIAL SECURITY they would not need to be a citizen to get food stamps and don’t tell me that some do in fact get SS because I heard it myself over the phone a recording I had to sit through when I called SS when I retired .. mercy woman they get free furniture they pick it out and the Bill is sent to the government and they in turn sent the Bill to the tax payers

  • Chalupa Cracker

    ANCHOR BABY

  • Kachina

    I hate to sound mean but why isn’t the Mexican Government PAYING FOR aide to its citizens here in America?

  • RLara

    Should have read on…
    February 9 , 2010 – USDA informs the Mexican Embassy that, based on an agreement reached between the State Department and the Immigration & Naturalization Service (now ICE), the Women, Infants & Children (WIC) food voucher program does not violate immigration laws prohibiting immigrants from becoming a “public charge.

  • tinalouise

    I stopped reading after the first lie, you do have to answer questions about your citizenship to get any kind of assistance from the government programs….you DO have to be a citizen.

  • OldmanRick

    The EPA, IRS, NSA, DOJ, DOE(education), HHS, DHS, and now the USDA is another agency that can be added to the list of those out of control and without any oversight. Is it any surprise that these agencies all come under the control of the executive branch of government? Seems these agencies and their bottom feeding leadership are doing nothing more than mimicking the brat as he leaves a path of destruction wherever he travels or whatever he touches.

  • melanie faulkner

    Really just it just turns my stomach. We pay so much in taxes and we think it is going to help our own but it is not. The government doing this and putting out brochures in Mexico telling them how to get all these freebies is just ridiculous. No wonder we our borders are being over run. The government is letting our own legal citizens and veterans die to feed people who do not belong here while all us work our fingers to the bone. I am sick of this now. Our government needs to be put on a very tight leash! No wonder our country is broke.

  • KSEMBB1

    The whole damn regime promotes giving away our assets to illegal aliens and foreign countries. It’s just that the USDA got caught.

  • noah_rosenblum

    Yes it is criminal how the system is abused by far too many people, especially illegal aliens.
    But the worst part, is that both the Senate and Congress are silent about this issue.
    We need to correct this problem immediately and balance the budget.
    The longer they wait the worst it will get, and the more drastic action will be needed in the future.
    The government is condemning our children’s future to have a much lower standard of living.
    Shame on them and on the rest of the country for sitting there doing nothing.

  • ibsharkbait

    I have a daughter-in-law who is a legal immigrant from Sweden. She and my son are struggling. They will make it without food stamps, and that’s how it should be. She is not eligible for any government aid. I resent the fact that our government goes so far out of it’s way to help criminal illegals, who have NO right to be here, or come here. It’s not right, or fair to the immigrants who are here legally. They are being discriminated against. Our government is actively encouraging Mexicans to come here illegally. Talk about a magnet. It’s not even fair to OTHER poor countries….is the whole world being invited to come here for free food? Not yet, anyway. Maybe soon…….what better way to break the backs of Americans and reduce us quickly to a third world country?
    I would like to see a class action suit filed against our government on behalf of all LEGAL immigrants, and all Americans. I want these practices stopped. Where can I find an attorney interested in doing that?

  • tHEPERFESSEr

    Hey, I think I finally figured out how to get a dollar or two in SNAP benefits! After almost six years of SNAP keeping my 100% disabled arse from receiving benefits due to the fact I’m continually over the limit by twenty dollars). I can now, (along with hours of unfruitful phone calls, and letters); change my Anglo name to Herberto Hernandez Gonzales! I can now laugh all the way to the bank in my souped up ride, claim twenty dependents, (maybe even Smokey Juan the cat), get free medical assistance I never so much as paid a dime in taxes for, get thirty dollar a month rent (comes free with cockaroaches), and even free healthcare! Dang, if I could only keep my zipper up, and a belt on my pants to go with my La Raza tattoo! God works in funny ways sometimes!! I wonder if my third grade education will get me a college degree so I can sleep in the janitors closet? I might even get a roll of toilet paper or two, so I don’t always have to wipe clean the lettuce with filthy cholera containing water with my right hand instead of using my left hand? Hey! Pass the t-bone’s will ya Mamacita?

    Kevin C.

  • ptripp

    It reminds me of ACORN telling undercover reporters how to ‘game the system’ to use welfare programs and fraudulent tax exemptions to open a brothel for under age illegal aliens smuggled into the U.S. to work as prostitutes. Oh yeah, same Obamistration and it’s ‘grassroots activism’ tactics.

  • kaylor2008

    I heard of this quite some time ago. I was appalled, but no one seemed to care. Actually I am furious that our USDA would promote giving our assets away to illegal aliens. Like I said, no one seemed to care. I hope people are caring now.




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