Letters to the Editor

Illegals can't get Social Security

"Benefits to immigrants make no sense" (Sept. 3, Letters) stated that illegal aliens can get Social Security benefits. This is untrue. Illegal aliens are prohibited from receiving Social Security benefits.

Even legal immigrants (those who have "green cards" or refugee or asylum status) are restricted from receiving Social Security benefits. To qualify for Supplemental Security Income, in addition to meeting the age and resource requirements, legal immigrants must prove they have 40 credits of qualifying work, or that they have been refugees or had asylum for less than five years or that they are veterans of the U.S. armed forces or serving in the military.

Those restrictions were part of welfare reform, the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act, which was signed into law by President Clinton in 1996.