fare them well

tracking what’s changing for welfare, women and children

Lawmakers push for public aid for low-income citizens on U.S. islands

The Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Palau.

They may be freely associated territories of the U.S. but their affiliation comes at a price.

Under a law, the Compact of Free Association, the United States is required to . is required to allow island residents free entry into the United States as non-immigrants for the purposes of education, medical treatment, and employment. But, these immigrants are not eligible for public assistance.

Members of Hawaii’s U.S. House of Representatives have supported legislation to reinstate certain Federal benefits to citizens of the Freely Associated States, citing the State’s “increasingly costly burden” of providing health and social services to migrants. These states include the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of Palau.

A recent report on a blog from the Marshall Islands does a great job of breaking down the arguments behind the push to change the rules.

On Thursday, Congresswomen Mazie Hirono, with colleague Congressman Neil Abercrombie, introduced a bill to provide public assistance in the form of Medicaid, Food Stamps, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families and Supplemental Security Income, SSI, to citizens from these islands residing in the United States.

Below is a excerpt from the current bill in question.

  • (G) MEDICAID AND TANF EXCEPTIONS FOR CITIZENS OF FREELY ASSOCIATED STATES- With respect to eligibility for benefits for the programs defined in sub-paragraphs (A) and (C) of paragraph (3) (relating to temporary assistance for needy families and medicaid), paragraph (1) shall not apply to any individual who lawfully resides in the United States (including territories and possessions of the United States) in accordance with a Compact of Free Association referred to in subsection (a)(2)(M).’.

October 28, 2007 - Posted by | Legislation | , , , , ,

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