We are not giving food stamps to Mexico

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is not advertising food stamps to Mexicans, and very little effort would have revealed the truth. The USDA uses Mexican consulates within the borders of the US to disseminate information (including requirements and restrictions) about its programs, as do most of our agencies. It does not promote food stamps to the undocumented.

In fact, you must be a legal resident for five years before you are eligible for food stamps. When correct information is disseminated it reduces the number of ineligible applications and the attending burdens of the application process as well as targeting those who are both eligible and in need. It seeks to accomplish the opposite of what Republican snipes would have you believe.

The “bi-national meetings” were USDA staff meetings with consulate staff to make sure they understood the program and to make sure their brochures were current. This is hardly giving food stamps to Mexicans.

Interestingly, Mexico has a significant welfare system of its own; it has universal healthcare, social security and an expansive food assistance program. The US partners with Mexico (other countries) for its own education and improvement — nothing allows Mexicans to gain any type of advantage under this bill. It is information only.

This is a Republican program started by George Bush in 2004. Although SNAP dramatically expanded during the recession, only 20 percent of the total expenditures under the outreach program demonized by your writer have occurred under the Obama administration. So to recap, USDA does not advertise food stamps to Mexicans and the current administration has not increased or expanded the outreach program.

Delia T. Crouch

Newnan



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