Friday, May 1, 2009

Perry: “What part of illegal don’t you understand…?”

Today, Representative Jeffrey Davis Perry (R-Sandwich) forced an Amendment Relative to Public Benefits onto the floor of the House of Representatives. After a 3-hour debate, Perry demanded a vote on an attempt to place the amendment into a “study.” Upon the conclusion of the debate, 40 members voted “No” indicating their support for Perry’s amendment to limit benefits for illegal immigrants, 116 voted yes and thus Perry’s Amendment failed.

This legislation would have established a system of comprehensive regulations restricting public benefits for non-residents of the Commonwealth. Mirrored after legislation which passed in both Colorado and Georgia, this measure would have ensured that taxpayer funded benefits go only to those that are eligible to receive them. The Amendment to the 2010 State Budget would demand that anyone attempting to receive taxpayer funded public benefits must first be verified by the Federal Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlement program “SAVE.”

“There is no doubt that this is a Federal issue; however, since our elected officials in Washington, D.C. have failed to successfully address this issue, states like Massachusetts have no other real choice but to attempt to deal with the increasing burden these illegal immigrants are placing on our health care providers, criminal justice system, educational faculties and employers who are following the rules. In an effort to reduce the number of illegals coming to Massachusetts, I filed this amendment to ensure only legal residents of Massachusetts gain access to state benefits” said Representative Perry from the State House.

The Amendment includes exemptions from this process for those under the age of 18 and in disaster situations where state benefits must be accessed in an expeditious manner.

“I am extremely disappointed that only after a few days of raising the state’s sales tax by some $900,000,000, the majority of legislators voted not to restrict public benefits to only legal residents. With so many citizens waiting in line for benefits and the state often saying we do not have enough money, I am at a loss why some find it acceptable for tax-payer money to go to illegal immigrants” Perry said.