There’s a strange aftershock going on around the country that may surprise you on a gut level. When President Clinton signed the Welfare Reform bill and made it the law of the land, many liberals shouted that it would be the children who would suffer most. In fact, the children of our society are quite protected from falling through the gaps. Programs are still in place that will provide for the continued welfare of any child in need.

Land of Opportunity
Many legal immigrants who come to this country purposefully give birth to their children here in the USA so their kids will be American Citizens. This guarantees that their children will be able to take advantage of WIC (Welfare for Infants and Children) and SSI (Supplemental Security Income), Food Stamps and Welfare at any time they are in need and many parents use the child’s benefits to satisfy their own needs.

The Line Forms Here
Childless legal immigrants welfare recipients are not quite so lucky thanks to the Clinton Welfare Reform Bill. On August 1, 1997, their Welfare checks, SSI, HR (Home Relief) and other benefits will stop unless and until they become naturalized citizens of The United States of America. You can imagine the scenario that is presently wending its way through many Federal buildings throughout our fair land. If you can’t envision it, let me paint some numbers for you of images dotting our amber waves of grain.

26 Federal Plaza
If you live in or around New York City, I invite you to take a trip down to the 8th Floor of 26 Federal Plaza and witness a sight you shant forget. You will see a serpentine line of legal immigrants wrapping around five city blocks. There were over 3,200 in line last Thursday. They are waiting to apply for citizenship. Their desire to become a citizen isn’t based in loyalty or love of country — their newfound want to be an American is based in their desire to continue not to work and to reap the benefits of our safety-net system that has become their way of life: A Welfare check and Federally subsidized Health care.

Not for the Love of Country
Before Clinton signed the Welfare Bill, there was no race for Naturalization. There was a meager dribble of applicants a week at 26 Federal Plaza. But now, with the cut off date of August 1st, 1997 looming against their Welfare Way of Life, the legal immigrants are lining up to pledge Allegiance to our Country so they can keep on collecting support checks.

They Are Not Alone
These folks are not alone in their desire for Citizenship. Many state and federal welfare projects are in dire straits if they suddenly lose all their “clients.” If the client’s money dries up, the support program will shrivel up and die along with it because the program won’t get its “cut” for providing support services. All over the Country, case workers, social service programs and advocacy agencies are pushing their clients into that serpentine Naturalization line in order to guarantee the money will not only continue to flow into the client’s pockets, but into the hands of the providing agencies as well.

The Welfare Life
Welfare has become a way of life. Agencies are set up to profit from the Welfare System and many folks use Welfare as a their “job” to provide housing, income, food, medical care and support for their lifestyle. What many don’t realize is that once you get hooked into the Welfare Life, you’re kept down by the system. If you get a job or make too much money, your benefits will be cut and you have no way of getting off Welfare without a big money job waiting for you. Welfare is a vicious cycle that hurts the recipients in the long run more than it hurts the taxpayer.

Two, Five then OUT!
What many present Welfare Recipients don’t realize is that Welfare is forever changed by the Clinton’s Welfare Reform. No longer will they be able to live on Welfare forever. Welfare benefits will return to being a “safety net” system for those citizens who fall on hard times. Welfare benefits will be limited to two year stretches and then you must get a job. Overall Welfare benefits for a lifetime will be limited to five years and five years only.

Close the Borders?
Many believe that closing our borders to legal immigrants would’ve solved this welfare problem and this subsequent phoney Race for Naturalization. They may be right, or they may be wrong — but the undeniable fact is that these legal immigrants who are taking advantage of our Welfare system will have to become Citizens in order to qualify for the “safety net” quality of life we Americans provide the less fortunate. In that light, the Welfare Bill is not only a tourniquet against a rampaging tide, it is also the means of inspiring those presently on Welfare to take control of their lives, get jobs, and become productive tax paying Citizens of the greatest Nation on Earth.