Monday, February 27, 2006
From today's Kaiser Famiily Foundation Health Policy Today:
Wisconsin Senate Passes Bill Denying Public Benefits to Undocumented Immigrants
Applicants for public benefit programs in Wisconsin would have to prove they are legal residents under a bill the state Senate on Thursday voted 19-14 to approve, the AP/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. The bill, which has yet to be considered by the state Assembly, would apply to the state's medical assistance programs such as BadgerCare and SeniorCare, as well as the state's welfare-to-work program and programs that pay for funeral and burial expenses for low-income people and others. Sen. Tom Reynolds (R) said it would be up to each agency to determine the type of documents applicants will have to present to confirm their legal status. The state Department of Health and Family Services currently does not allow undocumented immigrants to receive benefits, according to department spokesperson Stephanie Marquis. She added that one exception is that the federal government requires the state to provide benefits to anyone in a health emergency, and it is uncertain if that practice would be outlawed by the state bill (Foley, AP/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 2/23).