Date: June 27, 1995
SENATE JUDICIARY IMMIGRATION SUBCOMMITTEE
REPORTS S. 269
On Wednesday, June 14, the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on
Immigration, reported S. 269, Chairman Simpson' s "Immigrant Control and Financial
Responsibility Act of 1995", by a vote of 4-2 . While several amendments were
adopted, none affected the SSA-related provisions contained in the bill as introduced.
These provisions include:
- Noncitizens, except for "eligible aliens, " would be prohibited from receiving any benefits under any program of needs-based assistance, includ ing SSI, that are provided in whole or in part by the Federal Government or any State or local government. "Eligible aliens " would be aliens lawfully admitted for permanent residence, asylees, refugees, aliens whose deportations have been withheld, and parolees who have been paroled for a pe riod of 1 year or more. SSA would be req uired to notify all aliens whose eligibility would end because of this provision either individually or by public notice.
- Sponsors' affidav its of support would be made legally enforceable against the sponsors by the sponsored aliens, the Federal Government. or any State or local government for 10 yea rs afte r the last month for which the aliens received assistance. The affidav it would be required to include the sponsors' agreement to support the aliens until the aliens have work ed for 40 quarters in the United States. The agencies would be required to seek reimbursement from the sponsors for any assistance the aliens receive; if the sponsors do not reimburse, the agencies may take legal action to recover monies. The Commissioner of Social Security would be required to prescribe regulations for carrying out the reimbursement provision.
All of the sponsor's (and sponsor's spouse's) income and resources would be deemed to the alien--regardless of his or her entry status or if he or she has naturalized-for a 5-year peri od beginning the day the alien was first lawfully in the United States or, if speci fied in the affidav it, until the alien has worked 40 quarters in the United States, whichever is later.
- Aliens who receive SSI, AFDC, Med icaid, food stamps, State general assistance, or any other needs based Federal, State, and local assis tance benefits for more than an aggregate of 12 months within the 5-year period after the admission for lawfu l permanent residence status would be considered "public charges" and, thus, deportable. This "public charg e" provision would not apply to refugees or asylees, or to lawful permanent residents who have physical illness or injuries so serious that they could not work at any job, or a mental disability that required continuous hospitalization.
The provisions would be effective upon enactment with regard to applicants and current beneficiaries except that the "public charge" provision would be effective with respect to aliens who become lawfully admitted for permanent residence after the date of enactment.
Other SSA-Related Provisions
- Requires SSA to report annually to the Congress the number of SSNs issued to persons not authorized to work to which earnings have been repon ed to SSA. Also, requires SSA to provide the Attorney General with the name and address of such person, the name and address of the employer reponing the earnings, and the amount of the earnings.
Prohibition of Eligibility
- Requires the Attorney General, together with the Commissioner of Social Security, to establish within 8 years a system to verify eligibility for employment and eligibility for benefits under government-funded programs of public assistance.
- The system must be capable of determining the identity of the applicant and whether the individual is eligible.
- Any document used by the system must be tamper-proof and cannot be used as a national identification document.
- Within 12 months of the date of enactment, the Attorney General is to establish an automated system using Immigration and Naturalization (INS) and Social Secur ity Administra tion data bases to determine work authorization. The Commissioners of SSA and INS are to establish procedures for secondary verification when the automated system is unable to verify information.
- Use of the system would be generally restricted to enforcement of the Immigration and Nationality Act, certa in Federal laws, and local laws relating to eligib ility for certain government-funded benefits.
- Privacy and security standards would be established for personal information and identi fiers obta ined for and used by the system.
- Limits the documents which establish employment authorization to the Social Security card and the Employment Authorization Document (issued by INS) and authorizes INS to require aliens to provide their SSN.
- Directs the Attorney General and the Commissioner of Social Security to conduct 3-year demonstration projects in 5 States to verify eligibility for employment and for benefits under government-funded programs of public assistance.
- Requires that all copies of birth certificates be counterfeit-proof. tamper-resistant, and include an SSN. Prohibits State and local agencies from issuing a birth certificate without verifying with SSA that the individual is not deceased.
- Requires that a copy of every death certificate issued in the U.S . be sent to SSA.
- Prohibits Federal , State, and local agencies from accepting as evidence any birth certificate which does not meet the requirements described above and requires that SSA verify that the individual is not deceased.
- Requires SSA to establish procedures whereby the identity of every individual born in the U.S. would be verified by age 16 and a fingerprint or other biometric data would be added to the individual's birth certificate.
- Requires State-issued drivers' licenses and identification documents to include an SSN that has been verified with SSA before issuance. Such documents must also be tamper resistant and contain a fingerprint or other biometric data. Prohibits Federal, State, and local agencies from accepting as evidence any driver's license or identification documentwhich does not meet the requirements described above.
- Limits eligibility for Social Security benefits to U.S. citizens and eligible aliens who have been granted work authorization. An eligible alien is an individual who has been lawfully admitted for permanent residence, has been granted asylum, is a refugee , has had his/her deportation withheld, or is a parolee for a period of 1 year or more. Benefits could not be based on earnings from unauthorized employment. Ineligible aliens would not be reimbursed for Social Security taxes.
The effective dates for these provisions will be supplied in a subsequent Legislative Bulletin.
SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE REPORTS
On June 8, 1995, the Senate Finance Committee reported Public Trustee nominees-Stephen Kellison and Marilyn Moon as members of the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund and the Federal Disability Insurance Trust Fund, for a term of four years. Full Senate consideration of the Public Trustees' confirmation has not been scheduled; however, confirmation is expected before the July recess.