Bill to Keep Illegal Aliens from Receiving Public (Taxpayer) Benefits


Bill to Keep Illegal Aliens from Receiving Public (Taxpayer) Benefits

by Ted Tripp

Sr. Political Reporter

In this new legislative year, recently re-elected Representative Marc Lombardo (R-Billerica) has filed legislation that would require the commonwealth to verify that an applicant is a U.S. citizen or a lawfully present alien prior to being eligible for state entitlement programs. More specifically, the bill asks the state to use the Federal SAVE system to qualify such applicants prior to receiving MassHealth benefits, Women, Infants and Children (WIC) benefits, Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) payments, and subsidized housing.

SAVE stands for Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements and is an electronic system operated by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to verify that a person has the immigration status his/her documents indicate, or that the immigration information he/she has provided is accurate for government benefits. USCIS is a component of the Department of Homeland Security.

The bill requires that the various Massachusetts departments in charge of administering these benefits register for the systematic alien verification for entitlements program established by the USCIS.

The Lombardo bill has been filed with the House clerk, but has not yet been assigned a bill number. However, it is on the House docket as HD1076, “An Act relative to the utilization of the systematic alien verification for entitlements program by the commonwealth,” and can be obtained from his office.

Currently, Representatives David DeCoste (R-Norwell), Jonathan Zlotnik (D-Gardner), Lenny Mirra (R- West Newbury), and Joseph McKenna (R-Webster) have signed on as cosponsors. More are expected.

The bill, when it gets assigned a House number, will most likely be forwarded to the Joint Committee on the Judiciary for hearings.

The Boston Broadside will keep readers up to date on the progress of this bill. Meanwhile, if you would like to contact Representative Lombardo to offer support or obtain the text of the bill, you can reach him at or 617-722-2460.

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