Illegal immigrants are reportedly canceling their food stamps en masse over fears of being deported, reports the Washington Post.
In an article titled “Immigrants are going hungry so Trump won’t deport them,” WaPo writer Caitlin Dewey cites New York-based SNAP Outreach Coordinator Luisa Fortin whose clients are “spooked by the political climate.”
The article reads:
Since mid-January, five of Fortin’s families have withdrawn from the SNAP program. Based on calls she gets from other clients, she fears more cancellations are imminent.
WaPo goes on to point out that Luisa’s food bank in Chattanooga is not the only one in the country experiencing a downturn in SNAP users.
In the two months since President Trump’s inauguration, food banks and hunger advocates around the country have noticed a decline in the number of eligible immigrants applying for SNAP – and an uptick in immigrants seeking to withdraw from the program.
Many apparently fear that participation in SNAP will catch Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s attention.
These fears are not unfounded.
In January, reports Breitbart, a draft executive order from the Trump administration sought to make receiving government benefits grounds for deportation.
“I don’t think it’s proper to increase the burden on U.S. taxpayers for people whose only claim to them is that they broke our law,” declared Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation – a supporter of that executive order.
Many social media users appear to agree.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that 1.5 million illegal immigrants used food stamps in 2015.
In that same year, the federal government spent $75 billion on the SNAP program.