That’s Cesar Conda, Sen. Marco Rubio’s chief of staff, repeatedly reassuring conservatives that the Gang of Eight amnesty bill won’t allow illegal aliens who obtain provisional legal status to obtain welfare benefits.

Betsy McCaughey, former lieutenant governor of New York, discovered that the no-welfare claim doesn’t hold up to scrutiny:

Expanding legal immigration will push up spending on food stamps, Head Start, housing subsidies, and other benefits legal immigrants are eligible for upon arrival. Though Section 212(a)(4) of the U.S. Code says no immigrant who’s at risk of becoming a “public charge” can get a green card, it is never enforced. Half of green card holders have household incomes below 138% of the federal poverty line, and they’re also largely uninsured.

Insuring these legal newcomers will add $100 billion over the next decade to the ever rising cost of Obamacare. The health law makes legal immigrants eligible for subsidized private health insurance as soon as they arrive. Half of these newcomers will qualify for maximum assistance, costing $9,000 per enrollee, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

But that’s not all.

A new analysis from Sen. Jeff Sessions finds that illegal aliens granted legal status will also be eligible for state and local welfare benefits. Via

“The Gang of Eight made a promise that illegal immigrants will not be able to access public benefits,” Sessions said in a statement to Breitbart News. “We already know that, once granted green cards and ultimately citizenship, illegal immigrants will be able to access all public benefit programs at a great cost to taxpayers. We have, however, identified a number of loopholes that would allow illegal immigrants to draw public benefits even sooner than advertised.”

Interestingly, Sen. Rubio has been more circumspect than his chief of staff. Rather than issue a blanket “no welfare” statement, Rubio specified that amnestied illegal aliens would be ineligible only for federal benefits:

“They don’t qualify for any federal benefits including Obamacare, no welfare, no food stamps.”

 “And then they don’t qualify for any federal benefits. This is an important point. No federal benefits, no food stamps, no welfare, no Obamacare.”

McCaughey’s analysis indicates this, too, is untrue. At the same time, Rubio’s carefully-hedged language could amount to an implicit acknowledgement that amnestied illegal aliens will be able to obtain state and local welfare benefits.

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In a related development, it appears that Team Rubio’s “illegal aliens have to pay back taxes” claim (see, e.g., herealso is bogus.

So is the “You’ll have to wait more than 10 years” claim.

Exit question: Has Team Rubio said anything about the bill that isn’t false?


Rubio once told the truth!

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