Estas manos/These hands UPDATED

The English version,

Arthur Brooks: Obama and ‘Earning Your Success’
The work mandate was the most successful welfare reform in 60 years. Ending it is a tragedy.

96 law was arguably the most successful policy change to help low-income Americans in the past 60 years. Welfare policies of the 1960s led generations of families to languish on the government dole at subsistence levels, never gaining the skills to work and with little hope to rise. It took more than a decade to get Congress to reverse course. But it was worth the effort.

According to the U.S. government, welfare reform helped to move 4.7 million Americans from welfare dependency to self-sufficiency within three years of enactment. The overall federal welfare caseload declined by 54% between 1996 and 2004.

Even more important, there is evidence that it improved the lives of those who moved off welfare. In the Berkeley Electronic Journal of Economic Analysis and Policy (2011), Santa Clara University’s John Ifcher showed, using data from the General Social Survey, that single mothers—despite lost leisure time and increased stress from finding child care and performing household duties while working—were significantly happier about their lives in the eight years after reforms led them into the workforce.

The central insight from welfare reform is that people flourish when they earn their success, and this requires real market work. They escape poverty—and they live dignified, better-ordered lives. They don’t just move out of welfare; they move up from dependence on the government.

When it comes to earned success, the administration’s actions—from business regulation to taxation, and now welfare—speak louder than the president’s words.

The kind of immigrant that comes to the USA to work and profit from it is exactly the immigrant we ought to encourage, not the ones who come to take welfare and food stamps.

The “These Hands” ad targets the immigrants with a work ethic and spirit of entrepreneurship.

After I posted the above this morning, I came across John Hinderaker’s post, THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION PAYS ILLEGAL ALIENS TO COME HERE

…as in so many other instances, President Obama has simply changed the law by executive fiat. In this case the administration acted quietly, so that it took quite a while before others understood how badly Obama had subverted the immigration laws. Yesterday, four Republican Senators wrote to Janet Napolitano and Hillary Clinton; you can read their letter here:

It has long been a sound principle of immigration law that those who seek citizenship in this country ought to be financially self-sufficient. We were thus shocked to discover that both the State Department and DHS exclude reliance on almost all governmental welfare programs when evaluating whether an alien is likely to become a public charge. Your agencies apply a cramped interpretation of the law in this regard, considering reliance on only two of nearly 80 federal welfare programs as evidence of likelihood of becoming a public charge: Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).

In fact, guidance from your agencies specifically prevents consular and DHS officials from considering the likelihood that an alien will receive SNAP benefits [food stamps], WIC payments, Medicaid, child-care benefits, foster care, energy assistance, educational assistance, other medical and health benefits, and assistance from at least fifteen different nutritional programs.

Hinderaker says, “If you have high blood pressure, take some medication before reading further.”

Immigrants in the United States
A Profile of America’s Foreign-Born Population

In 2010, 36 percent of immigrant-headed households used at least one major welfare program (primarily food assistance and Medicaid) compared to 23 percent of native households.


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