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Massachusetts advocates hope to offer benefits for more immigrants



Alison Kuznitz

Low-income immigrant families could be eligible for state food benefits and cash assistance through pending legislation that coincides with a massive surge of new arrivals who are coming to Massachusetts.

The bills filed by Reps. Antonio Cabral of New Bedford and Judith Garcia of Chelsea and Sen. Sal DiDomenico of Everett (H 135 / S 76) would restore the public benefits that the state previously funded from 1997 to 2002, with the goal of tackling food insecurity among immigrants who are legally present and struggling to cover everyday necessities, the New Bedford Democrat and advocates testified at a Tuesday hearing. More than 50 lawmakers have signed onto the House and Senate proposals.

The federal government’s current eligibility requirements mean immigrants from only certain countries, including Cuba and Haiti, can access federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and cash assistance benefits, said Patricia Baker, senior benefits policy advocate at the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute (MLRI). But people with the same immigration status from Venezuela, Nicaragua and Columbia do not qualify for those benefits, Baker told the Joint Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities during the hearing Tuesday.

“This is a crazy patchwork of eligibility,” said Baker, who’s a member of the Feeding Our Neighbors Coalition, which launched in January and represents 70 organizations focused on health care, food assistance, immigrant advocacy and other community resources.



  1. Fed Up

    September 12, 2023 at 2:55 pm

    ” Low-income immigrant families could be eligible for ” Your tax dollars all the meanwhile you struggle to keep you and your families heads above water. EVEREY single politician who just received a giant pay raise should be forced to donate it to the migrants. Put your money where your mouths are. This state SUCKS and so do the morons who are running it. Attention Democrats if you are struggling financially this is what YOU voted for.

  2. Run away

    September 12, 2023 at 3:40 pm

    I didn’t vote for this. You did. You know it. That is why everyone is silent about all of it. I’m not. I speak constantly about how wrong the Dems were and are and always will be.

  3. Thomas Mazzeo

    September 12, 2023 at 3:56 pm

    Why don’t we take care of our own citizens first. You know, the who pay taxes and your salary.

  4. BlueBloodBloke

    September 12, 2023 at 7:09 pm

    The systemic racism and fear-mongering stemming from white privilege here is astounding.

    We are all global citizens, and there is no such thing as an illegal human being. Look at all the money we wasted on the wars of Bush and the unlawful occupation of the White House, , what a sick name for a building in the name of Drumph.

    It’s your responsibility to pay your fair share. Look at the contractors who employ people on disability roles or the under-the-table workers at local restaurants.

    Nobody has a problem with that, it’s only when the people in question are vulnerable.

    • Dr. David

      September 13, 2023 at 2:00 pm

      …..anyone who uses the term ‘White Privilege’ is a Leftist racist who hates the white people who built western civilization and the United States.

      also, there is no such thing as ‘Global Citizens The ‘Globe’ has a macro population … Nations have Citizens. Illegal and mass immigration does not create citizens … it creates ‘residents’ a sovereign Nation can not survive as mishmash Babel of mere Residents who have not spent the time and effort to become Citizens … and that is the point of the Leftist Biden Junta’s use of the weapon of ‘mass migration’.

      working class white people must come to terms with how much the Democrat Party on a both national and local level HATES YOU and HATES YOUR CHILDREN

  5. Duke

    September 12, 2023 at 7:18 pm

    The lowest times have not even come yet

    THIS WILL get worse……this is not a prediction

  6. Marie L. Oliveira

    September 12, 2023 at 9:17 pm

    How about the people live here. The homelessness. The seniors all the people in USA. Take care of your own people first. We the middle classes have problems to get anything we ask have been denied but for the illegals they get everything they asked for. So our taxes served to take of the illegals. It’s not fair. How about the people like me retired I get only $231. A month who will help me. What is going on in the USA the richest country of the world.

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