Legal immigrants in Nebraska will no longer be eligible for Medicaid, food stamps and cash benefits under a new law that took effect today.
A group that testified against the measure is concerned about the 2,000 persons it will affect.
“Without these programs – that give these individuals a lot of support to work and learn skills – we are concerned this law is just going to impede their progress to self-sufficiency,” says James Goddard, Staff Attorney with Nebraska Appleseed.
Under welfare reform, federal law was changed 15 years ago to require residents who are in the US legally, but are not citizens, to wait five years to receive public benefits.
However states like Nebraska kicked in to fund these benefits. These were scaled back to help balance the state budget.