So there is no shortage of debate over illegal immigration in this country.

And that’s a change.

It wasn’t that long ago that both political parties agreed that illegal immigration had to be stopped. It only takes seconds to locate speeches by presidential candidates in each party clamoring for ‘something to be done.’ Of course, since all those people are politicians, nothing was done – and the problem is worse.

But as bad as illegal immigration is, legal immigration is not much better. That is, this country has some bizarre laws. Bizarre laws made worse in some cases. Consider the report below, taken from the Sept. 29, 2016 Minneapolis Star Tribune and sent to us by a subscriber there:

Public housing residents in Minneapolis will no longer need to pay their normal monthly rent when travel abroad erases their income, a change particularly sought by East African immigrants.

The board of the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority approved this week reverting to its previous policy of collecting only minimal rent during extended absences.

Abdi Warsame, a city council member, told the board that the policy in place for the past five years works a particular hardship on elderly East Africans who must save for long periods if they want to visit their homelands. He said that many receive federal Supplemental Security Income, which is halted when the recipient is outside the United States.

Yet the policy required people to keep paying rent, which is income-based. Travelers gone for 30 to 90 days could apply for a hardship, which meant that they paid the minimum $75 monthly rent during their absence, but were required to make up the difference between that and their normal rent over the next year or two.

The change will mean that residents will pay only the $75 minimum per month, assuming they apply for the hardship status.

“This was brought up to us again and again and again in every building we visited in our ward,” Mr. Warsame said. “Everybody was afraid to leave the country.”

He said common reasons for travel abroad include visiting families left behind or participating in the hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca that Muslims are expected to make at least once.

The agency board now has two members of Somali descent, Mohamud Tamir and Abdullahi Isse. The agency’s resident advisory board also backed the change in rent policy for extended absences.”

So, here’s what we have: Legal immigrants, living in subsidized housing, drawing welfare, taking vacations – that will now be further subsidized by taxpayers.

This is bad enough at first glance but, if high blood pressure is not a health risk for you, consider all this a bit more.

These legal immigrants likely came to the United States because they were considered to be refugees. That is, the country they left was deemed ‘too dangerous’ for them to stay. So, if it is so dangerous, how come they go back to ‘visit?’

In fact, Abdi Warsame – the city council member – turns the entire ‘refugee status’ claim on its head.

Instead of being afraid to go back to the country for where these subsidized-renters fled – he says these people are ‘afraid to leave’ the United States – all because they may lose their welfare benefits.

Good grief.

Oh yeah, it’s true that not all these immigrants on the dole go back to Somalia.

Abid Warsame explains that many of them must leave the United States for their hajj – that is, travel to Mecca as part of their Muslim faith.

Now isn’t that a change.

Liberals usually go all frothy over separation of church and state. But in this instance, they expect the government to finagle welfare payments to accommodate a religion.

At the risk of repeating ourselves, you just can’t make this stuff up.

DAN HAMMES is publisher of the Gazette Record.

(1) comment


How do elderly people come to this country fairly recently, and get Social Security benefits? I finally started getting benefits after working and paying into the system for 40 years

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