Politics

Fight brewing over Social Security benefits for illegal immigrants

FILE: June 15, 2012: Niouseline St. Jean, from Turks and Caicos Islands who lives in the U.S. illegally reacts to a new immigration ruling for students.

FILE: June 15, 2012: Niouseline St. Jean, from Turks and Caicos Islands who lives in the U.S. illegally reacts to a new immigration ruling for students.  (AP)

A new clash over retirement benefits has come to a head following President Obama’s decision to unilaterally protect up to 5 million illegal immigrants from deportation.

The White House now acknowledges that many of the illegal immigrants spared from deportation under Obama’s sweeping executive action will become eligible for Social Security and Medicare benefits once they reach retirement age.

The conservative backlash has been swift and will certainly extend into a GOP Congress’ deliberations in 2015 over how to limit the reach of the president’s immigration blueprint.

A central argument in Obama’s defense of the most extensive overhaul to the immigration system in decades was that those given reprieves from deportation would not qualify for Obamacare benefits. The president reminded critics that Dream Act-eligible immigrants previously granted deportation deferrals could not enroll in federal health exchanges.

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