Yaw Supports Citizenship Legislation

Legislation Would Require Identification of Lawful Presence in the United States As a Prerequisite to Receive Public Benefits

HARRISBURG – State Senator Gene Yaw (R-23) today voted in support of legislation that would require individuals applying for state benefits to show proper identification to prove United States citizenship.

Under Senate Bill 9, known as the Proof of Citizenship for Receipt of Public Benefits Act, an agency that administers public benefits shall verify, through the Systematic Alien Verification of Entitlement (SAVE) program operated by the Department of Homeland Security or a successor program, that each noncitizen applicant who has executed an affidavit is an alien legally present in the United States.

Yaw, who is a cosponsor to Senate Bill 9, said a person who applies directly to any agency for public benefits shall provide, in person, by mail or by electronic means, a valid driver’s license or identification card issued by the Department of Transportation, a valid identification card issued by any other agency of the Commonwealth, a valid identification card issued by the United States Government, a state government or the Canadian Government, a passport or another means of identification.

“The goal of this legislation is to prevent public funds from being drained as a result of illegal immigration,” Yaw said. “Illegal immigration creates unfair competition for jobs with American workers, and imposes unnecessary strains on services designed to provide assistance to hard-working citizens,” he added.

A person who directly applies to an agency for public benefits, and is not a United States citizen, commits an offense under 18 Pa.C.S. § 4904.

Senate Bill 9 was approved by the full Senate, 40-9, and now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Contact: Nick Troutman
(717) 787-3280