8 U.S. Code § 1621 - Aliens who are not qualified aliens or nonimmigrants ineligible for State and local public benefits
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(a) In general
Notwithstanding any other provision of law and except as provided in subsections (b) and (d) of this section, an alien who is not—
(1) a qualified alien (as defined in section 1641 of this title),
(3) an alien who is paroled into the United States under section 212(d)(5) of such Act [8 U.S.C. 1182 (d)(5)] for less than one year,
is not eligible for any State or local public benefit (as defined in subsection (c) of this section).
Subsection (a) of this section shall not apply with respect to the following State or local public benefits:
(1) Assistance for health care items and services that are necessary for the treatment of an emergency medical condition (as defined in section 1396b (v)(3) of title 42) of the alien involved and are not related to an organ transplant procedure.
(3) Public health assistance for immunizations with respect to immunizable diseases and for testing and treatment of symptoms of communicable diseases whether or not such symptoms are caused by a communicable disease.
(4) Programs, services, or assistance (such as soup kitchens, crisis counseling and intervention, and short-term shelter) specified by the Attorney General, in the Attorney General’s sole and unreviewable discretion after consultation with appropriate Federal agencies and departments, which
(A) deliver in-kind services at the community level, including through public or private nonprofit agencies;
(B) do not condition the provision of assistance, the amount of assistance provided, or the cost of assistance provided on the individual recipient’s income or resources; and
(c) “State or local public benefit” defined
(1) Except as provided in paragraphs (2) and (3), for purposes of this subchapter the term “State or local public benefit” means—
(A) any grant, contract, loan, professional license, or commercial license provided by an agency of a State or local government or by appropriated funds of a State or local government; and
(B) any retirement, welfare, health, disability, public or assisted housing, postsecondary education, food assistance, unemployment benefit, or any other similar benefit for which payments or assistance are provided to an individual, household, or family eligibility unit by an agency of a State or local government or by appropriated funds of a State or local government.
(2) Such term shall not apply—
(A) to any contract, professional license, or commercial license for a nonimmigrant whose visa for entry is related to such employment in the United States, or to a citizen of a freely associated state, if section 141 of the applicable compact of free association approved in Public Law 99–239 or 99–658 (or a successor provision) is in effect;
(B) with respect to benefits for an alien who as a work authorized nonimmigrant or as an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence under the Immigration and Nationality Act [8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq.] qualified for such benefits and for whom the United States under reciprocal treaty agreements is required to pay benefits, as determined by the Secretary of State, after consultation with the Attorney General; or
(d) State authority to provide for eligibility of illegal aliens for State and local public benefits
A State may provide that an alien who is not lawfully present in the United States is eligible for any State or local public benefit for which such alien would otherwise be ineligible under subsection (a) of this section only through the enactment of a State law after August 22, 1996, which affirmatively provides for such eligibility.
Source(Pub. L. 104–193, title IV, § 411,Aug. 22, 1996, 110 Stat. 2268; Pub. L. 105–33, title V, §§ 5565, 5581(b)(1),Aug. 5, 1997, 111 Stat. 639, 642; Pub. L. 105–306, § 5(b),Oct. 28, 1998, 112 Stat. 2927.)
References in Text
The Immigration and Nationality Act, referred to in subsecs. (a)(2) and (c)(2)(B), is act June 27, 1952, ch. 477, 66 Stat. 163, as amended, which is classified principally to chapter 12 (§ 1101 et seq.) of this title. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 1101 of this title and Tables.
Section 141 of the applicable compact of free association approved in Public Law 99–239 or 99–658, referred to in subsec. (c)(2)(A), means section 141 of the Compact of Free Association between the Government of the United States and the Governments of the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia, which is contained in section 201 ofPub. L. 99–239, set out as a note under section 1901 of Title 48, Territories and Insular Possessions, and section 141 of the Compact of Free Association between the United States and the Government of Palau, which is contained in section 201 ofPub. L. 99–658, set out as a note under section 1931 of Title 48.
1998—Subsec. (c)(2)(C). Pub. L. 105–306added subpar. (C).
1997—Subsec. (c)(2)(A). Pub. L. 105–33, § 5565, inserted before semicolon “, or to a citizen of a freely associated state, if section 141 of the applicable compact of free association approved in Public Law 99–239 or 99–658 (or a successor provision) is in effect”.
Subsec. (c)(3). Pub. L. 105–33, § 5581(b)(1), made technical amendment to reference in original act which appears in text as reference to section 1611 (c) of this title.
Effective Date of 1997 Amendment
Amendment by Pub. L. 105–33effective as if included in the enactment of title IV of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, Pub. L. 104–193, see section 5582 ofPub. L. 105–33, set out as a note under section 1367 of this title.
Pilot Programs on Limiting Issuance of Driver’s License to Illegal Aliens
“(a) In General.—Pursuant to guidelines prescribed by the Attorney General not later than 6 months after the date of the enactment of this Act [Sept. 30, 1996], all States may conduct pilot programs within their State to determine the viability, advisability, and cost-effectiveness of the State’s denying driver’s licenses to aliens who are not lawfully present in the United States. Under a pilot program a State may deny a driver’s license to aliens who are not lawfully present in the United States. Such program shall be conducted in cooperation with relevant State and local authorities.
“(b) Report.—Not later than 3 years after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Attorney General shall submit a report to the Judiciary Committees of the House of Representatives and of the Senate on the results of the pilot programs conducted under subsection (a).”