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Harhart bill to study costs for state social services accessed by illegals

Published June 17. 2011 05:02PM

State Rep. Julie Harhart (R-Lehigh/Northampton) has introduced legislation to study the costs to Commonwealth agencies that provide social services and public assistance to illegal immigrants residing in Pennsylvania.

"There has been a lot of talk about the costs to states for providing services to individuals and their families that have illegally immigrated to the United States," said Harhart. "However, here in the Commonwealth we do not have a clear and accurate picture of exactly what those costs are. I think before we move forward with other legislative proposals pertaining to illegal immigration, we need to find out and study the financial impact on our state."

House Resolution 323 would specifically direct the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee to conduct a comprehensive survey of all state agencies that provide social services, and the cost of those services, to individuals and their families who illegally immigrated to the United States and reside in Pennsylvania.

Harhart said it is estimated the number of illegal immigrants living in Pennsylvania is between 100,000 and 200,000.

"Information on this issue is not readily available and it is necessary if we are to properly understand the social and economic impact of undocumented immigrants to the Commonwealth," said Harhart.

House Resolution 323 has been referred to the House State Government Committee.

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