A new chart put together by the minority side of the Senate Budget Committee finds that, since 2001, the "number of non-citizens on food stamps quadrupled." Here's the chart detailing the growth in regards to non-citizens:
In 2001, according to data obtained by the United States Department of Agriculture, about 425,000 non-citizens were on the food stamp rolls. In 2003, that number increased to 519,000, in 2006 it was 795,000, and in 2009, when President Obama took office, it was 994,000.
Now, in 2012, it's estimated that 1,634,000 non-citizens are on food stamps. That means, since President Obama took office, the non-citizens on food stamps has nearly doubled.
" The 1996 welfare reform law significantly restricted food stamp eligibility for non-citizen immigrants. However, the 2002 farm bill reversed this policy, restoring eligibility and making the enrollment of non-citizen immigrants a high priority," the Senate Budget Committee explains. "Beginning in 2004, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of State, and the Mexican government began an ongoing partnership to increase enrollment in food stamps, and other USDA nutrition welfare programs, to eligible Mexican Americans and Mexican nationals living and working in the United States. Today, the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service website highlights that outreach is provided through 50 Mexican consulates in the U.S.
"USDA has an extensive “outreach” effort instructing employees and state food stamps administrators on how to maximize enrollment of both citizens and non-citizen immigrants, lamenting that more non-citizens immigrants are not currently enrolled."
And the Republicans on the Senate Budget Committee explain how the USDA has been boosting the food stamp rolls. "USDA produced and broadcast soap opera-like Spanish language ‘radio novelas’ about the benefits of enrolling in the food stamp program, even insulting characters who wish not to enroll. Indeed, the premise of the novelas is pressuring (successfully) someone to enroll who claims they have sufficient financial resources and not require government assistance."
Illegal immigrants are not legally eligible for food stamps.