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The immigration bill introduced to the Senate a week and a half ago would, if passed, allow illegal immigrants to access state and local welfare benefits immediately, Breitbart News has learned. The financial impact of allowing potentially millions of immigrants onto state and local public assistance could overwhelm these programs’ budgets.

Senate Budget Committee ranking member Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) uncovered this loophole in the bill and many others, and he will circulate a memo detailing the gaps in the bill on Tuesday. Breitbart News exclusively obtained a copy of the memo before its public release.

“The Gang of Eight made a promise that illegal immigrants will not be able to access public benefits,” Sessions said in a statement to Breitbart News. “We already know that, once granted green cards and ultimately citizenship, illegal immigrants will be able to access all public benefit programs at a great cost to taxpayers. We have, however, identified a number of loopholes that would allow illegal immigrants to draw public benefits even sooner than advertised.”

If the bill were signed into law, America’s 11 million illegal immigrants would be legalized within six months, when Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano submits her border security plan to Congress. Illegal immigrants would immediately be eligible for Registered Provisional Immigrant (RPI) status, making them legal to live and work in the country.

As Sessions’ staff points out in the memo, “state laws frequently extend benefits to anyone ‘lawfully present’ in the U.S.” The Sessions team points to a Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) brief that details how the only requirement many state and local governments have with regard to immigrant access to public benefits is that they are “lawfully present.” The term “lawfully present” is a legal definition.

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