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CJF Representative Urges Congress Not to Cut Benefits to Immigrants

As the welfare reform debate continues in Congress, Diana Aviv, director of the Council of Jewish Federations Washington Action Office, turned up the heat on members of the congressional committee charged with the task of writing new welfare law.

CJF is spearheading opposition to provisions in proposed legislation that would cut benefits to legal immigrants by extending the amount of time from three to five years that American relatives are held financially responsible for new immigrants.

“To rob from one low-income program to pay for another simply makes no sense to us,” Aviv said in her testimony Tuesday before the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Human Resources.

President Clinton’s welfare reform proposal funds new benefits to welfare recipients and work training programs by cutting aid programs for legal immigrants. The cuts could affect tens of thousands of Jews across the country, many from the former Soviet Union.

This proposal would “have the effect of enshrining in law that legal immigrants are not really welcome in the U.S., especially if they need help,” Aviv said. “Surely there are other ways to finance welfare reform,

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