6/7/18, Maine First Media Staff Report,
Republican Gubernatorial Candidate, Mason Garrett voted to give non-citizen immigrants –including illegal immigrants — welfare benefits. The Senate Majority Leader’s vote came back in 2015.
The original bill was introduced by current U.S. Senate Candidate, Sen. Eric Brakey (R-Androscoggin). However, Sen. Brakey’s bill was meant to prevent illegal immigrants from obtaining welfare benefits from the state. Sen. Mason was a co-sponsor for the Brakey bill.
Unfortunately, Sen. Amy Volk (R-Cumberland) introduced an amendment to the bill, allowing anyone “lawfully present in the United States or who is pursuing a lawful process to apply for immigration relief to qualify for general assistance, but only for 24 months.”
When the amended version of the bill came up for a vote, Sen. Mason joined with open-border RINOs like Sen. Katz, Sen. Langley and Sen. Rosen — as well as every Democrat in voting to grant welfare to non-citizens.
The vote came shortly after then-Director of DHHS, Mary Mayhew — also a GOP Gubernatorial Candidate — defeated in court the city of Portland and some other towns for providing illegal immigrants with general assistance.
The amendment Sen. Mason voted for only covers non-citizens who are applying for legal status or who are already legal. However, the vast majority of “asylum seekers” file their applications after getting deportation orders. These are illegal immigrants.
Back in January, the Maine Supreme Court made matters worse awarding more welfare benefits to non-citizens, specifically SNAP benefits.
The problem is compounded by a new report showing nearly half of the “new Mainers” in the state are not working or even looking for employment.
Adding further concern over providing welfare benefits to non-citizens, a recent report found an illegal immigrant from Somalia came to Lewiston and falsified applications and used another man’s identity while going through the naturalization process. It is reasonable to assume some of these benefits will go to illegal aliens.
Maine First Media reached out to Sen. Mason early Thursday morning to offer him an opportunity to respond to this story. We asked him if he stands by his vote from 2015 and if so, how does he defend it? We have not heard back from Sen. Mason as of the time of publishing. But in fairness to the gubernatorial hopeful, we only recently found this vote and were not able to request a comment from Sen. Mason until early Thursday morning. We will update this story with his answer should he decide to take advantage of the opportunity.