Monday, December 10, 2007


Justices Uphold Welfare Home Searches

The ACLU had challenged a San Diego County policy, saying its warrantless inspections violated privacy rights. The Supreme Court refuses to hear it.

The 4th Amendment to the Constitution forbids the police to search a residence without a warrant. But the home inspections in San Diego County are different, judges said, because they do not seek evidence of a crime. Instead, they are intended to determine whether welfare recipients qualify for benefits.

The San Diego district attorney adopted a policy in 1997 under which applicants for welfare benefits must agree to a “walk through” of their residence while they are present. The inspectors check on whether the applicant has an eligible dependent child and has the amount of assets claimed. They also check on whether a supposedly “absent” parent lives at the residence. If residents refuse to permit a home visit, they can lose their benefits.

“This case is nothing less than an attack on the poor,” said Judge Harry Pregerson, writing for the dissenters. “This is especially atrocious in light of the fact that we do not require similar intrusions into the homes and lives of others who receive government entitlements. The government does not search through the closets and medicine cabinets of farmers receiving subsidies.”

------- A couple of comments. In the 1960s "warrantless" home inspections were common practice for welfare recipients. Typically inspectors were looking for a live-in man, neglect, abuse. But 1960s was still the era of shame attached to being on the dole; an era when folks tried hard to avoid welfare if possible and get off welfare as soon as possible; the era when welfare was not a career choice. Welfare rights advocates lobbied to end "walk throughs" under the banner of the poor have rights too – but walk throughs eventually ended, in part, because of a rising number of assaults on caseworkers, particularly in metro areas.

Home visits are still done today for certain types of welfare, i.e. foster care system. And today caseworkers will falsely file reporting home visits when they did not visit, at times out of fear, often out of laziness and lack of caring. When the children are lost, abused, or murdered the system assigns blame to those 2 familiar, never to be arrested perps known as Lack of Resources & Fell Through The Cracks.

(If you can list any benefits to the poor directly related to ACLU activity let me know. Please do not try to give ACLU credit for ending segregation through Brown vs. Board of Education; credit goes to parent Oliver Brown and other parents, and the Topeka NAACP chapter who filed the class action law suit, and many, many others who put their lives on the line.)

As for handouts to farmers receiving subsidies – please remind Judge Harry the ACLU receives a good deal of funding from wealthyfare recipients. Ford, Rockefeller, Carnegie foundations, left gatekeeper George Soros' Open Society Institute, Arca Foundation (founded by heir of RJ Reynolds tobacco farmers), Dodge Foundation (Rockefeller niece), MacArthur Foundation (largest privately held insurance company), etc., etc.

I will support ACLU when they stop "defending rights of the poor" and challenge the rights of the rich.

No comments:

Content © 2005-2020 by Kate/A.