Hedlund and Former National Commander of the American Legion Set Record Straight on Illegal Housing

There has been a huge push back by Democrats against the truthful mailers sent out by MassFiscal on the illegal immigrant housing vote.  The former National Commander sets the record straight. From a press release.

Quincy, MA – As the issue of illegal immigrants accessing state subsidized public housing has taken the forefront in a number of South Shore legislative races, past National Commander of the American Legion Jake Comer has joined state Senator Robert L. Hedlund (R – Weymouth) to clarify distortions, correct misrepresentations, and set the record straight as to what current law is and what actual benefits veterans receive for state public housing.

Recently, the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance highlighted a vote taken in the Massachusetts House of Representatives to prevent debate on an amendment that would have given veterans of the United States military preference for state subsidized public housing over illegal immigrants.  

In response, a number of South Shore incumbent democrats, who took part in rejecting the amendment, used quotes from Mr. Comer to defend their vote.  Some even called the mailing a “smear campaign”

“As the member of the Legislature that has taken the lead in exposing and working to change what I would call a loophole in our state housing laws, I take great interest in the coverage and reporting of the “he said – she said” taking place in number of local races,” said Senator Hedlund.  “I would hope the media would report the facts and truth.”

Nine years ago, Senator Hedlund, who was then the ranking member of the Joint Committee on Housing, received a letter from the Framingham Housing Authority and others explaining that the despite the federal government’s requirement of social security for federally subsidized public housing, it is not a requirement for state subsidized housing.

Senator Hedlund has filed legislation over the past nine years that would require the state to comply with federal requirements stipulating applicants must provide a valid social security number.

“On this issue, the Democrats on Beacon Hill have played a cynical game by taking inoculation votes when it doesn’t matter and voting and working to kill reform and change on this issue when it did matter,” said Hedlund.  “With Democrats controlling the House, Senate, and Corner Office they could easily close this loophole if they really wanted to.”

In 2013, the Massachusetts State Senate and House of Representatives included legislation in both versions of the Welfare Reform Act that would require the state to abide by federal standards and prohibit illegal aliens from applying for public housing.  The Conference Committee assigned to resolve differences between the House and Senate bill, behind closed doors, removed public housing priority altogether from the final version of the bill.

Senator Hedlund sat on the Conference Committee and refused to endorse the final language.  “Bottom line on this issue is people who have entered the United States illegally are getting housing over legal citizens, some of whom have grew up in their respective towns and, yes over veterans.  It is happening, it has happen in the district I represent, and this loophole must be closed,” said Hedlund.

Mr. Comer, whose quote and image has been featured in a number of political mailings, including some without his knowledge, stated “When I left the Quincy Housing Authority, as Director, in 1997, veterans took first priority.  Since then I have been unaware state subsidized public housing applicants do not need to provide a social security number to prove citizenship.  I applaud Senator Hedlund’s efforts to close this loophole.  It is wrong that the current system allows for the potential for someone who is in our community illegally to receive public housing over our veterans or other law abiding qualified citizens and I am absolutely opposed to that…I want my sentiments to be put in proper context and not be used as a political football.  My priorities are, and always have been, with veterans and not with any political party.”

“The sad reality is that under current Massachusetts state subsidized public housing regulations an illegal immigrant without a social security number who claims they are homeless receive preference over veterans,” said Senator Hedlund.

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