HF 2112 is Unnecessary, Costly, and Harmful

HF 2112 would require all non-citizen applicants for public assistance programs in the state of Iowa to be verified through the Systematic Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) program administered by the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and add a vague “smuggling” provision to criminal code.

A subcommittee meeting for HF 2112 has been scheduled for Tuesday, January 30, at 12:00pm in Room 102 (Supreme Court Consult Room). Please contact the members of the subcommittee below and ask them not to advance HF 2112!

Rep. Steven Holtsteven.holt@legis.iowa.gov
Rep. Skyler Wheelerskyler.wheeler@legis.iowa.gov
Rep. Rick Olsonrick.olson@legis.iowa.gov

HF 2112 would add unnecessary barriers to access public assistance while increasing costs to the state.

  • Iowa already utilizes the SAVE system to verify non-citizen status for public assistance programs— Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Family Investment Program (FIP/TANF), Hawk-i, and Medicaid—when it cannot be verified by other authorized means.

  • While SAVE can produce results quickly, that is not always the case. The additional verification response time for SAVE is seven federal workdays, and in some cases, can take 10-20 federal workdays. When Iowa is already severely out of compliance with federal requirements related to SNAP application processing timeliness, we cannot afford to create additional hurdles and delays.

  • Using the SAVE system can be costly to states. In FY 2024, the non-federal agency charge per verification case for SAVE was $1.00, but that is set to triple to $3.10 per case by FY 2028. 

The bill would further chill participation in public assistance programs in mixed-status households.

  • SNAP participation among eligible citizen children living with a non-citizen has fallen considerably in the last few years, especially following the “public charge” final rule announcement in August 2019 (which was later reversed in September 2022).
  • HF 2112 reinforces harmful anti-immigrant rhetoric that may prevent mixed-status households from enrolling eligible children in SNAP and other public assistance programs.

HF 2112 could cause confusion and fear among organizations assisting immigrant populations.

  • Vague language in the “smuggling” provision (Division II) is cause for concern among organizations providing assistance to immigrant populations, and could contribute to racial profiling.

  • The bill could inhibit many nonprofit organizations from fulfilling their missions and providing vital services across Iowa’s communities, rural and urban alike.

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