Feds: Don’t ask WIC participants about immigration status

Federal authorities are warning Sedgwick County officials that asking some health clinic clients about their immigration status would violate federal rules.

U.S. Department of Agriculture officials told the county in emails obtained by The Wichita Eagle (bit.ly/1nbqgY1) that asking participants in the Women, Infants and Children nutrition program about their legal status could put federal grant dollars for the entire county health department at risk.

The county asked the state in October to block illegal immigrants from the WIC program, but there is no eligibility requirement based on immigration status.

A regional WIC official says citizenship status has no bearing on eligibility so there’s no reason for the county to seek that information.

Information from: The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle, http://www.kansas.com.