Welfare Recipients Lose Civil Liberties

Published December 13, 2007

“Justices uphold welfare home searches” (Nov. 27) compels readers to consider some questions about, and raises an awareness of, the relationship between economic independence and civil liberty. In this case, the article shows the relationship between economic dependence on the government and the loss of civil liberties.

In San Diego County, the government has the authority to search welfare recipients’ homes because of their economic dependence on government. This makes it much more difficult for them to defend their privacy. These complexities arise when individuals are not economically independent, and highlights why welfare reform remains a crucial policy area.

State representatives and local leaders must implement and carry out policies that move welfare recipients from dependence to self-sufficiency. Then they can better protect themselves from government intrusion and retain their civil liberties. States have made significant progress since major welfare reform occurred in 1996, but there remains much more to accomplish.

Kate Campaigne (