Can an illegal alien get a free cell phone from the government?

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A popular charge from detractors of the Lifeline cell phone service is that illegal aliens can obtain a free phone. Is this true? The short answer is yes.

There is no citizenship verification in the application process for obtaining a cell phone from any of the vendors like Safelink, Assurance or ReachOut. There is no mandate from the government that they must do such verification.

According to a 2007 report by the Center for Immigration Studies, 33% of immigrant-headed households use at least one major welfare program. And being on a just about any public assistance program such as food stamp, National School Lunch Program and others will automatically qualify you for a Lifeline phone.

Not only is there no verification of citizenship, but there is no verification of actual participation of being on any of the of the government assistance programs. All one does is check off on the application form (and they come in Spanish as well) which public assistance program the applicant is on. and swear under penalty of perjury that their statement is truthful, and they qualify. Considering the individual may already have broken immigration laws, they may not have a problem signing the signing the form.

Undocumented immigrants guide to free government cell phones

Social Security numbers are not required on the form.

An applicant can also qualify for the free cell phone by showing low income — if you have an income below 135-150% of the federal poverty guidelines<. All one has to do is show some documentation that proves employment, like pay stubs for example. Illegal aliens who work have pay stubs. There are millions of honest, hardworking American citizens who need this service, and we are most definitely not in favor of letting illegal immigrants get the free cell phones. As an attempt to show just how easy the loopholes are to get around, we produced The Undocumented Immigrant’s Guide to Free Government Cell Phones in hope that it could prompt new laws that would tighten up enrollment laws.

You can get more information on how to qualify for a lifeline cell phone.


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  1. Moorach says

    Before AT$T would accept me as a long distance customer 7 years ago, I had to give them ny S.S. number and a whole lot of highly personal information, despite my fluency in English and my 4 years of honorable in the Marine Corps.

  2. Cristina says

    My son was born in New York, he has Medicaid card and social security, I applied to Safelink by they rejected me because I could not provide a social security number in my name, despite the fact that I did send my son’s social security number.
    I am a single parent trying to do the best for my son, I need a phone so that his school can communicate with me in case of an emergency.

  3. Gabe says

    Wait, you mean all I have to do is lie and say I’m illegal and poof, I get free shit?? Where do I sign?? I have a hard time believing this crap…. -_-

  4. Scott says

    Nice. Illegal aliens can get drivers licenses in some states now. What next? Free car? Maybe a
    new 2500 sq foot house? Jacuzzi?

  5. Ed says

    Can illegal aliens, er, I mean undocumented aliens, get free cell phones from the government? I don’t know but if so it would not surprise me at all. As I understand it, I am usually wrong, these cell phone gifts are a gift from Al Gore who managed to get the added tax on our phone bills to pay for them. It would be nice if along with the free phones the recipients could receive maybe monthly $20 worth of lottery tickets as well. This may be an benefit that has not yet come to be.

  6. Jane says

    Not only is there no verification of citizenship, but there is no verification of actual participation of being on any of the of the government assistance programs.

    Does this mean that American born citizens have to be on assistance to qualify for this phone, but not illegals? I had to send proof that I was receiving help, why wouldn’t an illegal have to do the same….at least?

  7. Ben says

    This really sucks.. Illegal aliens can get a phone, but American citizens that were born and raised and lived all their lives in the United states can’t get one if they only have P.O. box.. This part of the program needs to be changed !!!