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Unfiltered: ‘ "I know I’m on welfare, but I’m also an American." ’

There was the teenager who feared she would be left to care for her three younger siblings after watching her mother frantically hide her family during the investigator’s visit. There was the homeless mother of two who was denied benefits until she was forced to confront her abusive stepfather. And there was the working mother of three girls who fell silent as her daughter asked, “Mom, are they going to kill you?”

This is just a glimpse of the harrowing experiences impoverished parents and individuals go through when applying for public assistance in San Diego – unannounced, warrantless home searches conducted by the fraud-detection program, Project 100% — a program that longtime attorney Joni Halpern calls unconstitutional.