The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) just pulled the plug on its controversial outreach program to promote food stamps with “telenovelas” (soap operas), but that’s not the end of its courting of Spanish speakers.

As the Daily Caller reports, the USDA and the Mexican government have been working together “to increase participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or food stamps.”

According to the report, the USDA has been partnering with the Mexican government since 2004 to ensure “that the Mexican Embassy and Mexican consulates in the U.S. provide USDA nutrition assistance program information to Mexican Americans, Mexican nationals working in America and migrant communities.”

Rather than looking for ways to effectively eliminate poverty for those on both sides of the border, the USDA’s partnership with the Mexican government encourages dependence. But government dependence seems to be the goal of the Obama Administration.

We already know that having one in seven Americans on food stamps doesn’t seem to be enough for the Obama Administration. Not only has food stamp spending doubled since Obama came to office, but total welfare spending on the now nearly 80 federal welfare programs has jumped by more than 30 percent. Most egregiously, as of last Thursday the Department of Health and Human Services issued a directive to gut the successful welfare reform act of 1996 of its work requirements.

If the Obama Administration is serious about reducing poverty, it would not be spending precious resources to promote government dependence. If they were serious about reducing and eliminating poverty, rather than abolishing work requirements, their policies would embrace the principles of work and personal responsibility, upon which the successful 1996 welfare reforms were established.

Spending on welfare programs continues its upward climb. It is crucial that the U.S. reverse course. Instead of encouraging Americans to get onto the government dole, policies should promote self-reliance.

Hispanic children now make up the largest group of children living in poverty. The best way to help these families, and all Americans in need, is not with a handout but by encouraging independence through work.