Five New Mexico state workers admitted last week that they denied food assistance to needy families after being pressured by superiors.
According to KTRK, five workers at the state's Human Services department told a federal court that they falsified records to claim that families applying for food assistance had more than $100 in assets
When the workers could not meet the seven-day deadline for processing emergency applications, they said that records were falsified to reject the requests.
"It makes the state's numbers appear artificially high, as if they were processing things according to law," New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty's Sovereign Hager told KTRK. "When in fact, they aren't.
"This is something we've never heard before, but according to workers, has been going on for quite some time," she noted.
The Human Services department said that an internal investigation was ongoing.