According to census figures, 87% of illegal immigrants are on welfare or some other form of public assistance. Given the fact that so many illegal immigrants are on welfare, we can dispense with the persistent yet wholly inaccurate myth that illegal immigrants contribute positively to the US economy. The story line advanced by pro-immigration groups, the liberal media and the democrat party that illegal immigrants are a net positive for the economy is just that, a story line.
The democrat party has repeatedly told us for more than a decade that illegal immigrants contribute so much to the US economy that the economy would, in fact, suffer if illegals were deported. Along with that primary tale, democrats secondarily and repeatedly tell us that illegals pay their taxes, commit less crime than Americans and do not line up at the public dole. These stories are then repeated almost continuously in virtually every liberal media outlet in America.
Then you have the most outrageous of all positions concerning illegal immigrants, and that’s that democrats lie about or won’t talk about the fact that illegal immigrants in the workforce significantly depress wages and take jobs away from American workers.
The reality is that the lion’s share of illegal immigrants come to America for the taxpayer-funded benefits like Medicaid, food stamps and cash support, according to a new report based on Census data. Besides the enormous welcome mat put out by the Obama White House, the helping hand offered by social welfare programs to illegal immigrant families is the single strongest attraction that draws illegal immigrants across the border.
Legal And Illegal Immigrants Are On Welfare
In analyzing new Census reports, the Center for Immigration Studies found that immigrant families with one or more children use welfare far more than American families.
“Welfare use by illegal immigrant households is certainly a concern, but the bigger issue is welfare use by legal immigrants,” said Steven Camarota, the Center’s director of research and author of the report.
“Three-fourths of immigrant households using welfare are headed by legal immigrants. Legal immigration is supposed to benefit the country, yet so many legal immigrants are not able to support themselves or their children. This raises important questions about the selection criteria used for legal immigration,” said Camarota.
The report highlights the economics of immigration, especially illegal immigration, and comes as Syrian refugees are seeking to settle in European nations that provide rich welfare benefits. The report also suggests that America is attracting poor and uneducated immigrants. “Low levels of education — not legal status — are the main reason immigrant welfare use is high,” said the Center’s preview of their report.
It shows that legal immigrant households make extensive use of welfare, while illegal immigrant households primarily benefit from food stamps and Medicaid because of their US born children, known as anchor babies.
According to the report, “Households headed by legal immigrants have statistically significant higher use of welfare than American households overall, and for cash and food programs as well as Medicaid. This is the case a decade and a half after the 1996 welfare reform law, which was supposed to greatly limit immigrant access to the welfare system.”
It added: “If one assumes that legal immigration is supposed to benefit the country, then immigrants allowed into the country should have much lower rates of welfare use than natives. However, our best estimate is that nearly half (49 percent) of households headed by legal immigrants used at least one welfare program in 2012.”
Other key findings from the report:
- Legal immigrants account for three-quarters of all immigrant households accessing welfare programs.
- Of legal immigrant households with children, 72 percent access one or more welfare programs, compared to 52 percent of American households.
- 62% of illegal immigrant households used one or more welfare programs in 2012, compared to 30 percent of American households.
- Households headed by immigrants illegally in the country have higher use rates than native households overall and for food programs (57 percent vs. 22 percent) and Medicaid (51 percent vs. 23 percent). Use of cash programs by illegal immigrants is lower than use by natives (5 percent vs. 10 percent), as is use of housing programs (4 percent vs. 6 percent).
- 87% of illegal immigrant households with children access one or more welfare programs, compared to 52% of American households.
- Education level plays a larger role in explaining welfare use than legal status. The most extensive use of welfare is by less-educated immigrants who are in the country legally. Of households headed by legal immigrants without a high school diploma, 75 percent use one or more welfare programs, as do 64 percent of households headed by legal immigrants with only a high school education.
- Restrictions on new legal immigrants’ access to welfare have not prevented them from accessing programs at high rates because restrictions often apply to only a modest share of immigrants at any one time. Some programs are not restricted, there are numerous exceptions and exemptions, and some provisions are entirely unenforced. Equally important, immigrants, including those illegally in the country, can receive welfare on behalf of their U.S.-born children.
This study proves several things about which we have all been misled. Far from being beneficial to the economy, the overarching motive for advocating immigration is the long-term democrat agenda of converting immigrants, both legal and illegal into democrat voters.