The Cost of Illegal Immigration

Immigrants use twice the welfare of U.S.-born citizens

A 44 million foreign-born population translates to the average immigrant household costing the American taxpayers $6,234 in federal welfare.

Michael F. Haverluck

Thursday, March 14, 2019

A recent study reveals that illegal aliens and other foreign non-citizen residents in the United States use nearly double the amount of welfare that native-born Americans receive from the government.

    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, approximately half of noncitizens living in America are in the country illegally, and researchers from the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) explained that even though the Trump administration has taken many measures to reduce immigrants’ reliance on the U.S. welfare system, they still receive a great majority of free benefits dished out by federal and state governments – at taxpayers’ expense.

    “Sixty-three (63) percent of non-citizen households access welfare programs – compared to 35 percent of native households,” CIS reported. “Despite the fact that there are barriers designed to prevent welfare use for all of these non-citizen populations, the data shows that, overall, non-citizen households access the welfare system at high rates – often receiving benefits on behalf of U.S.-born children.”

Migrants double the drain …

    Even though native-born Americans far outnumber non-citizens, the latter group funnels much more money from the federal government for welfare services.

    “Compared to native households, non-citizen households have much higher use of food programs (45 percent vs. 21 percent for natives) and Medicaid (50 percent vs. 23 percent for natives),” CIS’s Steven A. Camarota and Karen Zeigler informed from the data. “Including the EITC (Earned Income Tax Credit), 31 percent of non-citizen-headed households receive cash welfare – compared to 19 percent of native households …”

Despite many new obstacles erected to curb dependence on government programs, many migrants still have a number of ways to beat the system and pull in extensive taxpayer-funded benefits.

“While most new legal immigrants (green card holders) are barred from most welfare programs – as are illegal immigrants and temporary visitors – these provisions have only a modest impact on non-citizen household use rates because: 1) most legal immigrants have been in the country long enough to qualify; 2) the bar does not apply to all programs – nor does it always apply to non-citizen children; 3) some states provide welfare to new immigrants on their own; and, most importantly, 4) non-citizens (including illegal immigrants) can receive benefits on behalf of their U.S.-born children who are awarded U.S. citizenship and full welfare eligibility at birth,” Camarota and Zeigler outlined.

Regardless of how one stacks the statistics, non-citizens overwhelmingly access more government funds than American-born citizens.

“No single program explains non-citizens’ higher overall welfare use,” the CIS report explained. “For example, not counting school lunch and breakfast, welfare use is still 61 percent for non-citizen households, compared to 33 percent for natives. Not counting Medicaid, welfare use is 55 percent for immigrants, compared to 30 percent for natives.”

Whether migrants have been in America for months or decades, their utilization of the welfare system is high.

“Of households headed by non-citizens in the United States for fewer than 10 years, 50 percent use one or more welfare programs; for those here more than 10 years, the rate is 70 percent,” Camarota and Zeigler pointed out.

Even when migrants are working, they continue to receive government handouts.

“Welfare receipt by working households is very common,” the report added. “Of non-citizen households receiving welfare, 93 percent have at least one worker, as do 76 percent of native households receiving welfare. In fact, non-citizen households are more likely overall to have a worker than are native households.”

Failure to attain an education and land higher paying jobs are two reasons for continued migrant dependence.

“Of all non-citizen households, 58 percent are headed by immigrants who have no more than a high school education – compared to 36 percent of native households,” Camarota and Zeigler relayed from the study. “Of households headed by non-citizens with no more than a high school education, 81 percent access one or more welfare programs. In contrast, 28 percent of non-citizen households headed by a college graduate use one or more welfare programs.”

CIS researchers found that in the four states receiving the most immigrants, the use of welfare is considerably higher for non-citizens than native-born Americans.

“In California, 72 percent of non-citizen-headed households use one or more welfare programs, compared to 35 percent for native-headed households,” CIS pointed out. “In Texas, the figures are 69 percent vs. 35 percent; in New York they are 53 percent vs. 38 percent; and in Florida, 56 percent of non-citizen-headed households use at least welfare program, compared to 35 percent of native households.”

Curbing migrant welfare?

Earlier this week, President Donald Trump declared his desire to stop all welfare-dependent legal immigration to the U.S. that siphons away taxpayer funds.

“I don’t like the idea of people coming in and going on welfare for 50 years, and that’s what they want to be able to do—and it’s no good,” Trump told Breitbart News.

He shared his plan last year geared to weed out immigrants who are destined to rely on the government for survival.

“The Trump administration has long called for changes in laws so that new immigrants wouldn’t rely on welfare,” Fox News reported in December. “In a 447-page proposal posted online in September, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) called for immigrants to be denied permanent residency if they’ve received or are likely to receive benefits such as food stamps, Medicaid or housing vouchers.”

Since the turn of the century, the number of immigrants living in America has increased four-fold.

“Currently, there is an estimated record high of 44.5 million foreign-born residents living in the U.S – this is nearly quadruple the immigrant population in 2000,” Breitbart’s John Binder informed. “The vast majority of those arriving in the country every year – more than 1.5 million annually – are low-skilled, poor or working-class foreign nationals.”

The tax burden on Americans would be greatly reduced if legal immigration is curbed.

“The legal immigration controls would be a boon for American taxpayers in the form of an annual $57.4 billion tax cut – the amount taxpayers spend every year on paying for the welfare, crime and schooling costs of the country’s mass importation of 1.5 million new, mostly low-skilled legal immigrants,” Binder added. “The majority of the more than 1.5 million foreign nationals entering the country every year use about 57 percent more food stamps than the average native-born American household.”

Immigration’s annual drain on taxpayers translates to nearly as much as a an American pays for a down payment on a house.

“Overall, immigrant households consume 33 percent more cash welfare than American citizen households and 44 percent more in Medicaid dollars,” Binder explained. “This straining of public services by a booming 44 million foreign-born population translates to the average immigrant household costing American taxpayers $6,234 in federal welfare.”

The Center for Immigration Studies is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit, research organization providing immigration policymakers, the academic community, news media, and concerned citizens with reliable information about the social, economic, environmental, security, and fiscal consequences of legal and illegal immigration into the United States. For the real truth about the emergency crisis at our southern border, family detention, and all the false political propaganda, their website is an invaluable resource.

CftC