Study: 59% of non-citizen migrants use welfare

Who says laws preventing entry by migrants likely to become public charges have any meaning?

According to a new study from the Center for Immigration Studies, citing the U.S. Census's 2022 Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), such laws are a joke.

Migrants are America's most prodigious consumers of government welfare programs.

CIS's Steven A. Camarota and Karen Ziegler write:

Among the findings:

  • The 2022 SIPP indicates that 54 percent of households headed by immigrants — naturalized citizens, legal residents, and illegal immigrants — used one or more major welfare program. This compares to 39 percent for U.S.-born households.
  • The rate is 59 percent for non-citizen households (e.g. green card holders and illegal immigrants).
  • Compared to households headed by the U.S.-born, immigrant-headed households have especially high use of food programs (36 percent vs. 25 percent for the U.S.-born), Medicaid (37 percent vs. 25 percent for the U.S.-born), and the Earned In
  • come Tax Credit (16 percent vs. 12 percent for the U.S.-born).
  • Our best estimate is that 59 percent of households headed by illegal immigrants, also called the undocumented, use at least one major program. We have no evidence this is due to fraud. Among legal immigrants we estimate the rate is 52 percent.
  • Illegal immigrants can receive welfare on behalf of U.S.-born children, and illegal immigrant children can receive school lunch/breakfast and WIC directly. A number of states provide Medicaid to some illegal adults and children, and a few provide SNAP. Several million illegal immigrants also have work authorization (e.g. DACA, TPS, and some asylum applicants) allowing receipt of the EITC.

Which tells us a lot about why the migrant crisis is so expensive. The current figures cover the period before the most recent border surge, which is the highest in history.

What that means is that the costs are going to go significantly higher as migrants have children here to secure their status here and then draw welfare benefits on behalf of their U.S.-born children. They will then bring in equally situated family members of comparable education, skills and social capital into the country once they are permitted to stay. These costs will extend for decades.

What that adds up to is a huge welfare cost to U.S. taxpayers, and a big benefit bonanza to foreign nationals who've never paid a penny into the system they're mining for a better life, while more often than not, do not have a right to be here.

There are laws on the books against admitting migrants likely to become public charges. It's pretty obvious here that these laws are being ignored.

Who knew that Joe Biden's open borders would import the welfare classes of more than a hundred-fifty countries into the U.S. and then tell taxpayers that immigrants enrich our country and anyone looking at the data is a xenophobe?

It's one of the biggest myths out there that migrants aren't a drain on the public fisc. It's not just the cost of feeding and transporting and "processing" them at the border itself and in the sanctuary cities they travel to -- it's a lifetime of costs that go well beyond the billions that are bankrupting New York City just from the illegal entries.

Something's got to give here. The great libertarian economist Milton Friedman once noted that one can have open borders, one can have a welfare state, but one cannot have both; the one is incompatible with the other. At the rate Joe's open border is going, the welfare state is going to be the one that goes as the U.S. is bankrupted from giving a free ride to every foreign national who can cross the U.S. border without papers.

Image: Video screen shot from Jorge Ventura Media on Twitter




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