Welfare for Immigrants, Profits for Business

CAPS — Importing poverty is a major consequence of America’s current immigration policy. It does so by disproportionately admitting people with low skills and education. A large part of the reason is that we choose legal immigrants much more on the basis of their family ties to previous immigrants than for their skills. And by allowing illegal immigration to go unchecked, we are getting another large stream of the poor and unskilled.

As the result of this situation, households headed by immigrants (legal and illegal) are much more likely to receive welfare than households headed by native-born Americans. A study by the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) published last year found that 51 percent of the former households receive benefits from at least one federal welfare program compared with 30 percent of the latter households. This year, CIS published another study revealing a sharp divide in tax-paid expenditures between the two groups.

Immigrant-headed households, on average, receive $6,234 in federal welfare benefits, compared with the average of $4,431 for native-headed households. A big reason for this disparity, notes CIS, is that immigrants generally have lower levels of education than natives. Immigrants from Mexico have the highest average usage, $8,251, compared with the lowest, immigrants from Europe, $3,509, and immigrants from South Asia, $2,565.


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