CIS Study: 63% of Non-Citizen Households Access Welfare Programs Compared to 35% of native households

The Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) recently put out a report confirming what most people suspected, mainly that the majority of non-citizen households access some type of welfare program, as compared to 35% of native households.

Of non-citizens in Census Bureau data, roughly half are in the country illegally. Non-citizens also include long-term temporary visitors (e.g. guestworkers and foreign students) and permanent residents who have not naturalized (green card holders). 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.

Among the findings:

  • In 2014, 63 percent of households headed by a non-citizen reported that they used at least one welfare program, compared to 35 percent of native-headed households.
  • Welfare use drops to 58 percent for non-citizen households and 30 percent for native households if cash payments from the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) are not counted as welfare. EITC recipients pay no federal income tax. Like other welfare, the EITC is a means-tested, anti-poverty program, but unlike other programs one has to work to receive it.
  • 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).
  • Including the EITC, 31 percent of non-citizen-headed households receive cash welfare, compared to 19 percent of native households. If the EITC is not included, then cash receipt by non-citizen households is slightly lower than natives (6 percent vs. 8 percent).
  • 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.

President Trump, rightly, is looking to close some of the loopholes to prevent non-citizens from taking part in these programs.  The United States simply cannot survive when it is having to support so many people who have no right to such programs.  It is yet another of the hundreds of reasons how immigrants, both legal and illegal, are an albatross to the American citizen, not some sort of great benefit.

The welfare system ultimately discourages people from trying to find jobs and get off of the public dole. Worse, it is the ultimate goal for many immigrants, both legal and illegal, to make the trek to the United States.  It’s hard to convince someone that they should stay in their home country when they can make MUCH more money doing literally nothing in the United States than working their tails off in their own countries.  This is a broken system.  We need to end the welfare state and go back to private charity, a subject I will write about later this week.  Ending the welfare state, and just as importantly closing the border almost entirely, are two steps that we MUST do if we want to keep this country somewhat what it is today.  It will only get worse as the demographics continue to change and the burden on the American taxpayer only becomes worse as more and more people pour into our country and take advantage of our welfare programs.  Just keep that number in mind, 63%, when you hear we need to let more and more people in and that they are only a positive thing for Americans.  The majority will be on public assistance and many will take a job that an American could have.

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