Thursday, September 3, 2015

Immigrant homes hit high on welfare lists, as more than half tap into taxpayer doles: report

Immigrant households, both legal and illegal, tap into the nation's welfare system at a level that's higher than families deemed "non-immigrant" – to the tune of 51 percent in 2012, a new study found.

The Center for Immigration Studies reported in a just-released 52-page document the welfare rates for immigrant households are "a good deal higher than use rates shown by other Census data."

Specifically, CIS looked at Census data regarding Medicaid and cash, food and housing benefits. And in a comparison of legal and illegal immigrant households versus native citizen households, the Census Bureau's Survey of Income and Program Participation data indicated "immigrant households use welfare at significantly higher rates than native households," CIS reported.

For example, 51 percent of households headed by either an illegal or legal immigrant tapped into at least one welfare program in 2012, compared to 30 percent of native households, CIS said.

"Immigrant households have much higher use of food programs (40 percent vs. 22 percent for natives) and Medicaid (42 percent vs. 23 percent)," CIS reported.
Immigrant use of cash programs is somewhat higher than natives (12 percent vs. 10 percent) and use of housing programs is similar to natives."

The report also found both "new arrivals and well-established immigrants" utilize the taxpayer funded programs at similarly high rates.

"Of households headed by immigrants who have been in the country for more than two decades," CIS reported, "48 percent access welfare."

And the breakdown by country of origin is even more enlightening.

CIS found: "Welfare use varies among immigrant groups. Households headed by immigrants from Central America and Mexico (73 percent), the Caribbean (51 percent), and Africa (48 percent) have the highest overall welfare use. Those from East Asia (32 percent), Europe (26 percent), and South Asia (17 percent) have the lowest."

The study concluded low education levels among immigrants, and the "resulting low incomes," in part explained the high welfare use – but certainly not all.

"The high rates of immigrant welfare use are not entirely explained by their lower education levels. Households headed by college-educated immigrants have significantly higher welfare use than households headed by college-educated natives – 26 percent vs. 13 percent," CIS reported.

The report also disseminated the geographical hot spots for immigrant-fueled welfare statistics, finding California led the way, followed by New York, Texas and Florida.

"In the four top immigrant-receiving states, use of welfare by immigrant households is significantly higher than that of native households: California (55 percent vs. 30 percent), New York (59 percent vs. 33 percent), Texas (57 percent vs. 34 percent), and Florida (42 percent vs. 28 percent)," CIS reported.

See report:

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