Stop the Invasion of Illegals
Posted in the Big Sandy Forum
Since: Jan 12
#1 Mar 9, 2012
Study: 70% of Texas illegal immigrant families receive welfare
Thirteen years after Congress overhauled the American welfare system, 57 percent of immigrants with children — those in the country legally or not — use at least one government, welfare program according to a report released Tuesday by the Center for Immigration Studies.
In comparison, 39 percent of native-born Americans with children are signed up for welfare, the report found.
In Texas, 54 percent of legal immigrants and 70 percent of illegal immigrants receive welfare assistance, with illegal immigrants generally receiving benefits on behalf of their U.S.-born children, according to the study, written by a think tank that favors reducing immigration into the U.S.
Overall, Texas tied with California and New York for the second highest immigrant welfare rates behind Arizona.
We should note that the study takes an expansive view of what constitutes a government welfare program, so programs such as reduced-price school lunches for low-income students are classified as welfare, according to CIS methodology.
Texas showed 61 percent of households headed by an immigrant utilizing at least one program compared to the 42 percent of Texas natives on welfare.
This is partly due to the large share of immigrants with low levels of education and their resulting low incomes — not their legal status or an unwillingness to work, Steve Camorata, Director of Research at CIS, said.
Past CIS studies have been criticized by immigration-rights groups as flawed methodologically and biased politically.
According to the report, immigrant households with children are more likely to have at least one worker than native households. However, one-third of immigrant households headed by someone who has not graduated high school, compared to the one-tenth of natives. This large share of immigrants with lower education results in their lower income and need for welfare assistance.
Camarota said the misconception that immigrants are barred from the programs is misleading, and the system much more complicated . Eligibility is determined by length of stay and citizenship, but some states do not go with the bar, and some use welfare programs directly and indirectly.
The welfare programs analyzed include Supplemental Security Income for low income elderly and disabled, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, Women, Infants and Children food program, free/reduced school lunch, food stamps, Medicaid, public housing and rent subsidies. In fiscal year 2008, these programs totaled $517 billion. But these programs are also partially funded by individual state governments, especially Medicaid.
Illegal immigrants with children primarily use food assistance programs and Medicaid, with little or no cash or housing assistance. In contrast, legal immigrants have high usage rates for every type of program.
From a policy standpoint, barring immigrants from the welfare system, especially the non-cash programs, is administratively, historically, politically and practically hard to do, Camarota said.
Say the name,(for example)Women, Infants and Children food program, are politicians really going to cut this? Camarota said.
He further questioned if schools were really going to not feed hungry children of immigrants through the reduced-lunch programs. Likewise Camarota highlighted it also means hospitals will be treating more uninsured people. The report showed illegal immigrants primarily use food assistance and Medicaid with little cash or housing assistance, contrasting legal immigrants who use every program at high rates.
Camarota said changing the high immigrant usage would require changing immigration qualifications from residency of family members to an emphasis on education and skills, because the study noted higher education equates to less program assistance. The other solution would be in allowing less immigrants into the country, which correlates to less immigrant use of welfare.
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