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Over 59% of illegal alien households rely on taxpayer-funded welfare: Study
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Over 59% of illegal alien households rely on taxpayer-funded welfare: Study

The majority of illegal alien- and immigrant-run households are reliant upon taxpayer-funded welfare, according to a new study.

The Center for Immigration Studies scrutinized U.S. Census Bureau data from the 2022 Survey of Income and Program Participation, finding that non-citizens are far more likely than Americans to make extensive use of means-tested anti-poverty programs.

The study, published Tuesday, found that 54% of households headed by immigrants, including naturalized citizens, legal residents, and illegal aliens, used one or more major welfare program. By way of comparison, only 39% of U.S.-born households similarly relied on food programs, housing programs, Medicaid, and/or the dole.

Even when free school meals and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children were not factored in, the researchers found that 46% of immigrant households drew welfare versus 33% of U.S.-born households who relied on such support.

An estimated 59.4% of households headed by illegal aliens drew on at least one major taxpayer-funded welfare support. As a cohort, those who stole illegally into the nation reportedly use every program at "statistically significant higher rates than the U.S.-born, except for [Supplemental Security Income], [Temporary Assistance for Needy Families], and housing."

The study indicated that 48% of "illegal-headed households" used food welfare programs; 39% relied on Medicaid; 18% relied on cash welfare; and 4% relied on housing programs.

The CIS researchers suggested that the "ability of immigrant, including illegal immigrants, to receive welfare benefits on behalf of U.S.-born citizen children is a key reason why restrictions on welfare use for new legal immigrants and illegal immigrants are relatively ineffective."

According to the CIS, it is difficult to nail down precisely why immigrant households are more likely than U.S.-born households to collect welfare, given that "83 percent of all immigrant households and 94 percent of illegal-headed households have at least one worker." Children and educational attainment similarly don't appear to be major factors, as childless immigrant households and those with college degrees also tend to use welfare more than their U.S.-born counterparts.

When discussing how best to interpret the data, the researchers noted that "traditionally, one of the most important arguments for immigration is that it benefits the United States — that is, the existing population of Americans. From this perspective, it is certainly reasonable to argue that with the exception of the roughly 6 percent of the total immigrant population who were admitted for humanitarian reasons (e.g. refugees and asylees), immigrant welfare use should be very low."

They further noted that the flood of millions of illegal aliens into the nation since President Joe Biden took office "has profound implications for public coffers," especially since "a large share of those released into the country have been granted parole," meaning they enjoy the same welfare eligibility as new permanent legal immigrants.

The CIS indicated in a previous report that the total foreign-born population, both legal and illegal, increased by 4.5 million since January 2021, reaching over 49.5 million in October 2023. That amounts to a record-high 15% of the U.S. population and exceeds the individual populations of 25 U.S. states. If the welfare statistics hold for this growing population, then illegal immigration will continue to exact an increasingly heavy price from the taxpaying citizenry.

The House Committee on Homeland Security noted in its Nov. 13 interim report on the "Historic Dollar Costs of DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas' Open-Border Policies" that "for every one million parolees released into the United States on Mayorkas' watch, the cost in federal welfare benefits that will be incurred could total $3 billion annually, with those costs starting to kick in January 2026."

The congressional report echoed a CIS estimate that put the yearly cost of housing known gotaways and illegal aliens who have been released into the U.S. under Biden's watch at $451 billion.

This estimate was based, in part, on a RealClearInvestigations assessment that put the yearly per-person cost imposed on New York City by migrants at $393.70 per day. Multiplied by the over 3.1 million migrants released under Biden as of mid-March, the costs came out to over $1.2 billion a day or $451.05 billion per annum.

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Joseph MacKinnon

Joseph MacKinnon

Joseph MacKinnon is a staff writer for Blaze News. He lives in a small town with his wife and son, moonlighting as an author of science fiction.
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