51% of Immigrants [Legal and Illegal] Use Welfare Compared to 30% of Citizens

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A new study by The Center for Immigration Studies finds that 51 percent of immigrant-headed households (illegal and legal) used at least one federal welfare program — cash, food, housing, or medical care — compared to 30 percent of citizen households.

The average household headed by an immigrant (legal or illegal) is costing taxpayers $6,234 in federal welfare benefits. It’s thousands more than what we pay out for the average native household.

Central American and Mexican nationals have the highest welfare costs.

The people coming into the country are not self-sustaining, mostly due to lack of education and a larger number of children.

The President wants to restrict welfare recipients from receiving green cards or citizenship. The overwhelming majority of Americans support the plan.

THE FINDINGS
  • The average household headed by an immigrant (legal or illegal) costs taxpayers $6,234 in federal welfare benefits, which is 41 percent higher than the $4,431 received by the average native household.
  • The average immigrant household consumes 33 percent more cash welfare, 57 percent more food assistance, and 44 percent more Medicaid dollars than the average native household. Housing costs are about the same for both groups.
  • At $8,251, households headed by immigrants from Central America and Mexico have the highest welfare costs of any sending region — 86 percent higher than the costs of native households.
  • Illegal immigrant households cost an average of $5,692 (driven largely by the presence of U.S.-born children), while legal immigrant households cost $6,378.

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