According to a disturbing new study from the Center for Immigration Studies, 63% of non-citizens living in the United States are taking advantage of some form of welfare. And within the next ten years, says the data, the percentage of non-citizens using welfare will only rise. That’s based on data from the 2014 Census, which also finds that non-citizens are nearly twice as likely to be on welfare as those born in this country and/or naturalized into citizenship.
The findings come as the Trump administration has begun making an effort to penalize green card holders and other non-citizens for taking advantage of U.S. taxpayers. Under new rules proposed by the administration, visitors and temporary residents who take advantage of public benefits may become ineligible for future visits and citizenship. This drew an outcry from the usual crowd of leftists, but the CIS numbers show that it is a necessary step towards shoring up our country’s continued fiscal viability.
“The Trump administration has proposed new ‘public charge’ rules making it harder for prospective immigrants to qualify for lawful permanent residence — green cards — if they use or are likely to use U.S. welfare programs,” said the Center. “Concern over immigrant welfare use is justified, as households headed by non-citizens use means-tested welfare at high rates. Non-citizens in the data include illegal immigrants, long-term temporary visitors like guest workers, and permanent residents who have not naturalized. While barriers to welfare use exist for these groups, it has not prevented them from making extensive use of the welfare system, often receiving benefits on behalf of U.S.-born children.”
Technically, recent legal immigrants are barred by law from accessing most forms of public welfare. But the Center for Immigration Studies notes that these rules do little to keep foreigners from obtaining taxpayer aid. This largely comes down to four loopholes, which green card holders take ample advantage of:
1 – Many legal immigrants have stayed in the U.S. long enough to qualify for benefits.
2 – The laws against access don’t apply to all welfare programs, and in many cases they do not apply to the children of these immigrants.
3 – Several states provide welfare of their own to legal immigrants, much of which is eventually reimbursed through various means by the federal government.
Finally, non-citizens can immediately begin receiving welfare the moment they have a baby on U.S. soil. This problem doesn’t just extend to green card holders, but of course to illegal immigrants as well. Once they have their “anchor baby,” the federal spigot is turned on, and the taxpayers are now responsible for making sure their family is taken care of.
A strong argument for implementing the “public charge” rule, and yet another powerful reason for us to take another look at ending birthright citizenship.