Originally published September 18 2015
The truth comes out about immigrants: More than 50% are on welfare
by J. D. Heyes
(NaturalNews) Talk radio host and constitutional scholar Mark Levin points out in his new book, Plunder and Deceit, that noted libertarian economist Milton Friedman – who favored open-ended immigration – once nevertheless observed:
[I]t is one thing to have free immigration to jobs. It is another thing to have free immigration to welfare. And you cannot have both. If you have a welfare state, if you have a state in which every resident is promised a certain minimal level of income, or a minimum level of subsistence, regardless of whether he works or not, produces or not. Then it really is an impossible thing.
The lesson here is that when a welfare system is put in place, it will act as a magnet for increased illegal immigration and provide an incentive for further violations of U.S. immigration law, and all of this takes place at the expense of American taxpayers.
Nevertheless, successive congresses and presidential administrations have adopted laws and policies that provide immigrants – legal and illegal – with a "certain level of income," as Friedman explained, and they have kept coming.
At the same time, Americans were regularly told two lies about mass immigration and its effect on the Treasury: they were told that most immigrants worked and were not part of "the welfare system", and they were also told that those who are in the system pay in more than they consume.
Debunking the liesUSA Today highlighted a new report that puts the first lie to bed. According to the Center for Immigration Studies, 51 percent of immigrants receive some form of government welfare, which is far higher than the native-born population.
The report, "Welfare Use by Immigrant and Native Households," further notes that the most popular welfare programs used by immigrants include food stamps, school lunches and housing assistance.
The report was written by Steven Camarota, the director of research at CIS, which advocates for less immigration. It states that only 30 percent of native-born households utilize some form of government welfare.
For immigrants, welfare participation increases dramatically to 76 percent in households with children, which is much higher than the 52 percent noted in native-born households.
"The findings are sure to fuel debate on the presidential campaign trail as Republican candidates focus on changing the nation's immigration laws, from calls for mass deportations to ending birthright citizenship," USA Today reported.
Camarota said he welcomes the conversation and believes it is long overdue. He feels that the U.S. immigration system really needs to be much more "selective" about who gets into the country.
"This should not be understood as some kind of defect or moral failing on the part of immigrants," Camarota said about the findings. "Rather, what it represents is a system that allows a lot of less-educated immigrants to settle in the country, who then earn modest wages and are eligible for a very generous welfare system."
Can't have open immigration and a welfare stateThe second lie – that the use of the welfare system doesn't matter because immigrants generally contribute more in taxes than they receive in benefits – was disputed by Levin.
Citing the Heritage Foundation, Levin said the organization found that "on average, unlawful immigrant households received $24,721 per household in government benefits and services in 2010." By comparison, "unlawful immigrant households on average paid only $10,334 in taxes."
"All unlawful immigrant households together [in 2010] received $93.7 billion per year in government benefits and services and paid $39.2 billion, yielding an aggregate annual deficit of $54.5 billion," Heritage stated.
Conservative columnist and activist Linda Chavez, who worked in the Reagan administration, nevertheless cautioned lawmakers against taking the CIS data too seriously.
USA Today noted:
Chavez said today's immigrants, like all other immigrant waves in the country's history, start off poorer and have lower levels of education, making it unfair to compare their welfare use to the long-established native-born population.
She also said that immigrant families tend to be larger, making it more likely that someone in the household will receive benefits.
The earlier waves of immigrants that she references – mostly from Europe – came before the U.S. had adopted any social welfare programs, let alone the dozens offered today, making her comparison to that earlier era wrongheaded.
Levin, Mark. Plunder and Deceit: Big Government's Exploitation of Young People and the Future. 2015. Threshold Editions: New York City. Pg. 105.
Rector, Robert & Jason Richwine, Ph.D. "The Fiscal Cost of Unlawful Immigrants and Amnesty to the U.S. Taxpayer." May 6, 2013. The Heritage Foundation. Accessed Sept. 2, 2015 at http://thf_media.s3.amazonaws.com/2013/pdf/sr133.pdf.
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