New research shows that poor immigrants are not the burden on our welfare system that many of our fellow Republicans paint them as. In fact, immigrants below the poverty line are far less likely to go on the welfare dole than natural-born citizens below the poverty line. In fact, immigration adds more wealth and production to our society.
The study, entitled “The Use of Public Assistance Benefits by Citizens and Non-Citizen Immigrants in the United States”, conducted by Leighton Ku and Brian Bruen of the Cato Institute concluded:
Low-income non-citizen adults and children generally have lower rates of public benefit use than native-born adults or citizen children whose parents are also citizens. Moreover, when low-income non-citizens receive public benefits, the average value of benefits per recipient is almost always lower than for the native-born. For Medicaid, if there are 100 native-born adults, the annual cost of benefits would be about $98,400, while for the same number of non-citizen adults the annual cost would be approximately $57,200. The benefits cost of non-citizens is 42 percent below the cost of the native-born adults. For children, a comparable calculation for 100 non-citizens yields $22,700 in costs, while 100 citizen children of citizen parents cost $67,000 in benefits. The benefits cost of non-citizen children is 66 percent below the cost of benefits for citizen children of citizen parents. The combined effect of lower utilization rates and lower average benefits means that the overall financial cost of providing public benefits to non-citizen immigrants and most naturalized immigrants is lower than for native-born people. Non-citizen immigrants receive fewer government benefits than similarly poor natives.
We Republicans need to stop being so hostile to individuals from other countries, if we hope to survive politically in a country with rapidly changing demographics.