The report goes on to say that 75% of immigrant welfare use is by legal immigrant households. As for the restrictions placed on immigrant welfare use, they’ve become incredibly difficult to enforce due to all of the exceptions made by the government.
“[T]hese restrictions do not prevent immigrant households from making extensive use of welfare programs because restrictions often apply to only a modest share of legal immigrants at any one time, some programs are not restricted, there are numerous exceptions and exemptions, and some provisions are entirely unenforced. Equally important, immigrants, including those illegally in the country, can receive welfare on behalf of their U.S.-born children,” the report explains.
Notably, immigrants admitted to the U.S. as refugees are immediately eligible for welfare.
The report highlights that less educated immigrants are most likely to use every kind of welfare program.
“Education level plays a larger role in explaining welfare use than legal status. The most extensive use of welfare is by less- educated immigrants who are in the country legally. Of households headed by legal immigrants without a high school diploma, 75 percent use one or more welfare programs, as do 64 percent of households headed by legal immigrants with only a high school education,” the report reads.
Households with children tend to use welfare at a higher rate across all three categories (legal, illegal, and native) of households.
Among legal immigrant households with children 72 percent accessed welfare in 2012. Meanwhile 87 percent of illegal immigrant households with children accessed welfare that year compared to 52 percent of native households with children.
CIS notes that legal immigrant households are still more likely than their native-born counterparts to access cash programs (14 percent to 10 percent), food programs (36 percent to 22 percent) and Medicaid (39 percent to 23 percent).
Illegal immigrants are likewise more likely to use some of those categories of welfare, with 57 percent of illegal immigrant households using food programs compared to 22 percent of native-born Americans. Medicaid use among illegal immigrant households is also higher compare 51 percent to 23 percent of native-households. Illegal immigrants use cash assistance and housing programs at a lower rate than native-born households — five percent to ten percent and four percent to six percent.
While a greater percentage of illegal immigrants use welfare than legal immigrants, legal immigrants make up about 75 percent of immigrant households tapping into at least one welfare program.
If you were to look at our national debt and the costs of a welfare program that caters to these individuals, you can see why current immigration policies are a problem. The report also shows that because of this, a majority of immigrants prefer big government policies, which explains why the left has been so keen on giving so many illegal immigrants citizenship.