A front-page article in The Washington Post on Sept. 29 dealt with childhood poverty and concluded, “Biggest group of poor kids is Latino”.
The article referenced a Pew Hispanic Center report issued the previous day, titled “Childhood Poverty among Hispanics Sets Record, Leads Nation.”
The Pew report estimates that 6.1 million Hispanic children are living in poverty compared with 5 million poor non-Hispanic white children and 4.4 million poor black children.
This spike in poverty among Hispanic children, according to the Pew report, is the result of “The Great Recession” of 2009.
The Post article reports the nation’s total Hispanic population (legal and illegal) at 50.5 million with the number of Hispanic children under 10 years of age near 10 million.
The Post article also blamed the recession for making Hispanics the largest group now living in poverty in the United States.
This would be the first time in U.S. history that poor white kids have been outnumbered by another race or ethnicity.
These estimates contend that a quarter of all children residing in the United States are now Hispanic. The estimated poverty among these children, especially those with illegal alien parents, indicates a rising cost to U.S. taxpayers.
To date, there is no exact number for the total illegal alien population of the United States (Hispanic and others), but estimates range from 11 million to 36 million men, women, and children. No exact number exists, because such a count would depend on an agreed-upon count methodology, which has yet to be devised.
The Pew Hispanic Center based its estimates of the Hispanic population in the United States on U.S Census figures for 2010, which counted 50.5 million Hispanic men, women, and children, up from the 35.3 million counted in the 2000 Census.
Hispanics now make up roughly 16 percent of the U.S. population, with blacks forming roughly 12.5 percent.
The Pew report suggests that high birth rates among Hispanics in the United States could mean that this increased poverty level is here to stay.
A large percentage of the children living in poverty are members of single-parent households. Obviously the increased number of Hispanic children living in poverty will impact social welfare costs, educational costs, and sadly, criminal justice costs.
The report notes, however, that despite lower overall numbers, the poverty rate among black children remains higher than that among Hispanic children.
Immigrant advocates point to the recession-linked unemployment rate among Hispanic adults and to the foreclosure crisis as main causes of the new poverty, since many Hispanics had invested their wealth in their homes.
The foreclosure crisis was worsened by unscrupulous mortgage and real estate agents who supplied Hispanics with subprime mortgages, while knowing that many of these homeowners could not afford the mortgages. Congress, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac are equally at fault for permitting income-deficient persons to qualify for mortgages.
The Census-based numbers may or may not include illegal aliens. The U.S. Constitution (Article 1. Sec. 2) requires that an official count of people living in the country shall be made every 10 years, but it does not specify whether “people living in the country” need to be citizens.
Heretofore, undocumented immigrants (illegal aliens) hesitated to be counted by the U.S. government for fear of deportation, but not now.
The 2010 Census count will be used to determine the number of seats in the U.S. House of Representatives allotted to each state for the next decade. While Census data dealing with illegal aliens (Hispanics and others) still tend to be undercounts, the sharp rise in the illegal aliens willing to be counted in 2010 will increase and reshape Congressional districts.
In the 2000 Census, many but certainly not all foreign-born persons were counted; and the number of new U.S. House seats nationwide increased by 16, compared to 12 new House seats created by the 1990 Census.
In 2011, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported that 45.3 million persons were receiving food stamps (which actually are no longer stamps but debit cards), up by 8.4 percent from 2010. The low-income population is rising and with it the monies to be allocated for social and welfare programs.
The improper or fraud-based qualification of applicants for food stamps and other welfare benefits continues to cause a major fiscal cost.
Additionally, many illegal aliens have healthcare at taxpayer expense. Low-income expectant mothers, babies, and children are “presumed eligible” (no questions asked) for the State Child Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), funded by the federal Balanced Budget Act of 1997 (PL105-33), long before Obamacare.
Illegal alien children and elderly also are “presumed eligible” for Medicaid, WIC (Women, Infants, and Children), and SSI (Social Security Income for the disabled).
The increase in the number of undocumented immigrants counted in the 2010 Census promises to impact these programs as well as all aspects of American life.
The child poverty figures reveal a growing political and fiscal problem for the nation. The ongoing failure of Capitol Hill and the White House to deal with the problem reveals a total disregard for the rule of law.
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