A new study by the Center for Immigration Studies, based on the latest Census Bureau data, shows the number of immigrants in America, both legal and illegal, has swelled to a record 38 million this year – making one of every eight U.S. residents an immigrant.
The new numbers indicate the highest level in more than eight decades – with a third of those being illegal aliens.
One third of immigrants are on some form of welfare, costing states nearly $20 billion a year, the study claimed, adding that efforts to legalize the spiraling number of illegal aliens will only increase the amount of uneducated, uninsured legal immigrants burdening America’s welfare rolls.
Since 2000, more than 10 million immigrants have entered the U.S., more than half of them illegally, according to the CIS. With no change in U.S. immigration policy, another 15 million immigrants will likely arrive in the next 10 years.
“The last seven years have been the highest period of immigration in American History,” says the report’s lead author, Dr. Steven A. Camarota. “The roughly 1.5 million immigrants arriving each year have a very significant effect on American life.”
Mark Krikorian, executive director of the CIS, tells Newsmax that the deleterious effects of continued immigration, include “an increasing burden on taxpayers to subsidize a 19th century workforce imported into a 21st century society; further displacement and wage reductions for the low-skilled and teen-age American workers who are the chief competitors of illegal immigrants; and continued slowing of technological innovation in the fields where immigrants are concentrated due to the artificial flooding of the low-skilled labor market and consequent reduction of incentives for businesses to mechanize and use labor more efficiently.”
The impact is being felt most pointedly in a handful of states. California, Florida, Texas, New Jersey and Arizona are bearing the brunt of immigration increases both legal and illegal, the CIS study found. California’s 10 million immigrants alone make up 27 percent of the nation’s total immigrant population.
“Some 75 percent of immigrants settle in ten states,” Krikorian tells Newsmax. “But Americans in other states are not immune to the effects of mass immigration. The consequences for security, sovereignty, assimilation, and government spending are national problems. In other words, every state is now a border state, every town a border town.”
A third of all U.S. immigrants come from Mexico, making it the top country of origin followed by China, India, the Philippines and Vietnam. Almost 60 percent of the Illegal aliens entering the U.S. come from Mexico.
The numbers portend a major shift in American demographics. More than 72 percent of native U.S. residents are white, 13 percent are black, 10 percent are Hispanic and 2 percent are Asian. But among the burgeoning immigrant population, over 48 percent are Hispanic, 23 percent are Asian, 21 percent are white and 7 percent are black.
Camarota, research director at the CIS, a Washington think tank that favors immigration restrictions along with improved services for legal immigrants, says immigrants now make up one in every five school-age children in America. Immigration accounts for all of the increases in public school enrollment nationwide over the past 20 years, the CIS reports.
In places such as Los Angeles County and New York City, the children of immigrant fathers make up nearly 60 percent of the school-age population.
On top of that, a quarter of these immigrant children live in poverty and a third lack health insurance, something Camarota says “creates enormous challenges for the nation’s schools, healthcare system and physical infrastructure.”
In fact, the study found that 17 percent of immigrants and their children live below the poverty line – with income of less than $20,000 per year for a family of four - some 50 percent higher than the poverty rate for native U.S. residents.
Many immigrants do ultimately find a better life here. But the study reveals that even those who have been in the U.S. for more than two decades are more likely than native residents to live in poverty, lack health insurance and use the welfare system.
Camarota points out that the numbers indicate the reason for the high rates of poverty and welfare among immigrants is a lack of education, “not their legal status or unwillingness to work.”
More than 31 percent of adult immigrants have not completed high school, compared to just 8 percent of U.S. natives. Since 2000, immigrants have boosted the overall number of workers who lack a high school diploma to 14 percent.
Camarota’s findings on the quality of life for uneducated immigrants shows that attempts at so-called amnesty for the current population of 12 million illegal aliens would prove costly and provide little benefit.
“Immigrants who have legal status, but little education, generally have low incomes and make heavy use of welfare programs,” the CIS report states. “If we decide to legalize illegal immigrants, we should at least understand that it will not result in dramatically lower welfare use or poverty.
��Those who advocate such a policy need to acknowledge this problem and not argue that legalization will save taxpayers money or result in a vast improvement in the income of illegal aliens,” the report continues. “Legalized illegals will still be overwhelmingly uneducated and this fact has enormous implications for their income, welfare use, health insurance coverage, and the effect on American taxpayers.”
Of the estimated 12 million illegal aliens in the U.S., nearly 7 million have jobs. Illegal immigrants earn an average of $46,000 per household annually compared with $67,000 for native families, the CIS study shows.
“A central question for immigration policy is whether we should allow in so many people with little education — increasing job competition for the poorest American workers and the population needing government assistance,” says Camarota. “Setting aside the lower socio economic status of immigrants, no nation has ever attempted to incorporate nearly 38 million newcomers into its society.”
America has, of course, traditionally been a nation of immigrants. But the CIS report points out that the immigrant population now accounts for a large share of the increase in the overall U.S. population. During the first decade of the last century, the 3.2 million additional immigrants accounted for just 20 percent of the total increase in the U.S. population. The 6.8 million immigrant increase in the last seven years equals 34 percent of U.S. population’s rise in that same period.
“Whatever one thinks of contemporary immigration, it is critically important to understand that its effect on America represents a choice,” Camarota says. “Selection criteria can be altered, as can the total number of people allowed into the country legally. With illegal aliens accounting for nearly one in three immigrants, their effect on the nation by themselves is now very large.”
True to the CIS charter, Krikorian stresses that there “ is no excuse whatever for intolerant attitudes toward legal immigrants -- we admitted them according to the rules established by our elected representatives, and we must, and will, continue to embrace them as Americans in training.
“Even illegal immigrants must be treated humanely as they are detained and returned to their homes,” Krikorian says. “But future legal immigration is a different question -- mass immigration is simply not compatible with the goals of a modern society and should be minimized to the extent possible.”
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