Many Illegal Immigrant Families Are on Welfare, Study Shows

Wednesday, 06 Apr 2011 03:06 PM

By Andra Varin

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More than half of the illegal immigrant families in many states are on welfare — as many as 62 percent in Arizona — and they’re getting the taxpayer-funded benefits through their American-born children, Judicial Watch reports.

What’s more, families headed by immigrants, both legal and illegal, use welfare programs at a consistently higher rate than native-born Americans, the conservative foundation contends.

Judicial Watch cited an analysis that the Washington-based Center for Immigration Studies did of U.S. Census Bureau data. The study, which looked at eight pubicly funded assistance programs, said the states where immigrant households with children have the highest welfare-use rates following Arizona’s 62 percent are Texas, California, and New York, at 61 percent each, and Pennsylvania, at 59 percent.

Food assistance and Medicaid are the welfare programs that illegal immigrant-headed families use most frequently, mostly on behalf of their U.S.-born children, according to the report.

These children, whom critics dubbed “anchor babies,” are guaranteed automatic citizenship under the 14th Amendment.

The report found that most of the immigrants receiving benefits from welfare program come from the Dominican Republic, followed by Mexico and Guatemala, and then Ecuador.

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