The households of illegal immigrants receive an average of about $1,000 more annually in federal welfare benefits than do the households of non-immigrant recipients, a new analysis finds.
According to the immigration control advocacy group, Center for Immigration Studies
, which breaks down federal cost data from 2012, the welfare payout to likely illegal immigrant households averages $5,692 yearly, compared with the average $4,431 welfare payout to non-immigrant households collecting the benefit.
The CIS analysis study points out illegal immigrants are barred from directly receiving welfare, but may obtain it through their U.S.-born children.
All immigrant-headed households — legal and illegal — receive an average of $6,241 in welfare, 41 percent more than the $4,431 received by a non-immigrant household on welfare, according to the analysis.
The total cost is over $103 billion in welfare benefits to households headed by immigrants. A majority, 51 percent, receive some type of welfare compared with 30 percent of non-immigrant U.S. households, the analysis shows.
Immigrants receiving the most in the study of 2012 figures come from Mexico and Central America, which collect an average of $8,251 yearly, 86 percent higher than the benefits used by non-immigrant households, the analysis finds.
The breakdown also shows the average immigrant household collects 33 percent more cash welfare, 57 percent more food assistance, and 44 percent more in Medicaid dollars than the average non-immigrant household collecting those benefits.
Housing costs are about the same for both groups.
"While it is important for Americans to understand the rate of welfare use among immigrants, expressing that use in dollar terms offers a more tangible metric that is tied to current debates over fiscal policy. With the nation facing a long-term budgetary deficit, this study helps illuminate immigration's impact on the problem," report author Jason Richwine writes.
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