Critics blast group that claims immigrants use 41% more welfare

The Center for Immigration Studies a “pro-Immigrant, low-Immigration” think tank, claims that immigrants are using significantly more welfare than native born Americans.

By Bronte Price, PoliticKING

A recent report from the Centers for Immigration Studies, which describes itself as “pro-Immigrant, low-Immigration” think tank, suggests that immigrants receive more from the American welfare system than native born Americans. The study reports that the average immigrant household draws more than $6,000 from the welfare system per year. This costs U.S. taxpayers 41% more than people who were born in the country.

According to the analysis by the Center for Immigration Studies, immigrants who are less educated and have higher numbers of children tend to use the most amount of benefits.

Immigrant families consume an average of $6,234 a year which comes in the form of cash payments, food, Medicaid and housing.

Last year, CIS reported that 51 percent of households that were led by immigrants used at least one welfare program, and that legal immigrants account for 75 percent of all immigrant welfare use. Although many immigrants hold jobs, they still qualify for welfare because they tend to make less money and have more children, according to the report.

Mark Krikorian, the executive director of CIS spoke about the findings while announcing the study. “If we continue to permit large numbers of less-educated people to move here from abroad, we have to accept that there will be huge and ongoing costs to taxpayers,” Krikorian said.

It is worth noting that Mark Krikorian is a longtime columnist at the conservative National Review writing articles such as, “Is Hillary Responsible for Releasing Criminal Aliens.”  Krikorian is an advocate of “enforcement by attrition,” a concept which is also known as “self-deportation.”

The CIS organization, which claims to be an “independent” research group, has received criticism for its methodology. The CATO Institute, a libertarian think tank based in Washington DC wrote, “The Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) released a new report this morning on immigrant welfare use.” The article continues, “CIS found that immigrants use far more welfare than natives do. CIS’ methodology, parts of which are suspect, is what produced this result – as we’ve pointed out to CIS multipletimes. They also omitted a lot of information that would make for a better comparison between immigrants and natives. Simply put, the CIS study does not compare apples to apples but rather apples to elephants.”

The Daily Beast brought the organization’s claim of “nonpartisanship” into question, writing, “The Center for Immigration Studies refers to itself as a nonprofit, nonpartisan, independent research organization, boasting the puzzling tagline “Low Immigration, Pro Immigrant.” One of CIS’s founders, John Tanton, a retired ophthamologist from Michigan and known anti-immgration activist, was also behind Numbers USA, an immigration reduction organization that, according to The New York Times, helped kill President George W. Bush’s attempt at comprehensive immigration reform in 2007. Another one of Tanton’s groups, the Federation for American Immigration Reform, or FAIR, helped draft Arizona’s controversial SB-1070, permitting police to detain illegal immigrants. Numbers USA, FAIR, and CIS were all part of the effort that successfully defeated the DREAM Act in the Senate in 2010.”

The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of Ora Media, LLC, its affiliates, or its employees.

Continue the Discussion