(NATIONAL REVIEW) Two new reports from the Center for Immigration Studies show very high rates of welfare use by immigrants. The first, released last week, looked at all immigrant households, legal and illegal, and found that 51 percent accessed one or more welfare programs. This week we released a second report, looking at the same data but separating out legal and illegal immigrants.
While we found that illegal-immigrant households make significant use of welfare, here I want to focus on the far bigger problem of legal immigrants’ welfare use. Three-quarters of all immigrant households using welfare are headed by legal immigrants. Legal immigration is a discretionary policy that is supposed to benefit the country; we can allow in or keep out anyone we want. Yet our current legal-immigration system has produced a flow of immigrants in which a large share cannot support themselves or their children.