Which is worse, Legal or Illegal Immigration? 
It's always been a point of honor among 'right-thinking' conservatives to emphasize that they're in favor of legal immigration--immigration makes us stronger!--and opposed only to illegal immigration.  A matter of law and order!

But there are two gigantic problems with this stance.  First and most obviously, our fearless leaders regularly convert illegal immigrants into legal residents--and even citizens--every time they turn around.  So one is just a back door for the other.

Secondly, though, it's becoming more and more clear that they are both colossal drains on the Treasury.  Both legal and illegal immigrants consume far more in services than they ever produce in revenue. A new study of census data clarifies this as never before:



  Legal immigrant households account for three-quarters of all immigrant households accessing one or more welfare programs.

Less-educated legal immigrants make extensive use of every type of welfare program, including cash, food, Medicaid, and housing.

The upshot: Both legal and illegal immigrants use welfare programs far in excess of the native population (many of whom are themselves immigrants or the children of immigrants, else the disparity would be even more pronounced).

Table A2 reports welfare use for households that work based on the education and legal status of the household head. Table A2 shows that less-educated working households make extensive use of the welfare system. Former President George W. Bush once observed that he wanted to increase legal immigration so as to "match willing foreign workers with willing American employers."17 But Table A2 makes clear this is a simplistic and one-dimensional way of thinking about immigration. A person may work, but also create very significant costs for the welfare system. However, those costs are diffuse, borne by all taxpayers, while employers get the workers they want and the immigrants improve their lives by coming to the United States. Focusing only on the desire of employers to bring in additional workers or the desire of immigrants to come to America misses the potentially enormous impact immigrant workers can have on American taxpayers.

When welfare is taken into consideration, allowing immigrant workers into the country to perform low-wage jobs is clearly problematic. It would, at least from the point of view of avoiding welfare expenditures, make more sense to hire from the enormous pool of less-educated natives not working rather than adding less-educated individuals through our immigration system.18 To be clear, Table A2 indicates that, in some cases, less-educated native workers will use welfare at rates nearly as high as less-educated immigrants, but the natives are already in the country. Bringing in immigrants in the future, on the other hand, creates new costs for the welfare system.

Read the full study at:

Welfare Use by Legal and Illegal Immigrant Households
An Analysis of Medicaid, cash, food, and housing programs


What say you? 

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