Poll: Do Immigrants Benefit Too Much from Our Welfare State?
Welfare programs are intended to help the average American that’s struggling to make ends meet. Whether or not those programs accomplish that goal, they’re designed to be used on full-fledged Americans. Now, immigrants are receiving aid from welfare programs, but to what scale?
It’s no secret that Obama passed loads of legislation to protect immigrants, even the illegal ones. He wanted as many of them to stay here and “contribute to the economy” as possible. Immigrants seem to have some beneficial impact on the overall economy, though they cripple opportunities for Americans in certain job markets. Are immigrants pulling enough weight to offset what they’re gaining from our welfare programs?
Our government spent $2.3 trillion on the welfare state in 2016, which adds up to 60 percent of the total federal outlays, or payments, for the year. Social Security and Medicare programs received $1.5 trillion of the entire allotment, and the other $800 billion went to poor and disenfranchised Americans who needed a helping hand.
Immigrants, however, eat up an estimated $116 billion (or an eighth) of the remainder – money intended for the poor. Americans could pay an additional $26 billion if immigrants under the DREAM Act were suddenly granted citizenship.
The story is much more complicated if you’re attempting to track precisely where immigrants get their take of the welfare state. Welfare program requirements vary from state to state, and each institution has its own eligibility criteria. In short, the $116 billion used on immigrants per year has the potential to grow in scope, but it’s curtailed by social security restrictions. Many of them don’t receive retirement or Medicare benefits, which is a primary reason why immigrants consume 39 percent fewer resources than the welfare-receiving American.
Immigrants do consume less than citizens, but only due to legislation that’s preventing them from obtaining the full amount. They’d take a bigger slice of the pie if specific laws were overturned or changed. Do you think immigrants already have a big enough slice of the welfare state’s pie? Share your opinion with us before we post the results!