Legal & illegal immigrants struggle, use welfare to make up the difference

Using the 2010 Census Bureau statistics, the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) released a detailed report that correlates high levels of illegal/legal immigrant poverty as a contributing factor for the increase in welfare programs in the U.S.

Take Arizona, the 2010/11 Census Bureau data revealed Grand Canyon State’s immigrant population is one of the poorest and least educated adding to the overburdened welfare rolls.

“There is considerable concern in this country about issues like poverty and the large uninsured population. But what has generally not been acknowledged is the impact of immigration on these problems,” explained Steven Camarota, CIS’s director of research. “Absent a change in policy, 11 to 15 million new immigrants are likely to settle in this country in the next decade and may further exacerbate present problems.”

The new report highlighted the fact that 43 percent of immigrants who lived in the U.S. for 20 years were receiving government assistance; nearly double the rates of natural-born citizens.

“Look, we know a lot of these folks are going to be poor, we get it. But don’t tell the public it’s all going great, which is the story line I think a lot of people want to sell,” Camarota said in a Washington Times story. “There is progress over time. Every measure shows improvement over time, but still, the situation does not look like we’d like it to look, particularly for the less educated. They lag well behind natives even when they’ve been here for two decades, and that is very disconcerting.”

The Arizona statistics outlined in the CIS report are particularly alarming.

· Arizona’s immigrant population (legal and illegal) grew 31 percent from 2000 to 2010 (857,000). Nationally the immigrant population grew 28 percent over the same period.

· Immigrant’s account for 13 percent of Arizona’s residents in 2010, and 17 percent of workers in the state.

· Of Arizona immigrants and their U.S.-born children (under 18), 37 percent live in poverty compared to 15 percent of natives and their children.

· Immigrants and their U.S.-born children (under 18) account for 21 percent of the state’s overall population and 39 percent of all persons in poverty.

· Of Arizona immigrants and their U.S.-born children (under 18), 34 percent lack health insurance, compared to 16 percent of natives and their children (under 18). Immigrants and their children account for 37 percent of those without insurance in the state.

· Of households headed by immigrants in Arizona, 36 percent used at least one major welfare program, primarily food assistance and Medicaid, compared to 21 percent of native-headed households.

· Although Arizona’s immigrants are among the poorest in the country, their rate of home ownership is among the highest in the country at 59 percent. The rate for natives in the state is 66 percent.

· The lower socio-economic status of Arizona’s immigrants is not because most are recent arrivals. Their average length of residence in the United States is 20 years.

· One of the primary reasons so many immigrants in the state are poor is a large share arrive in the U.S. as adults with relatively low levels of education.

· Of adult immigrants (25 to 65) in the state 35 percent have not completed high school, compared to 7 percent of natives.

· The share of immigrants in the state with at least a bachelor’s degree is 21 percent, compared to 33 percent for natives.

· In 2010, 26 percent of students in Arizona public schools were from immigrant households. Overall, one third of public school students in the state speak a language other than English at home.

Camarota also estimates that one half of the immigrants in Arizona are in the country illegally, accounting for a little over 10 percent of Arizona’s population.

However, those numbers are just estimates. A Tucson National Border Patrol Council weekly report shed some light on senior Border Patrol officials enforcement policies in the Grand Canyon State. “Agents are told to turn a blind eye to nearly everything outside mass murder, the lie that the ‘border is secure’ continues to be spread, and the American people fund all this shameful political gamesmanship with their tax dollars.”

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© Copyright 2012 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

About thekdreport

Investigative journalist

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