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Subsidizing the American Dream: The Financial Realities of Immigration in the US

Subsidizing the American Dream: The Financial Realities of Immigration in the US

Feb 19, 2024

Subsidizing the American Dream: The Financial Realities of Immigration in the US

Recent reports from various media outlets have highlighted the extensive network of taxpayer-funded benefits available to both legal and illegal immigrants in the United States. The situation is causing a significant impact on public services, particularly in cities like Denver and New York.

In Denver, both the New York Post and Denver Post have reported that undocumented immigrants have strained the Denver Health hospital system. The situation has been described as unsustainable, with public schools also indicating an influx of children from immigrant families filling classrooms rapidly.

Source: CBS News

The City of New York and the state government have expanded local welfare programs to support immigrants. This includes pre-paid credit cards to ensure immigrants continue to receive cash and resources, funded by American taxpayers. Additionally, approximately 66,000 immigrants are housed in hotels and shelters, courtesy of New York and federal taxpayers.

Source: New York Post

USAToday has disclosed that colleges nationwide are receiving millions in taxpayer money to provide housing to immigrants at no charge. Similarly, Chicago's mayor has publicized the allocation of $17 million in taxpayer-funded giveaways to asylum seekers.

Source: USA Today
Source: CBS News

The Congressional Research Service estimated that in 2022, there were around 45-46 million foreign-born residents in the U.S., with nearly 24 million naturalized citizens and 12.9 million legal permanent residents (LPRs). There are also approximately 11 million undocumented immigrants, bringing the total number of non-citizen U.S. residents to about 23 million, or 51% of the foreign-born population.

Most immigrant foreign nationals are eligible for some type of taxpayer-funded public benefits. Undocumented immigrants, for instance, may legally access emergency Medicaid, soup kitchens, temporary housing, and programs for housing or financial assistance administered by the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

Legal foreign nationals can access most federal welfare programs after an initial five-year period, including Medicaid, CHIP, TANF, food stamps, and SSI. LPRs can collect unemployment compensation just like citizens, and applying for benefits like food stamps does not jeopardize their legal status.

Studies from the National Academies and the Center for Immigration Studies show that immigrant households use welfare programs at higher rates than native-born households. This is attributed to lower average incomes and larger families among immigrants. One CATO Institute report estimated the total cost of welfare for non-native U.S. residents in 2020 at $290.4 billion, with at least $150 billion consumed by foreign nationals.

It's clear from these reports that immigration to the United States is heavily subsidized, and the fiscal impact on the country is substantial. This information may lead to further discussions on the efficiency of taxpayer-funded programs and the management of immigration policies.

Ryan McMaken, executive editor at the Mises Institute, has highlighted the economic implications of these subsidies. His work sheds light on the broader economic theories that suggest the government's role in subsidizing immigration can lead to a higher number of migrants than there would be in the absence of such subsidies.

The current state of immigration and its financial implications on the United States remain a topic of discussion among policymakers, economists, and the general public. The reports underscore the complexity of the issue and the challenge of balancing humanitarian concerns with fiscal responsibility.

How the US Regime Subsidizes Immigration—both Legal and Illegal | Ryan McMaken
In recent months, stories from both the legacy media and the independent media have continued to pile up on how undocumented foreign nationals—also known as “migrants” and “illegal aliens”—are able to take advantage of a vast network of taxpayer funded benefits in daycare, medical care, housing, and


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