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Cato Report Explodes Myth of Immigrants Draining System

Written By The Shapiro Law Group on April 02, 2013

The Cate Institute recently released an economic development bulletin authored by Leighton Ku and Brian Bruen that dispels the popular notion that immigrants are draining the U.S. economic system by their disproportionate use of public benefits.

The report, entitled “Poor Immigrants Use Public Benefits at a Lower Rate than Poor Native-Born Citizens,” examines both immigrant and native-born utilization of benefit programs, such as Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance, Supplemental Social Security Income, and other cash assistance programs.

After offering a program by program examination of benefit utilization, the report concluded that low-income non-citizen adults and children have much lower rates of public benefit use than native-born adults or citizen children whose parents are citizens.

The report also concluded that when low-income non-citizens do receive public benefits, the average value of benefits per recipient is almost always lower than for native-born citizens.

For example, in the Medicaid program, for every 100 native-born adults, the annual cost of benefits is $98,400, while the cost for the same number of non-citizen adults is roughly $57,200.

The benefits cost of non-citizen children is also 66 percent lower than the cost for citizen children of parents who are citizens.

While the perception of immigrants as non-contributors who drain the system continues to thrive, it will be hard to make progress in Washington on immigration reforms that would legally integrate non-citizens into our society by giving them a path to citizenship. But studies by the Cato Institute and other non-profit institutions are helping to dispel old myths.

As always, the Law Office of Ronald Shapiro, Esq. stands ready to serve those in need of immigration assistance. Please call us at (847) 564-0712 to speak with an experienced and qualified immigration attorney and/or check out our immigration law Website for more information about how we might assist you.