Wednesday, August 8, 2012
United States: 43% of immigrants are on welfare after 20 years
Immigrants lag behind native-born Americans on most measures of economic well-being — even those who have been in the United States the longest, according to a report from the Center for Immigration Studies, which argues that full assimilation is a more complex task than overcoming language or cultural differences. The study, which covers all immigrants, legal and illegal, and their U.S.-born children younger than 18, found that immigrants tend to make economic progress by most measures the longer they live in the United States but lag well behind native-born Americans on factors such as poverty, health insurance coverage and home ownership. The study, based on 2010 and 2011 census data, found that 43% of immigrants who have been in the United States at least 20 years were using welfare benefits, a rate that is nearly twice as high as native-born Americans. During his time in the U.S. Senate, Barack Obama backed bills that would have dramatically boosted legal immigration, potentially by hundreds of thousands a year. As president, he has called for the same thing. The report took a broad look at the immigrant population and found that immigrants are contributing to major changes in American society, including that one-fourth of public school students now speak languages other than English at home. Immigrants made up more than half of all farm workers, 41% of taxi drivers and 48% of maids and house cleaners. Mexicans were most likely to use means-tested benefit programs, with 57%, while 6% of those from the United Kingdom did. The rate for native-born Americans is 23%.