The Corner

Importing Poverty

My colleague Steve Camarota has published a look at welfare use by immigrant families with children, and it’s pretty dire. Fifty-seven percent of households headed by an immigrant (legal and illegal) with children (under 18) used at least one welfare program, compared to 39 percent for native households with children (which is alarmingly high in itself). The highest rates are for families headed by an immigrant from the Dominican Republic (82 percent using welfare) and Mexico and Guatemala (75 percent). The states with the highest rates are Arizona, Texas, California, and New York (61–62 percent) — which, unfortunately, are also the top states of immigrant settlement. For immigrant households with four or more children, 81 percent are using welfare, as are 80 percent of households with children that are headed by an immigrant without a high school degree.

Iain Murray and Mickey Kaus were respondents at the panel discussion releasing the report, commenting from libertarian and neo-liberal perspectives, respectively; the video will be up next week.

In related news, this disturbing information in the latest Rural Migration News:

The Fresno county city of San Joaquin has a higher share of children under 18 than any other California city, 41 percent compared to the state average of 25 percent.  Orange Cove has the second-highest share of children.  Both cities are over 95 percent Hispanic, and both have per capita incomes lower than the per capita income of Mexico, which was $10,000 in 2009, or $14,000 at purchasing power parity.  Per capita income in San Joaquin was $8,000, and $7,500 in Orange Cove.

So we now have communities with lower per capita incomes than Mexico. But don’t worry — I’m sure it’ll all work out fine.

Mark Krikorian, a nationally recognized expert on immigration issues, has served as Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) since 1995.

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