How Many Illegal Immigrants are Collecting Welfare?

capitol building

The 2016 presidential election has undoubtedly brought the immigration debate into center stage. But while the Democrats are grappling over whether or not the term “anchor babies” is politically correct, they are completely ignoring the real economic costs associated with illegal immigration, “birth tourism,” and excessive entitlement spending.

The National Review writes:

According to Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) legal policy analyst Jon Feere, who testified before the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security in April, between 350,000 and 400,000 children are born annually to an illegal-alien mother residing in the United States — as many as one in ten births nationwide.

… Inflation-adjusted figures from the U.S. Department of Agriculture projected that a child born in 2013 would cost his parents $304,480 from birth to his eighteenth birthday. Given that illegal-alien households are normally low-income households (three out of five illegal aliens and their U.S.-born children live at or near the poverty line), one would expect that a significant portion of that cost will fall on the government.

And that’s exactly what‘s happening. According to CIS, 71 percent of illegal-alien headed households with children received some sort of welfare in 2009, compared with 39 percent of native-headed houses with children. Illegal immigrants generally access welfare programs through their U.S.-born children, to whom government assistance is guaranteed. Additionally, U.S.-born children of illegal aliens are entitled to American public schools, health care, and more, even though illegal-alien households rarely pay taxes.

With $18 trillion debt and over $100 trillion of unfunded liabilities to worry about, can the U.S. afford to stay on this path? Immigration reform isn’t just an issue of border control and national security, it’s an issue of financial stability as well.

Candidates need to communicate their strategies to enforce current immigration laws effectively, enact reforms to streamline customs processes, and to track visas to prevent abuses of the system.