In the wake of expected changes by the Trump Administration to the “public charge” rules for non-citizens, The Washington Times today brought attention to a new report by the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) that found “63 percent of households headed by a non-citizen reported that they used at least one welfare program, compared to 35 percent of native-headed households.”

There are 4.7 million non-citizen household which access a welfare program. Of these households, 93 percent, or 4.4 million, contain at least one employed person. This means that much of the use of welfare by non-citizens, as is true of citizens, is due to workers earning wages that do not allow them to support their households without being supplement by taxpayer-funded assistance programs.

CIS analyzed data from the Census Bureau's Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), a survey specifically designed to measure welfare use. The data allows researchers to distinguish between households headed by citizens and those headed by non-citizens.

Among the CIS findings:

  • In 2014, 63% of households headed by a non-citizen reported using at least one welfare program, compared to 35% of native-headed households. If the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), a cash payment available to working individuals, is excluded, welfare use is 58% for non-citizen households and 30% for citizen households.
  • 45% of non-citizen households use food assistance programs (21% for natives), and 50% of non-citizen households use Medicaid (23% for natives).
  • While illegal aliens are barred by federal law from receiving welfare benefits, some states do allow it, and households headed by illegal aliens may legally receive certain benefits if that household contains a U.S. citizen child.

The full CIS report can be found here.

Updated: Mon, Dec 17th 2018 @ 10:55am EST