More than 6 of 10 non-U.S. citizen households get welfare

A new study by the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) found that, in spite of “barriers designed to prevent welfare use” by non-citizens, as many as 63% of non-U.S. citizen households in America have received some form of government welfare “often receiving benefits on behalf of U.S.-born children.”

In contrast, only 35% of U.S. citizen households accessed welfare.

Non-citizens include:

  • Illegal aliens, who make up about half of America’s non-citizen population.
  • Permanent residents (green card holders) who have not naturalized.
  • Long-term temporary visitors, e.g. guestworkers and foreign students.

Methodology: For the study, CIS employed data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2014 (and newest-available) Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) — a longitudinal (i.e., followed over several years) dataset of nationally representative samples of U.S. households. Welfare use is based on self-reporting, which means there is some misreporting. Given the human propensity to lie in one’s self-interest, that suggests the actual percentage of non-citizen households on welfare is likely higher than 63%.

Here are the findings:

  1. In 2014, 63% of households headed by a non-citizen reported that they used at least one welfare program, compared to 35% of native-headed households.
  2. The percentages of non-citizen vs. citizen households on welfare for the top four states are:
    • California: 72% vs. 35%.
    • Texas: 69% vs. 35%.
    • New York: 53% vs. 38%.
    • Florida: 56% vs. 35%.
  3. No single program explains non-citizens’ higher overall welfare use:
    • Food programs: 45% of non-citizen households vs. 21% of citizen households.
    • Medicard: 50% of non-citizen households vs. 23% of citizen households.
    • Cash welfare, including Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC): 31% of non-citizen households vs. 19% of citizen households. EITC is a means-tested welfare program, but unlike other programs one has to work to receive it. EITC recipients pay no federal income tax.
  4. Welfare-use is higher for every type of non-citizen households (illegals, permanent residents, long-term visitors), except in the case of housing programs.
  5. The longer the non-citizens are in the U.S., the more they are on welfare: Whereas 50% of non-citizen households in the United States for fewer than 10 years use one or more welfare programs, 70% of those who have been in the U.S. for more than 10 years on are welfare.
  6. Low education is the reason for non-citizens being on welfare:
    • Although 93% of non-citizen households receiving welfare have at least one worker, they often earn low wages (because of their low education) and, therefore, qualify for welfare at higher rates than citizens.
    • 58% of all non-citizen households are headed by individuals with no more than a high school education, compared to 36% of citizen households.

Why non-citizens get welfare:

  1. Most legal immigrants have been in the country long enough to qualify.
  2. The barrier preventing non-citizens from receiving welfare does not apply to all programs, nor does it always apply to non-citizen children.
  3. Some states provide welfare to new immigrants on their own.
  4. Most importantly, non-citizens (including illegal immigrants) can receive benefits on behalf of their U.S.-born children who are awarded U.S. citizenship and full welfare eligibility at birth.

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10 Comment authors
CalgirlDaveHawkmoonLophattAlma Recent comment authors
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They only come here to work and get the free benefits. Okay, maybe just get the free benefits.


I knew of a non-US citizen whose child was born here. He received Section 8 housing. He refused to work more hours so he can still qualify for free stuff. He also complained when he couldn’t get upgraded to a bigger/nicer Section 8 apartments.


DCG, You knew one, I know sooooo many, they have jobs on the side, they get paid cash, get Soc.Secy and NEVER WORK, hell, I’d take up so much space enumerating their ”freebies” and Me? I had to worked and still pay taxes to keep those bumbs living off of us. The government doesn’t care where my hard earned money goes.


[…] A new study by the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) found that, in spite of “barriers designed to prevent welfare use” by non-citizens, as many as 63% of non-U.S. citizen households in America have received some form of government welfare … Continue reading → […]

Collie D
Collie D

Now we can add this lady and her kids to the list. Remember her from the caravan? Now we all get to pay for her…This shit pisses me off to no end..


When the Democrats are in power the leftist agenda with stuff like this is enacted as a matter of course. When the Republicans are in power and controlling the Senate, House, and Presidency we get the Dem budget filled with this stuff enacted as a matter of course. When it’s all over and our border a joke, Christianity denounced, 23% real unemployment among native-born Americans (which shadowstats demonstrates is the case today), LGBTism crammed down our throats as the highest moral good, infanticide, euthanasia, national bankruptcy, ad nauseam—let’s be sure we realize it’s already come to pass and could only… Read more »

Steven Broiles

And here I am, someone who was born in New York State, who had a major problem not of my own making, who has applied for welfare, and I was told that—1) I will get help, but, 2) I will have to wait at least 45 days to get emergency cash and food stamps. I can understand that women with children will receive priority and some things cannot be done immediately, but 45 DAYS?!?! On the plus side, I have been able to get up to date with my rent, but this is only because I am driving again. But… Read more »


This is the mentality we’re dealing with:

This “Lord Farquood” elitism. Let his words sink in. He is a male “Leona Helmsly”.


“The key to sparking this rebellion would be to expose the inadequacy of the welfare state. Cloward-Piven’s early promoters cited radical organizer Saul Alinsky as their inspiration. “Make the enemy live up to their (sic) own book of rules,” Alinsky wrote in his 1971 book Rules for Radicals. When pressed to honor every word of every law and statute, every Judaeo-Christian moral tenet, and every implicit promise of the liberal social contract, human agencies inevitably fall short. The system’s failure to “live up” to its rule book can then be used to discredit it altogether, and to replace the capitalist… Read more »


The safety net is intended for American citizens – not foreign invaders.


The sooner they secede the better. Look at this. Look who’s sponsoring it. Guess who’s gonna pay? They’ve been jumping over the wall to drop their babies here so they can claim citizenship (which isn’t legal). They’ve been throwing their kids over. The “news” writes sympathetic articles about them and says that Trump’s a Green Meany because he won’t just let them through. They talk as if they have a right to just be here anytime they like. They don’t even worry about spreading disease. The Demonrats votes count on this. They need to clamp this down…..HARD! Note that… Read more »


The 72% of non-citizen welfare-recipient number for California is almost the exact percentage of Hispanic students to comprise the school population where I work (we are about 72 to 75%) , AND, b/c I’ve written federal grants for programs at the school, I have to know and include the percentage of the school population that receives free breakfast and lunch through the Feds……exact same percentage. So, this seems to informally cooberate the statement in this post that families with US-born kids receive welfare and other entitlements: which in CA is 72% of the Hispanic non-citizen households. We can’t help but… Read more »


I was SO GLAD TO LEAVE California. It took about six years to get rid of their State Franchise Board (Calif. State Taxes) trying to extract money from me even though I no longer lived there. Every time they made an attempt they filed liens. It took attorney fees and many years to get them cleared.

I guess you’re just paying for your “white privilege”. It’s the price of being born an Angus instead of a Holstein. One plays while the other pays.