Immigrants Use More Welfare

The Quote Below: More Misinformation from the Media

Immigrants are less likely to receive public assistance than U.S. born Americans. The report found that 35% of U.S.-born Americans in the Roanoke Valley receive Medicare or Medicaid. By contrast, only 23.6% of immigrants here do. If you’re concerned about people mooching off taxpayers, then clearly what we need are more immigrants and fewer U.S.-born Americans. OK, we’ve written that last line facetiously, but ideally the point is clear: Many of the popular perceptions about immigrants are simply wrong, and these numbers show how and why.

Immigrants in the Roanoke Valley paid $52 million in 2017 in federal taxes and $23.1 million in state and local taxes. Here’s one way to visualize that: Salem last year got $17.5 million in state funding for its school system and Covington got nearly $6 million. So if you want to look at it this way, immigrants in the Roanoke Valley paid enough taxes to cover all the state funding for schools in those two cities. Here’s another way to look at those figures: If immigrants were not paying those taxes, then U.S.-born residents would probably be paying more taxes to support those school systems. That would be, as Trump says, “great pressure on taxpayers.” If you like keeping your taxes low, then maybe you should want more immigrants who can pay into the tax coffers.” – Seven Facts About Immigration in Roanoke, The Roanoke Times Editorial, 6/27/19. [Link]

Fact Check on above Quote: The claim that immigrants are less likely to receive welfare than native-born Americans simply isn’t true. A study by the Center for Immigration Studies, using census data, found that 50 percent of immigrant-headed households use at least one welfare program, compared with only 30 percent of native households. Research by the Heritage Foundation concluded that legal immigrants on average receive $4,344 more in government benefits than they pay in taxes. Illegal aliens get $14,387 more than they pay.

This editorial seems to classify Medicare as “public assistance,” a characterization few make because—unlike welfare—Medicare participants have to pay taxes into the program during their working years in order to receive its benefits.

It may be that immigrants in the Roanoke Valley paid $52 million in federal taxes and $23.1 million in state taxes, but these figures provide no insight into immigrants’ contributions without the figures for the services and benefits they use. This tactic of citing the assets of immigration without noting the liabilities is one tricks immigration advocates sometimes use to make their case.

Those advocates commonly depict immigrants as super beings, superior to Americans in just about every way. Allegedly they work harder, pay more taxes, have better family values etc., etc. It’s almost as if these immigration boosters actually prefer foreigners to many of their fellow citizens. Perhaps the Times editorialists really weren’t joking at all when they said that we need more immigrants and fewer native-born Americans.


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