The minority side of the Senate Budget Committee has attempted to obtain additional information from the USDA, The Department of Homeland Security and the State Department about non-citizen participation in America’s welfare system, and the agencies’ application — or lack thereof — of immigration law to bar those likely to be become reliant on government from entry.
“Included in the [Oct. 9] oversight letter was a request for information about USDA’s contact with the Departments of State and Homeland Security regarding immigration law. Both DHS and DOS have effectively nullified the federal law that prohibits admission into the U.S. for those likely to become welfare reliant, further enabling USDA to surge non-citizen registration,” Sessions said. “Such activities cannot be justified to the American people, which probably explains why the Administration has been unwilling to provide answers.”
On Thursday, Heritage Foundation senior research fellow Robert Rector pointed out in Heritage’s Morning Bell that roughly a third of the U.S. population participates in at least one means-tested program monthly.
“Low-skill immigrant households are very heavy users of means-tested welfare. They receive on average about $10,000 per year in means-tested aide every year of their lives and looking at their total government fiscal situation they will receive about $3 of overall government benefits for every dollar of taxes that they pay,” Rector said in an interview with The Daily Caller, adding that the influx of low-skill immigrants has “clearly” added to the welfare increase. Rector said that, in 2007, immigrant households received 18 percent of all means-tested welfare benefits.
According to Rector, there is a perfect storm in the U.S., consisting of low-skilled immigration and a large welfare state.
“What we are doing now is we are bringing people in who are dramatically lower skilled than the average American and we also have this massive welfare state that didn’t exists before — this trillion dollar welfare state that’s absorbing 6 percent of GDP,” Rector said. “And when you bring in all of these low skilled people, they naturally become very heavy utilizers of welfare, even more if you are bringing them in legally.”
Republicans on the Senate Budget Committee revealed Thursday that spending on federal welfare programs reached about $1.03 trillion in 2011. To put that number in perspective, if those programs were to be converted into cash assistance for all American households in poverty in 2011, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, those households would each have received an average of $61,194.
USDA did not respond to TheDC’s request for comment.