Immigrations costs to you!
Mexican Use of Means-Tested Programs Remains High Even After Welfare Reform. Figure 12 reports use of means-tested programs for households headed by natives, all immigrants, and Mexican immigrants. Despite welfare reform and a strong economy in the latter half of the 1990s, the figure shows that immigrants in general and Mexican households in particular use every major means-tested program at higher rates than natives. While use of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) by Mexican households is only slightly higher than that of natives, their use of TANF/general assistance, food stamps, Medicaid, and the subsidized school lunch program is dramatically higher than households headed by natives. All of these programs are very large in size. In 1999, more than $300 billion was spent on the means-tested programs listed in Figure 12. Even the school lunch program, the smallest of the programs listed in the figure, costs more than $5 billion annually.
Not only do immigrants use welfare programs at higher rates than natives, their use of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is also substantially higher than that of natives. With an annual cost of $32 billion, the EITC is the nation’s largest means-tested cash assistance program for workers with low incomes. Persons receiving the EITC pay no federal income tax and instead receive cash assistance from the government based on their earnings and family size.