Households headed by immigrants from Central America and Mexico received an average of $8,251 in welfare benefits in 2012 – 86 percent higher than households headed by a U.S. native, according to a new report released Monday by the Center for Immigration Studies.
CIS based their report on the latest data available from the Survey of Income and Program Participation.
Illegal immigrant households in particular use an average of $5,692 in welfare benefits each year, primarily due to government assistance provided to U.S.-born children of illegal aliens, CIS added.
Households headed by immigrants from all countries, whether legal or illegal, received an average of $6,234 in government benefits, 41 percent higher than the $4,431 received by the average native-born household, the report added.
Knowing exactly how much this equates to in total U.S. welfare dollars is difficult, since calculating the number of illegal aliens and illegal immigrant households isn’t an exact science. But in a similar report issued last September, CIS estimated there were about 3.4 million households headed by illegal aliens in 2012, so some simple math can at least provide a snapshot into how much taxpayers are shelling out to assist undocumented people.
Based on CIS’s 2012 estimate, this means American taxpayers shucked out nearly $19.4 billion in welfare benefits for illegal alien households that year alone.
While this number may seem staggering enough, it’s unlikely that the number of illegal immigrant households has dropped or remained the same over the last four years. U.S. Customs and Border Protection reports having apprehended 11,116 members of illegal alien family units in FY2012; 14,855 family unit members in FY2013; 68,445 family unit members in FY2014; 39,838 family unit members in FY2015; and another 32,117 family unit members so far in FY2016, which ends on Sept. 30.
In total, CBP reports it apprehended 166,371 members of illegal alien family units in the last four and a half years, the vast majority of which were from countries other than Mexico – meaning the United States will not immediately deport them back to their home country.