It has long been the contention of those who want to stop illegal immigration and secure the nation’s southern border against unlawful entry that illegals sponge off the system diminishing prosperity for citizens. This viewpoint is amplified in Florida where, according to anAmerican Community Survey: “Nearly 3.7 million Florida residents in 2013—almost one in five people in the state—were born abroad. Immigration was a major factor in the state’s rapid population growth in the 1980s, placing Florida among the top 10 states with the fastest-growing immigrant populations. Even today, Florida continues to attract immigrants: from 2000 to 2013, Florida’s immigrant population grew by just under 39 percent. By contrast, in California and New York, the growth rate was just 15 and 12 percent, respectively.” Controlling welfare costs is important to taxpayers in the Sunshine State and there is now conclusive evidence that they have
been right to be concerned. Households of illegal immigrants have been shown to average approximately $1,000 more annually in federal welfare benefits than households of non-immigrant recipients. According to the immigration control advocacy group, Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), which analyzed federal cost data from 2012, welfare payouts to illegal immigrant households averaged $5,692 yearly, contrasted with an average $4,431 welfare payout to non-immigrant households that received benefits. The CIS concluded that
while illegal immigrants are barred from directly receiving welfare, they still wind up obtaining it through their U.S.-born children. When all immigrant-headed households both legal and illegalwere considered, it was found they receivedan average of $6,241 in welfare. That was 41 percent more than the $4,431 received by a nonimmigrant household on welfare, according to the findings. The total cost of welfare benefits to households headed by immigrants was over $103 billion and over 51 percent, receives some type of welfare compared with only 30 percent of households
headed by U.S. citizens, the analysis showed. Further supporting the need to secure the southern U.S. border was the fact that immigrants who received the most in welfare benefits come from Mexico and Central America. In 2012, those households collected an average of $8,251 yearly which was a whopping 86 percent higher than the benefits used by non-immigrant households, the study showed. When broken down into categories, it was also learned that the average immigrant household collects 33 percent more cash benefits from welfare, 57 percent more food assistance, and 44 percent more in Medicaid dollars than the average non-immigrant household collecting those benefits. Housing costs were found to be about equal for both groups “While it is important for Americans to understand the rate of welfare use among immigrants, expressing that use in dollar terms offers a more tangible metric that is tied to current debates over fiscal policy. With the nation facing a long-term budgetary deficit, this study helps illuminate immigration's impact on the problem,” said Jason Richwine who authored the report.