Don’t Believe What You’ve Heard About Immigrants and Welfare

How immigrants expand the economy and benefit all Americans.

A perennial objection to relaxing the border with Mexico is that the U.S. has to stop poor, low- skilled foreigners from overburdening its social-welfare system. In fact, the opposite is the case: Immigrants help protect this safety net for everyone.

Yet, the misperceptions are deep-seated. According to a Reason-Rupe poll released in March, almost 45 percent of Americans -- Republicans, Democrats, and independents -- believe that immigrants come to the U.S. primarily for government benefits.

The Heritage Foundation and Senator Jeff Sessions, an Alabama Republican who had led the fight against immigration reform in Congress, are trying hard to keep this mistaken belief alive, as the political tide goes against them. Sessions has repeatedly accused the Barack Obama administration of “defying federal laws” and letting foreigners in without first showing they could support themselves, and the Heritage Foundation is preparing to release an updated version of a controversial study it did several years ago offering its own evidence of this claim.

Sessions pointed to State Department figures showing that “only 0.0033 percent of net applications for admission to the United States” were denied in 2011 on grounds that the applicant might become a public charge.
The statistic, however, demonstrated the opposite of what he claimed it did. The visa-rejection rate is so low because the system is set up to prevent people who are likely to become wards of the state from applying in the first place.

Green Cards

For the most part, foreigners who want a green card need a company or blood relative to sponsor them and accept responsibility for them. Of course, green-card holders could lose their jobs or relatives and end up on welfare.
The dearth of proof for the view that people flock to the U.S. for welfare is long-standing. In fact, according to the Agriculture Department, which administers food stamps, Latinos in recent years have increasingly flocked to states such as Tennessee, Arkansas, Alabama, Texas and the Carolinas, which have stingy benefits and plentiful jobs, instead of to traditional gateways, such as New York and California, which have relatively generous programs.

The 10 states that experienced the largest percentage increase in their foreign-born population from 2000 to 2009 spent far less on public assistance per capita compared with the 10 states with the slowest-growing foreign-born populations.

Of course, even if immigrants don’t come to the U.S. to live off the welfare state doesn’t mean they don’t end up doing so. The best evidence for this claim came in the 2007 Heritage Foundation study, which found that even though immigrants have been barred since 1996 from receiving federal means-tested benefits, their households still obtain about $20,000 more in benefits and services (such as schools and emergency medical care) than they pay in taxes. The study estimated that these costs imposed in 2004 a net burden of about $90 billion annually and a whopping $1 trillion over a decade.

This would be cause for concern -- if those numbers were the whole story. The study was criticized for counting government spending on the (American-born) children of immigrants but then ignoring the taxes these offspring paid when they grew up. By that standard, most middle-income families in the U.S. with three or more children in public schools would be a net burden.

There were even bigger questions about the study. By its own admission, it considered only the tax contributions of low-skilled immigrants, not what they contribute to the economy as a whole. Heritage has said it will release new cost estimates, but these numbers should be met with skepticism.

Everyone Benefits

State-level studies that have taken both into account consistently find that the economic contributions of these immigrants dwarf their fiscal costs. A 2006 analysis by the Texas comptroller estimated that low-skilled unauthorized workers cost the state treasury $504 million more than they paid in taxes in 2005. Without them, however, the state’s economy would have shrunk by 2.1 percent, or $17.7 billion, as the competitive edge of Texas businesses diminished.

Likewise, a 2006 study by the Kenan Institute at the University of North Carolina found that although Hispanic immigrants imposed a net $61 million cost on the state budget, they contributed $9 billion to the gross state product.

The Heritage Foundation study also implied that a homegrown working class would be cheaper for the country because households headed by low-skilled immigrants consumed $10,000 more in government services than those headed by Americans. The trouble is that the study compared the welfare use of low- skilled immigrant households with average American households, rather than with low-skilled American households.

In comparing welfare use by immigrants with that of Americans in the same socioeconomic stratum, a different picture emerges, as a study by Leighton Ku and Brian Bruen of George Washington University for the Cato Institute found recently.

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  • Heroic Mulatto||

    In before ZOMG!!! IMMIGRANTS DID 4/15!!!!!!!

  • george68||

    Start working at home with Google! It's by-far the best job Ive had. Last Monday I got a new Alfa Romeo from bringing in $7778. I started this 9 months ago and practically straight away started making more than $83 per hour. I work through this link, mojo50.com

  • Virginian||

    Alright, I am willing to compromise. Some say we should let no immigrants in. Some say we should let all immigrants in. But let me be clear. I reject both of these extremes. If elected, I will allow any woman who wishes to come, provided she is under the age of 30 and at least "bonable at last call" levels of hotness.

    Thank you, good night, and God bless America.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    YES WE CAN!

  • Drake||

    You have my vote.

  • ||

    We ain't got enough fit women. And we's got too many mingers. No offence, Karen. So we let in all the fit refugees and turn away the rank ones.

    Then we solve both problems. We is knobbing two birds with one connie.

  • WTF||

    Didn't we already get this article last week?

  • Drake||

    You people weren't listening. The beatings will continue until we all agree that millions of low-skill Latinos is just what we need.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    If by "we", you mean agribusiness and manufacturers, then you're absolutely correct. Though, I don't know why we need to restrict it to Latinos. They need "low-skill" laborers of any ethnicity.

  • Calidissident||

    I don't know why everyone always focuses on just Latinos in immigration discussions. Asian immigrants have actually outnumbered Latinos for the last few years

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Asian immigrants have actually outnumbered Latinos for the last few years

    As of 2010, immigration from Asia and the Americas was just about even.

  • Calidissident||

    According to the Pew Research Center, new arrivals from Asia apparently have outnumbered those from Latin America since at least 2009

    http://articles.washingtonpost.....on-council

  • OldMexican||

    Almost. It was an article on the same theme but with different same arguments.

  • OldMexican||

    By that standard, most middle-income families in the U.S. with three or more children in public schools would be a net burden.


    But they ARE a burden! Which is why those people should be deported back to Europe!

    / White Indian

  • 16th amendment||

    The idea that I see on reason is that social security, medicare, Obamacare are very expensive, more expensive than originally projected, growing faster the inflation, and threatening our stability. If we bring 10 million low-salary workers into the country, the effect on our debt has to be drastic. This just looks to be a case of libertarians being pussies, trying to appease the left by saying that immigration of little Brown people is no big deal.

  • Calidissident||

    "If we bring 10 million low-salary workers into the country, the effect on our debt has to be drastic."

    Baseless assertion. And workers moving here would help the SS and Medicare situation, not make it worse (at least for decades until they retire, but you would have new immigrants replacing them, so it's unclear what the ultimate effect would be. But the burden of proof is on you to prove it would be "drastic")

    "This just looks to be a case of libertarians being pussies, trying to appease the left by saying that immigration of little Brown people is no big deal."

    Or you know, it could be that libertarians are consistently applying the principle of non-aggression. But no, it has to be because libertarians just secretly want to be loved by progressives.

  • 16th amendment||

    Sure, they would pay some FICA tax, but when they retire they will collect a lot more than they put in. The whole point of social security and medicare analysis is what will happen fifty years from now.

    With Obamacare, if you make less than 4 times the poverty level (about 80k for a family of 4), then you get credits to buy health insurance.

    If you want to consistently apply the principle of non-aggression, then don't raise my taxes in the first place. Obamacare has the medicare tax on investment income, additional medicare tax on W-2 and self-employment income, etc, etc. All this means coercion in taking people's money away from them in order to pay for Obamacare. Now we lost the fight on Obamacare, so applying the principle of non-aggression to allowing the rights of low-skilled workers to settle here, we have a huge problem: cost. Being more flexible with immigration is fine if we didn't have so many welfare programs.

    The response I got before was that two wrongs don't make a right. In other words, the wrong of taxing someone does not then allow the wrong of restricting free movement of people. Well, that's a fine idea for libertarians who want to appease democrats. But I see no problems with it because we allow immigrants to settle here at will, my medicare taxes are going to rise to 7% soon. That is, by doing the right thing on immigration, you're doing the wrong thing on taxes by allowing/requiring them to rise further in the future.

  • Calidissident||

    "Sure, they would pay some FICA tax, but when they retire they will collect a lot more than they put in. The whole point of social security and medicare analysis is what will happen fifty years from now."

    The net benefit or cost would depend on how those benefits compare to the taxes paid by newer immigrants that replaced the older ones in the workforce.

    "But I see no problems with it because we allow immigrants to settle here at will, my medicare taxes are going to rise to 7% soon."

    Really? And you're source for this is? Whether or not immigrants are ultimately a net benefit or cost to those programs, the net result either way pales in comparison to the costs of providing for the native population. Immigrants aren't going to be responsible for tripling or quadrupling the Medicare tax.

    "Well, that's a fine idea for libertarians who want to appease democrats."

    Yep. The only reason libertarians would think that one violation of liberty doesn't justify another is because they want to appease democrats. Should we use this justification for every public policy proposal, or does it only apply to immigration? Are laws against drugs, smoking, and obesity ok if they reduce health care costs? How about laws limiting the number of children certain people can have?

  • 16th amendment||

    The net benefit or cost would depend
    on how those benefits compare to the
    taxes paid by newer immigrants that
    replaced the older ones in the
    workforce

    Supporting Ponzi schemes is not very libertarian.

    Obamacare costs $1T to extend insurance to 40 million people. Throw in another 10 million people. So by the CBO's estimates it should be $250B. (Now triple all estimates to get the real number.) Yep, medicare taxes, or some taxes will have to rise big time to pay for all of this $250B over ten years, or the more realistic $750B over ten years.

    Those pesky Bloomberg style laws you mention sound consistent. If government is picking up the tab, they can put restrictions. I guess the restrictions can't be ridiculous, but the definition of ridiculous will change over time.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: 16th Amendment,

    If we bring 10 million low-salary workers into the country, the effect on our debt has to be drastic.


    The same could be said about lowering the Minimum Wage: The effect on the debt due to letting millions of unemployed teenagers or unskilled young men and women would be equally disastrous, so it would make sense to keep these people unemployed until the very last possible moment. Doesn't matter how much productive a society and an economy would be with more able-bodied workers producing.

    It's the exact same economic argument that you're making, 16th, which means it is baseless and fallacious (not to mention immoral.)

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "Baseless assertion. And workers moving here would help the SS and Medicare situation, not make it worse (at least for decades until they retire, but you would have new immigrants replacing them, so it's unclear what the ultimate effect would be"

    Really?

    Medicare enrollees receive far more in benefits than they pay in taxes. Making more immigrants eligible for doing the same will absolutely make the financial status Medicare worse.

    And what makes you think that all the immigrants that are - or would be coming here are decades away from retirement?

  • PapayaSF||

    I read something back in the '90s that information was circulating in Asian countries about how to move to the US and retire on Social Security.

  • Calidissident||

    "Medicare enrollees receive far more in benefits than they pay in taxes. Making more immigrants eligible for doing the same will absolutely make the financial status Medicare worse."

    True. But the vast majority of immigrants are not near retirement age. So they would be a net benefit for a few decades at least. The total net benefit or cost would depend on how many immigrants enter the work force to replace those that retire, and how the taxes the first group pays compares to the how much the second group receives in benefits.

    In any case, shitty laws don't justify more shitty laws. The existence of SS and Medicare should not be used to restrict other liberties

    Most people who move here are working-age or children. And can you even get Medicare or SS benefits legally if you moved here when you're retired? I would think that at a minimum, you would have to wait until you're a citizen.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "The total net benefit or cost would depend on how many immigrants enter the work force to replace those that retire, and how the taxes the first group pays compares to the how much the second group receives in benefits."

    ALL beneficiaries receive more than they pay in. There can be no circumstance under which more people added to it will not make it worse.

    "In any case, shitty laws don't justify more shitty laws. The existence of SS and Medicare should not be used to restrict other liberties"

    This thread is about the economics of immigration and welfare programs - not liberties.

    If it were about liberties, I would point out that there is no such thing as some global inherent "right" to be anyplace on the planet that one wants to be any more than someone else has a inherent "right" to be in my house regardless of whether I want them there or not.

  • Calidissident||

    "ALL beneficiaries receive more than they pay in. There can be no circumstance under which more people added to it will not make it worse."

    The first sentence can be true, but the second is not necessarily true as long as there is a steady stream of immigrants that pays more in taxes than the old immigrants get in benefits. It would likely require an increasing number of immigrants, true. I think the most likely scenario would be immigrants delaying the crisis, but possibly making it worse in the long-run. Either way, however, I don't think it's much of a difference either way. The programs are unsustainable regardless of immigration policy.

    "If it were about liberties, I would point out that there is no such thing as some global inherent "right" to be anyplace on the planet that one wants to be any more than someone else has a inherent "right" to be in my house regardless of whether I want them there or not."

    No one has a right to be in your home without your permission, true. They do have a right to be in their home, or an apartment rented from a landlord. They do have the right to work for an employer who agrees to hire them. Neither you, nor the government own the country.

  • 16th amendment||

    But the vast majority of immigrants are not near retirement age. So they would
    be a net benefit for a few decades at least...

    OMG, you're buying into the Ponzi scheme mentality. That's the number one thing that can bring this country down.

  • AgrarianBarbarian||

    No, the number one thing that can bring this country down is a massive invading force of third-world socialists coming here and latching on to the welfare tit until we are sucked dry. Oh, wait...

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Gilbert Martin,

    Medicare enrollees receive far more in benefits than they pay in taxes.


    Sure. But how many suckers can you milk right now to keep the Ponzi scheme going? While they get to age, immigrants help fund the Medicare scam and the SS racket.

    And what makes you think that all the immigrants that are - or would be coming here are decades away from retirement?


    It's called "demographics", Gil. Read about the concept, and you will then understand.

  • ||

    I feel like its Groundhog Day. Except instead of Sonny and Cher, it's Shikha.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "The first sentence can be true, but the second is not necessarily true as long as there is a steady stream of immigrants that pays more in taxes than the old immigrants get in benefits"

    You are merely talking about timing differences. There is no way that there can be an ever increasing stream of immigrants that will forever put off the day of reckoning for Medicare.

    "No one has a right to be in your home without your permission, true. They do have a right to be in their home, or an apartment rented from a landlord. They do have the right to work for an employer who agrees to hire them. Neither you, nor the government own the country."

    The legitimate citizens of the country own the right to decide (by voting) whether and under what circumstances anyone outside the nations borders will be allowed in and allowed to become citizens. It's called national sovereignty.

    As I said, there is no such thing as some inherent global "right" to be anyplace on the earth that one wants to be.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Gilbert Martin,

    You are merely talking about timing differences. There is no way that there can be an ever increasing stream of immigrants that will forever put off the day of reckoning for Medicare.


    So? The same can be said about having babies: There is no way people will have babies at the rate necessary to put off the day of reckoning for Medicare.

    Is that an argument to stop having babies? You tell me.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "So? The same can be said about having babies: There is no way people will have babies at the rate necessary to put off the day of reckoning for Medicare."

    One has nothing to do with the other.

    Whether people have babies or not is up to them. It's an individual choice they make - not a national policy issue that can be voted on.

    Immigration is a national policy issue that can be voted on and a vote that allows immigrants to become Medicare eligble will make the economics of Medicare worse than they otherwise would have been.

  • Calidissident||

    "Whether people have babies or not is up to them. It's an individual choice they make - not a national policy issue that can be voted on."

    Says who?

  • Kroneborge||

    +1

  • Calidissident||

    "You are merely talking about timing differences. There is no way that there can be an ever increasing stream of immigrants that will forever put off the day of reckoning for Medicare."

    I agree with that, but we were focusing on just the effects of immigrants. Regardless of immigration levels, Medicare and SS are doomed.

    "The legitimate citizens of the country own the right to decide (by voting) whether and under what circumstances anyone outside the nations borders will be allowed in and allowed to become citizens. It's called national sovereignty."

    Rights are not subject to a vote. The fact that a right may be violated after a vote doesn't mean it doesn't exist. The fact that you are using such logic shows that you know no more about liberty than Tony does

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "Rights are not subject to a vote"

    Something isn't a "right" merely because you want it to be or proclaim it to be so.

    "I agree with that, but we were focusing on just the effects of immigrants. Regardless of immigration levels, Medicare and SS are doomed"

    Medicare and Social Security being doomed regardless doesn't negate the fact that the magnitude of it is made worse by allowing more participants to join it before it goes boom.

  • Calidissident||

    "Something isn't a "right" merely because you want it to be or proclaim it to be so."

    I agree. People have the right to do what they want provided they do not initiate force against others. All specific rights flow from this. Someone who is buying a house or renting an apartment, getting a job, and moving here is not initiating force against anyone.

  • blackford_oakes||

    Why do they keep bringing up the immigrant vs poor American use of services? It doesn't matter if they use it at a lower rate than poor Americans. For one thing some of those poor Americans are no doubt recent immigrants, and for another it is stil going to impose a significant burden on state and local govts even if the percent is lower.

  • XM||

    If you're living in immigrant populated states like CA, you will find local and state assistance that cares not whether you're illegal. There's just no denying the fact the government has to spend a lot money to sustain them, educate them, etc.

    If you came here at age 45, found some pathway to citizenship, you're like 20 years away from receiving medicare benefits, even if you spent 5,10 years unemployed or underemployed.

    I'm an immigrant too, but I'm not under any illusion left leaning immigrants flooding this nation (low skill from below, high skill from above) will be good in the long run. Their push for immigration reform isn't "just give us citizenship, and we will take the initiative to achieve prosperity." No. They want citizenship, legal access to all benefits and entitlements, and increase the role of government to address the needs of the poor and the minorities.

  • Turin||

    While I agree philosophically that the government does not have any moral authority dictating the movements of free individuals, things are not quite that simple. As duly designated milk cows of the state, our lives and property are continuously under assault/confiscation. This is a clear violation of the NAP.

    Few people would argue that the majority of immigrants are of minority status and additionally, minorities overwhelmingly vote Democrat. As a result, a "principled" Libertarian position that favors the unrestricted movement of free people absent government intervention is a self-inflicted NAP violation. Unless the ongoing confiscation/coercion currently practiced by the state is addressed and reduced, the additional influx of "Democrat" voters will only exponentially ensure that in the future, the individual will suffer an even greater degree of expropriation than exists presently.

  • Calidissident||

    As if things would be ok if they voted Republican?

  • 16th amendment||

    Correct. The democrat party is all about gifts. The republican party is about gifts too, as they've expanded medicare and social security more than democrats have.

  • Calidissident||

    So is that a yes or a no? The problem is people (mostly natives, as they're the majority) voting for Democrats and (with a couple exceptions) Republicans, not just one side or the other, even if one may be marginally slightly better.

  • Turin||

    I agree that there is only a marginal difference between Ds and Rs. My point is that supporters of some type of amnesty are subjecting themselves to a self-inflicted NAP violation. Regardless of whether or not the immigrants are D or R, the degree of state coercion and confiscation will only increase, over and above what would otherwise take place absent amnesty imo. Yes, I know it's just an opinion, but the government pays for some people's stuff - education, health care, welfare..., and an increase in the number of people translates into increased government spending. I don't need a multi-million dollar study from Harvard to know this. I consider it more of a self-evident truth.

    Are there no thoughtful comments regarding this position aside from the superficial "no difference in Ds and Rs" correction?

  • KevinP||

    Immigration bill to bring in at least 33 million people
    http://dailycaller.com/2013/04.....z2RmArgmg1

    The majority of these people will be big government dependants, supporters and voters. This should advance the libertarian agenda, now and in the future.

  • ||

    Shikha here intentionally conflates statistics for legal immigrants with those for illegal immigrants, which are the subject of current immigration reform proposals. America's legal immigration system is largely skills based, so it kinda makes sense that most legal immigrants are unlikely to become wards of the state. A huge part of the reason most illegal immigrants immigrate illegally instead of legally is because they don't meet the criteria for legal immigration. I.e., they tend to be uneducated, dumb as rocks, have no skills, be dirt poor, or some combination of all of the above. The stats on illegal immigration are a lot less favorable than legal immigration, even granting that many illegal immigrants pay FICA taxes under bogus SS numbers and never collect benefits. You can make the case that illegal immigrants are fine and dandy and should be amnestied anyway, but the obfuscation of the data here is intentional and it's bullshit. Make an honest fucking argument.

  • Old Johnnie Goggabie||

    Here's the most honest argument you'll be bloody likely to ever get.

    Cosmotarians and Marxists: Twin sons by different mothers.

  • ||

    The libertarian moral argument on freedom of migration couldn't be more different from the Marxian revolutionary approach, which is more utilitarian than anything, even if they reach the same conclusion, and regardless of the extent to which one agrees with either one. It's just important to make that moral argument instead of mis-using or intentionally conflating inappropriate data in the service of a misleading pragmatic argument.

  • Old Johnnie Goggabie||

    Their arguments may be different (but not much, see for yourself), but in their obvious contempt for their fellow citizens, Siamese twins couldn't be any closer. Interestingly, both Marxists and Libertarians consider human beings primarily as interchangeable economic units whose primary function is to produce and consume. Notice this article, like all of the others that appear here, addresses immigration merely as an economic matter (and rather weakly, at that). Interestingly, concerns such as those raised by Hitchen's article are nowhere to be seen.

  • Calidissident||

    "but in their obvious contempt for their fellow citizens"

    Because you obviously hate your fellow Americans if you don't want to forcibly prevent the Brown and Yellow Hordes from moving here.

    "Interestingly, both Marxists and Libertarians consider human beings primarily as interchangeable economic units whose primary function is to produce and consume."

    Where the fuck are you getting this? Libertarians view people as individuals whose rights aren't dependent on what side of an imaginary line they were born on or subject to the vote of conservative (or progressive) idiots.

    "Notice this article, like all of the others that appear here, addresses immigration merely as an economic matter"

    That's because economics dominates the debate nationally to a large extent. If libertarians want to appeal to as broad a portion of the public as possible on a particular issue, they can't just stick to making libertarian, NAP-based arguments

  • Calidissident||

    BTW, it's interesting you accuse libertarians of being pseudo-Marxists, when the most prominent nativist anti-immigrant troll on this site ("American" was his original name, he's since adopted many others) often uses blatantly Marxist economic arguments.

  • Calidissident||

    Yes, because consistently applying the NAP makes you a Marxist

  • Calidissident||

    "The stats on illegal immigration are a lot less favorable than legal immigration,"

    Source? From the statistics I've seen, I think it's the other way around

  • ||

    I'd be fairly surprised, given our legal immigration system's focus on skills and education and largely requiring employer sponsorship, if illegal immigrants outperformed legal immigrants economically, just by virtue of the fact that illegal immigrants are disproportionately likely to be uneducated, earn significantly less than the median income, experience poverty at double the rate of the native-born, and are more likely to be uninsured. It's not a question of legal status per se; regardless of anything, being uneducated, poor and uninsured makes you much more likely to end up taking public resources, and a lot less likely to end up with a net tax liability.

    (continued)

  • ||

    FWIW, the net effect at the federal level (receipts vs outlays) is estimated at minus 10 billion by these these guys. I'm sure you'll be quick to dismiss that out of hand because they hate brown people, but the data and methodology they used doesn't seem distorted, and the number's actually pretty small. The calculations are complicated a bit by the fact that it's not illegal immigrants themselves, but more often their children who receive assistance. The same study is cited by Gordon Hanson here in what I think is probably a pretty accurate assessment (headliner: "While the value is negative, indicating illegal immigration on net lowers US national income, it is close enough to zero to be essentially a wash."). He also points out "Access to public education and publicly funded emergency health care appear to be largely responsible for the negative impact of illegal immigration on
    US public finances."
    Those are costs mostly borne by the states, not the fedgov (TANF and SNAP are illegal immigrant-ineligible, although illegal immigrant households with US-born children have access to nutritional assistance as well as CHIP). So a lot depends on where you live.

  • ||

    All that having been said, legal immigrants are more likely to become entrepreneurs, reportedly more likely to become millionaires, and are generally better educated and more likely to be middle class than illegal immigrants (see link in followup post - I'm at the limit), assuming the above information is correct.

    Like I said, make your argument, but make it honestly. Data that looks at the immigrant population as a whole, or exclusively at legal immigrants, most likely does not extrapolate to the illegal immigrant population, which is the subject of the current immigration reform debate.

  • ||

  • SIV||

    So Shikha wants to prop up the welfare state.
    Why the fuck does reason run her "analyses" again?

  • Calidissident||

    Do you ever not let your blind hatred of the writers on this site get in the way of your thinking? Anti-immigration people are the ones that base their arguments on propping up the welfare state, Dalmia is countering that argument (which is popular) by dispelling it

  • ||

    Huh? She's arguing that immigrants are important contributors to the welfare state rather than beneficiaries. That does run counter to stereotype, but it's hardly "dispelling" the idea that the welfare state needs propping up. It's an argument of appeasement to those who want the welfare state propped up.

  • AgrarianBarbarian||

    Sorry, not buying it. Go to any hospital emergency room in America. Chances are, you and the nurse will be the only English speakers there. When you hang a "free beer" sign on your door, lots of deadbeats are going to show up. I am all for complete open borders, but it is suicidal to pursue them in a country with a robust welfare state.

  • AgrarianBarbarian||

    "You can come to America, and if you are willing to work hard, you will succeed and be happy!" Yup. But the flip side of that needs to be "But if you don't work hard, you will end up freezing to death in a cardboard box under a bridge." The first thing, without the second thing is ringing the dinner bell for the rats in the basement.

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