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October 6, 2019

Immigrants, welfare programs, and United States immigration policies strategic dimensions

The article explores the United States immigration policy’s strategic dimensions towards specific countries the relationship between American’s attitudes toward immigrants and their attitudes towards the welfare programs and U.S. migration policy’s strategic dimensions towards specific countries.  The United States has witnessed a significant increase in the immigrant population over the past decades and in several states, the foreign-born immigrant’s population exceeded one-fifth of the total population. Immigration and racial black-white divide have played a significant role in welfare support in the United States.

The article explores the United States immigration policy’s strategic dimensions towards specific countries the relationship between American’s attitudes toward immigrants and their attitudes towards the welfare programs and U.S. migration policy’s strategic dimensions towards specific countries.  The United States has witnessed a significant increase in the immigrant population over the past decades and in several states, the foreign-born immigrants population exceeded one-fifth of the total population. Immigration and racial black-white divide have played a significant role in welfare support in the United States.

A large number of immigrants led to profound economic, social and political changes in the U.S. There are concerns among locals, policymakers and scholars that this growing population of immigrants will be a burden on the economic cycle and social welfare program. There is a perception in the white population that black greatly relies on welfare support and this racial behavior greatly impacts the welfare support program.

In the history of the U.S. peak immigrant population was in 1890 which was 14.8 percent of the total population and record low in 1970, 4.7 percent of the total population which was 9.6 million foreign-born individuals. In 1850 the first time data was collected for nativity U.S. population at that time 2.2 million foreign-born are in the U.S. which was 9.7 percent of the total population. From 1860 to 1920 immigrants’ population fluctuated between 13 and 15 percent of the total population. From 1930 and 1970 the immigrant population continued to decline and reaching a record low in history 4.7 percent.

Since 1970 the immigrant’s population starts growing rapidly and in 2000 they reached 11.1 of the total population, 31.1 million foreign-born. In the year 2009, the immigrant’s population reached 38.5 million which was 12.5 of the total U.S. population.

There are approximately 3.7 percent of unauthorized immigrants of the total U.S. population, and these unauthorized immigrants made up 28 percent of the total foreign-born population of the United States. About 47 percent of the unauthorized immigrants have arrived after 2000 in the country.

United States immigration policies strategic dimensions towards specific countries:

Before 1960 when immigrants in the United States were more likely to be from European states but after the period the majority of immigrants come from Mexico and Asian counties. By 2009 Mexican immigrants are 29.8 percent of the total foreign-born immigrant population in the U.S. this was the main reason behind the Trump administration to build a wall along with the Mexico-U.S. border. Followed by Mexico there are 4.5 percent Philippines, 4.3 percent of Indians and 3.7 percent Chinese immigrants. The other major immigrants are from Vietnam, El Salvador, Korea, Cuba, Canada, and the Dominican Republic 3.0, 3.0, 2.6, 2.6, 2.1, 2.1 percent respectively, the above-mentioned countries made up 57.7 percent of the total foreign-born immigrants in the United States.

Mexico, Philippines, India, China, Vietnam, El Salvador, Korea, Cuba, Canada, and the Dominican Republic made up 57.7 percent of the total foreign-born immigrant population in the United States.

It is observed that immigrants are the more likely relay on welfare programs while comparing to the native population. In 2010-11 CPS data showing the food assistance programs supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAO) and free and reduced lunch 24.1 to 3.9 percent and Medicaid 28.4 to 17.5 percent. Other programs like Supplemental Security Income (SSI), temporary assistance for needy families (TANF) and state general assistance are 5.8 percent of foreign-born immigrants and 5.4 percent for native-born and similar with subsidized housing as 4.6 to 4.3 percent. In all of the above-mentioned programs, approximately 36.3 percent of immigrants participate in these government assistance programs while comparing to only 22.8 percent of native Americans.

There is a significant portion of Americans who disagree with the measures in which immigration be reduced, kept the same or to be expanded. They disagree with the immigration policies like illegal immigrant’s deportation, guest worker program, and the path to citizenship. But it is fact that immigrants have relatively higher participation rates in welfare program on this base Americans concerns and attitudes towards immigrants are absolute and especially for those immigrants who are not citizens or without documentation and legal status living in the U.S. are eligible in the same way as the native Americans for government welfare program and services.

As discussed that rate of the beneficiaries of the welfare program is high among immigrants compared to native-born Americans. The larger representation of foreign-born immigrants as the recipients of the welfare program, as a result, the native-born Americans perception that immigrants are more likely to be recipients of welfare programs change their attitudes towards the welfare state system and they would perceive welfare programs to be immigrationized.

The immigrants in the U.S. and their U.S. born children are more likely to be living in the poverty compare to the Native Americans with approximately 23.3 percent for immigrants and 13.5 percent for native-born Americans likely to be living in poverty. Overall immigrants are more likely to receive any welfare program compare to Native Americans by the margin of 36.3 percent to 22.8 percent respectively. Foreign-born immigrants are also to be expected more than the Americans to be eligible for additional child tax credit (ACTC) and earned income tax credit (EITC) with a margin of 29.7 percent while Native-born Americans are only 14.5 percent. Similarly, 20.6 percent of foreign-born immigrants are eligible for the ACTC to compare to 8.4 percent of native-born Americans. A perception among Americans is that immigrants are the least deserving of the welfare program. The elderly population is seen most deserving people for welfare programs followed by disabled and sick people. So this image of immigrant’s higher participation in welfare programs while they are least deserving people has a deep impact on native-born Americans about the immigrant’s policies and distribution of welfare programs. 

Racial or ethnic heterogeneity will greatly affect the welfare state support; it can be seen in Western European countries where welfare state support has decreased after the increase in immigration. Those immigrants who are less than five years in the U.S., federal law prohibits them to receive TANF program funds. Although there are many immigrants who are eligible for welfare programs they did not receive funds from welfare programs.

Conclusion:                                                             

More than half of the immigrants are from those countries where in the past or the current U.S. has deep strategic interests. In fact, most of the immigrants have a positive impact on the U.S. economy they pay more tax than they consume in services and welfare programs including undocumented immigrants. The problem posed by the immigrants is not economic but the security to deal with security problems all the foreign immigrants’ should be identified by biometrically and e-verification. To make immigrants more beneficial a comprehensive job program should be introduced and legalize all the undocumented immigrants. A significant number of immigrants are considered brain drain in their native countries and some are really excellent minds. 

The strict migration policies will lead the United States towards timid isolation. The U.S. needs ever more good relations with the world as we witnessed the growing isolation globally. In the recent United Nations Security Conical (UNSC) meeting on the status of Jerusalem, America was not able to secure a single vote accepts her own. A similar situation was on the global environmental policy that takes away the U.S. from Europe and the rest of the world. No longer will any nation remain world great power in modern ages in the sense of isolation, especially when her competitors are going towards openness.