An immigration reform activist says there needs to be a change
in U.S. immigration policy that doesn't bring in large numbers of
people who inevitably wind up requiring some sort of government
The National Review recently published an
article titled "Immigrant Welfare: The New Colossus," which
says that immigrants are disproportionately dependent on welfare.
For one thing, Department of Agriculture statistics show that the
number of non-citizens on food stamps has almost quadrupled since
2001. The article also points out that the federal government has
gone out of its way to encourage immigrants to apply for assistance
through websites like WelcometoUSA.gov.
Ira Mehlman, a spokesman for
the Federation for
American Immigration Reform (FAIR), says the dependency is
worsening because of the kinds of immigrants who are coming into
"Because we have a policy that admits people largely based on
extended family connections rather than on individual merit, the
result is large numbers of people coming without the kind of human
capital necessary to succeed in 21st century America," Mehlman
So he contends the U.S. must come up with an immigration policy
that does not permit entry of large numbers of individuals who
inevitably wind up receiving some sort of assistance.
"What they ought to be looking at is reforming policies that
take people based on some objective assessment of their likelihood
to succeed here," he submits. "There's no perfect formula, but we
can get a pretty good sense of who is likely to succeed and who
isn't, and that's what our immigration policy ought to be taking
into account -- a policy that is there to serve the public good,
the public interest."
The FAIR spokesman adds that there needs to be an established
criterion that does not rely on who the next relative in line