Half of immigrant-led households collect welfare as admission rules go unenforced

Immigrants are supposed to be beneficial to the U.S. — so much so that federal law requires them to prove they won’t end up on the public dole if they are legally admitted.

But it’s a stricture honored more in the breach than in compliance, according to statistics obtained by the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which found that of the millions of legal immigrants living in the U.S. and collecting welfare or other public benefits, only a single person was kicked out of the country over the last three years for becoming a public burden.

That seems to fly in the face of federal policies that, dating back to the very first broad immigration law in the 1880s, have demanded that immigrants prove they will be able to support themselves.

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