The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has put up a website giving what it calls “10 Immigration Facts Everyone Can Agree To.” The so-called facts are both falsehoods and half-truths. Here is their #7:
U.S. Chamber’s Myth: “Immigrants come to the U.S. for welfare benefits.”
U.S. Chamber’s Fact: “Undocumented immigrants are not eligible for federal public benefit programs, and even legal immigrants face stringent eligibility restrictions.”
Illegal aliens come normally for jobs and are not eligible for means-tested welfare benefits. However, they do qualify for emergency medical care, including for childbirth, and children born here enable the parents to apply for welfare benefits on their behalf. Legal immigrants have the same access to welfare benefits as a U.S. citizen after they have been in the country for five years although, in theory, they may be deported if they become welfare dependent.