WASHINGTON, D.C.— Congressman Tom Rice (R-SC-07) today released the following statement regarding  a USA Today article reporting that a majority of immigrant households are on welfare:

“The fact that, as a percentage, there are more immigrants than Americans on welfare shows just how broken our immigration system is,” said Rice.  “Unlike most of our international competitors, the United States awards a much larger proportion of immigrants based on family relationships rather than skills and education.  As a result, over half of our nation’s immigrants are on some sort of government welfare.

“An immigration policy geared toward admitting more skilled immigrants rather than family sponsored applicants would generate the growth, economic opportunity, and new jobs that America needs. The immigration bill that I will be introducing in the coming weeks will address this very issue.  Our immigration system should benefit our country, not create a burden for the American taxpayer.  A skills-based approach to immigration admissions is critical to American competitiveness and stronger economic growth.” Concluded Rice

The USA Today article refers to a recent report conducted by the Center for Immigration Studies.  This report found that 51 percent of immigrant households reported receiving some type of government welfare, 21 percentage points above native households. Furthermore, it concluded that immigrants pay less income and payroll taxes then natives, about 11 cents on the dollar less.