Migrants in the U.S. Offered Extensive Benefits, Increasing Incentives to Enter

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Migrants in the U.S. Offered Extensive Benefits, Increasing Incentives to Enter  illegal immigrants in the U.S
taxpayers

A range of services and benefits are available to illegal immigrants in the U.S., raising concerns about the impact on taxpayers.

Illegal immigrants entering the United States as part of the ongoing migrant crisis are eligible for a variety of services and benefits through a complex network of federal, state, and local programs funded by taxpayers. This extensive support is seen as a significant draw for more migrants, according to experts.

Record-Breaking Migrant Crossings

In fiscal year 2023, there were 2.4 million migrant crossings, setting a new record. Since President Joe Biden took office, more than 7 million migrants have entered the U.S. While some have been deported, many have been processed and released into the interior of the country. According to a Fox News analysis, nearly 7.3 million migrants have crossed the southern border during Biden’s administration.

Migrants who do not evade Border Patrol and are taken into custody are processed and, if not removed, often released into the U.S. with a notice to appear in immigration court. Due to a backlog of nearly 3.6 million cases, these court dates are typically set years into the future.

Access to Benefits

Once released, migrants must wait six months after filing an asylum claim to work legally, although not all do so. Many arrive with few resources, having spent substantial sums on smugglers. They may receive assistance from family members already in the U.S., but others rely on various available resources.

Conservatives argue that these benefits act as a pull factor, attracting more migrants and burdening American taxpayers. “Illegal aliens coming to America want five things: to enter the U.S.; stay here; work; send money home; and bring or have family here. All these benefits help illegal aliens stay in the U.S.,” said Lora Ries, director of the Heritage Foundation’s Border Security and Immigration Center, to Fox News Digital.

Services at the Border

Migrants in Customs and Border Protection (CBP) or Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody receive shelter, meals, and medical care. If specialized care is needed, they may be transported to private providers, with costs reimbursed at Medicare rates.

Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) often assist migrants at the border, funded in part by federal dollars. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) allocated $640.9 million in FY 2024 through its Shelter and Services Program to help NGOs and local governments cover migrant care costs. This includes funds for hotels and transportation.

State and Local Assistance

Upon arriving in various parts of the country, migrants can access different forms of assistance depending on local policies. Many “sanctuary” cities provide shelter and other support, with some limiting the duration of stay due to capacity issues.

In Denver, migrants can receive housing assistance for up to six months, along with job training and language instruction. New York City offers a prepaid debit card program for food and baby supplies, with funds provided by a pilot program amounting to $53 million.

Several states, including California and New York, extend healthcare benefits to illegal immigrants. California recently expanded its Cal-Health program to include residents aged 26 to 49, regardless of immigration status.

Illegal immigrants cannot typically receive federal benefits but may access certain programs through their U.S.-born children. They are eligible for emergency medical treatment under Medicaid and can participate in nutrition assistance programs like WIC.

The Biden administration has also allowed Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients to apply for Obamacare. Furthermore, the proposed immigration reform bill in early 2021 aimed to provide a pathway to citizenship for millions of illegal immigrants, although it has faced significant opposition and has not been passed.

Impact on Taxpayers

The extensive benefits provided to illegal immigrants raise concerns about the financial impact on American taxpayers. The provision of services such as legal aid for deportation hearings and the expansion of healthcare benefits are seen as adding significant costs.

Chad Wolf, former Acting DHS Secretary, highlighted the national security concerns related to the surge of migrants, including “special interest aliens,” in a discussion on ‘FOX & Friends.’

As the debate over immigration continues, the balance between providing humanitarian aid and managing taxpayer funds remains a contentious issue.