The Left creates a hullabaloo over denying green cards to migrants who are public charges
An analysis of the Census Bureau's American Community Survey shows that immigrants (legal and illegal) are coming to the United States at significantly older ages than in the past. The average age and the share arriving at or near retirement increased significantly in the last two decades. These findings have implications for the often-made argument that immigration makes the country significantly younger. The findings also have implications for public coffers because prior research indicates that younger immigrants tend to have a more positive lifetime fiscal impact than older immigrants. The nation's overall immigrant population is also aging rapidly.Among the findings:
- The average age of newly arrived legal and illegal immigrants has increased from 26 in 2000 to 31 in 2017. The newly arrived are those who have lived in the country for 1.5 years or less at the time of the survey.
- Older age groups have seen the largest increases. The share of newly arrived immigrants who are 50 or over nearly doubled, from 8 percent to 15 percent; the share 55 and over more than doubled, from 5 percent to 12 percent; and the share 65 and older roughly tripled, from 2 percent to 6 percent.
- On an annual basis, 276,000 immigrants 50 and older now settle in the country, including 213,000 immigrants 55 and older, and 113,000 who are 65 and older.
- The rise in the age at arrival for immigrants is a broad phenomenon affecting immigrants from most of the primary sending regions and top sending countries.
- Several factors likely explain the rising age of new arrivals, including significant population aging in all of the top immigrant-sending regions of the world, an increase in the number of green cards going to the parents of U.S. citizens, and a decline in new illegal immigration prior to 2017.
On the one hand, 83 percent of Republican voters said that "illegal immigration affects my life," including strong majorities of working-class and suburban voters. Yet when asked what they considered to be illegal immigration's biggest consequence, the most common answer wasn't violence, job losses or cultural change; more than half said overuse of social services.When you add in those respondents who answered "all of the above," more than three-quarters of Republican voters were deeply concerned about illegal immigrants abusing our health care system, schools and welfare programs. Among independent voters, a plurality of 43 percent listed it as immigration's biggest consequence (which may explain why 72 percent of GOP voters and 54 percent of independents want legal immigrants to be admitted to the U.S. on the basis of merit or skills).
Laurel Lucia, director of the healthcare program at the UC Berkeley Labor Center, says the policy could have a damaging effect on California and the country's overall economy. Many in California who already have a green card or have become citizens may dis-enroll from public benefits such as Medi-Cal or CalFresh out of fear for what the policy may mean for themselves and for their family members, causing a chilling effect on the economy, she said."When these Californians dis-enroll that means fewer federal dollars coming into the state supporting not only our healthcare system but our whole economy," Lucia said.In a 2018 study by Lucia, Ninez Ponce of the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and Tia Shimada of California Food Policy Advocates, the authors found the healthcare sector would suffer the biggest economic blow from such a policy change.