Illegal immigrant families received nearly $1.3 billion in Los Angeles County welfare money during 2015 and 2016, nearly one-quarter of the amount spent on the county’s entire needy population, according to data obtained by Fox News.
The data was obtained from the county Department of Public Social Services -- which is responsible for doling out the benefits -- and gives a snapshot of the financial costs associated with sanctuary and related policies.
The sanctuary county of Los Angeles is an illegal immigration epicenter, with the largest concentration of any county in the nation, according to a study from the Migration Policy Institute. The county also allows illegal immigrant parents with children born in the United States to seek welfare and food stamp benefits. Robert Rector, a Heritage Foundation senior fellow who has written extensive studies on poverty and illegal immigration, said the costs represent “the tip of the iceberg.”
He said the costs of education, police and fire, medical, and subsidized housing can total $24,000 per year in government spending per family, much more than would be paid in taxes.
“They get $3 in benefits for every $1 they spend,” Rector said.
The Trump presidency’s hardline immigration policies, though, may be playing some role in curtailing the population seeking welfare payments in recent months. The same stats show Los Angeles County is expected to dole out $200 million less this year than in 2016, and several thousand fewer families are collecting benefits. “The number of entrants nationwide is going down. The population is static if not shrinking,” Rector said. The welfare benefit data from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services shows: