Cash-Assistance Programs Benefiting Illegal Immigrants

Parsing Immigration Policy, Episode 9

By Mark Krikorian and Steven A. Camarota on June 24, 2021

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Listen to "Cash-Assistance Programs Benefiting Illegal Immigrants" on Spreaker.


The nation’s two largest cash assistance programs for low income workers redistribute taxpayer funds from legal workers to illegal immigrants. This week, Dr. Steven Camarota, the Center’s director of research, and Mark Krikorian, the Center’s executive director and host of Parsing Immigration Policy, discuss the billions of dollars of cash payments from the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) sent to illegal immigrants who have no income tax liability and the impact the policies allowing this has on immigration law. Sending cash payments to illegal immigrants through the tax system shows just how unserious the government is about controlling immigration.

In his Concluding Commentary, Mark Krikorian highlighted the anachronistic nature of our immigration system, as "an artifact of post-World War II, early Cold-War politics", that was incorporated into U.S. law in 1980 in the Refugee Act. He concludes that, in the 21st century, "it's long past time to reassess the way we do refugee resettlement", beginning with a withdrawal from the United Nations refugee treaty to permit

Related Reports

Estimating Illegal Immigrant Receipt of Cash Payments from the EITC and ACTC

Are Illegal Aliens Receiving COVID-19 Relief Checks? Yes

World Refugee Day Should Inspire Us to Reflect on a More Effective Refugee System, One That Fits the Twenty-First Century


Mark Krikorian is the Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies.


Dr. Steven Camarota serves as the Director of Research for the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), a Washington, DC-based research institute that examines the consequences of legal and illegal immigration on the United States. The Center promotes an informed debate on comprehensive immigration reform by providing policymakers, academics, media, and citizens with fact-based information on immigration.


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Intro Montage

Voices in the opening montage:

  • Sen. Barack Obama at a 2005 press conference.
  • Sen. John McCain in a 2010 election ad.
  • President Lyndon Johnson, upon signing the 1965 Immigration Act.
  • Booker T. Washington, reading in 1908 from his 1895 Atlanta Exposition speech.
  • Laraine Newman as a "Conehead" on SNL in 1977.
  • Hillary Clinton in a 2003 radio interview.
  • Cesar Chavez in a 1974 interview.
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaking to reporters in 2019.
  • Prof. George Borjas in a 2016 C-SPAN appearance.
  • Sen. Jeff Sessions in 2008 comments on the Senate floor.
  • Charlton Heston in "Planet of the Apes".