WASHINGTON -- A conservative Washington think tank's report claiming U.S. immigration is at its highest level ever has been criticized for not taking benefits into account.
The survey was conducted by Steven Camarota, director of the Center for Immigration Studies, which advocates reduced immigration, The New York Times reported.
The report said since 2000, 10.3 million immigrants entered the country, bringing the total number -- legal and illegal -- to 37.9 million immigrants.
Among the social costs cited in the report, Camarota said immigrant families account for almost three-quarters of the increase in the number of people without health insurance in the past 15 years, which was challenged by Wayne Cornelius, a political science professor at the University of California-San Diego.
He told the Times research in San Diego County showed illegal immigrants under-used the healthcare system.
"They are less likely to have health insurance but they are also less likely to seek medical attention," Cornelius said.
Dowell Myers, a demographer at the University of Southern California who has studied immigrants' use of public services also criticized the study.
"It is a profile of immigrants' dependency without any profile of their contributions," Myers said.
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