More than half of legal and illegal immigrant households from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras are on at least one form of public assistance, according to an analysis of government data by a limited immigration group.
Based on the Census Bureau’s March 2013 Current Population Survey, the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) reports that most legal and illegal immigrant heads of households from these three countries received benefits from at least one major benefit program like Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), food stamps (SNAP), free/reduced lunch, public/subsidized housing, and/or Medicaid.
Some 57 percent of households headed by an El Salvadoran used one such major welfare program, as did 54 percent of Honduran households and 49 percent of Guatemalan households. By comparison, 24 percent of households headed by a native-born American used at least one of these programs.
While the welfare use among immigrants from these countries is higher, their levels of employment are about on par with native-born Americans.