Public Assistance Use among U.S.-Born Children of Immigrants

U.S.-born children of immigrants may be less likely to receive some social services than are children of native-born parents if foreign-born parents who are themselves ineligible are less likely to apply on their children's behalf. We use retrospective data from a sample of about 2,400 low-income households in three U.S. cities to determine whether children with foreign-born caregivers are less likely than children with native-born caregivers to receive benefits from any of five programs over a two-year period: TANF, SSI, Food Stamps, Medicaid, and WIC. The most significant disparities between children of citizen and noncitizen caregivers are in TANF and food stamp use.