Many low-income Hispanic families meet the basic eligibility criteria for a range of public assistance programs, such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Still, they remain less likely than other groups to use some of these programs. More than 90 percent of Hispanic children in low-income families are U.S.-born, even though half have a foreign-born parent. So as U.S. citizens, these children do not have eligibility restrictions based on immigration.
Our research suggests that many low-income Hispanic immigrant parents may have misconceptions about eligibility for public assistance, which may deter them from applying for aid. Thirty-six percent of legal permanent residents and nine percent of naturalized citizens reported ineligibility for public assistance due to immigration status.