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Central American Immigrants in the U.S.

Written by CIS

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Since the recent surge in Central American immigrants crossing the southern border illegally, many have had questions about the Central AmericaCentral American community in the United States. News accounts indicate that, in recent months, some 290,000 illegal immigrants (primarily from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador) have been settled, or will soon be settled, by the federal government.1 Listed below are some basic socio-demographic statistics for immigrants in the United States from these countries.

The figures below are for both legal and illegal immigrants from the public-use files of the 2012 American Community Survey, collected by the Census Bureau:

The figures below are for both legal and illegal immigrants from the public-use files of the March 2013 Current Population Survey, collected by the Census Bureau:

1 The New York Times reported on July 3, 2014, that 290,000 illegal immigrants have already been or soon will be released into the United States.

2 The Department of Homeland Security estimates 1.61 million illegal immigrants are in the United States from these three countries. Its estimates are based on administrative data and the American Community Survey (ACS). They slightly adjust upward the number of illegal immigrants in the ACS for undercount.

3 Welfare programs include TANF, SSI, WIC, food stamps (SNAP), free/reduced lunch, public/subsidized housing, and Medicaid.

4 Poverty figures include the U.S.-born children (under 18) of immigrant fathers from these three sending countries. They are based on the official thresholds set by the federal government for 2012. The March 2013 Current Population Survey asks about income in the prior calendar year. The U.S.-born children of immigrant fathers are excluded from the figures for natives.

5 Figures include the U.S.-born children (under 18) of immigrant fathers from these three sending countries. The March 2013 Current Population Survey asks about health insurance coverage in the prior calendar year. Persons on Medicaid are considered to have health insurance and are not included in the figures for the uninsured. The U.S.-born children of immigrant fathers are excluded from the figures for natives.

SOURCE: CIS.org

The Center for Immigration Studies is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit, research organization. Since our founding in 1985, we have pursued a single mission – providing immigration policymakers, the academic community, news media, and concerned citizens with reliable information about the social, economic, environmental, security, and fiscal consequences of legal and illegal immigration into the United States.

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