More than 90 percent of recent refugees from Middle Eastern nations are on food stamps and nearly 70 percent receive cash assistance, according to government data.
The Census Bureau's Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) shows immigrant households use welfare at significantly higher rates than native households, even higher than indicated by other Census surveys.
- in 2012, 51 percent of households headed by an immigrant (legal or illegal) reported that they used at least one welfare program during the year, compared to 30 percent of native households. Welfare in this study includes Medicaid and cash, food, and housing programs.
- Welfare use is high for both new arrivals and well-established immigrants. Of households headed by immigrants who have been in the country for more than two decades, 48 percent access welfare.
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Secretary of State John Kerry told lawmakers in a closed-door session on Wednesday that he favored significantly increasing the number of refugees the United States is willing to accept, possibly to as many as 100,000 next year, according to congressional staff members and Obama administration officials.