Implications for Sons and Daughters when Mexican Immigrants Legalize and Naturalize

Frank D. Bean, University of California, Irvine
Susan K. Brown, University of California, Irvine
Mark A. Leach, University of California, Irvine

We examine how the legalization and naturalization trajectories of Mexican immigrants affect the educational and occupational outcomes of their adult sons and daughters. We find that when parents who were initially unauthorized took advantage of opportunities to legalize and ultimately naturalize, the outcomes of the second generation were similar to those of children whose parents were authorized at arrival. Children whose parents remained unauthorized had the worst outcomes of all. These effects showed some differences by gender, suggesting differential socialization. In particular, daughters of women who remained unauthorized got less education than sons of such women. Data come from the Mexican-origin sample of the project on Intergenerational Immigrant Mobility in Metropolitan Los Angeles.

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Presented in Poster Session 4