Naturalization of U.S. Immigrants before Reforms in the 1990s

Karen A. Woodrow-Lafield
Xiaohe Xu, Mississippi State University
Thomas M. Kersen, University of North Alabama
Bunnak Poch, University of Chicago

The influences of gender, origin, and admission criteria are examined in the timing of naturalization for all lawfully admitted adult immigrants of 1978-1991. Individuals entering as spouses may especially seek to naturalize to give visa opportunities to their family members living abroad. Prior research suggests origin differences in completed naturalization levels for foreign-born persons in the census, controlling for duration of residence. Cox regression models are discussed, including sex-specific models with dummy variables for region of origin. Asian origin immigrants show the greatest naturalization propensity and Latin American immigrants show the least naturalization propensity. Immigrants were more likely to naturalize if they were admitted in categories suggesting lower social capital or higher human capital, such as employment-sponsored categories, spouses of aliens, and spouses of citizens.

  See paper

Presented in Session 109: Immigration and Diversity