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Gender Differences in the Occupational Status of Undocumented Immigrants in the United States: Experience before and after Legalization

Mary G. Powers, William Seltzer and Jing Shi
The International Migration Review
Vol. 32, No. 4 (Winter, 1998), pp. 1015-1046
DOI: 10.2307/2547670
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2547670
Page Count: 32
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Gender Differences in the Occupational Status of Undocumented Immigrants in the United States: Experience before and after Legalization
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Abstract

This article examines the incorporation of a national sample of undocumented immigrants both before and after they applied to legalize their status under the provisions of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA). Data from the 1989 and 1992 Legalized Population Surveys (LPS-1 and LPS-2) are used. These surveys provide labor force and occupational data for three critical reference periods: as newly arrived undocumented immigrants, as experienced undocumented immigrants, and as documented immigrants. Labor force participation and occupational status are used as indicators of economic integration. The overall upward mobility of both men and women between first job and the occupation held at time of application for legalization continued after legalization. On average, men also continued to report higher status jobs than women, although women did somewhat better after their status was legalized. These patterns also continued after controlling for available human capital variables, country of origin, marital status, and household composition.

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