Parental Immigration Documentation History and Second Generation Education Attainment

Alejandro Rivas, Princeton University

This analysis aims to bridge the issues of undocumented status and the assimilation of the immigrant second generation in the U.S. by exploring the impact that first generation parental documentation history may have on the number of years of schooling achieved by the second generation. Data for this analysis is drawn from the Mexican American Study Project, a survey of more than 1,000 Mexican-Americans in Los Angeles and San Antonio first conducted in 1965 with follow-up interviews of both the original participants and their adult children in 2000. While there was no evidence that having a parent who was one-time undocumented affects the number of years of schooling achieved by a child, the inclusion of documentation history increases the importance of maternal human capital and diminishes the effect of private schooling on second generation outcomes.

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Presented in Session 134: Latino Family Structure and Economic Well-Being