Illegal Immigrants in the US: Indirect Information on Labor Force Outcomes and Characteristics

Cristina Bradatan, Texas Tech University

The number of illegal immigrants in the US is estimated to be around 12 to 15 millions. Although this is a large population, it is difficult to get direct information about the socio-economic characteristics of these immigrants. In this paper, I will try to get indirect information about illegal immigrants by comparing statistics from two different data-sources: New Immigrant Survey (New Immigrants Survey) and Current Population Survey (CPS). While NIS has information only on legal immigrants, CPS March Supplement offers information on both illegal and legal immigrants but without distinguishing between the two groups. By comparing the information resulted from the data base, one can get information on illegal immigrants characteristics. Specifically, I am interested in comparing the labor force outcomes of immigrants in terms of wages and occupations. I will highlight how much of the differences between natives and immigrants are a result of having a large illegal population working in the US.

Presented in Poster Session 2