Parents Without Papers Membership Exclusion, Gender, and Mexican-‐American Integration Guest Lecture by Frank Bean Chancellor’s Professor, UC Irvine Department of Sociology Monday, February 2, 2015 12:00 – 1:00 pm, Education 2010 Abstract: Although the integration of Mexican immigrants and their offspring arguably constitutes the most important immigration issue facing the United States, researchers have not reached even a modicum of consensus about how this group is faring, especially socioeconomically. This research develops a new theoretical perspective (termed membership exclusion) to emphasize the hypothetical adverse consequences of official societal non-‐membership (unauthorized migration status) on structural (e.g., education and income) integration among immigrants and their offspring. Using unique data for Mexican Americans collected in the five-‐county Los Angeles metropolitan area, we examine how and how much membership-‐exclusion factors compared to the factors emphasized by other theoretical perspectives explain cross-‐generational patterns of educational and income differences, separately for males and females. The results indicate that parental unauthorized status is strongly associated with limited educational attainment among both males than females, and more so for males. Males from legal backgrounds, however, show only minimal generational improvement, a result we suggest reflects the influence of working-‐class stagnation ideas which imply that Mexican American mobility has occurred mainly within working-‐class ranks (where various mobility opportunities are accessible). We suggest two main immigrant integration policy implications: the importance of providing more accessible and affordable pathways for less-‐skilled immigrants to legalization and, for their descendants, more accessible and affordable pathways to higher education. Bio: Prior to joining the UCI faculty, Frank D. Bean served as Ashbel Smith Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs, Director of the Population Research Center, and Chair of the Department of Sociology at the University of Texas at Austin. He was also the founding Director of both the Program for Research on Immigration Policy and the Population Studies Center at The Urban Institute in Washington, DC. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, and the Council on Foreign Relations, as well as a past recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship. He has also been a Visiting Scholar at the Research School for Advanced Social Sciences at the Australian National University, the American Academy in Berlin, and the Russell Sage Foundation, as well as Distinguished Senior Visiting Fellow at CCIS and the Center for U.S. Mexico Relations at the University of California, San Diego. His current research focuses on the implications of U.S. immigration policies, Mexican immigrant incorporation, the implications of immigration for changing race/ethnicity in the United States, the determinants and health consequences of immigrant naturalization, and the development of new estimates of unauthorized immigration and emigration.
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