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The Next GenerationImmigrant Youth in a Comparative Perspective$
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Richard Alba and Mary C. Waters

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780814707425

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814707425.001.0001

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Legalization and Naturalization Trajectories among Mexican Immigrants and Their Implications for the Second Generation

Legalization and Naturalization Trajectories among Mexican Immigrants and Their Implications for the Second Generation

Chapter:
(p.31) 2 Legalization and Naturalization Trajectories among Mexican Immigrants and Their Implications for the Second Generation
Source:
The Next Generation
Author(s):

Susan K. Brown

Frank D. Bean

Mark A. Leach

Rubén G. Rumbaut

Publisher:
NYU Press
DOI:10.18574/nyu/9780814707425.003.0002

This chapter addresses the impact of immigrant legal status on the socioeconomic position of the second generation. For some children of immigrants, what matters is not so much citizenship but their parents' legal status. Thus, the chapter examines the consequences of parental legal status for outcomes among the second generation in the United States, and suggests the costs of having undocumented parents for the second generation, even for children who are themselves U.S. citizens by birth. Additionally, this chapter presents strong public-policy implications for the current debates in the United States over what to do with the millions of undocumented immigrants currently in the country, suggesting that there will be huge negative costs imposed on the next generation if a path to citizenship is not provided for the parental generation.

Keywords:   immigrant legal status, immigrant children, parental legal status, undocumented parents, public policy, citizenship

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