Legal Status at Migration and Migrant Networks

Mao-Mei Liu, Universitat Pompeu Fabra

This paper investigates whether – and how – migrant networks differentially impact legal and unauthorized migration and advances prior work by uncovering some of the mechanisms-at-work, testing social capital theory against competing explanations, and distinguishing between legal/unauthorized entry and legal/unauthorized stay. The literature has largely ignored legal status at migration; the one exception analyzed a set of extremely restricted indicators. Using the longitudinal MAFE-Senegal data (2008) collected in Africa (Senegal) and Europe (France, Italy and Spain), this paper employs a competing risks discrete-time event history analysis to estimate the likelihood of unauthorized and legal 1st-time migration to Europe. Preliminary results indicate that the migrant network hypothesis appears robust for both legal and unauthorized migration; competing explanations appear to apply primarily to legal entry; and the effects seem gendered. Having a strong tie especially facilitates legal entry by males, while having a weak tie especially facilitates unauthorized entry by females.

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Presented in Poster Session 2