Characteristics of the Unauthorized Foreign-Born Population in the United States: What Can We Learn from SIPP and L.A.FANS?

James D. Bachmeier, University of California, Irvine
Khai Le, Pennsylvania State University

In this paper we use data from the 2001 and 2004 panels of the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) and the 2001 wave of the Los Angeles Family and Neighborhood Study (L.A.FANS), both of which ask questions of the foreign-born allowing one to infer respondents' legal status, in order to develop a profile of the U.S. unauthorized population. We then compare these profiles to existing estimates of the characteristics of the unauthorized population based on the residual method. We also demonstrate that there is considerable variation across nativity and immigrant status groups on a number of important indicators of incorporation and well being. We conclude that the findings lend urgency to the need for more research attention on the implications of unauthorized migration for migrants and their children, and that these are two valuable sources of data for meeting that need.

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Presented in Poster Session 4