*Direct correspondence to Douglas S. Massey, Office of Population Research, Wallace Hall, Princeton, NJ 08544 〈firstname.lastname@example.org〉. This research was made possible by MICHD Grant R01HD35643, whose support is gratefully acknowledged.
Labor Market Outcomes for Legal Mexican Immigrants Under the New Regime of Immigration Enforcement*
Version of Record online: 26 JUL 2011
© 2011 by the Southwestern Social Science Association
Social Science Quarterly
Volume 92, Issue 3, pages 875–893, September 2011
How to Cite
Gentsch, K. and Massey, D. S. (2011), Labor Market Outcomes for Legal Mexican Immigrants Under the New Regime of Immigration Enforcement. Social Science Quarterly, 92: 875–893. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-6237.2011.00795.x
- Issue online: 11 AUG 2011
- Version of Record online: 26 JUL 2011
Objectives. This article documents the effects of increasingly restrictive immigration and border policies on Mexican migrant workers in the United States.
Methods. Drawing on data from the Mexican Migration Project, we create a data file that links age, education, English-language ability, and cumulative U.S. experience in three legal categories (documented, undocumented, guest worker) to the occupational status and wage attained by migrant household heads on their most recent U.S. trip.
Results. We find that the wage and occupational returns to various forms of human capital generally declined after harsher policies were imposed and enforcement dramatically increased after 1996, especially for U.S. experience and English-language ability.
Conclusion. These results indicate that the labor-market status of legal immigrants has deteriorated significantly in recent years as larger shares of the migrant workforce came to lack labor rights, either because they were undocumented or because they held temporary visas that did not allow mobility or bargaining over wages and working conditions.