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Mexican Migration Networks in the United States, 1980–2000



Between 1980 and 2000, about 1.2 million Mexican immigrants settled in 47 new settlement states. In the past, these immigrants would have settled in California, Texas, or Illinois, the three traditional states for Mexican settlement. Explaining this dispersion, the network saturation theory claims that high-volume migration of Mexicans finally saturated the housing and job opportunities of Mexicans in traditional states and especially in Los Angeles. High rents and low wages then encouraged Mexican immigrants to select new states for settlement. This article subjects the network saturation theory to a rigorous reanalysis using new evidence. The empirical results tend to confirm the network saturation theory.