This research compares several national-origin groups in terms of how parents’ entry, legalization and naturalization (i.e., membership) statuses relate to their children’s educational attainment. In the case of Asian groups, the members of which predominantly come to the United States as permanent legal migrants, we hypothesize (1) that father’s and mother’s statuses will be relatively homogenous and few in number and (2) that these will exert minimal net effects on second-generation attainment. For Mexicans, many of whom initially come as temporary unauthorized migrants, we hypothesize (1) that parental status combinations will be heterogeneous and greater in number and (2) that marginal membership statuses will exert negative net effects on education in the second generation. To assess these ideas, we analyze unique intergenerational data from Los Angeles on the young adult members of second-generation national-origin groups and their parents. The findings show that Asian immigrant groups almost universally exhibit similar father–mother migration statuses and high educational attainment among children. By contrast, Mexicans manifest more numerous discrepant father–mother combinations, with those in which the mother remains unauthorized carrying negative implications for children’s schooling. The paper discusses the theoretical and policy implications of the delays in incorporation that result from Mexican Americans needing extra time and resources compared to the members of other groups to overcome their handicap of marginal membership status (i.e., being more likely to enter and remain unauthorized).