Naturalization and other current issues in U.S. immigration: intersections of data and policy.

Passel JS; Clark RL; Fix M
In: 1997 proceedings of the section on government statistics and section on social statistics. Alexandria, Virginia, American Statistical Association [ASA], 1997. 1-10

This paper discusses issues on naturalization and immigration in the US. Immigration data deficiencies have a large impact on understanding the naturalization phenomena and continue to affect immigration and immigration policy. Five areas are discussed: 1) the failure to take into account legal status in the analyses of immigrant characteristics; 2) the failure to take into account immigrants' duration of residence in the US and their socioeconomic mobility; 3) the mistake of extrapolating the Californian immigration experience to the rest of the country; 4) the failure to acknowledge explicitly the key differences between Mexican immigration and immigration from other countries; and 5) inadequacies in cost accounting for the assessment of immigration. With these, more research is being done on immigration with a wide range of analysts working on the issues. Thus, more data on immigrants are becoming available that will help policy reforms in the US.

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