Citizenship Acquisition among Immigrants with High Socioeconomic Status

Sofya Aptekar, Princeton University

The acquisition of American citizenship is an important component in the process of immigrant incorporation and one that has serious implications for the study and projection of immigrant population due to family reunification policies that favor citizens over permanent legal residents. Although many studies find a positive relationship between socioeconomic status and the likelihood of naturalization, there is evidence that immigrants with the highest levels of income and education may actually be less likely to become citizens than less well-off immigrants. This study uses the 5% PUMS of the 2000 U.S. Census to explore the naturalization patterns of the highly educated and economically successful immigrants to the United States. The goal is to clarify the role of various demographic, social, and contextual factors in the naturalization processes of this group of immigrants, with implications for social reproduction of this group in the United States.

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Presented in Poster Session 5