Feasibility of Tracking and Re-Interviewing Immigrant Respondents of a Population-Based Longitudinal Survey after Ten Years

Awarded Scholars:
Erika Arenas, University of California, Santa Barbara
Graciela Teruel, Universidad Iberoamericana–Ciudad de México
Luis Rubalcava, Centro de Análisis y Medición del Bienestar Social, A.C.
Project Date:
Dec 2019
Award Amount:
$20,540

Legal status is central to understanding the process of immigrant incorporation into the U.S., yet our understanding of how legal status affects labor market outcomes is limited, in part because of data deficiencies. A multi-disciplinary research team led by Mexican economist Graciela Teruel proposes to build on a unique representative panel study of Mexicans who migrated to the U.S. after 2002, the Mexican Family Life Survey (MxFLS). In the baseline survey, adults from about 8,400 households in 150 Mexican communities were interviewed. Because international and circular migration play key roles in their lives, the MxFLS tries to locate and re-interview all respondents, including movers. The second and third survey waves were conducted in 2005 and 2009-2010, with overall re-contact rates of about 90 percent. Currently, field work is ongoing for a fourth wave, on the Mexico side. Before seeking funding to survey about 550 migrants who moved after 2002 and are living in California, Texas and Illinois, the research team will conduct a feasibility study in California, where 30 percent of MxFLS respondents currently reside. Its main objective is to find and re-interview between 25 to 30 panel respondents and inquire about their legal status and their socio-demographic and labor market attributes prior to applying for additional funding for the larger survey based on the results of the feasibility study.

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