Abstract

This paper reports estimates of the total numbers of actual legal immigrants to the United States that result from the family reunification provisions of U.S. immigration law. These immigration multipliers are estimated separately for major visa categories and by gender and are obtained in the context of an analysis of how individual characteristics of immigrants and their origin country conditions affect (a) the decision to migrate to the United States and (b) once admitted, their propensity to remain and to become U.S. citizens. The analyses combine longitudinal data on the 1971 cohort of legal immigrants and data from the 1970 Census Public Use Tapes. The results suggest that the actual multipliers differ importantly by visa category and that they are substantially lower than the potential multipliers and lower as well than previously supposed.

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