Circular, invisible, and ambiguous migrants: Components of difference in estimates of the number of unauthorized Mexican migrants in the United States

Frank D. Bean, Rodolfo Corona, Rodolfo Tuiran, Karen A. Woodrow-Lafield, Jennifer Van Hook

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations

Abstract

Based on an equation that can be used with available data and that provides a basis for facilitating decomposition analyses, this research estimates that about 2.54 million total (as opposed to enumerated) unauthorized Mexicans resided in the United States in 1996. Comparing this figure with an estimate of about 2.70 million released by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) during the 1990s, we find that the two estimates involve different assumptions about circular, invisible, and ambiguous migrants. Such differences not only can have important policy implications; they can also be sizable and can operate in opposite directions, as illustrated by findings from a components-of-difference analysis. The results are also extrapolated to 2000, and implications for 2000 census counts are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)411-422
Number of pages12
JournalDemography
Volume38
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Demography

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