IZA DP No. 4616: Gender Differences in Native Preferences towards Undocumented and Legal Immigration: Evidence from San Diego
published in: Contemporary Economic Policy, 2011, 29 (1), 31-45
The literature has noted that native views about legal as opposed to undocumented immigration in the U.S. differ. Furthermore, native views about immigration are known to vary by gender. Yet, most surveys do not inquire native men and women about their views with regards to the two distinct immigrant groups, thus impeding an analysis of differences in preferences towards legal and undocumented immigrants from the same sample of natives. Using a recent San Diego County survey, we examine differences in native male and female opinions with regards to legal and undocumented immigration and their determinants. Native preferences towards immigration appear to significantly differ by gender as well as according to immigrants' legal status. In addition, public finance and welfare concerns are among the key factors driving native male and female preferences towards legal and undocumented immigration. However, native women's attitudes are also impacted by concerns regarding the social integration and economic assimilation of undocumented immigrants possibly related to the alleged prejudice factor.