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The Undocumented Immigrant: A Socioeconomic Profile

Khosrow Fatemi


Every day thousands of people who cross the southern border of the United States enter the country illegally. Many of these eventually enter the legal U.S. labor market, some others indefinitely remain in the underground labor market, and the rest, unable to find employment, return to their homeland. Some of those who stay in this country remain in the border region, while most find their way into larger urban centers such as Los Angeles, Chicago, and Dallas. Some of these "immigrants" are trained professionals, while others are unskilled and illiterate. Whereas such generalities about the undocumented immigrant are in abundance, the data available to either confirm or refute such generalizations are, at best, limited. Thus, the purpose of the research reported in this article was to fill part of this gap by developing a socio-economic profile of a large segment of this group: specifically, the undocumented worker-immigrant entering the United States through Texas. This objective was accomplished through a survey involving a sample of such immigrants to ascertain:
1. The age, marital status, and family status of a "typical" immigrant;
2. Motives for migrating to the U.S. and;
3. Employment qualifications of immigrants including education, work experience and history.

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Print ISSN: 0886-5655
Online ISSN: 2159-1229