Couples Across Borders: Impact of Mexico–U.S. Migration on Union Dissolution

Zhen Liu , Brown University

Using the Mexican Migration Project data (1997-2016), this study utilizes a life course perspective and quantitatively examines how U.S migration affects union stability among Mexican male household heads and whether the impact varies by union type, union duration as well as legal status of the immigrants. Results based on multilevel discrete-time event history analysis show that the impact of U.S. migration on union stability varies significantly by the legal status of the immigrant and union type. Being in the U.S. with legal resident or citizen status is most likely to increase risk of union dissolution, but being in the U.S. as an undocumented immigrant or with temporary work visa overall is not significantly associated with higher risk of union dissolution compared to staying in the origin. The impact of U.S. migration also affects civil unions and consensual unions more than religious unions.

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 Presented in Session 7. Migration & Urbanization