Changes in Health-Related Selectivity and Modes of Incorporation of Mexican Migrants Since the Beginning of the 21st Century

Fernando Riosmena , University of Colorado Boulder
Justin Vinneau, University of Colorado Boulder
Hiram Beltran-Sanchez, University of California, Los Angeles
Megan Reynolds, University of Utah

The current Era of heightened immigration enforcement has likely challenged immigrants’ modes of incorporation. Scholars have also predicted a deterioration of the immigrant health advantage as the epidemiological and nutrition transitions continue to unfold in sending countries. We examine changes in the selectivity and adaptation of Mexican immigrants in smoking and proxies of central adiposity. To assess changes in selection, we compare recently-arrived migrants –using the 1999-2016 cross-sections of the U.S. National Health and Interview and National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys– with Mexican residents –using the 2000-2012 cross-sections of the Mexican National Health and Nutrition Surveys. To assess changes in adaptation, we compare indicators across duration of stay, comparing synthetic cohort and “truer” immigration cohorts. Preliminary results suggest that health-related selection is not deteriorating in smoking but slightly on proxies of central adiposity. Modes of incorporation in these two types of indicators are likely worsening over time.

See extended abstract

 Presented in Session 29. Migrant Health Selectivity