Legal Status and Psychosocial Well-being of Central Asian Migrant Women in Russia

Victor Agadjanian , University of California, Los Angeles
Byeongdon Oh
Cecilia Menjivar, University of California, Los Angeles

Immigrants’ legal status has shown numerous tangible consequences for their incorporation trajectories in Western contexts. However, little is known about the effects of (il)legality in non-Western settings. Moreover, most research has focused on economic and other objective effects of (il)legality. In this study, we use rich survey data from Russia, the world’s second biggest recipient of international migrants, to examine the association of legal status with several psychosocial outcomes among migrant women from Central Asia. The preliminary results of the multivariate analyses suggest that legality is positively associated with immigrants’ perception of their rights and with their assessment of their relations with natives. Yet, legality is also negatively related to immigrants’ satisfaction with their income. Finally, legality positively correlates with self-efficacy and negatively with depression. Together, the findings deepen the theoretical foundations of the scholarship on the effects of immigrant (il)legality, while also broadening its thematic and geographic foci.

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 Presented in Session 7. Migration & Urbanization