Immigration, legal permanent resident visas, quantitative sociology
A great deal of attention has recently been focused on America’s undocumented immigrants, a population estimated at around 10 million people (Passel, Capps, and Fix 2004). Much less attention has been paid (in both scholarly and academic circles) to legal immigrants, although in 2010 (the most recent year for which complete data are available), the Department of Homeland Security granted 1,042,625 permanent resident visas. Indeed, since 1994 when the government began to publish the Annual Flow Report, we have granted between 700,000 to around 1,300,000 new legal immigrant visas annually. Legal immigration into the US involves a process of varying length. That is to say, the elapsed time between applying for a permanent resident’s visa and being granted that visa can range from as little as a few months to as long as several years. It is known that the type of visa being applied for (the various types are explained later) accounts for some of the variation in processing length, and also that lost paperwork is a significant factor (Jasso 2011). This study found no evidence of discrimination in regards to the race, skin color, and religion of the survey respondents in terms of the time it took to get their visas processed. The average wait time for visa processing was about 5 years; Mexicans and Filipinos waited longer than immigrants from other countries. For various reasons discussed in the text, our current immigration system has created a twotiered family-based immigrant visa system. That is, the system gives heavy preference to family members of persons who are already legal immigrants. The preferential status of so-called family reunification visas has been a point of controversy in immigration advocacy circles and that controversy is also reviewed.
Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences, Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic
Bares, Lindsey S., "The Effect Of Race, Religion, Skin Color, And National Origin On The Duration Of Processing For Permanent Resident Visas?" (2012). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 2183.