US Citizenship for our Mexican Children! US-born Children of Non-Migrant Mothers in Northern Mexico

Eunice D. Vargas-Valle, Jennifer Elyse Glick, Pedro P. Orraca-Romano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


We analyze the presence of non-migrant US-born children aged 0–4 in the northern states of Mexico and associated factors by parental nativity. Based on the 2020 Mexican Census, we describe the location, population size, and sociodemographic profiles of these children. We also estimate regression models to examine factors associated with children’s US nativity. We found that US births to non-migrant mothers have become a more prevalent source of US-born children than return migration in recent years. Non-migrant US-born children slightly declined from 2010 to 2020 and continued to be concentrated in northern states, particularly in the border municipalities. Multivariate regression models reveal that, among children of Mexico-born parents, being non-migrant US-born was associated with higher levels of parental schooling, socioeconomic status, or cross-border employment. Births in the U.S. are more common among Mexican middle-upper status families suggesting a selection process that may contribute to social reproduction by increasing their children’s future socioeconomic opportunities relative to Mexico-born children. However, among those with US-born parents, US birth does not vary by socioeconomic status showing those with easier access to the United States and transnational social capital do not need additional resources to secure US citizenship.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)161-181
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Borderlands Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations
  • Law


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