The New System of Mexican Migration: The Role of Entry Mode–Specific Human and Social Capital

Joshua Wassink, Douglas S. Massey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Between 2000 and 2020, undocumented migration declined, temporary labor migration rose, and legal permanent residents arrived at a steady pace—together creating a new system of Mexico–U.S. migration based on the circulation of legal temporary workers and permanent residents. Drawing on data from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Mexican Migration Project, we specify mul­ti­no­mial event-his­tory mod­els to pre­dict the like­li­hood of depar­ture on first and later trips via four entry categories: no documents, noncompliant tourist visas, temporary work visas, and legal residence visas. The models reveal how the accumulation of entry mode–spe­cific social and human cap­i­tal powered a sys­tem of undoc­u­mented migration that emerged between 1965 and 1985, and how that system deteriorated from 1985 to 2000. After 2000, employers took advantage of new visa categories to recruit legal temporary workers, leading to the accumulation of migration-related human and social cap­i­tal spe­cific to that mode of entry and the emer­gence of a new sys­tem of Mexico–U.S. migration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1071-1092
Number of pages22
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Demography


  • Human capital
  • Networks
  • Social capital
  • Temporary labor migration
  • Undocumented migration


Dive into the research topics of 'The New System of Mexican Migration: The Role of Entry Mode–Specific Human and Social Capital'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this