Friday, February 25, 2022

Immigration Article of the Day: The importance of race, gender, and religion in naturalization adjudication in the United States by Emily Ryo and Reed Humphrey

Significance

This study examines group disparities in naturalization approvals by race/ethnicity, gender, and religion. We find that all else being equal, non-White applicants and Hispanic applicants are less likely to be approved than non-Hispanic White applicants, male applicants are less likely to be approved than female applicants, and applicants from Muslim-majority countries are less likely to be approved than applicants from other countries. In addition, we find that race/ethnicity, gender, and religion combine to produce a certain group hierarchy in terms of approval probabilities. For example, Blacks from Muslim-majority countries are much less likely to be approved than Whites from other countries. These findings underscore the continuing importance of race, gender, and religion in the making of US citizens.

Abstract

This study presents an empirical investigation of naturalization adjudication in the United States using new administrative data on naturalization applications decided by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services between October 2014 and March 2018. We find significant group disparities in naturalization approvals based on applicants’ race/ethnicity, gender, and religion, controlling for individual applicant characteristics, adjudication years, and variation between field offices. Non-White applicants and Hispanic applicants are less likely to be approved than non-Hispanic White applicants, male applicants are less likely to be approved than female applicants, and applicants from Muslim-majority countries are less likely to be approved than applicants from other countries. In addition, race/ethnicity, gender, and religion interact to produce a certain group hierarchy in naturalization approvals. For example, the probability of approval for Black males is 5 percentage points smaller than that of White females. The probability of approval for Blacks from Muslim-majority countries is 9 percentage points smaller than that of Whites from other countries. The probability of approval for females from Muslim-majority countries is 6 percentage points smaller than that of females from other countries. This study contributes to our understanding of the nature of inequalities present in agency decision-making in the naturalization process.

CNN reports on the study here.

KJ

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/immigration/2022/02/immigration-article-of-the-day-the-importance-of-race-gender-and-religion-in-naturalization-adjudica.html

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