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Mexico Virtual Lecture Series


Location: via Zoom

Marriage to a Citizen: Just a Relief Valve for Immigration Policy or also a Reason behind Marital Instability?

Eva Dziadula

Eva Dziadula is an associate teaching professor in Notre Dame’s department of economics. Her research examines migration and the determinants of citizenship for those born outside of the United States, including a focus on Mexico and other countries with significant population flows. She has previously presented her research at UPAEP and has brought Notre Dame students to visit migrant shelters in Mexico as part of a class on the economics of immigration. Dr. Dziadula received her PhD in economics from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Dr. Dziadula’s presentation will examine whether family-centered immigration policy may be associated with marital instability, with particular relevance to Mexican migrants who marry U.S. citizens. Within the framework of U.S. policy, marriage to a citizen is one of the fastest pathways to obtain permanent legal status and ultimately U.S. citizenship. Furthermore, unlike most visa and status adjustment categories, it is not subject to a quota. If immigrants who are on temporary visas emphasize finding a citizen spouse in the marriage market, the marginal cost of search for a higher compatibility partner would increase. Therefore, an optimal overall match may result in suboptimal sorting along other compatibility dimensions. Once permanent residency is established, these marriages may be less stable as other characteristics would play a larger role. Dr. Dziadula investigates the relationship between the immigrants’ current citizenship status, which is an observed measure of their permanent legal status in the U.S., and the likelihood of divorce. She finds that naturalized citizens who entered their first marriages as noncitizens are 50% more likely to experience divorce, relative to otherwise comparable noncitizens. The strength of this relationship increases in magnitude, perhaps acting as a relief valve, for immigrants from countries that experience a backlog in visa processing (China, Mexico, and India).

The Mexico Virtual Lecture Series is a recurring online event intended to highlight the deep connections between Notre Dame and Mexico. Each lecture focuses on the current work of a Notre Dame faculty member or researcher, covering topics that vary widely from medical research to the social sciences and arts and culture.

The series is intended for a general audience and can be viewed via Zoom. Pre-registration for the session is requested and the Zoom link will be made available once registration is received. 

Register here

PLEASE NOTE: Indicated event times are Eastern Daylight Time (11:00am - 12:30am CDT).

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