Objective: This study investigates inequalities in the distribution of citizenship status among immigrants in Canada and the US between 1970 and 2001. It is motivated by a desire to probe deeper into the gap in citizenship rates between the two countries.
Methods: Logistic regression analysis of Census data is used to predict the odds of citizenship among the foreign-born, controlling for a range of factors.
Results: There has been a growing inequality in the distribution of citizenship in the US, but not in Canada. Low rates of citizenship hide the appearance of a large disparity in citizenship between those with the lowest levels of education and everyone else. These results cannot be entirely ascribed to the presence of undocumented immigrants.
Conclusion: Persistent and large inequalities in citizenship leave the already disadvantaged unskilled immigrants without access to rights, representation, security, and job and educational opportunities.