Is Naturalization a Good Indicator of Integration in All Legal Contexts? The Case of Latinos in Spain

Amparo Gonzalez-Ferrer, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)
Clara Cortina, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)

In this paper we analyze the role that different naturalization rules play in the naturalization decisions of immigrant groups in Spain. We apply discrete-time event history models to estimate the probability of acquiring the Spanish citizenship, utilizing data from the National Survey of Immigrants (2007). Our results clearly confirm that Latinos in Spain are more likely to naturalize than are other foreigners, even after controlling for the main socioeconomic and contextual factors. This finding seems to be at least partially related to the ‘privileged’ legal regime applied to Latinos in Spain. In fact, it is not completely clear that naturalization always reflects the highest degree of integration among individuals. Although we did not find evidence of ‘strategic naturalization behavior’ to avoid the immigration law, we did find some contrasting results regarding the determinants of naturalization between Latinos, Africans, and Europeans, apart from important diffusion effects.

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Presented in Session 156: Immigration in Comparative Perspective