Isabel García Valdivia

Unequal Aging: The Effects of Legal Status Trajectories on Older Mexican Immigrants’ Strategies in Later Life

Immigration scholars have long demonstrated that immigration status affects people of all ages in all aspects of their lives. Based on semi-structured interviews and an analysis of legal and social policies, this dissertation explores the effects of immigration status for Mexican older adult immigrants (50 years old and older) in the U.S. and return migrants to Mexico. I add to this literature by examining the factors that facilitate or hinder how older immigrants access economic, family, and medical and psychological support and the strategies they deploy as they age. This study investigates how these differ across countries, by gender, and by immigration status. This study identifies strategies older Mexican-origin immigrants deploy in older adulthood and how their strategies are enhanced or limited by location (e.g., state and local communities), familial relations, economic background, and by the broader legal context.