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Homeownership is directly and indirectly linked with many positive child, adult, and community-level outcomes. Prior research offers strong evidence that nativity and immigrants’ citizenship status shapes U.S. homeownership, but relatively little work has explored how immigrants’ legal status is connected with homeownership. This study draws from locational attainment and classic assimilation theories to develop hypotheses about sources of intra-Latino heterogeneity in homeownership. Los Angeles Family and Neighborhood Survey data are used to contrast four distinct groups of Latinos: U.S. born natives, naturalized citizens, authorized non-citizens, and unauthorized non-citizens. Logistic regression results indicate baseline and residual variation in Latino homeownership based on immigrant citizenship and legal status. Of these, unauthorized non-citizens are the least likely to own their home. The results provide support for all three theoretical models, particularly the place stratification perspective. The results also point to the need for more housing studies that jointly examine citizenship and legal status.


McConnell, Eileen Díaz. 2015. “Hurdles or Walls? Nativity, Citizenship, Legal Status and Latino

Homeownership in Los Angeles.” Social Science Research. 53: 19-33.  

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