This work attempts to contribute to our understanding of the process of settlement by undocumented Mexican immigrants. The behavior of single migrants (including individuals who migrated without spouse or children) is compared to that of migrants accompanied by spouse and/or children in relation to a number of factors, including the outcome of migration experiences, variation in household composition over time, attitudes concerning residence preferences, and labor market participation.

The examination reveals observable differences in migration patterns and residence intentions. Single migrants are likely to be temporary workers in the U.S. labor market. They view their jobs as temporary and are likely to return to Mexico after a brief stay in the United States. They maintain strong social and economic relationships to their place of origin.

In contrast, undocumented immigrants living with their families in the U.S. are likely to view their job as relatively secure and desire to continue residing in the United States. For many undocumented, the formation of a family in the United States begins a process that leads to eventual settlement.

This work then focuses on the implications of undocumented immigrants residing on a long-term basis in the U.S. for public policy. Of special consideration are families which include both undocumented members and U.S. citizens, referred to here as "binational families." The presence of binational families complicates the issue of access to social services and society's definition of a resident

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