International Migration, Immigrant Integration, Racial/Ethnic Inequality, Social Demography and Quantitative Methods


James D. Bachmeier is Associate Professor of Sociology at Temple University (Philadelphia), a founding Research Fellow of the Public Policy Lab at Temple University, a non-resident Fellow at the Migration Policy Institute (Washington, DC), and a non-resident research affiliate at the Population Research Institute at Pennsylvania State University (University Park, PA).

Bachmeier is an expert in the sociology of immigration and immigrant integration, and in the demographic estimation of the U.S. foreign-born population. He is the co-author (with Frank D. Bean and Susan K. Brown) of Parents without Papers: The Progress and Pitfalls of Mexican American Integration (2015, Russell Sage Foundation). His work has also appeared in numerous peer-reviewed journals including Demography, International Migration Review, Social Forces, Social Science Research, Demographic Research, and International Journal of Comparative Sociology.

Bachmeier’s research has contributed to immigration and related policy in myriad ways. For instance, his research on the measurement of legal status serves as the basis for statistics on the unauthorized foreign-born population published regularly by the Migration Policy Institute that are now widely used by policy makers, researchers, and immigrant service-providers across the nation. These estimates were also used to inform the Obama administration’s 2014 executive order, Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA). His innovative methodological work on estimating the undocumented immigrant population in the U.S. has also been cited in multiple amici curiae briefs to the U.S. Supreme Court on cases related to DACA and DAPA.

Professor Bachmeier is currently (2021-22 academic year) a Visiting Scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation, where he is working on a book (with Jennifer Van Hook) on the intergenerational mobility of immigrants and their offspring over the past century in the United States. He is also co-investigator (with Claire E. Altman) on a project focused on the estimation of difficult-to-measure segments of the foreign-born population in order to understand how different migration statuses shape the experiences and life course trajectories of immigrants and their children.

Bachmeier completed his PhD training in Sociology at the University of California, Irvine.

Curriculum Vitae

Selected Publications

  • Bachmeier, James D., Jennifer Van Hook, and Frank D. Bean. 2014. “Can We Measure Immigrants’ Legal Status? Lessons from Two U.S. Surveys.” International Migration Review 48(2): 538-566.
  • Spence, Cody, James D. Bachmeier, and Claire E. Altman, and Christal Hamilton. 2020. “The Association between Legal Status and Poverty among Immigrants: A Methodological Caution.” Demography 57(6): 2327-2335.
  • Bachmeier, James D. 2013. “Cumulative Causation, Co-Ethnic Settlement Maturity, and Mexican Migration to U.S. Metropolitan Areas, 1995-2000.” Social Forces 91(4): 1293-1317.
  • Ballinas, Jorge, and James D. Bachmeier” 2020. “ ‘Whiteness’ in Context: Racial Identification among Mexican-Origin Adults in California and Texas.” DuBois Review 17(2): 311-336.
  • Altman, Claire E., and James D. Bachmeier. 2021. “The Weight of Being Unauthorized? Legal Status Variation in the Association between US Exposure and Obesity among Hispanic Immigrants.” Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health 23(5): .

Courses Taught

  • Ethnicity and the Immigration Experience in the United States