Rafael Alarcón and Luis Escala-Rabadán – The Social and Economic Integration of Mexican Immigrants in Los Angeles

Begins at 2:00 in the Eleanor Roosevelt Administration Building Conference Room

Abstract: Mexicans constitute the largest immigrant group in the United States. However, their social and economic integration reveals several limitations due to the large number of the undocumented as well as the low percentage of those who have naturalized, and thus, exercise their rights as citizens. In addition, most Mexican immigrants have a comparatively lower educational attainment and have access to low paying employment.

The main purpose of this presentation is to discuss the extent of social and economic integration of Mexican immigrants in the Los Angeles metropolitan area using a combination of qualitative and quantitative research methods. Data from the 2007 American Community Survey and 90 open-ended interviews with adult Mexican immigrants will be used to examine the economic, social, cultural and political factors that promote or limit the integration of immigrants. The interviews were conducted in 2008 with immigrants from the Mexican states of Zacatecas, Oaxaca, and Veracruz who have settled in the Los Angeles Metropolitan area at different times and historical circumstances.

Rafael Alarcón, Research Professor, Department of Social Sciences, Colegio de la Frontera Norte (Mexico)

Rafael Alarcón is research professor in the Department of Social Studies at El Colegio de la Frontera Norte in Tijuana, Mexico and holds a Ph D. in City and Regional Planning from the University of California, Berkeley. He was the founding editor of Migraciones Internacionales and is an specialist on international migration, Professor Alarcon has conducted research on the economic and social impacts of migration in sending and receiving regions in Mexico and the United States, the integration of Mexican immigrants in the United States and the role of skilled immigrants in Silicon Valley.

Luis Escala-Rabadán, Research Professor, Department of Social Sciences, Colegio de la Frontera Norte (Mexico)

Luis Escala-Rabadán is a sociologist who completed his doctorate in Sociology at the University of California, Los Angeles. His research interests bring together the sociology of culture and the sociology of migration. His past work has included the study of transnational communities, political participation, and the different types of organizations and groups among Mexican migrants in the United States. He is currently on the research faculty of the Department of Social Studies and Chair of the Master’s Program in Sociocultural Studies at El Colegio de la Frontera Norte in Tijuana, Baja California, in Mexico.

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