University of California International Migration Conference

Introduction and Panel 1. Ethnicity and the Politics of Immigration
 

Panel 2. Assimilation and Transnationalism
 

Panel 3. Immigration and the Welfare State
 

Panel 4. Immigration Law and Control
 


On March 12, 2010, CCIS will host a University of California-wide conference on international migration. Panels are listed below.

If you are interested in attending the conference, please contact Ana Minvielle, aminvielle@ucsd.edu.

The conference will be held in the Deutz Conference Room of the Institute of the Americas. For directions, please visit the IOA website.

Sponsored by CCIS, The Gifford Center for Population Studies at UC Davis, the Center for Research on Immigration, Population and Public Policy at UC Irvine, and UCLA Migration Study Group

Introduction (8:30 – 8:45 AM)

  • David FitzGerald and John Skrentny, CCIS, UCSD

Panel 1. Ethnicity and the Politics of Immigration (8:45 – 10:30 AM)

  • Immigration and the Political Transformation of White America: How Local Immigrant Context Shapes White Policy Views and Partisanship. Marisa Abrajano, Political Science, UCSD
  • Beyond the Ballot: Immigration Collective Action in Traditional and New Destinations in the U.S. Dina Okamoto, Sociology, UC Davis
  • Immigration Reforms and Immigrant/Ethnic Community Politics: Immigrant Generation and Latino Policy Preferences on Immigration Reform. Louis DeSipio, Political Science, UC Irvine
  • “In A Race All Their Own”: The Quest to Make Mexicans Ineligible for U.S. Citizenship. Natalia Molina, Ethnic Studies, UCSD
  • Chair and Discussant: Zoltan Hajnal, Political Science, UCSD

Break (10:30 – 11:00 AM)

Panel 2. Assimilation and Transnationalism (11:00 AM-12:45 PM)

  • Inheriting the homeland?: Intergenerational transmission of cross-border ties in migrant families. Thomas Soehl, Sociology, UCLA
  • A Rhizomatic Diaspora: Transnational Passage and the Sense of Place among Koreans in Latin America. Kyeyoung Park, Anthropology, UCLA
  • Between “Europe” and “Africa”: Building the “New” Ukraine on the Shoulders of Migrant Women. Cinzia Solari, Sociology, UC Berkeley
  • Chair and Discussant: Erin Hamilton, Sociology, UC Davis

Panel 3. Immigration and the Welfare State (1:45-3:30 PM)

  • Children of Immigrants in U.S. Schools: Today’s English Learners, Tomorrow’s Workforce. April Linton, Sociology, UC San Diego
  • Immigration and the Welfare State: Diversity, Public Assistance and Immigrant Incorporation. Frank Bean, Sociology, UC Irvine
  • A New Nativism or an American Tradition? Federal Citizenship and Legal Status Restrictions for Medicaid and Welfare. Cybelle Fox, Sociology, UC Berkeley
  • Chair and Discussant: Micah Gell-Redman, Political Science, UCSD

Break (3:30-4:00 PM)

Panel 4. Immigration Law and Control (4:00-5:45 PM)

  • Race and Immigration Law in the Americas, 1850-2000. David FitzGerald, Sociology, UCSD
  • A Global Documentary Regime? Regulating Mobility from the Developing World. Kamal Sadiq, Political Science, UC Irvine
  • A Diversion of Attention?: Immigration Courts and the Adjudication of Fourth and Fifth Amendment Rights. Jennifer M. Chacón, Law, UC Irvine
  • Chair and Discussant: David Kyle, Sociology, UC Davis

Note: This event is not sponsored by the Institute of the Americas

Michael Clemens — How U.S. visas affect skilled labor: A randomized natural experiment

Michael Clemens — How U.S. visas affect skilled labor: A randomized natural experiment
 

Please listen (above) to the Research Seminar given by Michael Clemens on March 9th, 2010. We also encourage you to subscribe to our CCIS Podcast and listen to all of our research seminars for free!


What are the effects of migration visas to rich countries on workers in poor countries? Though enormous international gaps in wages suggest that these effects could be large, the rarity of exogenous visa provision makes the true effects of visas difficult to measure. This study exploits a natural experiment wherein temporary US work visas were randomly allocated among a population of Indian high-tech workers in 2007 and 2008. It uses the experiment to test a set of predictions arising from economic theories of international migration: predictions relating to the effects of migration policy on migrants’ location choice, workers’ earnings, and foreign employers’ productivity. First, it finds that—contradicting a core assumption of the most common location choice models—choices depend heavily on the set of location options available. Policy limits on high-skill Indian labor to the US cause about 30% of those workers to go to other countries competing with the US for talented labor, including Western Europe, China, Singapore, and Japan, in a proportion far exceeding the relative sorting of migrants between India and those alternative destinations in the presence of the US option. Second, it provides an experimental estimate of the degree of selection on unobservable determinants of earnings for one group of temporary high-skill migration to the United States. Third, it offers evidence on the static and dynamic effects of spatial agglomeration economies on worker productivity.

Michael Clemens leads the Migration and Development Initiative at the Center for Global Development (CGD), where he studies the effects of international migration on people from and in developing countries. Michael joined the Center after completing his PhD in Economics at Harvard, where his fields were Development and Public Finance, and he wrote his dissertation in Economic History. In addition to his research at CGD he serves as an Affiliated Associate Professor of Public Policy at Georgetown University.

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.

Race, Immigration and the Law of the Workplace: 21st Century Challenges

Download full-size PDF of flyer »

The objective of this conference, which will take place on February 26 and 27, 2010 at Princeton, is to bring together scholars engaging in the intersections of law, immigration, race and the workplace. Mass immigration has had a huge impact on labor, on citizenship, on understandings of race and ethnicity, and on American politics. The law has been evolving as well. We will bring together a group of social scientists and legal scholars in these areas to create a dialog among those whose interests intersect but for professional reasons rarely interact. This conference is co-sponsored by the Princeton University Program in Law and Public Affairs, where it will be held.

Immigration and the new dynamics of employment discrimination

  • Jennifer Gordon, Fordham Law School
  • Robin Lenhardt, Fordham Law School
  • Jennifer Lee, UC Irvine Sociology
  • Tomás Jiménez, Stanford University, Sociology
  • Deborah Malamud, NYU Law School

Immigration and the challenge to labor unions

  • Dorian Warren, Columbia University, Political Science
  • Ruben Garcia, California-Western Law School
  • Ruth Milkman, Hunter College, City University of New York, Sociology
  • Janice Fine, Rutgers School of Management

Immigration and the meaning of citizenship

  • Cristina Rodriguez, NYU Law School
  • Linda Bosniak, Rutgers Law School
  • Mae Ngai, Columbia University, History
  • Desmond King, Oxford University, Politics

Policy prospects in the age of Obama

  • Gary Gerstle, Vanderbilt History
  • Jennifer Hochschild, Harvard University, Government
  • Michael Jones-Correa, Princeton, Center for the Study of Democratic Politics
  • Glenn Loury, Brown University, Economics
  • Mark Sawyer, UCLA, Political Science

Gordon Hanson – Birth Rates and Border Crossings: The Demographic Push Behind Emigration in the Americas

Gordon Hanson – Birth Rates and Border Crossings: The Demographic Push Behind Emigration in the Americas
 

Please listen (above) to the Research Seminar given by Gordon Hanson on February 23, 2010. We also encourage you to subscribe to our CCIS Podcast and listen to all of our research seminars for free!


We intersect data on births from the WDI with U.S Census information on country of origin to estimate cohort-specific migration rates to the U.S. for twenty-one countries in the Americas. Using these data, we confirm the theoretical prediction that labor supply should play a driving role in migration, with individuals born into unusually large cohorts having a higher propensity to migrate. We find this effect to be strongest in nearby countries, with a slope that is decreasing and convex in both distance and in the number of countries crossed to reach the U.S. Labor supply-driven migration also interacts in interesting ways with shocks in the sending countries: natural disasters, sudden stops, and high-variability in income per capita all lead to more out-migration when they occur in large cohorts. Our results suggest a strong role for demographic pressure in generating migration in the Americas. (paper co-authored with Craig McIntosh, UCSD Economics)

Gordon Hanson, Professor, Department of Economics and School of International Relations and Pacific Studies, University of California, San Diego

Hanson is the director of the Center on Pacific Economies and is a professor of economics at UC San Diego, where he holds faculty positions in the School of International Relations and Pacific Studies and the Department of Economics. Hanson is a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and co-editor of theJournal of Development Economics. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a senior research fellow at the Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development. Prior to joining UCSD in 2001, he was on the economics faculty at the University of Michigan (1998-2001) and at the University of Texas (1992-1998).

Professor Hanson has published extensively in the top academic journals of the economics discipline. His current research examines the international migration of skilled labor, the economics of illegal immigration, the relationship between business cycles and global outsourcing, and international trade in motion pictures. In recent work, he has studied the impact of trade and immigration on wages, the origins of political opposition to immigration, and the implications of China’s growth for the export performance of Mexico and other developing countries. His most recent book is Skilled Immigration Today: Problems, Prospects, and Policies (Oxford University Press, forthcoming), co-edited with Jagdish Bhagwati.

Marisa Abrajano – Latinos and the 2008 Elections in California

Marisa Abrajano – Latinos and the 2008 Elections in California
 

Listen above to the Research Seminar given by Marisa Abrajano on January 12, 2010. We also encourage you to subscribe to our CCIS Podcast and listen to all of our research seminars for free!


Similar to the outcomes in both the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections, California was expected to be a solidly blue state in the 2008 presidential race. What makes this presidential election distinct from previous ones, however, is the significant role that California played in the democratic nomination process. For the first time in the modern day presidential nomination process, the state’s fastest growing share of the electorate, Latinos, were given the opportunity to express their political preferences in a meaningful and important way. This paper examines the factors influencing Latino vote choice in the 2008 Democratic and Republican presidential primaries. Can Latino vote choice be explained in the same manner as non-Latinos? Do potential distinctions in the information they receive (e.g. political ads, the media) affect their vote decisions in any way? In the months that followed California’s primary election, Latino voters remained in the spotlight, though not with respect to the presidential race. Instead, the importance of capturing the Latino vote turned to Proposition 8, a ballot initiative that would amend the California constitution to ban same sex-marriage in the state.

Paper co-authored with Fernando Guerra, Professor of Political Science at Loyola Marymount University

Marisa Abrajano, Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of California, San Diego; CCIS Visiting Fellow

Marisa Abrajano is an assistant professor in the department of political science at the University of California, San Diego. She received her Ph.D. in politics from New York University in 2005. Her research interests are in American politics, particularly in the areas of campaigns, mass electoral behavior, Latino politics, and racial/ethnic politics. She is the author of two forthcoming books: Campaigning to the New American Electorate: Television Advertising to Latinos (Stanford University Press) and New Faces, New Voices: The Hispanic Electorate in America (with R. Michael Alvarez) published by Princeton University Press. Her other work has been published in The Journal of PoliticsPolitical Research QuarterlyAmerican Politics Research and Political Behavior.

Leisy Abrego – Barely Subsisting to Thriving: The Significance of Legal Status and Gender for Salvadoran Transnational Families

Leisy Abrego – Barely Subsisting to Thriving: The Significance of Legal Status and Gender for Salvadoran Transnational Families
 

Listen above to the Research Seminar given by Leisy Abrego on December 1, 2009.  We also encourage you to subscribe to our CCIS Podcast and listen to all of our research seminars for free!


Limited economic opportunities drive parents in many developing countries to migrate in search of employment. Because unauthorized international travel is dangerous and costly, migrants often leave their children behind, creating transnational families. Once in the United States, with few opportunities for legalization, these families face lengthy separations. How do the parents and children fare? And what determines their outcomes? This study finds that despite tremendous emotional costs, some families are thriving economically while others are only barely subsisting. The evidence demonstrates that migrants’ legal status and gender together shape how much these families benefit from the sacrifice of separation. Specifically, experiences associated with legal status and gendered cultural norms powerfully regulate how much parents earn and, in turn, how much they remit to their children. Surprisingly, the same factors determine how much children suffer emotionally during their parents’ absence.


leisy-abrego-croppedLeisy Abrego is a University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California, Irvine. Her research interests include Latino Studies, sociology of law, international migration, gender, and families. She has published articles in Latino Studies and Law & Social Inquiry about the role of legal status in the lives and educational trajectories of undocumented immigrant youth. Most recently, she published in the Journal of Marriage and Family about gendered differences in remittance practices. She is currently working on a book manuscript about effects of legal status and gender on Salvadoran transnational families’ well-being.

Karthick Ramakrishnan – Going Local: The New Politics of Immigration in the United States

Immigration policy in the United States has largely been the purview of the federal government, with rules establishing who is eligible to enter the United States, the terms of such entry, and the conditions under which immigrants may become citizens. In the past decade, low-skilled migrant labor in the United States has reached new destinations, ranging from rural Kansas and North Carolina to suburbs in Long Island and Georgia. These settlement patterns have brought new attention to issues such as day labor, unlicensed businesses, overcrowded housing, and illegal immigration. They have also raised concerns over issues of representation and political assimilation among communities characterized by low rates of citizenship and low levels of English proficiency. Finally, with immigration reform unresolved at the federal level, states and local governments have taken the initiative in passing their own legislation that would explicitly make the livelihood of immigration more difficult or less so.

Despite their pressing importance, these issues of immigrant political assimilation and local government responses have yet to be systematically examined, and especially so in smaller cities and in newer immigrant destinations. This book examines variation in state and local government policies and practices related to low-skill immigrant labor in the United States. It begins by exploring the evolution of immigration policy since 1965, with provisions in 1994 and 1996 as especially important in setting the stage for state and local government involvement in immigration policies. The book then uses a combination of large-scale statistical analysis and qualitative methods to explore: 1) how state and local governments have varied in their involvement in policies that explicitly target immigrants, 2) how these policies have been covered in the news, and 3) how the general public, and immigrants in particular, view these developments.


Karthick-Ramakrishnan-bw

Karthick Ramakrishnan is associate professor of political science at the University of California, Riverside. His research focuses on civic participation, immigration policy, and the politics of race, ethnicity, and immigration in the United States. Ramakrishnan is one of the principal investigators for the 2008 National Asian American Survey, the first of its kind conducted at the national level.

Ramakrishnan received his Ph.D. in politics from Princeton University, and has held fellowships at the Russell Sage Foundation and the Public Policy Institute of California. He has received several grants from sources such as the James Irvine Foundation and the Russell Sage Foundation, and has provided consultation to public officials at the federal and local levels.

Ramakrishnan’s articles have appeared in International Migration Review, Urban Affairs Review, Social Science Quarterly, and The DuBois Review. He is also the author of Democracy in Immigrant America (Stanford University Press, 2005), and is an editor of two volumes on immigrant politics and civic engagement: Transforming Politics, Transforming America (University of Virginia Press, 2006) and Civic Roots and Political Realities: Immigrants, Community Organizations, and Political Engagement (Russell Sage Foundation, 2008).

Alex Balch – Managing labour migration in Europe: Ideas, knowledge and policy change

Listen below to the Research Seminar given by Alex Balch on November 3, 2009.  We also encourage you to subscribe to our podcast to automatically receive audio of all CCIS research seminars.

Alex Balch – Managing Labour Migration in Europe:  Ideas, Knowledge, and Policy Change

 
Labour migration policies in European countries have exhibited intensive change in the early part of the 21st century while the subject continues to be a hot political topic with global resonance. Dr Balch focuses on this new era of labour migration management in Europe and presents research into the key ideas which have changed the way that policymakers look at the issue. The paper presents empirical evidence from two case studies – the UK and Spain (two of the major labour importers within the EU), and charts why, when and how paradigm shifts occur.

Understanding the so-called ‘war of ideas’ in the political arena and accounting for policy change are among the key challenges for political science. The approach taken here is to take a step back and place labour migration policy in a theoretical conception of the policymaking process and policy change. In this way, rather than denouncing policymakers as irrational, incompetent (or even racist) the research attempts to show what kinds of ideas and knowledge actually shape and frame policy in the new era of migration management in Europe.


headshot-alex-balch-bwAlex Balch is a guest scholar, CCIS and an Economic and Social Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Politics at the University of Sheffield (UK). His work is on analyzing the impacts of ideas and knowledge on labour migration policies. It addresses the observation that we often know very little about the flow of ideas and knowledge in the policy process, and what actually drives politicians and policymakers to make decisions about immigration. He is also currently developing projects examining organizational implementation and delivery chains in border control policies, and media framing of policy debates. Part of the fellowship includes funding for an overseas institutional visit at CCIS which will allow Dr. Balch to develop his research by adding extra depth in terms of a comparative perspective on the European context through reference to the U.S.

Richard Alba – Blurring the Color Line: The New Chance for a More Integrated America

Richard Alba, Distinguished Professor of Sociology at the CUNY Graduate Center, presented his new book Blurring the Color Line: The New Chance for a More Integrated America at this CCIS research seminar October 20th. The audio of his talk is available below or subscribe to our podcast to automatically receive audio of CCIS research seminars.

 
blurring-the-color-line

The next quarter century will offer an unusual chance to undermine ethno-racial divisions and to narrow the social cleavages that separate Americans into distinct and unequal ethno-racial groups. This little-comprehended opportunity will arise from a massive and predictable demographic process: the exodus from the labor market of the baby boom. The turnover in the labor market will produce what might be called “non-zero-sum” mobility: a situation where minorities can advance socioeconomically without threatening very much the opportunities that whites take for granted for themselves and their children.

Non-zero-sum mobility is a critical element in new theory of ethno-racial change. We can identify the empirical foundations for the theory by looking back to another period of profound social change: the mass assimilation of the so-called white ethnics, Irish Catholics and southern and eastern European Catholics, Orthodox Christians and Jews, in the decades following World War II. These changes also took place during a period of massive non-zero-sum-mobility, originating then in an extraordinary period of prosperity.

However, for minorities to be able to benefit from the opportunity ahead, the nation will have to address the barriers that stand in their way. It is worthwhile nevertheless to attempt to envision how ethno-racial distinctions might appear if U.S. society becomes much more diverse in its middle and upper strata.


richard-alba-full-headshotThe seeds of Richard Alba’s interest in ethnicity were sown during his childhood in the Bronx of the 1940s and 1950s and nurtured intellectually at Columbia University, where he received his undergraduate and graduate education, completing his Ph.D. in 1974. He is currently Distinguished Professor of Sociology at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

Besides ethnicity, his teaching and research focus on international migration in the U.S. and in Europe, and he has done research in France and in Germany, with the support of Fulbright grants and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the German Marshall Fund, and Russell Sage Foundation. His books include Ethnic Identity: The Transformation of White America (1990); Italian Americans: Into the Twilight of Ethnicity (1985); Remaking the American Mainstream: Assimilation and Contemporary Immigration (2003), written with Victor Nee; and, most recently, Blurring the Color Line: The New Chance for a More Integrated America (September, 2009).

He has been elected President of the Eastern Sociological Society (1997-98) and Vice President of the American Sociological Association (2000-01).