Towards Local Citizenship: Japanese Cities Respond to International Migration (Working Paper #30)

Katherine Tegtmeyer Pak, New College of the University of South Florida

Summary: The argument I will present is based on research I conducted primarily over a 16 month period beginning in January 1995, which I published under the title “Foreigners are local citizens, too” in a book edited by Mike Douglass and Glenda Roberts, Japan and Global Migration. This paper updates that argument with data I gathered during a short trip back to Japan this past summer. I also want to share some new thoughts I have regarding the consequences of Japanese cities’ responses to international migration for Japanese notions of citizenship.

The central premise of my argument is that since international migration unevenly affects particular cities and regions, politicization of immigration will frequently be driven by actors motivated by local conditions and needs. Accordingly, our studies of the politics of migration should look to both center and periphery, to interactions between institutions of local and national governance.

This paper is divided into four sections. I begin by briefly summarizing the new international migration to Japan that began in the 1980s. Next, I introduce the activities engaged in by four Japanese cities in response to that immigration. Third, I make my argument regarding the political sources of these activities. Finally, I discuss the consequences of these policies.

Working Paper #30»

Immigration Policies and their Impact: The Case of New Zealand and Australia (Working Paper #29)

Rainer Winkelmann, Institute for the Study of Labor, Bonn

Abstract: The paper provides an analysis of the recent immigration history of New Zealand and Australia. It starts with a description of the quantitative dimension of immigration: how many immigrants entered the two countries, and what was the contribution of external migration to population growth. Next, similarities and differences in the current immigration policies are studied. Finally, an attempt is made to evaluate policy outcomes using empirical evidence of immigrants arriving in the 1990s.

Working Paper #29»

Politics, Race and Absorption: Israeli Housing and Education Policies for Ethiopian Jewish Immigrants, 1984-1992 (Working Paper #28)

Fred A. Lazin, Ben Gurion University of the Negev

Introduction: This paper studies the housing and educational absorption policies of the Israeli government for the Ethiopian Jews who have immigrated since the early 1980s. It documents actual policies and explains why particular policies were adopted and why the Ethiopians were treated so differently. While official policy called for housing Ethiopian immigrants in communities with strong infrastructures in central Israel, most would be directed to permanent housing in spatially segregated clusters in specific neighborhoods and municipalities, often in Israel’s periphery. In education political decisions at the highest level segregated Ethiopian immigrant children within an inferior school system.

Working Paper #28»

Demobilizing the Revolution: Migration, Repatriation, and Colonization in Mexico, 1911-1940 (Working Paper #26)

Casey Walsh, New School University

Introduction: During the summer of 1939 hundreds of Mexicans and Mexican Americans from Houston, Austin and a number of smaller towns in Texas packed their belongings, climbed aboard buses and trucks, and headed south to Matamoros, Tamaulipas, across the Rio Bravo from Brownsville, Texas. They had been planning for this move since the Spring, when Mexican President Lázaro Cárdenas sent Ramón Beteta and Manuel Gamio to their towns to offer them free land if they were willing to dedicate themselves to the hard work of clearing it and farming cotton on it. The colonists were met at the border by officials of Mexico’s Secretary of Comunications and Public Works, which was building an enormous irrigation zone in the hinterland around Matamoros. After a long day of digging their vehicles out of the mud, they arrived to their new home, the Campamento “18 de Marzo”, soon to be known as “Valle Hermoso,” or Beautiful Valley in English.

60 years later I made a similar trip, looking not for a homeland where I could build a prosperous future, but for the material I needed to write an anthropology dissertation about the post- World War Two political economy and culture of cotton production in the Mexican borderlands. But when I got to Valle Hermoso, now an agricultural town of more than 50,000, I felt in some ways as if it were still 1939. Festooned on the municipal palace were huge reproductions of photographs depicting the colonization of the region, and its subsequent cotton prosperity through the 1940s and 1950s. The Municipal President was the daughter of some of the original colonists to the region, and during my stay in Valle Hermoso I attended and participated in a half-dozen ceremonies that comemorated this story. Stages were erected in the main plaza with murals depicting scenes and important people from the colonization and cotton boom years. And there, standing mute and resolute over main street, oversized and painted a bright shiny gold, were President Lázaro Cárdenas and Engineer Eduardo Chávez, the men that enacted the policies of repatriation and colonization that led to the creation of the Valle Bajo Río Bravo.

These histories of repatriation, colonization and cotton prosperity are vivid among the inhabitants of Valle Hermoso, and they form an important part of the political culture of the region today. In this talk I will discuss the government policies and politics that underwrote that repatriation, colonization and prosperity. Numerous authors have discussed the repatriation of Mexicans and Mexican-Americans to Mexico during the 1930s. Most concentrate on events within the United States, and often frame return migration as a racist, nativist political project to kick people out of the United States. This it was. Only a few, however, address the repatriation and colonization policies that were created by the Mexican government to bring people back to Mexico during the 1930s,3 and these often do not take into account a much longer history of government wishes and efforts to colonize migrants that dates back at least to the first years of the Mexican Revolution.4 These blind spots may be due to the fact that return migration and repatriation are usually discussed in as a part of US history, are not considered in the context of the defining features of Mexican history during the 1910 to 1940 period: that is, the revolution, agrarian politics, and the formation of the postrevolutionary Mexican state.

Working Paper #26»

Networks and Religious Communities among Salvadoran Immigrants in San Francisco, Phoenix, and Washington, D.C. (Working Paper #25)

Cecilia Menjívar, University of Arizona

Summary: In this paper I seek to examine the place of religious institutions in the lives of Salvadoran immigrants, particularly how these immigrants view their links with and participation in the church in light of the conditions in which they live. Religious rituals infuse with transcendental meaning important events in the immigrants’ lives, but religious institutions also respond in practical terms to the immigrants’ needs and afflictions. This observation is not exceptional in the cases I present in this piece, however, relative to the importance of religion in the immigrants’ lives, contemporary immigration scholars have not focused enough on this aspect of current immigration flows. Immigrants’ religious participation was a major theme in sociological studies of turn-of-the-century immigration. Scholars’ interest in the role of religion in immigrants’ experiences stemmed in part from the prominent place that the church occupied in the lives of immigrants, as religious congregations developed an intricate welfare system to serve the needs of Italian, Irish, and Jewish newcomers. Stephenson (1932) observes that the Lutheran church constituted the fundamental institutional nucleus around which Swedish immigrants structured their lives. But the massive migration of Catholics, Jews, and German Lutherans also increased the sociological relevance of religious identity itself (Warner, 1993: 1058).

Working Paper #25»

A Singular International Area: Border and Cultures in the Societies of the Strait of the Gibraltar (Working Paper #23)

Francisco Oda-Ángel, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Madrid

Abstract: When we refer to Border we are not solely referring to the demarcating line or to the imaginary limit drawn and arisen from diplomatic negotiations or as a result of wars. In addition to including this bordering area, borders have their own characteristics which determine and give sense to the day to day life of those societies which are at one side and at the other side. Border societies and border people share features which make the border a movable and flexible concept or category of thought, involving a great diversity of hybrid cultural expressions which are not exempted from inherent contractions in their own nature. The border eases a series of determinations and ambiguities which jointly involve punishments for some and allow transgressions for others. Maybe due to the fact that for the border individual, the idea of border dissipates and disintegrates to the extent of disappearing and defines the border area as exclusive, beyond and above the respective rules and values at each side. Border people do not perceive the border in the same conditions as those at each side who do not hold such a condition. Therefore, the border is not regarded as being at one side and them at the other, but as an area open to co-operation and not an abyss which divides people, but a community with its own energy, direction and future. Border identity is caused by those who live within those societies settled in the different parts of the border and the former are capable of going beyond the view of border that those who are outside it have. It is also true that we could outline many kinds of borders which go from the traditional, historical, political-administrative, linguistic, cultural, economic, maritime, fluvial, to those borders which are more intimate and refer to thought, collective imagination or mentality. Borders that are born and die or even border people who, for different reasons, the border has crossed over without their having moved from their territory, and have passed to form part of the other side without any intention on their part. Such is the case of, inter alia, the “twin cities” of Gibraltar-La Línea-San Roque, El Paso-Ciudad Juárez, Laredo-Nuevo Laredo or San Diego-Tijuana.

Working Paper #23»

Working on the Margins: Immigrant Day Labor Characteristics and Prospects for Employment (Working Paper #22)

Abel Valenzuela, Jr., University of California – Los Angeles

Summary: This article presents for the first time findings from the Day Labor Survey. Drawing upon 481 randomly surveyed immigrant day workers at 87 hiring sites throughout Southern California, I examine key demographic, social, and labor market characteristics of this burgeoning informal market. The findings suggest that not all day laborers are desperate, bottom of the barrel, recently arrived job seekers. Day laborers are diverse in family structure, recency of arrival, tenure in day work, and human capital. Earnings among day laborers are mixed; hourly rates are higher than federal or state minimum wage ceilings, however this advantage is clearly offset by unstable work patterns. These findings suggest that for a significant number of immigrant day laborers, work in this informal market may be an alternative to work in the low-skill, formal labor market.

Working Paper #22»

The Benefits of Being Minority: The Ethnic Status of the Japanese-Brazilians in Brazil (Working Paper #21)

Takeyuki Tsuda, University of California – San Diego

Summary: Despite their socioeconomic and cultural integration in mainstream Brazilian society, however, the Japanese-Brazilians continue to assert a rather prominent “Japanese” ethnic minority identity, which remains considerably stronger than their identification with majority Brazilians or the Brazilian nation (cf. Maeyama 1996:398). Because of a strong consciousness of their distinctive ethnic attributes that constitute their “Japaneseness” in Brazil, the Japanese-Brazilians continue to emphasize their minority identities despite a growing realization that they have become considerably Brazilianized. Many of my nikkeijin informants privileged the Japanese side of their dual ethnic identity, claiming that they feel more “Japanese” than “Brazilian.” Only a relatively small proportion of them had fully adopted a majority Brazilian identity. This paper examines the various components of this continued experience of Japanese ethnic distinctiveness and identity among the nikkeijin in Brazil.

Working Paper #21»

The Migration of High-Skilled Workers from Canada to the United States: Empirical Evidence and Economic Reasons (Working Paper #20)

Mahmood Iqbal, The Conference Board of Canada

Summary: This paper (primarily based on the Conference Board study) is a comprehensive examination of brain drain. First, it provides the significance of the issue from Canadian perspective. Then it provides an historical view of overall migration between Canada and the United States. It also provides data on immigrants in Canada from other parts of the world. It then looks at the recent trend in emigration (both permanent and non-permanent or temporary) of highly educated and skilled Canadians to the United States and examines its significance in a broader economic context. Using national data, the paper also provides empirical evidence of factors responsible for brain drain and establishes a quantitative link between the trend and its determinants. Since the tax-wedge between Canada and US is often identified as the main determinant of brain drain, details on differences in personal taxes of the two countries also are provided.

Working Paper #20»