UC International Migration Conference 2012

Panel 1. Local Policy Responses
 

Panel 2. Unauthorized Migration
 

Lunch Speaker
 

Panel 3. Latino Politics
 

Panel 4. Refugees and Security
 

CCIS will host the Third Annual University of California Conference on International Migration: Politics and Governance on Friday, February 10, 2012.

The conference will take place in the Weaver Center of the Institute of the Americas – University of California, San Diego.  For directions, click here.

If you are interested in attending the conference, contact Ana Minvielle.

Co-sponsored by the Center for Research on Immigration, Population and Public Policy, UC Irvine; UCLA Program on International Migration; and Gifford Center for Population Studies, UC Davis


SCHEDULE (Rooms subject to Change):

8:00-8:30am COFFEE AND WELCOME

David FitzGerald, UC San Diego

John Skrentny, UC San Diego

8:30-10:00am PANEL 1. Local Policy Responses

Karthick Ramakrishnan, UCR, “Polarized Change:  An Evidence-Based Theory of Subnational Immigration Regulation”

Jennifer Chacon, UCI, “Overcriminalizing Immigration”

Angela Garcia, UCSD, “Return to Sender? A Comparative Analysis of Immigrant Communities in ‘Attrition through Enforcement’ Destinations”

Discussant: Zoli Hajnal, UCSD

10:00- 10:30am BREAK

10:30am-12:30pm PANEL 2. Unauthorized Migration

Wayne Cornelius, UCSD, “Evaluating the Costs and Efficacy of U.S. Immigration Enforcement: A National Academy of Sciences Study”

Frank Bean, UCI, “Unauthorized Mexican Migration:  Effects on Second-Generation Educational Attainment”

Ruben Hernandez-Leon, UCLA, “The (Undocumented) Migration Industry as a Bastard Institution”

Discussant: Esther Castillo, UCI

12:30-1:30pm LUNCH

Speaker: Roberto Suro, USC, “After the Storm:  The immigration policy debate in the wake of the great recession”

1:30-3:00pm PANEL 3. Latino Politics

Cristina Mora, UCB, “Hispanic Panethnicity”

Rodney Hero, UCB, “Exploring the Strength of ‘American’ Identity among Latinos: Considering the Role of ‘Liberal’ Values, Ascriptive Factors, and Demographic Characteristics”

David Sears, UCLA, “Do national and ethnic identities collide?”

Susan Bibler Coutin, UCI, “Memory, Membership, and Rights:  Activism among Salvadoran Youth”

Discussant: Susan Brown, UCI

3:00-3:30pm BREAK

3:30-5:00pm PANEL 4. Refugees and Security

Phil Wolgin, Center for American Progress (formerly UCB), “Encouraging Defection while Discouraging Admissions: U.S. Policy toward Refugees in Asia’s Berlin, 1950-1965″

Kate Jastram, UCB, “Seeking Asylum, Suspected of War Crimes: Weighing Persecution by the Persecuted”

Robbie Totten, UCLA/CCIS, “Security Objectives and U.S. Refugee Policy”

Discussant: David Pedersen, UCSD

6:00pm DINNER & KEYNOTE ADDRESS (invited panelists and discussants only)

Edward Alden, Council on Foreign Relations, “Are U.S. Borders Finally Secure? Evidence and Implications for the Immigration Debate”

Jane Junn – How to Study Public Opinion in a Diverse Polity: Political Attitudes on Immigration in the U.S.

 

Seminar to be held on Tuesday, February 7th in ERC 115 at 12:30 pm.

The study of the contours and antecedents of U.S. public opinion on immigration has been characterized by several strategies: 1) analyzing differences between whites and African Americans only; 2) controlling for race when estimating inferential models by using dummy variables; 3) utilizing models of white opinion to explain attitudes among minority Americans; and 4) analyzing one racial or ethnic group in isolation. Professor Junn argues that these approaches are insufficient to both the descriptive and inferential task facing analysts of public opinion in a diverse American polity. Instead, she advocates a comparative relational approach that considers the opinions of all Americans, and generates hypotheses based on the interactive and historically-grounded experiences of racial groups in the United States. With this approach, she develops a theory of the political context of racial structural positionality and articulate how this context and the development of racialization structures agency  and constraint for Americans classified by race.

Jane Junn is Professor of Political Science at the University of Southern California. She is the author of four books on political participation in the U.S. Her first book, Education and Democratic Citizenship in America (with Norman Nie and Ken Stehlik-Barry, University of Chicago Press, 1996), won the Woodrow Wilson Foundation award from the American Political Science Association for the best book published in political science. She is also the author of Civic Education: What Makes Students Learn (with Richard G. Niemi, Yale University Press, 1998), New Race Politics: Understanding Minority and Immigrant Politics (edited with Kerry L. Haynie, Cambridge University Press, 2008), and Asian American Political Participation: Emerging Constituents and their Political Identities (with Janelle Wong, Karthick Ramakrishnan and Taeku Lee, Russell Sage Foundation, 2011). This most recent book is based on data from the 2008 National Asian American Survey. She is currently at work with Natalie Masuoka on a book on political attitudes in the U.S. entitled Conditional Welcome: Public Opinion on Immigration and the Politics of Belonging.

Jane has been Vice President of the American Political Science Association, a Fulbright Senior Scholar and a recipient of an Outstanding Teacher Award from Columbia University Teachers College. She was a member of the Social Science Research Council National Research Commission on Elections and Voting and a member of the National Academy of Science Committee on the U.S. Naturalization Test Redesign. She was the director of the USC – Los Angeles Times Poll during the 2010 California election.

* Light refreshments will be provided

Erik Bleich – The Freedom to Be Racist? How the United States and Europe Struggle to Preserve Freedom and Combat Racism

Seminar to be held on Thursday, January 26th in ERC 201 at 12:30 pm.

We love freedom. We hate racism. But what do we do when these values collide? This talk, based on the speaker’s 2011 book of the same title, advances descriptive, explanatory, and normative arguments. It explores policies that the United States, Britain, France, Germany, and other liberal democracies have implemented when forced to choose between preserving freedom and combating racism. Using a comparative historical approach, it reveals that while most liberal democracies have increased restrictions on racist speech, groups, and actions since the end of World War II, this trend has resembled a slow creep more than a slippery slope. Outcomes have varied across time and place, however, and have been less the product of differences in minority mobilization, constitutional law, or culture, than of conjunctures of factors in particular political contexts. From a normative standpoint, it develops a framework for evaluating the extent to which policy responses are proportionate to the level of harm the racism inflicts. It also asserts that the best way for societies to preserve freedom while fighting racism is through processes of public deliberation that involve citizens in decisions that impact the core values of liberal democracies.

Erik Bleich is professor of political science at Middlebury College in Vermont. His most recent book is The Freedom to Be Racist? How the United States and Europe Struggle to Preserve Freedom and Combat Racism (Oxford University Press, 2011). He is also the author of Race Politics in Britain and France: Ideas and Policymaking since the 1960s (Cambridge University Press, 2003), the editor of Muslims and the State in the Post-9/11 West (Routledge, 2010), and the author of articles on race, ethnicity, and policymaking in liberal democracies that have appeared in journals such as Comparative Political Studies, Comparative Politics, the European Political Science Review, Theory & Society, and World Politics.

* Light refreshments will be provided

Claire Adida – Immigrant Exclusion in Africa

 

Seminar to be held on Tuesday, January 10th in ERC 115 at 12:30 pm.

What explains immigrant exclusion in urban West Africa? Africa scholars have long recognized the dynamic and political nature of citizenship in Africa. Immigration scholars have long debated the determinants of immigrant exclusion in industrialized democracies. But we know very little about the character of immigrant exclusion in Africa. This research contributes to our understanding of immigrant insecurity in the developing world by comparing and explaining the fates of two immigrant ethnic groups – the Nigerian Yorubas and Hausas – in three West African cities: Accra, Cotonou and Niamey. Relying on surveys of immigrants and their host populations, as well as interviews with local community leaders, it finds that, in environments lacking a formal-legal path to citizenship, the immigrant experience is shaped by local actors who benefit from immigrant insecurity and vulnerability. Consequently, cultural similarities between immigrants and hosts do not necessarily improve immigrant integration; they may, in fact, exacerbate exclusion.

Claire Adida is an assistant professor in the department of Political Science at the University of California, San Diego. She received her Ph.D. in political science from Stanford University in 2010. Her research is in Comparative Politics, and more specifically in the study of ethnicity and identity, government and non-state provision of public goods, inter-group cooperation and violence, and trust and informal institutions. Her work has been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and in Comparative Political Studies. She is completing a book manuscript on Immigrant Exclusion and Insecurity in Africa, where she offers one of the first systematic analyses of the immigrant experience in a region that experiences large flows of voluntary migration.

* Light refreshments will be provided

Migrants’ New Paths Reshaping Latin America

Associate Director of CCIS, David FitzGerald, speaks about the changing patterns of immigration between the United States and Mexico.


BY DAMIEN CAVE   JANUARY 5, 2012

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Many Mexican migrants now shun the border for Mexican towns like Santa María Atzompa.
(Rodrigo Cruz for The New York Times)

SANTA MARÍA ATZOMPA, Mexico — When the old-timers here look around their town, all they see are new arrivals: young Mexican men working construction and driving down wages; the children of laborers flooding crowded schools; even new businesses — stores, restaurants and strip clubs — springing up on roads that used to be dark and quiet.

The shock might seem familiar enough in countless American towns wrestling with immigration, but this is a precolonial Mexican village outside Oaxaca City, filling up with fellow Mexicans. Still, grimaces about the influx are as common as smiles.

“Before all these people came, everything was tranquil,” said Marcelino Juárez, 61, an artisan at the local ceramics market. “They bring complications. They don’t bring benefits.”

Throughout Mexico and much of Latin America, the old migratory patterns are changing. The mobile and restless are now casting themselves across a wider range of cities and countries in the region, pitting old residents against new, increasing pressure to create jobs and prompting nations to rewrite their immigration laws, sometimes to encourage the trend.

The United States is simply not the magnet it once was. Arrests at the United States’ southwest border in 2011 fell to their lowest level since 1972, confirming that illegal immigration, especially from Mexico, has reached what experts now describe as either a significant pause or the end of an era.

But this is not a shift in volume as much as direction. Nearly two million more Mexicans lived away from their hometowns in 2010 than was the case a decade earlier, according to the Mexican census. Experts say departures have also held steady or increased over the past few years in Guatemala, El Salvador, Peru and other Latin American countries that have traditionally been hubs of emigration.

The migrants are just not always going where they used to.

Mexicans, for example, are increasingly avoiding the United States and the border region, as well as their own capital, and are moving toward smaller, safer cities like Mérida, Oaxaca City and Querétaro. Experts say more Guatemalans are also settling in Mexico after years of passing through on the journey north.

To the south, the pull of Chile, Argentina and Brazil is also strengthening. The International Organization for Migration reports that the Bolivian population in Argentina has increased by 48 percent since 2001 (to 345,000), and that the country’s Paraguayan and Peruvian populations have grown even faster.

All of this movement is reshaping the region, making it less like a compass pointing north and more like a hub with many spokes. From the papayas grown by Bolivian farmers in Argentina to the recent discovery of exploited illegal workers in Chile and conflicts over local government in southern Mexico, this intraregional migration in Latin America has become both a challenge and a promising surprise for a part of the world that has generally framed the issue in terms of how many people leave for the United States.

“It’s like a river changing course,” said Gabino Cué Monteagudo, the governor of Oaxaca. “It’s the process of development — it’s inevitable.”

For the United States, the collective shift means fewer migrants crossing the border illegally and possibly more debate over whether the expanded budgets for immigration enforcement still make sense.

But the greatest impacts are being felt in fast-growing towns like Santa María Atzompa, where thousands of mostly poor, rural families have chosen to seek their fortunes. In the case of this town and the surrounding area, the growth has been “fast, barbaric and anarchic,” said Jorge Hernández-Díaz, a sociologist at the Autonomous University of Benito Juárez de Oaxaca.

A generation ago, he said, the road from Oaxaca City to the main plaza of Atzompa passed by fields and farmers, little more. The total population for the municipality in 1990 was 5,781. Now, this small piece of land has filled in with a labyrinth of dirt roads with dead ends, new businesses and thousands of homes in varying levels of construction and quality.

Residents say the population boom accelerated around 2006, as opportunities in the United States fell away and the dangers and cost of crossing the border became prohibitive amid drug cartel violence and stepped-up border security. Now, more than 27,000 people live in Atzompa, according to the 2010 census, and more keep coming.

Other regional poles are experiencing similar growth. Indeed, while the population of Mexico City has stabilized and immigration to the United States has declined, Mexico’s coastal and exurban areas have expanded.

This is partly because of the Mexican government’s efforts to decentralize development, often with incentives for international businesses. Just last month, Nissan said that it would build a factory in the central city of Aguascalientes. Here in Oaxaca State, experts say, the migration out of rural areas is also a product of land reforms in 1992 that, along with the North American Free Trade Agreement, made it harder for farmers to eke out a living and easier for them to sell land.

In South America, too, free trade agreements have contributed to more regional movement, as have steadily growing economies and new laws encouraging migration or protecting migrants’ rights in Argentina, Uruguay, Mexico and Ecuador, among others.

Improvements in technology (especially access to cellphones) and infrastructure (especially better roads) have also made it easier to discover and reach jobs in new places, fueling the classic urge to improve one’s lot without the obstacles and increasing perils of the trek north.

“It’s the economics, but also the culture and more information,” said Juan Artola, South America director for the International Organization for Migration. “Intraregional migration has grown a lot in the last decade and it’s very important because of the changes it implies.”

Continuing and expanding the move toward urbanization, migrants are now making Latin America more integrated, and more metropolitan, say demographers and experts throughout the region. About 77 percent of all Mexicans now live in urban areas, up from 66 percent in 1980.

That makes it easier and cheaper to provide services, including health care, water and electricity, say government officials. For migrants, education seems to be the main draw. Schools that go beyond secondary education are rare in the mountain towns of this poor state, and many young people say they came here to study or because a relative came to study.

Gabriel Hernández, 21, said that four of his brothers moved here to study, starting a decade ago. Some graduated, others did not, but the family opened a bodega about a year ago, selling produce from their hometown in the northern mountains.

Mr. Hernández and many other new residents in Atzompa, who come not only from Oaxaca, but also Veracruz, Mexico City and elsewhere, say they are happy with how things have gone.

Javier Espíritu 36, Buddha-round and covered in paint at the carpentry shop he opened last month, said he had no plans to move again. Business is decent, but his reasons go beyond economics. He came here with his wife and two children, a rarity for migrants who cross into the United States illegally, separated from their families. And unlike his older brothers who made that journey a decade ago, he said he traveled home to his village six hours south of here twice a year.

“When my mom needs anything, she calls me,” he said. “Going to other states, or the U.S. — it’s too complicated. Can you imagine me trying to take my whole family up there?”

And yet, as many Americans in communities with immigration growth have learned, new residents mean new challenges. Poverty in Atzompa remains high. A drug rehabilitation center sits down the block from Mr. Espíritu’s workshop; strip clubs promising “bellas chicas” are nearby, and longtime residents now complain about having too many young men with different values in their midst.

“They’re not from here,” said Mr. Juárez, the artisan, explaining the enduring divide.

Atzompa seems to have reached its breaking point. Governor Cué said that urbanization was one of his administration’s main priorities, but the government is clearly struggling to keep up with population growth. Only a handful of Atzompa’s roads are paved, and the main secondary school, built for about 120 students, now has nearly 700. Gym classes and sports practices take place on the dirt roads outside.

The strains have led to a deep conflict here over government and culture. Atzompa used to be simply a rural village run according to the communal “usos y costumbres” system of government, in which full civic rights accrue only to people who participate in government or community service and are born in the community. But as new residents began to outnumber old ones over the past few years, the recent arrivals complained that they were paying taxes and getting few or no services in return.

Last year, the community hit an impasse. When the municipal president’s term ended, a state administrator took over. Now the state legislature must decide whether to keep “usos y costumbres” or establish the kind of party system found in most of Mexico.

Meanwhile, the economics of Atzompa have been changing, not all for the good. Construction workers say that increased competition has decreased their daily rate to $11, from $14 five years ago, while prices for empty lots have doubled to about $7,200.

Inside Mr. Espíritu’s shop, these are the kinds of new developments that fill conversations and hint at problems to come. “With all this urbanization, there is a lot of work, but what happens when it’s over?” said Sergio Morales, who had come to order a door for his house.

One optimistic possibility, he said, was that the current decline in migration to the United States would lead Mexicans to study, work and slowly build businesses here instead of fleeing for higher wages in the United States. “Look at this guy,” Mr. Morales said, pointing to Mr. Espíritu. “He has been doing it for years.”

New survey research from the University of California, San Diego, suggests that more internal migrants are now moving to areas closer to home, rather than going to states closer to the border or to the capital. One in five people who left the northern village of San Miguel Tlacotepec between 2001 and 2011 stayed within Oaxaca State, according to the university survey of every town resident, up from a little over one in 10 from 1997 to 2007.

But as the new migration patterns show, movements of people — like capital — are fluid and can change. Many of Mexico’s young people are betting that more education will land them better jobs at home over the coming years. But right now, said David Fitzgerald, a demographer at the University of California, San Diego, “their aspirations are higher than their opportunities.”

Whether Mexico closes that gap may determine whether the Mexican economy holds onto its new graduates, or whether once again they decide to head north in droves.

“That’s our great challenge,” Governor Cué said. “We have to find jobs for all these young people who are studying.”

Read the article »

Q&A with David FitzGerald (U-T San Diego)

Q&A with David FitzGerald, associate professor of sociology and associate director, Center for Comparative Immigration Studies, at the University of California San Diego.


BY ELIZABETH AGUILERA JANUARY 1, 2012

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A Q&A with David FitzGerald, associate professor of sociology and associate director, Center for Comparative Immigration Studies, at the University of California San Diego.

Q: In 2009 you co-edited the book “Mexican Migration and the U.S. Economic Crisis.” Studies and figures show migration has slowed during the crisis. Will it return when the economy recovers? How do falling birth rates and improving economies in Mexico and Latin America affect such migration, or future migration to the U.S.?

New arrivals from Mexico dropped 60% from 2006 to 2010. The main reason for this drop is the weak U.S. economy, particularly in the construction sector that employs large numbers of Mexican men. The second-most important factor is increased U.S. border enforcement. Surveys conducted by the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at UC San Diego show that more than 95 percent of migrants from Mexico that attempt to enter illegally eventually succeed, even if about a third of them are apprehended by the Border Patrol. However, U.S. border enforcement strategy is pushing migrants into ever-more dangerous wilderness areas. An average of one person a day dies trying to get across the Southwest border. Our surveys show that many potential migrants are so afraid of the risks of crossing clandestinely that they are staying in Mexico, even as those who do try to cross without papers almost invariably make it.

If and when the U.S. economy starts creating more jobs, I expect immigration rates from Mexico to rise from their current levels. But I don’t think they will reach the historically high levels that they did in the early 2000s. First, fertility rates in Mexico have fallen dramatically, from 7 babies per woman in 1960 to 2.4 babies per woman in 2009. That means that over time, the relative number of young people entering the Mexican workforce, the demographic group most likely to migrate to the United States, will decline. Second, U.S. border enforcement strategy is driving up the risks and costs of unauthorized immigration, which will limit the ability of people in Mexico who are very poor and who don’t have close relatives in the United States to migrate illegally. And current U.S. immigration policy makes it impossible for people in that category to immigrate legally.

Q: Is it possible that enough time could go by that those in Mexico and Latin America lose ties with the U.S. and stop coming?

There are many examples of emigration rates dwindling in countries that were once major countries of origin. Think of Italy, Spain, and South Korea in the last fifty years, not to mention Germany and Scandinavia in the nineteenth century. Nobody would have predicted then that desperately poor countries such as Norway would eventually stop sending citizens abroad and become rich destinations for new immigrants instead. For emigration to stop from Latin American countries, their economies would have to grow much faster than the United States over many decades. Even if the wage gap narrowed, social ties across the border are so strong that family reunification migration would continue for years after the economic rationale to migrate had diminished. Brazil is growing so fast that it is conceivable that its emigration rate will soon slow. But I would expect large flows to continue from Mexico and Central America at least for the next several generations.

Q. Have has this trend, of low economic migration and increased enforcement, affected the citizen children of immigrants both in the U.S. and in Mexico or Central America?

Since the 1970s, there has been a trend away from the circular migration of men back and forth between Mexico and the United States, toward long-term settlement of whole families in the United States. The current disruption in new immigration is separating families. Wives and children in Mexico can’t see their husband and fathers in the United States, often for years at a time. Many small towns in Mexico are lonely places inhabited mostly by children, wives, and seniors. The Catholic Church, school teachers, and mental health providers are particularly concerned about how children are affected by the long-term absence of their fathers who are working in the United States to support their families back in Mexico.

Q: Your current project deals with racial and national origin preferences and citizenship policy. Has that history led to change in the U.S. under current policies?

For most of its history, U.S. immigration policy explicitly discriminated against particular racial and ethnic groups. Naturalization was restricted to whites in 1790, and it wasn’t until 1952 that all Asian immigrants were eligible to naturalize. Between 1882 and 1943, immigration of people of Chinese descent was banned. By the 1920s, immigration policy had all but ended Asian immigration, and a system of national-origin quotas preferentially treated people from northwestern Europe while restricting southern and eastern Europeans. The end of the national-origins policy in 1965 dramatically changed the ethnic composition of immigration flows. In 2009, 28 percent of immigrants to the United States were born in Asia, up from 5 percent in 1960.

There are still vestiges of the quota system in U.S. immigration policy. For people trying to become permanent legal residents based on their employment and some family reunification-categories, visas are restricted to 25,620 per country, regardless of the size of the country or its historical levels of migration. Mexico is treated the same as Monaco. As a result, the waiting period to process an immigrant visa for those categories varies widely. For example, unmarried adult daughters and sons of U.S. citizens are waiting 19 years if they are Mexican, 14 years if they are Filipino, and only 5 years on average if they are nationals of other countries. Congress is debating the possibility of ending the per country limits for employment-based visas, which have led to long waiting times for Chinese and Indians, and providing some relief to Mexicans and Filipinos in the family category.

Q: During this study of such policies and preferences over 150 years did you find anything surprising?

One of the striking features of U.S. immigration policy is how racist policies have been fueled by popular demand. An 1879 California referendum on whether Chinese immigration should be allowed received 883 votes in favor and 154,638 opposed. Restrictionists passed laws restricting the ability of Chinese to interact freely with natives, and then blamed them for clannish behavior and refusing to assimilate. The 1879 state constitution banned government and businesses from hiring Chinese and gave cities and towns the authority to segregate Chinese in particular neighborhoods. That’s why we have Chinatowns in San Francisco and Los Angeles, (and used to have one in San Diego in what became the Gaslamp Quarter). What might seem like a colorful tourist attraction today is the product of segregation imposed by the government at the behest of the electorate. One of the findings of the broader study is that democracy has actually enabled racist policies. The United States, Australia, and Canada were leaders in initiating racist policies in the nineteenth century, and those countries were among the last major countries in the New World to dismantle their racist policies. The turn away from racist policies was primarily due to geopolitical considerations during World War II and the Cold War.

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David Keyes interviewed by KPBS

CCIS Graduate Student Researcher David Keyes was interviewed by KPBS on the change in border arrests.


BY MAUREEN CAVANAUGH, PATTY LANE   DECEMBER 7, 2011

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People wait in line to enter the U.S. at the San Ysidro Port of Entry near San Diego, CA.
(Photo by Jose Luis Jiménez / KPBS)

New numbers from the United States government show that, this fiscal year, more undocumented immigrants were deported from the U.S. than were arrested when trying to enter.

In fact, arrests of immigrants at the border are at the lowest level in 40 years. We take a look at the numbers and look at the reasons for the decrease.

Audio Interview


Video Interview

View video and audio »