SSN Brief on Culling the Masses

HOW LEGACIES OF RACISM PERSIST IN U.S. IMMIGRATION POLICY

By David Scott FitzGerald, University of California, San Diego, and David Cook-Martín, Grinnell College

The United States has always been a nation of immigrants, but for most of its history U.S. law treated newcomers differently according to race.Between 1790 and 1952, legislators restricted naturalization– the process by which immigrants become citizens– to particular racial and ethnic groups, with a consistent preference for whites from northwestern Europe. Laws restricted black immigration beginning in 1803, and a series of subsequent measures banned most Asians and limited access by immigrants from southern and eastern Europe.The U.S. example proved contagious, as our research shows, because every country in the Western Hemisphere followed the U.S. practice of discriminating against certain immigrants by race and ethnicity.

By now, all countries in the New World have eliminated and repudiated legal provisions aimed against particular racial categories– but discrimination continues in more subtle forms. In the United States, reforms in 1965 ended the system of assigning different immigration quotas for each nationality in ways that favored northwestern Europeans. In addition, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution in 2011 symbolically repudiating anti-Asian measures such as the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act (which had been legally rescinded in 1943) as “incompatible with the basic founding principles recognized in the Declaration of Independence that all persons are created equal” and “incompatible with the spirit of the United States Constitution.” Formally, therefore, U.S. immigration law is no longer based on ethno-racial criteria and real changes in immigration practices have greatly diversified the racial and ethnic make-up of the United States over the past half century.

Yet current U.S. immigration law retains subtle provisions reprising earlier efforts to privilege certain kinds of new arrivals and block others. Our research pinpoints these persistent legacies of discrimination and shows how they work to favor traditionally advantaged groups.

The False Equality of Preference Visas

A third of new legal immigrants to the United States hold “preference visas” sponsored by employers and certain kinds of family members of current U.S. citizens and permanent residents. Preference visas are not equally available, however, because each
sending country’s nationals have the same annual cap regardless of that country’s population or the size of its migration stream to the United States. Big countries with extensive migration histories like the Philippines
and Mexico have the same cap–about 26,000 visas a year–as countries like Andora or Lesotho with small populations and little history of migration to the United States.

In practice, this system means that Filipinos and Mexicans typically wait in line outside the United States more than twice as long as people from other countries. Filipino siblings of adult U.S. citizens are currently waiting 24 years and Mexicans are waiting 16 years, compared to 12 years for nationals of other countries. Mexican married adult children of U.S. citizens are waiting 21 years and Filipinos are waiting 20 years, compared to 10 years for other nationals. The discrimination so evident here is deliberate. When Congress ended the national- origins quotas in the 1960s, lawmakers implemented a policy of seemingly “equal” country caps in order to limit legal immigration from Mexico and countries in Asia.

New Back Doors for Europeans

Some lawmakers and ethnic lobbies continue to search for ways to favor Europeans without saying so. The most successful strategy has been to craft subtle mechanisms that make it easier in practice for Europeans to enter the United States, inserting those mechanisms into major immigration reform bills where they are little noticed because debate is dominated by broader questions.

  • The 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act is remembered mostly for ending longstanding national-origins quotas favoring northwest Europe. But, quietly, the 1986 law also included extra visas for nationals from 36 countries , mostly in Europe.
  • The Diversity Visa program launched by the 1990 immigration reform bill also had biases.
    Congressional debates and hearings show that the intention was to increase the numbers of Europe an immigrants without using discredited national-origins quotas. Some 50,000 Diversity Visas are distributed each year in a lottery for nationals of countries that are not otherwise major sources of immigration. Ineligible for these special visas are people from nineteen countries–all but three of them in Latin America, the Caribbean, and Asia.
  • In the latest effort to bring Europeans in through the back door, Democratic Senator Charles Schumer of New York introduced a bill in 2011 that would provide 10,000 special annual visas for Irish citizens–not strictly immigrant visas but indefinitely renewable.

Ironically, intentions sometimes fail to pan out. For example, although the goal of the 1990 Diversity program was to boost the numbers of Europeans, in practice, the lottery has benefited nationals from African countries. The only European country of origin to crack the top ten has been the Ukraine, surely not the intended beneficiary for politicians catering to Irish-American and Italian-American voters. Despite such misfires, Congress has repeatedly tried to craft new preferences for traditionally favored groups in an era when explicit discrimination is illegitimate.

Will the Next Immigration Reform Institute True Equality?

The next round of U.S. immigration reforms could at last put all potential newcomers on the same footing. In June 2013, the Senate passed the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, which has the support of President Barack Obama but remains blocked in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. Significantly, this legislation, or future legislation like it, would repeal the Diversity Visa program, eliminate country limits for employment-based visas, and increase country limits for new arrivals with ties to family members already in the United States. By admitting all new Americans not by country of birth but based on skills, occupations, and ties to relatives, such reforms would go a long ways toward making the United States, at last, truly an equal nation of immigrants.


Read more in David Scott FitzGerald and David Cook-Martin, Culling the Masses: The Democratic Origins of Racist Immigration Policy in the Americas (Harvard University Press, 2014)

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UCSD Faculty in the News – Scapegoating Africa’s Immigrants (The Washington Post)

By Claire Adida – June 3rd

Kim Yi Dionne: Claire Adida is an assistant professor of political science at the University of California San Diego. This post draws from her book, “Immigrant Exclusion and Insecurity in Africa: Coethnic Strangers,” which was recently published by Cambridge University Press.

Two months ago, after explosions killed at least six people in Nairobi’s Eastleigh suburb, Kenyan police launched Operation Usalama Watch, arrested hundreds – some say thousands – in the ethnically Somali neighborhood, and crammed them intoKasarani Stadium outside the capital city, where many continue to live today. (Twitter, with its #KasaraniConcentrationCamp hashtag, remains the best source of information on this topic.) The official word from Kenya’s State House was that the operation aimed to clean Nairobi of terrorists and illegal immigrants. The problem: Many of those arrested are Kenyan citizens.

We know very little about the fate of immigrants in Africa, a region known for sending migrants elsewhere, not for hosting them. Immigration debates and scholarly work focus overwhelmingly on south-to-north migration, the flow of people from developing to industrialized countries. And when we do turn our attention to migrant flows within the developing world, we typically think of refugees, people fleeing wars and famine. Yet close to half of all international migrants settle in the developing world, including 10 percent in Africa. These are not refugees: In 2013, an estimated14.6 million immigrants lived in Africa compared to fewer than 3 million refugees.

In many African countries, “immigrant” is more an identity predicated on ethnic heritage than a legal status.  As a result, many ethnic minorities face scapegoating and violence. This is true for Kenya’s ethnic Somalis today, who have been scapegoats for the terrorist attacks perpetrated in Kenya by Somalia’s al-Shabaab. It is pervasive throughout South Africa, where black African immigrants – derogatorily called “makwerekwere” – are blamed for the country’s economic hardships. And it has characterized Côte d’Ivoire’s recent civil war, where economic and political competition spurred the Ivoirité movement, an attempt to disenfranchise the country’s northern Muslims.

Individual case studies of immigrant scapegoating in Africa are common. My book, “Immigrant Exclusion and Insecurity in Africa: Coethnic Strangers” not only investigates the prevalence of immigrant scapegoating in sub-Saharan Africa but also explains why some immigrant groups face greater exclusion than others. I collected and analyzed data on mass immigrant expulsions in sub-Saharan African countries, from their year of independence to 1999. The analysis shows that African leaders regularly rely on mass immigrant expulsions (see map below), and that they tend to do so following economic hardship (see figure below). Idi Amin’s notorious expulsion of over 70,000 Asian Ugandans in 1972 comes to mind, but this was hardly the only or most egregious example of immigrant scapegoating.

Frequency of mass immigrant expulsions, from independence to 1999. Map by Claire Adida, shared courtesy of Cambridge University Press.

Frequency of mass immigrant expulsions, from independence to 1999. (Map by Claire Adida, courtesy of Cambridge University Press)

GDP growth around the time of a mass immigrant expulsion. Figure by Claire Adida, shared courtesy of Cambridge University Press.

GDP growth around the time of a mass immigrant expulsion. (Figure by Claire Adida, courtesy of Cambridge University Press)

In 1969, Ghana’s prime minister, Kofi Busia, facing an economic and popularity crisis, decreed his Alien Compliance Order. The executive order gave all aliens in Ghana two weeks to regularize their stay or face expulsion. An official countdown was aired every day on the radio, creating chaos and fear. Eventually, 500,000 people left. The victims of this executive order were, for the most part, ethnic Yorubas who had been living in Ghana for generations. But as members of an ethnic group indigenous to land now located in Nigeria and Benin, not Ghana, and as successful traders in Ghana’s urban centers, they became easy scapegoats.

How do these immigrants protect themselves from such scapegoating? Answering this question required a deeper exploration into the lives and integration strategies of immigrants in Africa. In 2007, I spent a year following two immigrant ethnic groups from Nigeria – the Hausas and the Yorubas – in three West African cities: Accra (Ghana), Cotonou (Benin), and Niamey (Niger) (see map below). I interviewed their leaders and surveyed their community members as well as their hosts in the urban centers in which they settle. I also sought out and interviewed victims of Ghana’s 1969 expulsion; though many have passed away, a number are now living in Ogbomosho (Nigeria). What I found is that immigrants find economic success and security by notintegrating into their host societies, a strategy reminiscent of Southeast Asia’s ethnic Chinese or Europe’s Jews.

Research sites in "Immigrant Exclusion and Insecurity in Africa: Coethnic Strangers." Map by Claire Adida, shared courtesy of Cambridge University Press.

Research sites in “Immigrant Exclusion and Insecurity in Africa: Coethnic Strangers.” (Map by Claire Adida, courtesy of Cambridge University Press)

The immigrant groups I studied settled generations ago into their urban host societies as informal traders and rely heavily on leaders in their own communities for key resources, such as access to loans, customers and supplies.

They also seek and find in these leaders greater security. When local police raid neighborhoods and round up immigrants, immigrant community leaders bail them out. This is possible because these leaders strike bargains with local police. They monitor their own, turn in the bad apples, and in return are recognized as a legitimate authority. In sum, they expend considerable time and energy organizing their members and ensuring they remain identifiable… as immigrants.

The very same strategy that gives immigrants in sub-Saharan Africa the best chances for economic success and physical safety also appears to be what keeps them vulnerable. By eschewing integration, immigrants both protect themselves against scapegoating and ensure that the threat remains.

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June 4 – Martin Schain – Immigration Policy: A Transatlantic Perspective

CCIS Spring Seminar Series

Martin A. Schain, Professor of Politics, New York University
Wednesday, June 4, 12:00pm 
Eleanor Roosevelt College Administration Building 
Conference Room 115, First Floor


Immigration Policy: A Transatlantic Perspective

Although the failures of American policy in dealing with undocumented  immigration and immigrants now residing in the United States have been politically front and center for most of the past decade, the comparative success of policies on legal entry and integration have generally gone unnoticed.

In Europe, with few exceptions, policy on immigration has been poorly defined and often contradictory. The gap between policy outputs and outcomes has been considerable and appears to have nurtured the breakthrough and growth of radical-right political parties. Therefore, the lessons to be learned from Europe are generally negative—what not to do and how not to do it. I will examine three aspects of immigration policy in Europe and the United States: entry policy, integration policy, and border enforcement.


Martin A. Schain is Professor of Politics at New York University.  He is the author of The Politics of Immigration in France, Britain and the United States: A Comparative Study (New York: Palgrave, 2008/2012); French Communism and Local Power (St. Martin’s, 1985); co-editor and author of Shadows Over Europe: The Development and Impact of the Extreme Right in Europe (Palgrave, 2002); The Politics of Immigration in Western Europe (Cass, 1994); and co-editor of Europe Without Borders: Remapping Territory, Citizenship, and Identity in a Transnational Age (Johns Hopkins, 2003).  He has also pub­lished numerous scholarly articles on politics and immigration in Europe and the United States, the politics of the extreme right in France, and immigration and the European Union.  He has taught in France, and lectured through­out Eu­rope.  Professor Schain is the founder and former director of the Center for European Studies at NYU, and former chair of the European Union Studies Association.  He is co-editor of the transatlantic scholarly journal, Comparative European Politics

Mexican Migration to the United States with David FitzGerald — 20 Years After NAFTA — Center for US-Mexican Studies & Osher UCSD

UC San Diego sociologist David FitzGerald explains how recent changes in the economies of the US. and Mexico, along with border enforcement and shifting demographics have led to a stabilization of Mexican migration to the U.S. This is the fourth in a five-part series exploring the impact of NAFTA, sponsored by the Osher Institute for Lifelong Learning and the Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies at UC San Diego.

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May 28 – Rainer Bauböck – Territorial and Cultural Inclusion: Comparing Citizenship Policies in Europe

CCIS Spring Seminar

Rainer Bauböck, Professor of Social and Political Theory, European University Institute


Wednesday, May 28, 12:00pm 

Territorial and Cultural Inclusion: Comparing Citizenship Policies in Europe

Comparative analyses of citizenship laws have often suggested that these are shaped either by civic or ethnic conceptions of political community. Yet citizenship laws pursue many different purposes that cannot be captured by a civic-ethnic dichotomy. As Rainer Bauböck  and Maarten Vink  have shown in a 2013 paper, territorial and ethnocultural inclusion are better understood as independent dimensions that generate four different citizenship regimes: those that are either ethnoculturally or territorially inclusive, expansive regimes that combine both types of inclusion and isolationist ones that are restrictive on both. In a new paper (co-authored with Costica Dumbrava),  fuzzy set QCA methodology is used to examine the conditions under which states are likely to fall into one of these four categories.


Rainer BaubockRainer Bauböck holds a chair in social and political theory at the Department of Political and Social Sciences of the European University Institute. He is on leave from the Austrian Academy of Sciences. His research interests are in normative political theory and comparative research on democratic citizenship, European integration, migration, nationalism and minority rights. Together with Jo Shaw (University of Edinburgh) and Maarten Vink (University of Maastricht), he coordinates the European Union Democracy Observatory on Citizenship at http://eudo-citizenship.eu.

NYT, HuffPo, KPBS and others cover work by Tom K. Wong – In Their Own Words: A Nationwide Survey of Undocumented Millennials

Click here to download the survey In Their Own Words: A Nationwide Survey of Undocumented Millennials by Tom K. Wong with Carolina Valdivia The_New_York_Times

Click here to read the NYT Article – “Young Immigrants Growing Disenchanted With Both Parties” by Julia Preston
huffpo

Click here to read HuffPo article “Dreamers Keeping A Close Eye On Immigration To Determine Their Politics” by Elise Foley

LAtin TImes

Click here to read the Latin Times – “DACA News: 70 Percent Of Young Undocumented Began New Jobs After Receiving Deportation Deferral, Says New Survey” by David Iaconangelo

atl journal

Click here to read AJC – “Survey: More young immigrants without papers identify with Democrats” by Jeremy Redmon

 

arizona republic

Click here to read “Survey: 70% of ‘dreamers’ got jobs under Obama work program” by Daniel Gonzalez

fusion

Click here to read Fusion’s “Young Undocumented Immigrants Aren’t Tied to Either Party, Poll Says” by Ted Hesson

kpbs

Click to read the KPBS article “Survey Finds ‘Dreamers’ Are Politically Engaged And Benefitting From Temporary Legal Status” by Jill Replogle

In Their Own Words: A Nationwide Survey of Undocumented Millennials (Working Paper # 191)

 

Tom K. Wong, Assistant Professor of Political Science, UCSD

with Carolina Valdivia, PhD Student, Harvard

About The Survey

In Their Own Words: A National Survey of Undocumented Millennials is one of the largest surveys to date on any segment of the undocumented population in the U.S. The survey provides new insights related to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, life after DACA, and the experience of “coming out” as undocumented, as well as a first-of-its-kind look at the civic engagement and political incorporation of undocumented youth, among several other important topics. Please visit www.undocumentedmillennials.com for more information.

Download Working Paper 191

 

Migration Theory: Talking Across Disciplines (3rd edition) available for pre-order & Fall 2014 course adoption

Edited by Caroline B. Brettell, James F. Hollifield

“During the last decade the issue of migration has increased in global prominence and has caused controversy among host countries around the world. To remedy the tendency of scholars to speak only to and from their own disciplinary perspective, this book brings together in a single volume essays dealing with central concepts and key theoretical issues in the study of international migration across the social sciences. Editors Caroline B. Brettell and James F. Hollifield have guided a thorough revision of this seminal text, with valuable insights from such fields as anthropology, demography, economics, geography, history, law, political science, and sociology.

Each essay focuses on key concepts, questions, and theoretical frameworks on the topic of international migration in a particular discipline, but the volume as a whole teaches readers about similarities and differences across the boundaries between one academic field and the next. How, for example, do political scientists wrestle with the question of citizenship as compared with sociologists, and how different is this from the questions that anthropologists explore when they deal with ethnicity and identity? Are economic theories about ethnic enclaves similar to those of sociologists? What theories do historians (the “essentializers”) and demographers (the “modelers”) draw upon in their attempts to explain empirical phenomena in the study of immigration? What are the units of analysis in each of the disciplines and do these shape different questions and diverse models and theories?

Scholars and students in migration studies will find this book a powerful theoretical guide and a text that brings them up to speed quickly on the important issues and the debates. All of the social science disciplines will find that this book offers a one-stop synthesis of contemporary thought on migration.”

Pre-Order Here

John Skrentny’s Op-Ed in The New York Times

Only Minorities Need Apply

By JOHN D. SKRENTNY   MAY 6, 2014

NewYorkTimesLogo

SAN DIEGO — THIS year is the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, which among other things prohibits the use of race in deciding whom to hire, fire, promote or place in the best and worst jobs.

But while the overt discrimination of 1964 is now rare, a more subtle form of bias is emerging: Both public and private employers increasingly treat race not as a hindrance, but as a qualification — a practice that, unchecked, could undermine the basic promise of the act.

For example, corporations often match African-American, Asian-American and Latino sales employees to corresponding markets because of their superior understanding of these markets, or because customers prefer to see employees of their own race, or both.

This is not affirmative action: Such “racial realism” is not intended to guarantee equal opportunity or compensate injustice, but rather to improve service and deliver profits for employers.

Racial realism is common in many sectors. Hospitals, supported by progressive foundations, racially match physicians and patients to improve health care. School districts place minority teachers in schools with large numbers of minority students because they supposedly understand their learning styles better, and serve as racial role models. Police departments try to reduce crime and police brutality by racially matching officers and neighborhoods.

Film producers manipulate audience reactions by displaying the right races in the right roles. This may be motivated by artistic goals — obviously, a film like “12 Years a Slave” required actors of particular races in particular roles. More often, these are business decisions. Whites in starring roles are thought to generate more box-office revenue, though adding nonwhites can broaden appeal.

Such practices are legally dubious. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, charged with enforcing federal anti-discrimination laws, states that the Civil Rights Act “does not permit racially motivated decisions driven by business concerns.” Nor may race or color ever be a “bona fide occupational qualification.”

Courts have long supported this position. The Supreme Court’s 1986 decision in Wygant v. Jackson Board of Education held that hiring and placing teachers to be racial role models was discrimination, even linking it “to the very system the Court rejected in Brown.”

In 1999, the 11th Circuit Court considered a telemarketing firm that matched employees’ race with those of the customers they called, and ruled that the company’s belief that this produced better responses was based on a stereotype and was “clearly” discrimination.

Meanwhile, the Seventh Circuit rejected Chicago’s contention that minority firefighters were needed for credibility and cooperation in minority neighborhoods; separately, it ruled that hiring black counselors to deal with black disadvantaged youths was illegal because it catered to discrimination by clients and their parents.There are only two areas where courts have authorized racial realism. Some courts have argued that law enforcement creates a compelling interest — “operational needs” — in communication and legitimacy with nonwhites, justifying racial realism in the hiring and placement of police officers. And there have been some exceptions made for artistic license: In 2012, a Tennessee district court, in a case regarding the reality show “The Bachelor,” stated that casting only whites in the lead roles was expression, akin to speech, and protected by the First Amendment.

Not only is racial realism legally unjustified, but it often hurts the people who, in the short term, would seem to benefit from it. Studies by the sociologists Elijah Anderson and Sharon Collins have found that nonwhite employees who are promoted to fill racially defined roles have trouble leaving them.

Moreover in jobs where part of an employee’s salary is based on sales volume, assigning nonwhites to nonwhite market sectors — which tend to be lower income — can mean significantly smaller paychecks. In 2008, Walgreens agreed to pay $24 million to black managers who objected to being placed in black neighborhoods, which typically had lower sales and thus lower compensation.

Nevertheless, racial realism is too slippery, and too widely used, to stamp out completely. And so rather than trying to end racial realism, we need to make sure that it doesn’t block opportunities for minorities. For one thing, we could require more transparency and verification. If employers think race is a legitimate qualification for a job, they must rely on evidence, not stereotypes.

And in cases where racial-realist hiring and placement is justified, like after a series of racially fraught police incidents, there should be opt-outs and time limits.

This was the position of a New York district court when black police officers sued to limit Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani’s ability to force them to work in a dangerous precinct after the 1997 beating of Abner Louima, a Haitian immigrant, by white police officers. Mayor Giuliani argued that the presence of black officers was necessary to ease racial tensions, and the court agreed — but also held that the placements had to be temporary.

America has changed significantly since the Civil Rights Act. But we are still a long way from the day when race no longer plays a role in society. Racial realism may be unavoidable for the time being, but we must still be wary of its excesses, lest it lead us back down the road toward racial discrimination.


John D. Skrentny, a professor of sociology and the director of the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at the University of California, San Diego, is the author of “After Civil Rights: Racial Realism in the New American Workplace.”

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May 19 – Scott Blinder – A Public of Two Minds: Opposition to Immigration and Support for Extreme Right Parties – CCIS Spring Seminar

Scott Blinder, Director of the Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford

Monday, May 19, 12:00pm 
*Lunch will be provided

“A Public of Two Minds: Social Norms, Opposition to Immigration and Support for Extreme Right Parties” The politics of immigration in Europe presents a two-sided puzzle: with anti-immigration sentiments so strong and widespread, why do most anti-immigration parties fail? And, on the other side, why does anti-immigration sentiment persist despite broad acceptance of anti-prejudice norms?  Scott Blinder accouts for these tensions by developing a dual process model of political behavior. Negative socially-shared understandings of “immigrants” shape underlying attitudes, but at the same time internalized anti-prejudice norms provide sharp limits on how far these underlying attitudes can shape political behavior. Supporting evidence comes from original surveys conducted in Britain and Germany, with embedded survey experiments, as well as automated textual analysis of 58,000 articles in British newspapers that mention immigration.

Blinder-migobs Scott Blinder is currently Director of the University of Oxford’s Migration Observatory, a project of COMPAS (Centre on Migration, Policy and Society). In the fall he will take up a faculty position in the Department of Political Science at UMass-Amherst. Blinder’s research focuses mainly on attitudes toward immigration and integration, with a particular interest in how the social norm against prejudice shapes both positive and negative responses to national, ethnic, and religious differences. He also leads a project that monitors and analyzes media coverage of migration, and has conducted work explaining the gender gap in partisanship in the US. His work has appeared in leading academic journals in the US and UK and has been discussed in a wide variety of venues by NGOs, civil servants, and government ministers.