CCIS Associate Director David FitzGerald was recently given the 2013 award for public sociology from the international migration section of the American Sociological Association. The award is given annually to scholars whose work addresses immigration and related issues in ways that apply scholarly knowledge directly in public work, generate knowledge for public use, or otherwise contribute to improving the lives of migrants or refugees.
Nancy Foner writes a remembrance of the esteemed migration scholar Aristide Zolberg, who passed away recently.
BY DAVID FITZGERALD & JOHN D. SKRENTNY JULY 3, 2013
An effort to dramatically increase spending on U.S. border enforcement was a key reason for Senate passage of immigration reform and will be key to bipartisan support in the House. The debate has focused on walling off the border rather than thinking of it as a conduit. Yet border states such as California, and cities such as San Diego, have the unique opportunity to leverage proximity to Mexico to generate jobs and bolster economic growth for the themselves and the United States as a whole. By further integrating with its Mexican sister city, Tijuana, San Diego could become an international trade hub of more than 5 million people in a binational, regional metropolis.
The economic challenges of recent years have aroused fear and skepticism in the United States around global trade and outsourcing. While moving manufacturing outside the United States can cost American jobs, not all trade and outsourcing is equal. Mexico’s shared border with the United States mitigates the costs associated with trade and maximizes the benefits. Many goods imported from Mexico are actually coproduced on both sides of the border, creating jobs for American workers. In fact, according to a report from the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 40 percent of the value of imports from Mexico was actually created in the United States by American workers — about 10 times the level of value created in the United States for goods imported from China. Coproduction keeps jobs in North America that might otherwise be lost altogether overseas.
A further benefit of trade from Mexico compared to transoceanic trade is environmental. While all transport of goods relies on the burning of fossil fuels, trade within North America has a smaller environmental footprint and thus produces less pollution and greenhouse gases than transoceanic transport.
The benefits of integration are clear, but many barriers stymie its full potential.
A 2007 study by the San Diego Association of Governments found that border wait times cost the regional economy $7.2 billion in lost economic output and more than 62,000 lost jobs. The hassle of crossing is a major deterrent to mobility. Improvements underway at the San Ysidro crossing and the upgrading of state Route 905 to Otay Mesa are a good start, but more could be done. Programs like FAST (Free and Secure Trade Program) and SENTRI (Secure Electronic Network for Travelers Rapid Inspection) that speed crossing for businesses and individuals who have undergone background checks could be expanded. Additional spending authorized by a new immigration bill could ease the logjam, with more agents dedicated to processing travelers and goods, rather than further militarizing a border between two friendly countries.
Old and limited-capacity border infrastructure is another impediment. On the Tijuana side, the design of roads feeding into the border crossing area is confusing and aggravating for drivers. A faster trolley service from downtown San Diego to the border would spur tourism in both directions. An expansion of the San Diego port could export goods coproduced in San Diego and Baja California. To his credit, San Diego Mayor Bob Filner has identified border development as a top priority. Yet the mayor faces an uphill battle, as much of the problem with border infrastructure is resolved at the federal level.
Although San Diego has been a border-crossing city as long as there has been a border, the city’s rail, freeway and air links historically made it a southern spur of Los Angeles rather than an important link for the entire state. A more robust partnership between San Diego and Tijuana would re-center the region. Rather than San Diego being the end of the line, it would be a major hub linking the two Californias. The immigration reform now being debated in Congress provides the opportunity to make this dream a reality.
FitzGerald and Skrentny are co-directors of the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at UC San Diego, and co-leaders of the San Diego Scholars Strategy Network.
CCIS co-directors John Skrentny and David FitzGerald author an op-ed column in the San Diego Union-Tribune arguing that San Diego should integrate further with Tijuana in order to advance development on both sides of the border.
CCIS co-director John Skrentny argues immigration and policies to address it arouse intense emotions and spark fierce political battles in nations across the globe
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CCIS Research Associate Tom Wong speaks about the shift in illegal crossings from Arizona to the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas.
CCIS Associate Director David FitzGerald speaks about the shifts in migration.
Seminar to be held on Monday, June 3rd in ERC 115 at 12:00 pm.
This presentation draws on ethnographic research primarily conducted while I was employed as a regular production worker in a North Carolina meatpacking plant for sixteen months between 2009 and 2010. As part of a larger project that attempts to explain the character of social relations between Latina/o migrants and their chief counterparts in the workplace – African Americans – I trace the categories and meanings of shop floor racial talk with parallel attention to the diverse ethnoracial panoramas in Latina/o migrants’ origin countries. How are the terms moyo, negro, and moreno used at work? What does this suggest about how Latinos view African Americans as a group? And how does this language relate to pre-migration ideas about blacks and blackness? I find that the use of ethnoracial forms of identification is much more prevalent among Latina/os towards African Americans than the converse, and I examine the features of one particularly salient designation of African Americans as moyos, a term whose valence is indefinite and situational, but frequently acquires pejorative significance. I trace the transnational origins of this identification, finding that its adaptation and propagation occurs within the transnational spaces that Latina/o migrants occupy. Ultimately, I argue that Latinos’ deployment of bold symbolic boundaries expresses racialized resentment, reflecting and reinforcing their perception that they are the most oppressively exploited workers and that African Americans occupy a privileged position in the workplace.
Vanesa Ribas received her Ph.D. at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2012. Her research has appeared in the American Sociological Review (with Neal Caren and Raj Ghoshal), Social Science and Medicine (with Janette Dill and Philip Cohen), Teaching Sociology (with Raj Ghoshal et al.), and is forthcoming in Sociological Perspectives. She is working on a book based on her study of Latina/o migration to the American South, labor exploitation, and race relations in a large meatpacking plant.
CCIS Senior Fellow Kathy Kopinak and Rosa Maria Soriano’s article “Types of Migration Enabled by Maquiladoras in Baja California, Mexico: The Importance of Commuting” is published in the Journal of Borderlands Studies.
To view article, click here.
Seminar to be held on Wednesday, May 22nd in ERC 115 at 12:00 pm.
To what extent is the French republican model still viable in debates over immigration and integration in France today? Viewed from the perspective of the last thirty years, which saw the rise of a powerful anti-immigrant political movement, the Front National, one might conclude that immigration in postwar France has been raging out of control. Yet despite the remarkable showing of the Front National in recent presidential elections, France has remained a relatively open immigration country, a tradition which dates from the middle of the nineteenth century. Annual levels of immigration have not fallen much below 100,000 since the early 1950s, the right to asylum has been respected by every postwar government, and France has maintained what is arguably the most liberal naturalization policy in Western Europe. How can we explain this continuity in the midst of crisis? I argue that the continuity in the principles and outcomes of French immigration policy is closely linked to the power of the republican model and to the limits of control that are a function of rights-based politics.
James F. Hollifield is Ora Nixon Arnold Professor of International Political Economy in the Department of Political Science and Director of the Tower Center for Political Studies at Southern Methodist University (SMU). He received his PhD in political science from Duke University in 1985. A member of the Council on Foreign Relations, he has worked as a consultant for a variety of governmental and intergovernmental organizations, and has published widely on international political and economic issues, including Immigrants, Markets, and States (Harvard UP, 1992), L’immigration et l’Etat Nation (L’Harmattan, 1997), Controlling Immigration (Stanford UP, 2nd Edition, 2004), Migration Theory: Talking Across Disciplines (Routledge, 2nd Edition, 2008), and International Political Economy: History, Theory and Policy (Cambridge UP, forthcoming) along with numerous other books and scientific articles. Hollifield has been the recipient of grants from private corporations and foundations as well as government agencies, including the German Marshall Fund of the United States, the Social Science Research Council, the Sloan Foundation, the Raytheon Company, and the National Science Foundation. His current research looks at the rapidly evolving relationship between trade, migration, and development with a special focus on human capital and how states use migration for strategic gains. He sits on several boards and is currently Chairman of the Owens Foundation and the Dallas County Historical Foundation, the governing body of the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza.