* * Immigrants & Inequalities: 18 February Wealth disparities by race Emerging theme: within group heterogeneity Why do people immigrate? How does the diversity of immigrants affect inequality between US-born and foreign-born Americans? How does the US policy shape immigration and the outcomes of immigrants? * * Does Race Matter for Wealth? Race differences in wealth deeper than differences in income In 1988, 25% white HHs, 61% black HHs, and 54% Hispanic HHs had zero or negative NFA Couldn’t survive at the poverty line of $968 per month for 3 months: 38% whites 79% blacks 73% Hispanics * * Oliver and Shapiro on the Black Middle Class Middle class standard of living “rests on twin pillars of income and wealth” No matter definition (income, education, occupation), BMC has far lower net worth and net financial assets than WMC– vulnerable status BMC families more likely to have two earners; if one loses job, no wealth reserves to maintain standard of living * * International Migration: Basics Big issue? Yes: At least 160 million living outside their country of birth or citizenship in 2000 However, only ~ 3% of world’s population are international migrants Many countries strongly discourage immigration and a few others have restricted emigration (former Soviet Union, South Korea) 5 countries accept international migrants as permanent residents – which? * * Complex Views on Immigration in U.S. We are a “Nation of immigrants” But “problems” around immigration arise when economy is weak, residents sense job competition E.g., Proposition 187 in California in 1994 Economic recovery → concerns and legislation tend to fade Current: http://www.whitehouse.gov/agenda/immigration/ Soc 102 Fall 2007 * * Immigrant Inequalities in US? Compared to US-born Americans, Foreign-born Americans have larger proportions at each end of the schooling distribution Soc 102 Fall 2007 * * Foreign-Born Workers Native Workers Wage Levels and Income of Workers, by Nativity and Sex, 2002 Wage Level Female Male Female Male < minimum wage 13% 9% 9% 6% 100-200% of minimum 40% 36% 31% 20% >200% of minimum 47% 55% 61% 75% Mean Annual Earnings $26,700 $38,400 $29,700 $47,500 Source: Urban Institute tabulations from modified March 2002 Current Population Survey. Wage Level Differences: Foreign-born and US-born American Workers * * Massey and Colleagues: New Migrations, New Theories Migration as old as humanity – general goal of migrants to improve material conditions Contemporary immigrants: come from countries low in capital & job creation, with labor surplus Contemporary receiving countries: much more capital intensive and less available land than in past Immigrants no longer perceived as wanted or needed, despite the need for their labor (conflict with displaced native labor) Very large differences between sending/receiving societies * * US Immigration History * * US Immigrants by Region of Birth * * Percent Foreign-Born by State, US * * Immigrant Children: 1st and later generations * * Why Do People Migrate? Three main factors stressed by theory: Demand-pull Supply-push Network Factors What are examples of each of these? * * Demand-Pull Factors Example for economic reasons: e.g. ‘guest worker’ recruitment For noneconomic reasons: family reunification (usually occurs after first migrant goes for economic reasons) Also, migration is “selective” – if the pull factors at destination are attractive, migrants are likely to be “positively selected” * * Demand-Pull: Nurses from the Philippines Many countries have severe nursing shortages, Hospitals have found experienced nurses in Philippines Integral part of the American health system (institutionalized: Philippine Nurses Association of America) Soc 102 Fall 2007 * * Afghanistan: Supply-Push Factors Life expectancy 44 years for girls, 46 for boys Adult illiteracy 78 % for women and 48 % for men Estimated 70 % of adult population under-nourished, only 13 % have access to treated water sources Mid-2001, 3.6 million living outside country, 900,000 internally-displaced persons Major Afghan Refugee Flows, Late 2000 Source: U.S. Committee for Refugees, World Refugee Survey 2001 (Washington, DC). Soc 102 Fall 2007 * * Network/Other Factors Social networks increase the flow of information to potential migrants in a sending country Community members might encourage reunification Globalization and greater information access publicize job possibilities Former colonial ties create long-term migrant networks * * Family Networks and Contemporary US Immigration * * Issue: Why are there Inequalities Across Immigrant Groups? Outcomes vary across immigrant minorities –rapid integration & acceptance into American mainstream just one possible alternative History of immigrant 1st generation Pace of acculturation: parent/child-role reversal Cultural & economic barriers faced by 2nd Gen. Family/community resources to confront barriers Different macroeconomic conditions * * Portes and Rumbaut - Segmented Assimilation New immigrant groups don’t face same prospects Timing and context matter for assimilation Some groups may never climb, but become part of more diverse underclass Group variation in: Individual characteristics (human capital, skills, age, knowledge of English) Modes of incorporation (government, society, co-ethnics) Family structure * * Employer Preferences for Foreign-Born Workers over US-born? The puzzle: California employers fear effects of high levels of immigration, but still prefer to hire immigrants instead of African Americans Employers consider themselves Americans, but don’t view “Americans” as good prospects for low level jobs – that is, hardworking and uncomplaining Have to choose not from “us” but from “them” – but which “them” to choose? * * Waldinger and Lichter: Us and Them Employers: both positive and negative feelings toward low wage immigrant employees Work very hard and tirelessly Work for low pay However, don’t have initiative “to better themselves” Employers: mostly negative attitudes toward potential African American applicants * * U.S. Border near Naco, Arizona: Search Lights * * Contemporary Issue: Undocumented Immigrants Current Policy Issues Increasing numbers in recent years Sending countries’ economies not improving, so problem unlikely to disappear What do sending country’s leaders want to do? Criminal justice system in US Difficulties/dangers faced by workers: high Why do undocumented persons continue to come to US? Immigration-related offenses and racial/ethnic disparities in offending * * Pew Center Report: http://pewhispanic.org/files/reports/104.pdf * * What We Covered Today What is within group heterogeneity and why do I care that you know? Who and where are foreign-born residents of US? Why do people immigrate, and how do these reasons shape their chances in their new home? What are some contemporary issues of immigration related to stratification?