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Separate Destinations

Migration, Immigration, and the Politics of Places

James G. Gimpel

Publication Year: 1999

Natives who change residence do not settle in the same places as immigrants. Separate Destinations argues that these distinct mobility patterns, coupled with record levels of immigration from impoverished third world nations, are balkanizing the American electorate. James G. Gimpel examines the consequences of different patterns of movement and settlement on the politics of the communities in which these different groups settle. Newer immigrants are con-strained by a lack of education, money, English literacy, and information--and frequently by discrimination--to live in areas of coethnic settlement. Domestic, native-born migrants--predominantly Caucasian--free of discrimination and possessing more money and information, move where they wish, often to communities where immigrants are not welcome or cannot afford to live. Strong evidence suggests that spatially isolated immigrants are slower to naturalize and get involved in politics than domestic migrants. Gimpel looks closely at states with very different patterns of migration and immigration: California, Colorado, Kansas, Kentucky, Florida, Pennsylvania, and New York. In these states, Gimpel shows the impact of population mobility on party registration, party votes, and voter turnout and asks whether population changes have changed the dominant party in a state or produced a political reaction from natives. Separate Destinations contains a number of thematic maps detailing the settlement patterns of internal migrants and immigrants for both counties and census tracts. Blending insights from a number of social science disciplines, including economics, demography, sociology, political science, and anthropology, this book will be of interest to a wide and diverse readership of scholars, students, and policymakers. James G. Gimpel is Associate Professor of Government, University of Maryland.

Published by: University of Michigan Press


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pp. -

List of Figures

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pp. ix-

List of Maps

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pp. xi-xiv

List of Tables

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pp. xv-xix

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pp. xxi-xxiii

I started this project several years ago when I took an interest in reading about population mobility internal to the United States. My interest in the subject stems from my background as well as from interesting books I have read as a social scientist. Having grown up in a family whose history involved considerable internal migration, I have long wondered about the impact of...

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1. Population Mobility and Political Change in the American Electorate

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pp. 1-31

Jumping into a time machine and traveling into the past to 1970, I would get out on the hill overlooking the town where I grew up and instantly recognize the view. Yes, a few buildings have been constructed, a few torn down, a new subdivision has gone up on the east edge of town, businesses have come and gone....

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2. California: Diversity at a Distance

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pp. 32-79

Orange County, California, was once the most predictable Republican stronghold in the nation. Democrats could field only sacrificial lambs in hopeless challenges to GOP incumbents at all levels of elective office. By the mid-1990s, Republicans still held a registration edge that had slipped only slightly since 1970...

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3. Colorado: National Crossroads

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pp. 80-118

Immigrant workers from Mexico and Central America are valued in Colorado's mountain resort towns, as they are elsewhere, for their willingness to work hard for low pay. The demand for cheap, exploitable labor, though, has not been matched with an equal concern...

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4. Kansas: High Growth Islands in a Sea of Decline

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pp. 119-158

Garden City, Kansas, is not typical of towns on the Great Plains. Signs there come in three languages: English, Spanish, and Vietnamese. Arguably, some of the best Southeast Asian food between California and New York...

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5. Kentucky: Biracial Balkanization

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pp. 159-199

In May of 1998, the Immigration and Naturalization Service raided a tobacco company warehouse in Lexington, Kentucky, and deported 86 illegal immigrants to Mexico (Herron 1998). The following month, the mayor of Lexington announced several new policy initiatives aimed at dealing....

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6. Florida: Segregated Heterogeneity

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pp. 200-237

In 1949, V. O. Key observed of Florida with characteristic understatement that there is "plausibly a relation between a diverse, recently transplanted population and mutable politics" (86). One could hardly expect politics in a state whose population has quadrupled in forty years to be unaffected by such amazing growth. Because of its highly mobile population, Florida ...

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7. Pennsylvania: Deindustrialization and Division

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pp. 238-279

As a state that is closely identified with deindustrialization and the rust belt decline of the post-World War II period, Pennsylvania has not grown much in the last four decades of the twentieth century. Once the heartland of coal, apparel, and steel production, by 1990 only 20 percent of the labor force was employed in manufacturing. The shipbuilding industry in ...

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8. New York: The Clustered Masses

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pp. 280-323

New York, unlike California, has an immigrant-friendly reputation. In the 1840s and 1850s, when Irish immigrants were being persecuted for their Catholicism in the New England states, they often found a much less hostile reception in New ...

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9. Population Mobility and Ethnic Divisions in the American Electorate

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pp. 324-342

In this book I have detailed a number of ways in which population movement has reconfigured American electoral politics in the waning decades of the twentieth century. The fundamental fact is that native migration flows do not closely parallel those of the most recent immigrants. Asians, Mexicans, and Central Americans, while not always drawn to ethnic ...

Appendix A: Variables and Variable Definitions

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pp. 343-353

Appendix B: Basics of Spatial Regression Analysis

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pp. 354-360


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pp. 361-384

Author Index

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pp. 385-390

Subject Index

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pp. 391- 403

E-ISBN-13: 9780472023127
E-ISBN-10: 0472023128
Print-ISBN-13: 9780472109784
Print-ISBN-10: 0472109782

Page Count: 432
Illustrations: 10 tables, 58 maps
Publication Year: 1999

OCLC Number: 651663566
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Separate Destinations

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Immigrants -- Political activity -- United States.
  • Elections -- United States.
  • Political participation -- United States.
  • Minorities -- Political activity -- United States.
  • Migration, Internal -- United States.
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