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New Faces in New Places

The Changing Geography of American Immigration

Douglas S. Massey

Publication Year: 2008

Beginning in the 1990s, immigrants to the United States increasingly bypassed traditional gateway cites such as Los Angeles and New York to settle in smaller towns and cities throughout the nation. With immigrant communities popping up in so many new places, questions about ethnic diversity and immigrant assimilation confront more and more Americans. New Faces in New Places, edited by distinguished sociologist Douglas Massey, explores today’s geography of immigration and examines the ways in which native-born Americans are dealing with their new neighbors. Using the latest census data and other population surveys, New Faces in New Places examines the causes and consequences of the shift toward new immigrant destinations. Contributors Mark Leach and Frank Bean examine the growing demand for low-wage labor and lower housing costs that have attracted many immigrants to move beyond the larger cities. Katharine Donato, Charles Tolbert, Alfred Nucci, and Yukio Kawano report that the majority of Mexican immigrants are no longer single male workers but entire families, who are settling in small towns and creating a surge among some rural populations long in decline. Katherine Fennelly shows how opinions about the growing immigrant population in a small Minnesota town are divided along socioeconomic lines among the local inhabitants. The town’s leadership and professional elites focus on immigrant contributions to the economic development and the diversification of the community, while working class residents fear new immigrants will bring crime and an increased tax burden to their communities. Helen Marrow reports that many African Americans in the rural south object to Hispanic immigrants benefiting from affirmative action even though they have just arrived in the United States and never experienced historical discrimination. As Douglas Massey argues in his conclusion, many of the towns profiled in this volume are not equipped with the social and economic institutions to help assimilate new immigrants that are available in the traditional immigrant gateways of New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. And the continual replenishment of the flow of immigrants may adversely affect the nation’s perception of how today’s newcomers are assimilating relative to previous waves of immigrants. New Faces in New Places illustrates the many ways that communities across the nation are reacting to the arrival of immigrant newcomers, and suggests that patterns and processes of assimilation in the twenty-first century may be quite different from those of the past. Enriched by perspectives from sociology, anthropology, and geography New Faces in New Places is essential reading for scholars of immigration and all those interested in learning the facts about new faces in new places in America.

Published by: Russell Sage Foundation

Title Page, copyright

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Table of Contents

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pp. v-vi

About the Authors

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pp. vii-x

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1. Places and Peoples: The New American Mosaic

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pp. 1-22

The magnitude and character of recent immigration to the United States, popularly known as the post-1965 wave of immigration, continue to surprise policymakers and many experts. The first surprise was that it happened at all. The 1965 amendments to the Immigration and Nationality...

Part I: Emerging Patterns of Immigrant Settlement

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2. The Geographic Diversification of American Immigration

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pp. 25-50

A salient characteristic of immigration throughout the world is its geographic concentration. Immigrants tend not to disperse randomly throughout destination nations, but to move disproportionately to places where people of the same nationality have already settled. To a large extent, this...

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3. The Structure and Dynamics of Mexican Migration to New Destinations in the United States

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pp. 51-74

During the 1990s Mexican migrants to the United States increasingly spread throughout the country (Johnson 2000; Massey, Durand, and Malone 2002; Passel and Zimmerman 2001; Suro and Passel 2003). Nourished both by international migrants from Mexico and by Mexican-born...

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4. Changing Faces, Changing Places: The Emergence of New Nonmetropolitan Immigrant Gateways

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pp. 75-98

Since 1990, studies have documented the widespread growth of immigrant populations in American communities not known as common destinations in the past. One recent analysis of the changing geography of Mexican immigrants described shifts from traditional destinations in California...

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5. New Hispanic Migrant Destinations: A Tale of Two Industries

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pp. 99-123

In the past decade, scholarly attention has focused on Hispanic population growth and immigration to small towns, cities, and regions that traditionally never experienced post–World War II immigration (Gozdziak and Martin 2005; Millard, Chapa, and Burillo 2005; Zúñiga and Hernández-León...

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6. The Origins of Employer Demand for Immigrants in a New Destination: The Salience of Soft Skills in a Volatile Economy

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pp. 124-148

Recent studies indicate a new geographic dispersion of immigrants to states such as Georgia, Minnesota, and North Carolina; to cities that include Phoenix, Las Vegas, Denver, and Nashville; and to smaller towns and villages throughout the southern and western regions of the United States...

Part II: Community Reaction to New Immigrant Groups

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7. Prejudice Toward Immigrants in the Midwest

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pp. 151-178

The literature on contemporary immigrant-host relations in the United States has generally focused on large urban areas, yet during the past ten to fifteen years rural communities in many states experienced a large influx of immigrants attracted by job prospects in the food-processing industry...

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8. New Midwesterners, New Southerners: Immigration Experiences in Four Rural American Settings

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pp. 179-210

Since the late 1980s, the midwestern and southern United States have witnessed high levels of immigration from Mexico, Central America, Asia, and Africa; census figures on immigration in some regions display increases of several hundred percent from 1990 to 2000. During the 1990s, research...

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9. Hispanic Immigration, Black Population Size, and Intergroup Relations in the Rural and Small-Town South

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pp. 211-248

American immigration scholars are rapidly gaining interest in “new immigrant destinations”—locales that have little historical experience of post- 1965 immigration but which are now receiving immigrants (Durand, Massey, and Charvet 2000; Massey, Durand, and Parrado 1999; Zúñiga...

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10. Nashville’s New “Sonido”: Latino Migration and the Changing Politics of Race

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pp. 249-273

In 2000, the urban and labor scholar Mike Davis wrote that “even Nashville ha[d] a new sonido” (sound) and was feeling the effects of Latino migration. In a clever rhetorical maneuver, Davis highlighted the ubiquity of Latinos across the United States by calling attention to their presence in the most...

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11. The Ambivalent Welcome: Cinco de Mayo and the Symbolic Expression of Local Identity and Ethnic Relations

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pp. 274-307

On May 5, 2001, the Borough of Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, hosted its first annual Cinco de Mayo festival. Hailed as a turning point in local ethnic relations, the Cinco de Mayo was initiated as the first large-scale public event that was hosted by the town’s English-speaking majority on...

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12. Race to the Top? The Politics of Immigrant Education in Suburbia

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pp. 308-340

In 2000, 52 percent of America’s immigrants lived in suburbs (U.S. Census Bureau 2001), up from 48 percent in 1999 (Schmidley and Gibson 1999). Thanks in part to the suburbanization of immigrant populations, the percentage of minorities in suburbs has also increased dramatically. In 2000...

Part III: Conclusion

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13. Assimilation in a New Geography

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pp. 343-354

The foregoing chapters have clearly documented the remarkable transformation of immigration to the United States that began during the 1990s and continued into the early years of the twenty-first century. During this time, immigration shifted from being a regional phenomenon...


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pp. 355-374

E-ISBN-13: 9781610443814
Print-ISBN-13: 9780871545862

Page Count: 512
Publication Year: 2008