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New Destinations

Mexican Immigration in the United States

Victor Zuniga, Ruben Hernandez-Leon

Publication Year: 2006

Mexican immigration to the United States—the oldest and largest immigration movement to this country—is in the midst of a fundamental transformation. For decades, Mexican immigration was primarily a border phenomenon, confined to Southwestern states. But legal changes in the mid-1980s paved the way for Mexican migrants to settle in parts of America that had no previous exposure to people of Mexican heritage. In New Destinations, editors Víctor Zúñiga and Rubén Hernández-León bring together an inter-disciplinary team of scholars to examine demographic, social, cultural, and political changes in areas where the incorporation of Mexican migrants has deeply changed the preexisting ethnic landscape. New Destinations looks at several of the communities where Mexican migrants are beginning to settle, and documents how the latest arrivals are reshaping—and being reshaped by—these new areas of settlement. Contributors Jorge Durand, Douglas Massey, and Chiara Capoferro use census data to diagram the historical evolution of Mexican immigration to the United States, noting the demographic, economic, and legal factors that led recent immigrants to move to areas where few of their predecessors had settled. Looking at two towns in Southern Louisiana, contributors Katharine Donato, Melissa Stainback, and Carl Bankston III reach a surprising conclusion: that documented immigrant workers did a poorer job of integrating into the local culture than their undocumented peers. They attribute this counterintuitive finding to documentation policies, which helped intensify employer control over migrants and undercut the formation of a stable migrant community among documented workers. Brian Rich and Marta Miranda detail an ambivalent mixture of paternalism and xenophobia by local residents toward migrants in Lexington, Kentucky. The new arrivals were welcomed for their strong work ethic so long as they stayed in “invisible” spheres such as fieldwork, but were resented once they began to take part in more public activities like schools or town meetings. New Destinations also provides some hopeful examples of progress in community relations. Several chapters, including Mark Grey and Anne Woodrick’s examination of a small Iowa town, point to the importance of dialogue and mediation in establishing amicable relations between ethnic groups in newly multi-cultural settings. New Destinations is the first scholarly assessment of Mexican migrants’ experience in the Midwest, Northeast, and deep South—the latest settlement points for America’s largest immigrant group. Enriched by perspectives from demographers, anthropologists, sociologists, folklorists, and political scientists, this volume is an essential starting point for scholarship on the new Mexican migration.

Published by: Russell Sage Foundation

TItle Page, Copyright, Dedication

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CONTRIBUTORS

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pp. ix-x

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INTRODUCTION

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pp. xi-xxix

Mexican immigration to the United States—the oldest and largest uninterrupted migratory flow to this country—is in the midst of a fundamental transformation. This book is concerned with a central dimension of this change: the rise of new destinations of settled Mexican immigration. During the late 1980s and throughout the 1990s, Mexicans established new settlements in nontraditional...

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CHAPTER 1. THE NEW GEOGRAPHY OF MEXICAN IMMIGRATION

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pp. 1-22

Mexican immigration has never been spread evenly across the United States. Historically, a few key states, mostly in the southwest, attracted the large majority of immigrants from Mexico. This pattern of regional concentration was partly a matter of geography, of course. The four states that border Mexico—California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas— naturally assumed greater importance...

PART I: PROCESSES OF IMMIGRANT COMMUNITY FORMATION AND ECONOMIC INCORPORATION

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pp. 23-24

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CHAPTER 2. THE GREAT PLAINS MIGRATION:MEXICANOS AND LATINOS IN NEBRASKA

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pp. 25-49

At first glance, Nebraska meets the definition of a new destination for Mexican migration. A combination of forces converging toward the end of the 1980s culminated in an unprecedented growth of the state’s Latino population. However, as we take stock of what is “new,” it is important not to lose sight of what is old...

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CHAPTER 3. RURAL INDUSTRY AND MEXICAN IMMIGRATION AND SETTLEMENT IN NORTH CAROLINA

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pp. 50-75

Sometime during the early 1990s, while I was conducting studies of workers and work in the Midwest and mid-Atlantic states, a labor contractor who moved work crews among southern states for agricultural harvests told me that he refused to take crews north of the North Carolina– Virginia line...

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CHAPTER 4. THE ECONOMIC INCORPORATIONOF MEXICAN IMMIGRANTS IN SOUTHERN LOUISIANA: A TALE OF TWO CITIES

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pp. 76-100

By the end of the twentieth century, the United States had witnessed dramatic demographic changes. Among these were shifts in immigration. Since 1965, more than twenty million migrants have entered the United States, more than the largest wave entering between 1880 and 1914 (U.S. Department of Justice 1997)...

PART II: LOCAL IMPACTS AND REACTIONS FROM ESTABLISHED RESIDENTS

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pp. 101-102

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CHAPTER 5. BRIDGING THE COMMUNITY: NATIVISM,ACTIVISM, AND THE POLITICS OF INCLUSION IN A MEXICAN SETTLEMENT IN PENNSYLVANIA

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pp. 103-132

“Migration changes things” is at once a truism and yet a vast understatement. Current estimates suggest that approximately 2.3 percent of the world’s population consists of labor migrants (Andreas and Snyder 2000), a number so small that it is statistically insignificant, yet the influence these mobile laborers have on their sending and receiving communities is remarkable...

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CHAPTER 6. “LATINOS HAVE REVITALIZED OUR COMMUNITY”:MEXICAN MIGRATION AND ANGLO RESPONSES IN MARSHALLTOWN, IOWA

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pp. 133-154

Marshalltown, Iowa, is a typical new destination community for Mexican migrants in the United States. This midwestern community of twenty-six thousand has been fundamentally transformed and revitalized by rapid growth in its Mexican population over the last ten years. In 1990, there were only 248 people of Hispanic...

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CHAPTER 7. RECENT MEXICAN MIGRATION IN THE RURAL DELMARVA PENINSULA: HUMAN RIGHTS VERSUS CITIZENSHIP RIGHTS IN A LOCAL CONTEXT

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pp. 155-184

The isolated peninsula containing Delaware and the Eastern Shore (of the Chesapeake Bay) portions of Maryland and Virginia saw an explosive growth in Mexican and other Latino immigrant residents from 1990 to 2000. The Latino immigrant population grew several hundred percentage points in key counties and more than 1,000 percent in several towns, increasing from tiny absolute numbers...

PART III: INTERGROUP RELATIONS:CONFLICT AND ACCOMMODATION BETWEEN NEWCOMERS AND ESTABLISHED RESIDENTS

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pp. 185-186

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CHAPTER 8. THE SOCIOPOLITICAL DYNAMICS OF MEXICAN IMMIGRATION IN LEXINGTON,KENTUCKY, 1997 TO 2002: AN AMBIVALENT COMMUNITY RESPONDS

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pp. 187-219

Lexington, Kentucky, the metropolitan center of the Bluegrass Region— famous as “the Horse Capital of the World”—and a major tobacco- producing area of the United States, is currently in the process of receiving a major influx of Hispanic-Latino1 immigrants, about 90 percent of them from Mexico...

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CHAPTER 9. RACIALIZATION AND MEXICANS IN NEW YORK CITY

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pp. 220-243

Writing in the 1930s, W. E. B. DuBois (1935/1977, 700) observed that poor southern whites got a “public, psychological wage” by being white that enabled them to feel superior to blacks despite the many commonalities in their material living conditions. Historian David Roediger (1991, 12) and others use DuBois’s insight to analyze...

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CHAPTER 10. APPALACHIA MEETS AZTLAN:MEXICAN IMMIGRATION AND INTERGROUP RELATIONS IN DALTON, GEORGIA

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pp. 244-274

During the late twentieth century, Mexican immigration exploded in regions and localities of the United States with no prior history of Latino settlement. In no other region was this phenomenon more conspicuous than the South, where between 1990 and 2000 the Latino population nearly tripled. The arrival of thousands of Mexican and other Latin American newcomers has transformed the linguistic...

Index

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pp. 275-288


E-ISBN-13: 9781610445719
Print-ISBN-13: 9780871549891
Print-ISBN-10: 0871549891

Page Count: 320
Publication Year: 2006