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[CIIP October 8, 1999]

UC Comparative Immigration and Integration Program
Fall Workshop

University of California, Berkeley

October 8, 1999

Operation Gatekeeper

Immigration Policy Making: Australia and US

Immigrant Integration


Proposed Regents’ Immigration Initiative

The 14th work shop of the UC Comparative Immigration and Integration Program was held October 8, 1999 at UCB. CIIP work shops involve 30 to 40 UC faculty and graduate students interested in comparative immigration and integration issues. Each work shop focuses on one public policy issue discussed by government officials and two or three panels featuring UC faculty and graduate students. The 6 to 8 papers presented at each work shop are posted at: //

The CIIP has three major activities: holding work shops, supporting comparative migration research, and publishing the monthly Migration News, the most widely read comparative newsletter.

Since its founding in January 1994, the CIIP has held 14 work shops involving 175 UC faculty and graduate students—the 100 papers that have been presented are posted at: //
In most years, the CIIP has run a small grants program, issuing $1500 to $2500 grants to faculty and graduate students needing support to conduct comparative migration research. By collaborating with German colleagues, CIIP obtained additional funds from the German American Academic Council in 1997-98 that supported workshops in Germany and California.
In 1994, Migration News was launched to maintain continuity among UC researchers affiliated with the CIIP—its circulation has grown from 50 to 2400 email and 100 paper edition subscribers, and the Migration News web site averages 4000 "hits" a day as journalists, students, researchers, and others access the 20,000 factual and nonpartisan words of analysis produced each month.
The CIIP was founded with the support and encouragement of the UCB Center for German and European Studies. CGES provided CIIP with an annual budget of $20,000 to $30,000, and several supplements of $20,000 to support the production and distribution of Migration News. In 1999-00, the CIIP anticipates a $20,000 budget, which will support a winter work shop at the Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies, UCSD, in February-March 2000 and support a small RFP.

It is not clear that the CIIP will continue to receive support from CGES after July 1, 2000. Thus, the CIIP anticipates receiving support from the Office of the President, both under the $5 million Regents’ Immigration Initiative and as a special grant from the President’s Office—we will request $35,000 a year, an amount comparable to that provided to the all-UC Group in Economic History. The Regents’ Immigration Initiative requires that half of the funds allocated to each of three areas—immigration, environmental studies, and graduate training of scientists and engineers—be spent on graduate student training.

Announcements of CIIP activities are sent via email to all Migration News subscribers with UC addresses. If you do not have a UC email address, please check the CIIP web site--//—agendas for meetings and RFP announcements are posted there. If you have a paper to present at the Winter 2000 workshop, please contact:

Operation Gatekeeper

In FY99, which ended September 30, 1999, the INS apprehended 1.5 million unauthorized foreigners in the US; there are about 525,000 minutes per year, so the apprehension rate is about three per minute. Most of those caught were just inside the US along the Mexico-US border.

US border management until the 1990s emphasized maximizing apprehensions, which means that Border Patrol agents attempted to catch unauthorized migrants, complete a form on each person apprehended, and return those caught by bus to Mexico. In some cases, the paperwork and return were accomplished in one to two hours, so that the same person could be apprehended several times in one day. The effort to maximize apprehensions was so widespread that, it is sometimes said, when the Border Patrol used discarded landing strips that normally are laid down to create temporary airports for military aircraft, the top four feet of the welded fence leaned in to the US, making it easy for someone to lay on the lean-in section of the fence and drop into the US by rope, but make it very hard for that person, if spotted, to escape back into Mexico without being caught and processed.

In 1993, the Border Patrol chief in El Paso, now Rep Silvestre Reyes (D-TX) decided to try deterrence as an alternative to maximizing apprehensions. Mounting an operation he termed Operation Blockade (renamed Hold the Line), Reyes moved agents from the interior to the border and positioned them visibly along the border, every 100 to 300 yards. Reyes also built a fence and constructed lighting in an effort to funnel attempted illegal entrants to several areas where they would be easier to apprehend. Within six months, the INS estimated that the number of illegal entrants fell from 10,000 to 100 per day.

Hold the Line was popular in El Paso. An analysis by Frank Bean (UCI) showed that there were four distinct types of illegal border crossers, and the two that caused the most problems in El Paso were stopped by Hold the Line-- Mexican teens who partied in El Paso, and committed crimes there, as well as sidewalk vendors, were deterred from entering. However, long-distance migrants headed to interior US locations and daily commuters were not deterred by visible agents on the border--for both groups, crossing the border became less convenient and more expensive, but was not stopped.

The INS officially changed its strategy to prevent illegal migration over the Mexico-US border in 1994, and adopted the Hold the Line approach. Henceforth, the INS would aim to keep unauthorized aliens from trying to enter the US in urban areas such as El Paso and San Diego, and gradually add agents, fences and lights to that aliens would shift to less policed areas of the border, such as the Arizona border, and eventually, when the INS had hired enough agents and constructed enough fencing, aliens attempting illegal entry would be so discouraged they would not even try to enter the US. As the INS added agents in different sectors, it gave each a different name, e.g. Gatekeeper in California and Safeguard in Arizona.

Tom Jessor and Mike Dino of the General Accounting Office reviewed the progress that the INS made achieving its goals with operations such as Gatekeeper. If the new INS strategy were working as intended, the INS expected first an increase and then a decrease in apprehensions and recidivism, i.e., with more agents, there would first be more aliens caught, and caught several times, and then a reduction, as the migrants realized that they could not elude the INS and returned home. Those that first tried to enter in e.g. San Diego would shift to less policed areas such as Arizona, and smugglers who help migrants illegally enter the US would charge higher fees and shift their operations. Finally, with more agents along the border, there should be less border crime.

The GAO must report annually to Congress on how well the new enforcement strategy is working. Its most recent report in May 1999 concluded that "available data do not yet answer the fundamental question of how effective the strategy has been in preventing and deterring illegal entry." The GAO noted that (1) apprehensions decreased in sectors such as San Diego and El Paso, where the new strategy was in place, and increased in Arizona, where the new strategy was not yet in place. (2) more foreigners were caught trying to enter the US with false documents at ports of entry, suggesting that border entry was more difficult, and (3) that smuggling fees seem to have risen, also reflecting increased INS effectiveness.

However, the GAO noted that there were no reliable data to indicate whether aliens apprehended were deterred from attempting re-entry and whether the new border control strategy had reduced border-area crime. The INS has been taking a photo and fingerprints from each person caught, so that it should be possible to quickly determine how many of those caught were caught before, and when and where, but this IDENT system has been plagued by problems, so that the INS only in September 1997 began to consider the data reliable. INS data are also unable to determine how much smuggling fees changed, since there is competition between smugglers for clients, and a variety of packages offered, including "guarantees" that the smuggler will get the migrant to e.g. Phoenix or Los Angeles.

The overall goal of stepped up border controls is to reduce the inflow of migrants and to reduce the number of unauthorized migrants in the US. The best indicators of the unauthorized flow—some 300,000 to 350,000 unauthorized aliens are believed to settle in the US each year, including about 55 percent who enter the US without inspection. The number of unauthorized foreigners in the US, about 6.2 million in Fall 1999, is thus increasing. Furthermore, the unauthorized share of foreigners in entry-level jobs such as seasonal farm work appears to be increasing: one national survey estimated that 52 percent of workers employed on crop farms in 1998 were not authorized to work in the US.

Frank Bean (UCI) emphasized that the politicization of the INS makes it difficult to do honest evaluations. The Border Patrol has about 8000 agents--Bean’s analysis, based on knowledge of agents in each sector and assumptions about INS control in some sectors, suggests that 15,000 to 16,000 agents would be needed to "control" the Mexico-US border. Bean also noted that, as illegal entry becomes more difficult, migrants who succeed in entering the US may stay longer, an unanticipated effect of the new border control strategy.

Wayne Cornelius (UCSD) reported that his 1996 survey of employers in San Diego county suggested that (1) employers were "structurally dependent" on a continued influx of newly arrived migrants and (2) that Gatekeeper was not preventing unauthorized migrants from entering the US. Furthermore, Cornelius emphasized that the apprehension data suggest a balloon effect—overall apprehensions along the Mexico-US border are up about 20 percent between FY93 and FY99, and the drop in one sector is almost exactly offset by the rise in apprehensions in a neighboring sector. There has also been a significant increase in migrant deaths as more attempt entry in the mountains and desert—at least 444 migrant deaths since 1994 along the California-Mexico border.

The discussion noted that Gatekeeper might have even more unanticipated consequences. Gatekeeper is one of the arguments used by farmers and other US employers who want a new guest worker program—they argue that, as the INS refines its border control strategy, there will be labor shortages that can best be met by a guest worker program.

Immigration Policy Making: Australia and US

In most countries, immigration produces a reaction, and often a reaction against more immigration, or against special programs for immigrants. Jeanette Money (UCD) examined the factors that affect the success of anti-immigrant parties in industrial democracies, using the example of Australia to highlight a case in which anti-immigrant parties have had little sustained success.

Money noted that about 24 percent of Australia’s 19 million residents are foreign born, and that 40 percent are first or second generation immigrants. Australia has a relatively easy path to naturalization: babies born to legal residents are Australian citizens, immigrants can naturalize after two years, and Australia has a mandatory voting system.

But the key reasons why Australia has no sustained anti-immigrant political movements, Money believes, is that (1) the number of immigrants is very large and (2) the immigrants are diverse, so that their economic interests span the spectrum, from business persons and professionals who tend to affiliate with one of the Conservative parties to unskilled workers who tend to affiliate with the Australian Labor Party. Thus, a party that adopts anti-immigrant positions (1) can be punished by the relatively large number of ex-immigrant voters and (2) mainstream parties can undercut anti-immigrant parties by reminding voters that the major issue is e.g. economics or globalization, not immigration.

Money noted that Pauline Hanson was elected to the federal Parliament as a member of the Liberal Party (conservative) in a previously safe Labor district in Queensland in 1996, but that she was expelled from the Party when she expressed anti-Aboriginal and anti-immigrant sentiments. Hanson became an instant press sensation, with widespread reporting of her statements such as Australia was "in danger of being swamped by Asians." Polls showed that as many as two-thirds of Australians backed her call for a halt to immigration.

The conservative coalition's strategy changed after Hanson formed a political party, One Nation, that won 23 percent of the vote in the June 1998 Queensland election, doing particularly well in rural areas and areas of high unemployment in a state that traditionally voted conservative. The change was triggered in part because catering to xenophobic sentiment led otherwise conservative immigrant voters to swing to the Labor party and contributed to the replacement of the conservative coalition in the state parliament with the Liberal Party. Quantitative evidence from the October 1998 federal election is consistent with the theory that immigrant voters played a role in constraining mainstream parties and in undercutting the legitimacy of xenophobic appeals.

Hanson’s success led to fears outside Australia that the country was returning to its "white Australia" policy, in which it welcomed only white immigrants. After One Nation’s electoral success, US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright in August 1998 warned Australians not to embrace One Nation, saying: "We both, Australians and Americans, have the privilege of living in very large land masses, but in both our countries we are multi-ethnic societies. We are both countries of immigrants and I think that, as countries of immigrants," isolationism must be avoided.

The conservative coalition's change in strategy contributed to the decline of the One Nation party. One Nation received eight percent of the vote in an October 1998 federal election that returned to power the Conservative coalition Liberal-National parties that have governed Australia since 1996, and currently registers less than 3 percent support in public opinion polls.

Marc Rosenblum (UCSD) presented a paper on the role of the US president and emigration countries in the making of US immigration policy—most analyses of US immigration policy making stress the role of Congress. The principal-agent theory imagines Congress setting immigration policy, and the President implementing it imperfectly, leaving an enforcement gap. Rosenblum argues that the President’s immigration policy goals are better reflected in reality when foreign policy considerations are more important then domestic policy considerations and that President-made policy, especially in the implementation phase, can have a "back-door" quality.

Rosenblum examined the evolution and implementation of the Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act of 1997, which presumed that 155,000 Cubans and Nicaraguans in the US in an illegal or TPS status would face hardship if returned, but required an estimated 240,000 Salvadorans and Guatemalans in the US since 1990 to prove individually that they would face "extreme hardship" to themselves or to their US families if returned.

The first regulations implementing NACARA were issued in January 1998, and migrant advocates protested that these implementing regulations would be costly and time-consuming for Salvadorans and Guatemalans. The regulations, they argued, were also unfair to presume that some foreigners in the US would face hardship while requiring other foreigners to prove hardship. In March 1999, President Clinton visited Central America and promised to seek parity in the treatment of Central Americans. The final regulations issued in May 1999 were changed to presume that 190,000 Salvadorans, 50,000 Guatemalans and 10,000 Eastern Europeans (principal applicants and families) were would face extreme hardship if returned.

Congressional leaders who approved NACARA with a double standard were furious. Rosenblum believes that President Clinton was able to frustrate the will of Congress in this case because the treatment of Central Americans who had been in the US for years was a very high priority foreign policy issue, since Central America presidents made it their most important topic in discussions with Clinton.

Immigrant Integration

Maria Yen-Penubarti (UCB) reported on the ethnic conflict that can arise when immigrants move into an area: she focused on the movement of Vietnamese into Westminster, CA, which has the largest concentration of Vietnamese in the US, and Cambodians into Lowell, MA, the second-largest concentration of Cambodians in the US. IN both of these cities with about 100,000 residents in the mid-1990s, the increase in the southeast Asian population was very rapid, so that, by the mid-1990s, about 30 percent of residents were southeast Asians.

Using pictures that depicted land-use patterns, Yen-Penubarti showed how relatively well-off Vietnamese created a Little Saigon in Westminster, transforming Bolsa Avenue into a series of Asian-style shopping malls with arched entrances into parking lots, and Chinese and Vietnamese character signs—the number of southeast Asian owned businesses in Westminster more than doubled from 700 in 1985 to 1500 in 1995. Ethnic conflicts were manifested in protests about non-English signs, bilingual education, and vandalism, racial slurs, and hate crimes.

There was less conflict in Lowell, which Yen-Penubarti attributed to an active city policy of reminding residents of the city’s history of immigrants. Perhaps the central conclusion of this work in progress is that, when needy immigrants arrive in an area, there is immediate competition for scarce affordable housing, and tensions in the schools. Active efforts to anticipate, mediate, and educate can reduce inter-ethnic tensions.

Wendy Walker-Moffat emphasized that migration can be natural (family unification) or violent, as when conflict forces one group to leave an area. Walker-Moffat has collected 200 stories of migrants, and her analysis demonstrates that there is a long history of often violent migration, as with Mien forced from China in the 1950s to Laos, then permitted to move to the US in the 1970s and 1980s because of their support for the US war effort, and concentrating in Richmond, CA, where they competed with Afro-Americans for affordable housing and schooling resources. Going beyond traditional push-pull theories of migration, Walker-Moffat emphasized that violent dislocation often accompanies the migration of people from one area to another.


UC Comparative Immigration and Integration Program

Fall Workshop

University of California, Berkeley

Lipman Room, 8th Floor, Barrows Hall

Friday, October 8, 1999

The purpose of this workshop is to promote comparative research among UC faculty and graduate students on immigration and integration issues. The papers presented at the workshop and a summary of the discussions are posted at: //

Friday, October 8, 1999

8:30AM Continental breakfast available

9AM Session I: Gatekeeper at Five: Border Controls and Unauthorized Migration

Chair: Philip Martin, UCD
Presenters: Tom Jessor, GAO, Mike Dino, GAO

Illegal Immigration: Southwest Border Strategy Results Inconclusive: More Evaluation Needed (December, 1997; GAO/GGD-98-21)

Illegal Immigration Status of Southwest Border Strategy Implementation (May, 1999; GAO/GGD-99-44)

Discussants: Frank D. Bean, UCI, Wayne Cornelius, UCSD

10:45 AM Break

11 Session II: Immigration Policy Making: Comparative Perspectives

Chair: Bev Crawford, UCB

Presenters:Jeanette Money, UCD, Xenophobia and Xenophilia. Pauline Hanson and the Counterbalancing of Electoral Incentives in Australia

Marc Rosenblum, UCSD, Immigration as Foreign Policy: The International Political Economy of U.S. Migration Policy-making

International Political Economy of U.S. Migration Policy-making

12:30PM Lunch

1:30PM Session III: Integration Case Studies

Chair: Frank Bean, UCI

Presenters: Maria Yen-Penubarti, UCB/UCLA/Iowa State, Welcome to the Neighborhood? Understanding ethnic conflict in U.S. communities with Southeast Asians

Wendy Walker-Moffat, UCB, Dynamics of Dislocation, Natural vs Violent Migration and Issues of Identity

3PM Adjourn

Proposed Regents’ Immigration Initiative

N.B. This is a draft proposal of August 1999 that must first be approved by the Regents, and then by the State to provide up to $5 million a year for immigration research.

that California has become the nation’s preeminent state of immigrants. One out of four current residents of California was born abroad. California was the destination of one third of all legal immigrants to the United States over a recent six-year period—nearly three million persons. In addition, California is the leading state of residence for undocumented immigrants, with an estimated 40% of the total number of such residents in 1996. By 2005, one in three California residents will be foreign-born, with the country of origin being, in most cases, in Latin America or Asia. U.S.-born and foreign-born persons of Asian and Latin American origin combined will represent fully half of the state’s population by 2005, and a majority shortly thereafter.

Given the magnitude and diversity of the state’s immigrant and refugee populations, California constitutes a prime "natural laboratory" for studying virtually every aspect of the contemporary U.S. immigration phenomenon. Our ability to analyze and foresee the demographic and cultural changes resulting from continued, large-scale immigration in the 21st century will have profound consequences for the state’s continued economic and social well-being. Therefore, we propose a major research and training initiative on immigration that will benefit the state of California by:

Documenting the changing characteristics of international migration to California;
Anticipating future demand for immigrant labor in key sectors of the state economy and increasing our understanding of the role of immigration in California’s economic growth;
Explaining the very different paths to economic incorporation and socio-cultural integration being taken by various immigrant groups, in order to develop targeted public policies;
Identifying the most effective modes for educating immigrants (K-12 and adults), providing health care to them, and financing such care;
Promoting intercultural understanding among diverse immigrant communities, and between immigrants and established residents;
Training the next generation of California-based immigration scholars and public educators.
The University of California has unsurpassed faculty resources for the major research and training initiative that we are proposing. This strength extends across all of the social sciences, the arts and humanities, health sciences, law, and other professional schools. The proposed initiative would draw upon faculty resources in all of these areas and would strongly encourage interdisciplinary approaches. The University also attracts large numbers of graduate students as well as undergraduates who seek training in immigration studies. Existing courses on immigration-related subjects are heavily enrolled.
The proposed immigration research and training initiative will have three main programmatic priorities:

Creating new primary data bases and improving the quality of immigration data for California. Field studies of immigrant and refugee populations will generate data bases that are more up-to-date, more detailed than Census Bureau data, and more relevant to the specific informational needs of California policymakers;
Training graduate and undergraduate students. Up to half of the funding requested for the immigration initiative will be allocated to the training of UC graduate and undergraduate students, especially by involving them in field research in immigrant and refugee communities;
Promoting comparative research. UC researchers will systematically compare California’s experience with that of the five other top immigrant-receiving states, and within California they will compare the impacts of immigration in various regions.
A research and training initiative on immigration funded at the requested level would immediately move the University of California to the forefront of institutions in the United States that are working in this field. Remarkably, no other public university has a major research and training program in immigration studies. A UC-based program concentrating on the California immigration experience could also have significant influence on policymaking at the federal level. At present, most members of the U.S. Congress and the federal bureaucracy rely on immigration studies conducted by non-academic, East Coast think tanks. The proposed initiative would enable the University of California to harness the impressive resources for immigration research and training that are currently dispersed throughout the University and lack programmatic focus. Through an extensive dissemination effort including briefings and targeted publications, the initiative will greatly assist policymakers at all levels of government to better understand the needs and aspirations of California’s newest residents.
Proposed Budget: $ 5 Million

Graduate student fellowships $ 2,000,000

Undergraduate research opportunities $ 500,000

Data collection/Field studies $ 1,500,000

Comparative research $ 1,000,000