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[CGES-CIIP April 11, 1997]

Comparative Immigration and Integration Program

Spring Workshop

Friday, April 11, 1997

Room 223 Moses Hall, UCB

Some 22 UC faculty and graduate students interested in comparative migration issues held a workshop Friday, April 11, 1997. Six papers were presented, covering topics that ranged from the impacts of Mexican immigrants in the San Joaquin Valley and Silicon Valley to the role of shipping companies in moving immigrants to the US at the turn of the century to the factors that explain the rise of anti-immigrant political movements in Western Europe.

The Fall CGES-CIIP work shop is tentatively scheduled for Thursday, October 9, 1997 at UCD. If you have a paper that you wish to present, please notify Phil before September 15, 1997. Papers MUST be completed and available for distribution before September 19, 1997.

On October 10, 1997 there will be a conference at UCD on the implications of immigration for rural areas of California.

There will probably be a special CGES-CIIP work shop in July-August 1997 at UCB or UCD that focuses on immigration and integration issues in Germany. As soon as the agenda is ready, we will send a notice of the special German session to all Migration News subscribers with UC addresses, i.e., all persons who receive this announcement..

This section also includes summaries of past CGES-CIIP work shops.

The winter 1998 CGES-CIIP work shop will be held in southern California, and will likely be associated with a 1.5 day conference that deals in more depth with German-US migration issues. That work shop will also include a field trip, either to the border, or to immigrant work places in the LA area.

Immigration and Welfare Reform

Rafael Alarcon, UCB and UCSD, compared the role of foreign-born persons in Silicon Valley and the Route 128 corridor in MA, and noted that, in both high-tech research and manufacturing areas, the foreign born were a high percentage of the work force in 1990, 28 percent in Silicon Valley and 17 percent in Route 128, and that a higher percentage of the foreign-born had advanced degrees than did the US born, 51 versus 21 percent in Silicon Valley, and 45 versus 20 percent in Route 128.

The discussion emphasized that it is hard to interpret the higher percentages of advanced degree-holding foreigners in high tech. It may mean that foreigners are "better," or it may mean that foreigners are willing to obtain advanced degrees, even though the advanced degree does not seem to give them a great deal more income--most employers pay by the job, not the qualifications of the person holding it--because the foreigners see the advanced degree as a way to get US immigrant status.

Ed Taylor, UCD, discussed the implications of a farm sector that depends on an unskilled immigrant work force. He concluded that there is an immigrant subsidy to CA agriculture that operates through the US welfare system--the newly-arrived migrant workers who fill many of the seasonal harvesting jobs do not tend to get benefits from means-tested federal payments, but the settled US citizens and immigrants who provide them with housing, rides and other services often do.

In a study of 65 rural cities in CA that had a combined 1990 population of about 500,000, Taylor found that an increase in farm employment increases the number of poor residents, and that more poor residents increases the number of welfare recipients. Taylor also found that an increased number of immigrants increased the number of farm jobs, suggesting that immigrants are attracted to farm jobs, and that the availability of farm jobs encourages some employers to increase the demand for farm workers by planting more crops.

Ivan Light, UCLA, discussed employment patterns in the LA garment industry. The differences between network and entrepreneur approaches to immigrant employment are analogous to a parking lot; network theories emphasize how networks diminish the costs of getting into the lot and finding a place, while entrepreneur theories emphasize the way in which immigrants who hire other immigrants expand the number of spaces in the lot.

Light distinguished three economies--ethnic, where e.g. Asians hire Asians, immigrant, when immigrants hire immigrants, and mainstream, when US-born hire immigrants. Light found that there is a significant immigrant economy in LA garments, exemplified by Korean immigrant sewing shop owners hiring Mexican sewers. The process of immigrants hiring non-co-ethnics increases employment and can explain why there are constant complaints of labor shortages.

Belinda Reyes, CPPI, discussed return migration to Mexico. Using MMP data that asked the heads of 5600 Mexican households in 30 west central Mexican emigration areas interviewed between 1982 and 1993 about, inter alia, their first and last US trips, Reyes found that about half of those who entered the US returned within two years; one-third stayed in the US for 10 years or more.

Several UC researchers were familiar with the MMP data, there was a lengthy discussion of the MMP data, which emphasized that the MMP data overstate returns because when entire families move, they are not included in the sample. Reyes noted that the 9,530 migrants in her sample generated 12,000 US entries (a migrant could only generate two observations, first trip and most recent entry). The typical migrant in the sample was a 29 year old male with six years of education, and 83 percent of the men came to the US for the first time without their families. Those who stayed tended to have more education and higher US earnings.

Drew Keeling, UCB, examined the four major shipping companies that controlled transatlantic steamships between 1870 and 1913--the UK's White Star and Cunard lines, and the German Hapag and NDL lines transported 57 percent of the steerage passengers between 1870 and 1899, and 67 percent between 1900 and 1913. There were no significant US shipping companies involved, which may reflect the comparative advantage of the European shipping lines in recruiting immigrant passengers.

The major issue for Keeling is why the price of being transported to the US did not fluctuate with shipping capacity and the number of migrants; Keeling suggests that fixed costs were very high, and that shipping companies were more likely to lower prices when the number of steerage customers was low as the companies scrambled for passengers. Keeling sees the shipping companies as analogous to a dam, with the migrants analogous to the water trickling through. His study imagines the shipping companies to be independent actors in the great migration, with their policies of recruiting immigrant passengers, ensuring that they would be admissible to the US, and offer prepaid and other types of tickets for "frequent travelers" having contemporary implications.

Terri Givens, UCLA, discussed reasons why the anti-immigrant National Front party seems to be more successful in France than similar parties have been in Germany. Three major explanatory factors were suggested: the nature and amount of social dislocation, as well as the extent of social insurance to cushion dislocation; the strategies of the mainstream political parties to deal with the anti-immigrant parties; and the country's voting system, i.e., what percentage of the vote a party must get to enter Parliament.

Center for German and European Studies

International and Area Studies

Comparative Immigration and Integration Program

Spring Workshop

Friday, April 11, 1997



223 Moses Hall

Friday, April 11, 1997

9:00 AM CIIP purposes and goals, Philip Martin, UCD and Bev Crawford, UCB

9:05AM Introductions and 1-minute presentations on each participant's current comparative immigration and integration research. You may prepare and bring a one-page handout to distribute.

9:30 AM Ed Taylor, UCD, The Immigrant Subsidy to California Agriculture.

Discussant: Alain de Janvry, UCB

10:15 AM Break

10:30AM Rafael Alarcon, UCSD, Foreign Born Professionals in the High

Technology Sector of Silicon Valley

Discussant: Annalee Saxeninan, UCB

11:15AM Ivan Light, Richard Bernard, and Rebecca Kim, UCLA, Economic Incorporation of Immigrants in the LA Garment Industry

12 Noon Lunch

1:00PM Belinda Reyes, CPPI, Return Migration to Mexico

1:45PM Drew Keeling, UCB, The Business of Transatlantic Migration, 1870-1914

Discussant: Joshua Skov, UCB

2:30PM Terri Givens, UCLA, Industrial Change, Immigration and the

Radical Right in Western Europe

Discussant: Jeanette Money, UCD

3:15PM Adjourn