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--> 8 Social Dimensions of Immigration In addition to the demographic, labor market, and fiscal effects of immigration summarized in the previous chapters, how immigrants and their children will fit into American society now and in the future depends also on other aspects of immigration. In this chapter, we review research bearing on some key questions about the social dimensions of immigration. The first set of issues concerns the integration of immigrants and their children into American society: social and spatial mobility across generations, competence in the English language, naturalization, and intermarriage and ethnic identity. The next set of issues concerns the effects of immigration on American institutions, focusing on two extremes with side-effects for the rest of the population—excellence in science and the arts and participation in crime. The social consequences of immigration are not only the outcomes of immigrants' own values, skills, and motivations, but also reflect the reactions of the resident population. This chapter concludes with a discussion of interethnic relations and public opinion on immigration, especially regarding concerns about the economic effects. These issues do not exhaust the ways in which immigration has shaped American society and how immigrants have responded to their new environment. 1 But they do serve both to illustrate the potential contribution that social 1 There are many other issues involving social consequences of U.S. immigration that do not receive detailed discussion in this chapter. Two examples are studies of the effects of immigrants on schools and the role of immigrant entrepreneurs in creating new businesses.
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--> science research can make to policy debates and to identify gaps in current understanding. Assessments of the social consequences of immigration often arouse strong reactions. Some critics of contemporary immigration policy conclude that the arrival of predominantly nonwhite immigrants displaces native workers, swells the largely minority ''underclass," and exacerbates racial and ethnic conflict (Brimelow, 1995; Bouvier, 1991; Lamm and Imhoff, 1985). Others conclude that the new immigrants strengthen and reinforce the best in American traditions, revitalize decaying neighborhoods and stagnant industries, and add new talents and energies to the U.S. civic culture (Binder and Reimers, 1995; Simon, 1989; Portes and Rumbaut, 1996). Contemporary reactions have historical parallels. Before the enactment of restrictions on immigration in the 1920s, intense debates erupted over whether the new immigrants from Eastern and Southern Europe could ever be assimilated.2 Contemporary fears about the social consequences of immigration are typically expressed in less graphic language than those in the past, but the sentiments are not dissimilar. Although it is not possible to resolve all controversies over the impact of immigration, enough is known to allay some of the widely held concerns that immigration has exacerbated the social problems that confront American society in the late twentieth century. Over time, many immigrants, and especially their children, have become integrated into the mainstream of American society (Alba, 1995; Hirschman, 1983; Lieberson, 1980; Portes and Rumbaut, 1996), and immigrants have made significant contributions to many American institutions. It is also true that some immigrants have participated in crime, and interethnic tensions and violence, sometimes directed at other immigrants, have surfaced. But the weight of both the historical and the current evidence is that immigrants are no more likely to participate in socially disapproved activities than are native-born Americans. Although there is no assurance that past trends will always continue, the new Americans who have arrived in recent decades are likely to also be absorbed into the primary institutions of American society. As with many past waves of immigrants, they will also redefine the character and content of American culture in the process. 2 At the beginning of the twentieth century, many scholars believed that Southern and Central European "races" were genetically inferior to the Northern and Western European groups who had emigrated to the United States in earlier times and had defined American culture (Ross, 1914; Grant, 1916; for a masterly review of American nativism, see Higham, 1955). For example, in a full page ad in the Sunday New York Times on June 22, 1913, William Ripley, a Harvard economics professor, wrote that "the hordes of new immigrants" were "a menace to our Anglo Saxon civilization." Another economist, Robert Foerster, toured Latin America to investigate the effects of immigration from the rest of the Western Hemisphere for the U.S. Department of Labor. "He concluded, in a report published by the government in 1925, that broad entry by Latin Americans would 'lower the average of the race value of the white population of the United States"' (Muller, 1993:41).
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--> Integration of Immigrants into American Society An often-heard criticism is that immigrants do not adapt to American society and culture, thus balkanizing the American population. The idea of a common society in which all members are fully incorporated and socially equal has been more of an ideal than a reality in American history. America has always been characterized by variations in socioeconomic and cultural status associated with groups defined by national origin and color as well as by great variation even within national-origin groups. A more realistic concept, then, might be integration into the "normal" diversity of American society. Issues of immigrant assimilation are important for several reasons in this report. Chapter 3 noted that some immigrants, particularly those from Latin America, have higher fertility. Our analysis suggests that the initial higher fertility among Hispanic immigrants will decline for their native-born descendants. These fertility declines possibly reflect the integration of Hispanic immigrants and their children into a society with lower childbearing norms. The assimilation of immigrants in the labor force may have repercussions for the pattern of geographic mobility as well as for their economic success. These, in turn, affect the labor market and the fiscal impacts discussed in previous chapters. Social and Spatial Mobility Immigrants tend to cluster in certain geographic areas and occupations. Since they usually depend on the assistance of kin and others in their primary networks, ethnic neighborhoods and enterprises are often essential stepping stones for their social and economic adaptation. Even when government policy tries to disperse new arrivals around the country, as with the case of Cuban refugees in the 1960s and Vietnamese refugees in the 1970s, secondary migration has led to a reconcentration of immigrants. Since ethnic areas often tend to look, sound, and smell different from other areas, some of the native-born population will see immigrant neighborhoods as evidence that new immigrants are not adapting to American society. The historical evidence makes clear, however, that ethnic residential concentrations and ethnic economies are initial efforts by the first generation to get a foothold in American society. Most historical and contemporary research shows that assimilation is a generational process (Lieberson, 1980, 1996). Immigrants who arrive as adults are sometimes slow to learn English, and many older immigrants continue to have close attachments to the countries of origin long after their arrival. In contrast, the second generation, including immigrants who arrive as children or adolescents, typically become "American" in language, behavior, and outlook. Between the two world wars, the children of immigrants from Southern, Eastern, and Central Europe made significant socioeconomic gains, particularly in educational and occupational attainment (Lieberson, 1980; Perlmann, 1988;
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--> Hirschman and Kraly, 1990). And by the 1960s, there were only modest differences in socioeconomic status and in intergenerational mobility among whites, whatever their national origins (Duncan and Duncan, 1968; Featherman and Hauser, 1978: Chapter 8). The upward movement of Asian immigrants and their descendants was slower but, by the 1960s, Asian Americans were at least at parity with whites in terms of education and occupational status, although an income gap remained (Nee and Sanders, 1985; Hirschman and Wong, 1984). Generationally, the major disadvantaged groups in American society are not immigrants and their children; they are African Americans, American Indians, and Puerto Ricans. Considerable uncertainty still surrounds the social and economic fortunes of the waves of immigrants who arrived in recent decades. Although it is too early to draw definitive conclusions, most studies show that, with few exceptions, recent immigrants and their children (the second generation) are doing relatively well (Barringer et al., 1993; Jasso and Rosenzweig, 1990; Portes and Rumbaut, 1996). This does not mean that parity has been reached, nor even that all recent groups of immigrants have escaped poverty, but simply that most of the newcomers are not completely isolated from the mainstream of American society: they work, live in neighborhoods, and go to school in proximity to the native-born population. One of the most important indicators of social adaptation is the level of integration (or segregation) in residential areas. Residential integration is considered the linchpin of interethnic relations, since it opens the door to informal association in schools, playgrounds, and other places where close personal bonds and friendships are formed. In the initial years after arrival, the massive waves of immigrants in the early twentieth century clustered tightly together, but rising income levels and the passage of generations blurred residential segregation within a few decades (Lieberson, 1980: Chapter 9). The rapid pace of immigration in the last three decades has also created many new ethnic areas in major cities around the country. These have been interpreted by some as a sign of balkanization and a harbinger of long-term trends. But empirical research suggests that this may be simply a short-term response. Some evidence in favor of eventual assimilation is registered in the consistent association between social class (as measured by education, occupation, and income) and residential integration (including suburbanization) among Hispanic and Asian Americans (Frey, 1995). As the ability of immigrants and their children to afford better housing grows, they seem to choose neighborhoods with more amenities over areas with more neighbors with similar ethnicity. This association contrasts with the trend for blacks, who—even if they have higher economic status—have continued to live in segregated neighborhoods (Massey and Denton, 1993). If immigrants, including Hispanics and Asians, have also faced discrimination in the housing market, it has been much less than that experienced by blacks.
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--> Evidence for residential segregation for Hispanics and Asians, taking immigrants and native-born persons together, has come from several recent censuses. Asians, as a group, display low to moderate levels of segregation from whites (Massey and Denton, 1992; Fong, 1994). Asians tend to be highly suburbanized and, because they have low levels of segregation within suburbs, their overall levels are reduced. Asian-white segregation is reduced as the socioeconomic status of Asians increases, with very low segregation levels for higher education and income levels. Taken as a whole, "Asians appear to experience few barriers to residential mobility and display remarkably low levels of segregation" (Massey and Denton, 1992:170).3 One difficulty with using the census is that the geographic areas identified are at a very high level of aggregation. Borjas (1995) used data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth to look at the probability that other survey respondents living in the same zip code area had the same ethnic background as the respondent.4 These segregation indices are shown in Table 8.1. Some ethnic groups display high levels of segregation. The average black respondent lived in a neighborhood that was 63 percent black, and the average Mexican respondent lived in a neighborhood that was 50 percent Mexican. The typical respondent lived in a neighborhood with a much lower index: only 30 percent of the respondents had a similar ethnicity. Many other immigrant groups, including Chinese, Filipinos, other Hispanics, Polish, and particularly the older immigrant groups (the Irish and the Italians) had much lower segregation indices. These indices imply that, except for Mexicans, geographic segregation for immigrant groups is not particularly great. Moreover, segregation weakens as the generations succeed one another. Because the 1970 census included a question about the nativity of the parents of the respondent, it permits researchers to classify people as foreign-born, native-born of foreign-born parents, and native-born of native-born parents—providing information on the first, second, and third and later immigrant generations.5 In 3 Although we highlight general segregation patterns for Hispanics and Asians above, there are widespread differences within nationality groups of the population. For example, Cubans are highly segregated from both blacks and whites, and Mexicans are highly segregated from blacks but only moderately segregated from whites. Asians as an overall group are highly segregated from blacks. Within the Asian population, the Japanese have the lowest segregation from whites. The Vietnamese evidence the highest segregation levels. Other Asian groups fall between the two extremes. Because the Japanese have resided in the United States for several generations and the Vietnamese are among the most recent immigrant groups, these results are consistent with a story of declining segregation with generational assimilation. 4 This survey was not designed to be a survey of immigrants. Rather, we cite these results as evidence that segregation varies among ethnic groups, some of whom are heavily affected by recent immigration. 5 Questions about parental nativity were omitted from the 1980 and 1990 censuses. Immigration researchers have argued that it would be valuable to include a question on parental nativity in the future (Edmonston, 1996).
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--> TABLE 8.1 Residential Segregation Indices by Ethnicity, 1979 Ethnicity Percentage of Population in the Neighborhood with Same Ethnic Background Black 63.4 Chinese 3.5 Cuban 33.3 English 23.9 Filipino 5.0 German 25.7 Irish 14.3 Italian 16.3 Mexican 50.3 Other Hispanic 9.3 Polish 12.8 Puerto Rican 29.8 Alla 30.4 a The total sample includes all reported ethnic groups. There are more groups than are shown in this table. Source: Analysis of National Longitudinal Survey of Youth data, for persons aged 14 to 22 years, in 1979; reported in Borjas (1995: Table 4). 1970, the typical immigrant lived in a neighborhood that was 33 percent either first- or second-generation (Borjas, 1995). But members of the second generation lived in neighborhoods that were 28 percent first- or second-generation, and those in the third and later generations lived in neighborhoods that were only half as segregated, with 14 percent first- and second-generation.6 This generational desegregation did not proceed at the same pace for Hispanics, however.7 The typical third-generation Hispanic lives in a neighborhood that is 29 percent Hispanic (Borjas, 1995:367). With the notable exception of Mexican immigrants, the geographic concentration of most immigrant groups is not great, especially compared with geographic segregation among black Americans. The available evidence also indicates that geographic segregation weakens as later generations succeed the immigrant generation. 6 Cross-sectional data on immigrant generations do not reveal the inter- and intragenerational dynamics of spatial mobility. Cohort observations would reveal much higher mobility than is indicated by cross-sectional data. 7 They were the only ethnic group identified separately in the data about nativity.
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--> Once again, the notable exceptions to these trends are Mexican immigrants, who tend to live close to other Mexican Americans across each generation. Intermarriage and Identity There has always been variation in the experience of different ethnic groups with social mobility and ethnic or racial identification. East European Jews achieved a great deal of social mobility by the second generation, but Italian Americans took several generations to reach parity with native whites of native parentage (Lieberson, 1980; Alba, 1986). Overall, however, the remarkable progress of once-stigmatized groups like Greeks, Slavs, Irish, and Italians merits Andrew Greeley's description of it as an "ethnic miracle" (Greeley, 1976). Succeeding generations of some non-European groups have also experienced upward mobility. The increase in education and income across the generations of Japanese Americans has been so great that they have the highest income of any ethnic group in the United States (Waters and Eschbach, 1995). In the nineteenth century, the Irish were seen as a "race" apart from other European groups. They were stereotyped for their criminality, lack of education, and poor family values and were often portrayed as apes in cartoons of the time. In the mid-nineteenth century, Negroes were referred to as "smoked Irish" (Ignatiev, 1995). If those debating immigration restriction in the early part of the twentieth century had done population projections to predict the ''race suicide" they believed new immigrants were causing, they would have projected the numbers of Southern and Central Europeans and Irish and shown how these growing groups would have made white Protestants a minority by some date in the far-off future. Yet we now know that such predictions would have been wrong for several reasons. Most important, they would have failed to predict the decline in the relevance of the boundaries separating European groups from one another. The children and grandchildren of immigrants from Italy, Poland, and Greece—groups that were once seen as "unassimilable" and racially distinct—intermarry with others of different ethnic origins to such an extent that the descendants of most white European groups are virtually indistinguishable. Indeed, the descendants of all immigrant waves from Eastern and Southern Europe have reached equality with white Protestants in education, income, occupational specialization, and residential distributions (Lieberson and Waters, 1988). At the turn of the century, marital "endogamy was castelike for new ethnics from eastern and southern Europe" (Paginini and Morgan, 1990). Within the space of two generations, social, economic, and cultural changes have led to levels of ethnic intermarriage that would have been unthinkable in the decades immediately following the major waves of immigration. As Alba (1995:13) reports, "in 1990 census data, more than half (56 percent) of whites have spouses
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--> whose ethnic backgrounds do not overlap with their own at all. . . . Only one fifth have spouses with identical backgrounds." Under such conditions of great intermarriage, ethnic identity is increasingly a matter of choice for whites in the United States. An American of Italian, Irish, and Scottish ancestry, for example, can "choose" to identify with one or more of his or her ethnic ancestries and discard or "forget" others (Waters, 1990; Alba, 1990). For example, over 40 million Americans reported Irish ancestry in the 1980 census, a figure far in excess of any reasonable rate of natural increase from the 4.5 million Irish who were immigrants to the United States. Hout and Goldstein (1994) show that the number of Americans who identify as Irish Americans is possible only because of the high rate of intermarriage of persons with Irish ancestry and a very selective identification of Irish identity among offspring with multiple ancestries. This fluidity of white ethnic categories stands in contrast to the seeming essentiality of race. But this fluidity is partially the result of the primacy of racial issues in American history, which necessitated unambiguous classifications, first to identify discrimination and now to implement affirmative action. But the social and legal forces of racial identity in the United States are also idiosyncratic, the product of complex and contingent processes, and subject to change over the coming decades. Rates of intermarriage have been growing since 1960 for all groups, even for those defined as "racial" groups (Sandefur and McKinnell, 1986; Kikumura and Kitano, 1973; Kitano et al., 1984; Gurak and Fitzpatrick, 1982; Lieberson and Waters, 1988). Although it is still the case that only a small proportion of marriages by whites are to nonwhites and Hispanics (2 percent), the rate of increase in recent decades has been dramatic: "In 1960 there were about 150,000 interracial couples in the United States. This number grew rapidly to more than 1.0 million in 1990. When marriages with Hispanics are added the intergroup marriages totaled about 1.6 million in 1990" (Harrison and Bennett, 1995:165). As we noted in Chapter 3, although 97 percent of whites and 94 percent of blacks married within their own groups in 1990, 70 percent of Asians and 73 percent of Hispanics did so. The percentage of intermarriages increased between 1980 and 1990, as younger people married outside their group to a greater extent. Intermarriage rates were much higher for native-born Asians and Hispanics in 1990. Among younger married persons in 1990, aged 25 to 34 years, 65 percent of native-born Hispanics had a Hispanic spouse (see Table 8.2). Among younger Asians, 53 percent of men had an Asian wife and 46 percent of women had an Asian husband. Intermarriage rates vary regionally, with lower intermarriage rates for Asians and Hispanics in areas where there is a heavier concentration of immigrants. Outside the South and the Southwest, younger native-born Hispanics had a non-Hispanic spouse more than half the time (Farley, 1996). Younger native-born Asians living outside California and the other Pacific states had a non-Asian
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--> TABLE 8.2 Race/Ethnicity of Spouses, Aged 25 to 34 Years, 1990 Race/Ethnicity of Spouse Race/Ethnicity White Asian Black Hispanic Husband White 96.3% 0.9% 0.2% 2.2% Asiana 36.0 52.6 0.6 8.4 Black 5.6 0.8 91.5 1.7 Hispanica 31.6 1.3 1.2 65.0 Wife White 96.7 0.4 0.4 2.1 Asiana 45.2 45.6 2.2 6.7 Black 2.2 0.2 96.3 1.1 Hispanica 31.4 1.1 2.0 65.0 Note: The calculation of different race/ethnicity is based on five mutually exclusive groups: white non-Hispanic, American Indian, Asian, black, and Hispanic. American Indian estimates are not shown above but are included in the estimates for the total population. Intermarriage is defined as a married person in one of the five groups whose spouse is reported in another group. a Calculated for native-born individuals. Source: Farley (1996), based on analysis of 1990 census microdata. spouse three-fourths of the time. Intermarriage rates are highest for younger married whites in California, where 10 percent of women and 12 percent of men had a nonwhite spouse in 1990. Younger black persons are more likely to have a nonblack spouse in the New England, Mountain, and Pacific states, with noticeably higher intermarriage rates in California: 14 percent of black women had a nonblack husband and 32 percent of black men had a nonblack wife. Intermarriage figures represent the stock of all past marriages as of the census or survey year; data on the flow of new marriages would be a more sensitive indicator of current trends. As pointed out in Chapter 3, more than one-half of births to native-born Asian and Hispanic persons involve a spouse or partner of a different ethnic group. Because births are generally to younger couples (although not all are married), recent fertility data demonstrate increased intermarriage rates for younger persons. Those who believe that current immigrants from Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean are less assimilable than those from European countries may be making two important errors. First, they may assume current racial categories to be fixed and essential—yet rising intermarriage means that the boundaries between groups may blur in the future. Our ideas of what constitutes a race or a racial difference are likely to be very different in a few decades, just as they are
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--> now very different from what they were at the beginning of the twentieth century. Second, they may assume that the cultures of non-European groups will continue to be very different from what they think of as the core American culture. Yet that core American culture has absorbed a number of groups who were defined as racially different in the past, and it may do so again in the future Both sides of the assimilation equation are in effect moving targets. Groups that seem racially different now may not always seem so, and the core American culture into which groups are assimilating is itself constantly changing and evolving as it absorbs new influences. Immigrants contribute customs of dress and cuisine, national celebrations, and cultural expressions to the mosaic of American society. Some immigrants even discover their ethnic heritage in America as part of their socialization into the American ethnic community of earlier immigrant waves. As time passes and the descendants of earlier immigrant waves mingle through intermarriage, ethnic cultures have become defined as part of general American culture. The Americanization of St. Patrick's Day as a day of public celebration and the marketing of pizza, bagels, tacos, and sushi as American fast food suggest that immigrant culture is quickly incorporated into the broader America cultural framework. Assimilation and Education Although the facts of how fast or how well immigrants and their children are being integrated into American society are subject to debate, the deeper questions revolve around the interpretation of the incomplete, and sometimes confusing, empirical record. Observers may agree that a glass is half-full, but then disagree over whether it will soon be filled or remain permanently half-full. Interpretations about the future are inevitably drawn from empirical generalizations about the past and the broader theories generated in light of this history. On the basis of a close study of immigrants in Chicago during the early decades of immigration in this century as well as ethnic relations in other societies, Robert Park posited a sequential model of interethnic relations of four stages: contact, conflict, accommodation, and assimilation (Park, 1950; Park and Burgess, 1969). Park suggested that assimilation would come about eventually, not that it would be quick or painless. Indeed, the stages of conflict and accommodation (which included, for example, the institutionalized inequality of Jim Crow laws) could be long-term adjustments in many industrial societies. More recent researchers have moved away from asserting one global dimension of assimilation to delineating specific spheres of assimilation (acculturation and structural, marital, identity, and other dimensions) that may move at different paces (Gordon, 1964). The logic of industrialism is the shift from local and kinship-based employing institutions to bureaucratic organizations, which recruit labor more on the basis of skills and potential productivity than on family background or national origins (Treiman, 1970). Representative political institutions
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--> are assumed to empower all groups as potential members of the electorate, once voting rights are guaranteed. Even if these economic and political processes are imperfect and limited, they will act to erode the boundaries of separate and traditional ethnic groups, although the process may take several generations. In recent years, considerable doubts have been expressed that the assimilation process will work for the post-1965 wave of immigrants and their children the way it did for the immigrant wave of the early twentieth century. One primary difference often noted is that of race. The earlier wave of immigration was primarily from Europe, and the model of assimilation was that of acculturation and socioeconomic mobility into the majority white Anglo-Saxon American society. Although the children of European immigrants often lost their ethnic roots and mother tongue, that was the price to be paid for the acquisition of American culture (defined as that of middle-class whites), which was considered part of upward social mobility. The "exchange" of culture for social mobility may be quite different for the new immigrants, in this view, because they share a racial (or ethnic) identity with minorities that may preclude easy access into the majority white world. If the loss of ethnic distinctiveness leads to their becoming indistinguishable from native-born blacks or Hispanics, then assimilation may mean joining the culture of the urban ghetto. Immigrants are thought, in some models of assimilation, to have some advantages over native-born minorities in the labor market. Because immigrants evaluate jobs here relative to conditions in their country of origin rather than to an "American" standard, they may be more willing to accept low-paying, "dead-end" jobs than are many native-born Americans. Immigrants often find employment through social networks that reassure employers about their work habits. For immigrants who are nonwhite, employers may take their immigrant status to be more important than their ''racial" status. Herbert Gans (1992) notes the strong possibility that the post-1965 second generation may face socioeconomic decline relative to their parents, if members of the second generation encounter few chances for upward mobility and refuse to accept the low-level and poorly paid jobs that their immigrants parents held. Negative attitudes toward school, opportunity, hard work, and the "American dream" are prevalent among poor American youth of all groups, but are considered most common in the ethnic ghettos with concentrated poverty. If available jobs do not offer wages that allow for upward mobility of the second generation, and minorities face discrimination in the workplace, then the second generation may face downward mobility into the underclass of American society. Using material from ethnographic case studies and a survey of second-generation schoolchildren in Miami and San Diego, Portes and Zhou (1993) describe the various outcomes of different groups of second-generation youth as "segmented assimilation." Segmentation refers to the variations in opportunities and the range of cultural and social capital—in the form of ethnic jobs, networks, and values—offered to the second generation. Contemporary immigrants are hetero-
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--> dence suggests that most immigrants tend to acquire English language skills over time. Today, after three or more generations of descendants of the original immigrants, offspring of European groups are virtually indistinguishable in terms of education, income, occupation, and residence. Because of extensive intermarriage and the changing patterns of ethnic identification among descendants of European immigrants, the boundaries between different national-origin and ethnic groups-Italians, Irish, Polish, and Jewish, for example-are increasingly blurred. If population projections had been done for groups of European origin at the beginning of the twentieth century, they would have failed to predict the voluntary choices of ethnic ancestries of the present U.S. population. Under high rates of ethnic intermarriage, ethnic identity becomes quite varied and increasingly a matter of choice. In recent years, ethnic and racial intermarriage has been increasing in this country and is increasingly common among children and grandchildren of Asian and Hispanic immigrants. Current population projections of the future ethnic composition of the U.S. population are especially hazardous because future patterns of intermarriage and the meanings of race and ethnicity are uncertain. American public attitudes about immigration have long been equivocal. The United States has had periods of large-scale immigration, with considerable public support and welcome, and periods of great distrust and antagonism toward immigrants. In the past 50 years, public opinion polls have allowed us to chart more clearly how the American public views immigration and regards immigrants. Americans have increased their opposition to immigration in recent decades, in part, it appears, because of economic concerns. These attitudes vary greatly, however. College graduates have more positive attitudes toward immigration. Black, Hispanic, and Asian Americans tend to have more favorable attitudes toward immigrants than do non-Hispanic whites. Public concerns with immigration are centered on illegal immigration, although the average resident greatly overestimates the proportion of immigrants who are illegal. Over two-thirds of respondents believe that most recent immigrants are illegal, whereas the proportion of illegals among total immigrants is closer to 20 to 30 percent. The scant available data on crime do not allow us to say much about its relationship to immigration. It is hard to draw firm conclusions from the currently scarce information. The crime rate increased from the 1960s until about 1990, then has declined noticeably for the past six-years. There is no apparent association in these temporal trends with immigration. From available studies, it appears that overall crime rates have been associated more with other factors, including the changing demographics of the country (with shifts in the number of young men), fluctuations in drug use, and changes in the effectiveness of the police and criminal justice system in reducing local crime. The problems of data of the criminal justice system make it very difficult to reach empirical conclu-
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--> sions on immigration and crime. It appears, however, that the major trends in crime are not being driven by immigration. References Alba, R.D. 1986 The twilight of ethnicity among Americans of European ancestry: The case of Italians. Ethnic and Racial Studies 8(1): 134-158. 1990 Ethnic Identity: The Transformation of White America. New Haven: Yale University Press. 1995 Assimilation's quiet tide. The Public Interest 119(Spring): 3-18. Auster, L. 1992 The forbidden topic: Some conservatives don't want to know about the link between multiculturalism and immigration. National Review 44(8):42-45. Barringer, H., R.W. Gardner, and M. Levin 1993 Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States. New York: Russell Sage. Binder, F., and D. Reimers 1995 All the Nations Under Heaven. New York: Columbia University Press. Bobo, L. 1995 Surveying Racial Discrimination: Analyses from a Multiethnic Labor Market. Russell Sage Foundation Working Paper #75. September. Bobo, L., and V. Hutchings 1996 Perceptions of racial group competition: Extending Blumer's theory of group position to a multiracial social context. American Sociological Review 61(6):951-973. Borjas, G.J. 1995 Ethnicity, neighborhoods, and human-capital externalities. American Economic Review 85(3):365-390. Bouvier, L. 1991 Peaceful Invasions: Immigration and Changing America. Lanham, MD: University Press of America. Brimelow, P. 1995 Alien Nation: Common Sense about America's Immigration Disaster. New York: Random House. Butcher, K.F., and A.M. Piehl 1996 Cross-City Evidence on the Relationship Between Immigration and Crime. Unpublished paper. Boston College and Harvard University, September. Duncan, B., and O.D. Duncan 1968 Minorities and the process of stratification. American Sociological Review 33(3):356-364. Edmonston, B., editor 1996 Statistics on U.S. Immigration: An Assessment of Data Needs for Future Research. Committee on National Statistics, National Research Council. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. Espenshade, T.J. 1997 Taking the pulse of public opinion toward immigrants. Chapter 4 in T.J. Espenshade (editor), Keys to Successful Immigration: Implications of the New Jersey Experience. Washington, D.C.:The Urban Institute Press. Espenshade, T.J., and M. Belanger 1996 U.S. public perceptions and reactions to Mexican migration. In Frank D. Bean et al. (editors), At the Crossroads: Mexican Migration and U.S. Policy. New York: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
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--> Appendix 8.A Analysis of Polling Data The analysis of polling data is based on two Gallup polls taken in June and July 1995. Both polls included the question, "Should immigration be kept at its present level, increased, or decreased?" The pooled data from the two polls give a sample of 1,754 respondents with complete data. The sample, when weighted, represents U.S. adults in households with telephones. All analysis uses the sampling weights. Several additional variables were matched to these data on the basis of the respondent's state of residence. These variables included 1995 state per capita income and its change since 1992, unemployment rates for the month of the survey and its change since that month in 1993, and the percentage of the state's population that was foreign-born at the time of the 1990 census. The data were analyzed using probits, with the dependent variable set equal to one if the respondent chose "decreased" as the response, and set equal to zero if the respondent chose "kept at its present level" or "increased." In this context, positive entries in Table 8.A.1 indicate that the characteristic is associated with greater opposition to immigration. The possible responses to the immigration question also allow for use of an ordered probit model in which "kept at its present level'' and "increased" were separated into two categories. However, given the small fraction of "increased" responses, using the more complicated model has only negligible effects on the results. The control variables for age, education, region, income, race/ethnicity, and gender are all dummy variables, which equal one if the respondent reported the value given in that row of Table 8.A.1. The omitted categories in specifying the various dummy variables were non-Hispanic, white, female, high school dropout, living in the West, with household income less than $10,000. The figures reported give the estimated change in probability with a change in the continuous explanatory variables, evaluated at the sample mean of the explanatory variables. For dummy variables, they give the difference in probability from the omitted category, also evaluated at the sample mean. The results are presented for the nation as a whole, for the six states with high levels of immigration between 1980 and 1990, and for California alone. State-level variables (state per capita income and unemployment rates and their changes over time, along with the fraction foreign-born) were dropped for the analysis of California data, as all observations within the state have the same value for those variables. No systematic relationship was found between age and attitudes toward immigration, nor between income or region of residence and those attitudes. More education was generally associated with less opposition to immigration, with larger differences associated with education in the high-immigration states and California than for the nation as a whole. Men were generally less likely to want decreased immigration than were women, although the difference between
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--> TABLE 8.A1 Probit Estimates of the Likelihood that Respondents Want Immigration Decreased from Its Current Level, 1995 Gallup Poll Explanatory Variables National High Immigration Statesa California Age 30-39 -.059 -.091 -.271* (.033) (.059) (.116) 40-49 -.072* .001 -.219 (.035) (.059) (.119) 50-59 -.022 -.019 -.086 (.040) (.068) (.131) 60 and older -.007 .037 -.113 (.040) (.073) (.148) Education High school graduate .037 -.124 -.224 (.040) (.078) (.162) Some college -.046 -.216** -.389* (.041) (.078) (.164) College graduate -.043 -.292** -.472* (.051) (.098) (.186) Graduate school -.229** -.399** -.503** (.054) (.095) (.189) Regions East -.012 (.047) South .073 (.041) Midwest .011 (.049) Income $10,000-20,000 -.012 -.089 -.273 (.045) (.089) (.181) $20,000-30,000 -.001 -.059 -.220 (.045) (.082) (.167)
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--> Explanatory Variables National High Immigration Statesa California $30,000-50,000 .011 -.007 -.041 (.044) (.081) (.165) $50,000-75,000 .052 .053 -.025 (.049) (.086) (.168) $75,000 or more .021 .055 .136 (.052) (.090) (.167) Male -.022 -.065 -.214** (.023) (.041) (.080) Black -.128** -.110 -.422* (.041) (.072) (.177) Hispanic -.246** -.271** -.282* (.053) (.070) (.113) Log (state per capita income) .010 -.232 (.172) (.315) Change in state per capita income (3 year change in log [PCI]) -2.384** .256 (.684) (4.379) Percentage of the state's population that was foreign-born in the 1990 census -.0045 -.0221* (.0039) (.0091) Unemployment rate for state in month of survey .003 .105 (.014) (.100) Change in unemployment rate (over 2 years) .020 .053 (.020) (.067) Sample size 1734 594 185 Notes: * denotes significance at the 5% level, ** at the 1% level. Numbers reported give the change in probability with a change in the continuous explanatory variables, evaluated at the mean. For dummy variables, they give the difference in probability from the omitted category, evaluated at the mean. a California, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, and Texas.
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--> the sexes was significant only in the estimates for California. Blacks and Hispanics generally had more favorable attitudes toward immigration than did non-Hispanic whites, with (again) larger differences were associated with race and ethnicity in the high-immigration states and California than for the nation as a whole. Among the state-level variables, only the change in state per capita income had a significant relationship to attitudes toward immigration at the national level: residents of states with higher growth rates were less likely to want to see reduced levels of immigration. In the estimates for the six high-immigration states, residents of states with higher fractions of immigrants were less likely to want reduced immigration. Given that the state-level variables take on only six different values for these six states, this is mostly picking up the large difference between attitudes in Texas and those in the other states that is displayed in Table 8.7.
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Representative terms from entire chapter: