Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration

  • C. Matthew Snipp
  • Tomas Jimenez
  • Linda Burton
  • Hazel Markus
  • Douglas Massey
  • Marybeth Mattingly

Leaders: Linda Burton, Tomás Jiménez, Hazel Markus, Douglas Massey, Marybeth Mattingly, C. Matthew Snipp

The CPI has an extensive research program on race, ethnicity, immigration, and poverty. The National Poverty Study, for example, is designed to rigorously compare differences across rural black, deindustrialized, reservation, and other “racialized” poverty forms. The CPI also runs a comprehensive program on Hispanic poverty that explores such topics as the “chilling effect” of anti-immigrant laws on program use, the reasons why, contrary to much speculation, the Hispanic poverty rate has not taken off, and the causes of the so-called Hispanic Health Paradox (see, for example, our Pathways Magazine special report on poverty, inequality, and mobility among Hispanics). And one of the CPI’s most distinguished affiliates, Jennifer Eberhardt (who is on the CPI directorate), is carrying out a groundbreaking big-data analysis of policing and race. We list below a sampling of other CPI projects on race, ethnicity, immigration, and poverty.

Poverty among refugees: The U.S. refugee population faces very high rates of poverty, yet we know very little about the effects of different resettlement programs and approaches. There are efforts afoot to exploit available administrative data and begin to find out what works and what doesn’t.

Arrests, race, and poverty: Why are some arrests resolved informally while others are converted into a criminal record that then has a life-long scarring effect? The process of converting an arrest into a criminal booking may play an important role in generating downstream racial disparities.

Reducing the race gap in test scores: The new Stanford Education Data Archive (SEDA) is a rich resource that is providing the most systematic evidence to date on the capacity of school-district policies to reduce the racial gap in test scores.

Poverty and schooling on reservations: Why are test scores and educational outcomes on Native reservations so low (relative to the national average)? In a new project by the noted ethnographer Martin Sánchez-Jankowski, we’ll be learning more about how traditional and formal education are viewed and the ways in which they might be better integrated. 

Race And Ethnicity - CPI Research

Title Author Media
Why Border Enforcement Backfired Douglas S. Massey, Karen A. Pren, Jorge Durand

Why Border Enforcement Backfired

Author: Douglas S. Massey, Karen A. Pren, Jorge Durand
Publisher: American Journal of Sociology
Date: 03/2016

In this article the authors undertake a systematic analysis of why border enforcement backfired as a strategy of immigration control in the United States. They argue theoretically that border enforcement emerged as a policy response to a moral panic about the perceived threat of Latino immigration to the United States propounded by self-interested bureaucrats, politicians, and pundits who sought to mobilize political and material resources for their own benefit. The end result was a self-perpetuating cycle of rising enforcement and increased apprehensions that resulted in the militarization of the border in a way that was disconnected from the actual size of the undocumented flow. Using an instrumental variable approach, the authors show how border militarization affected the behavior of unauthorized migrants and border outcomes to transform undocumented Mexican migration from a circular flow of male workers going to three states into an 11 million person population of settled families living in 50 states.

Reframing Marriage and Marital Delay Among Low-Income Mothers: An Interactionist Perspective Raymond Garrett-Peters, Linda Burton

Reframing Marriage and Marital Delay Among Low-Income Mothers: An Interactionist Perspective

Author: Raymond Garrett-Peters, Linda Burton
Publisher: Journal of Family Theory and Review
Date: 11/2015

A common assertion in the family science literature is that low-income single mothers are increasingly retreating from marriage but still vaunt it as their ultimate relationship goal. To explain this paradox, scholars frequently cite inadequacies in men's marriageability, financial instability, and conflictual romantic relationships as primary forces in mothers' decisions not to marry. We propose an alternative reasoning for this paradox using symbolic interactionist theory and perspectives on poverty and uncertainty. Specifically, we highlight the contradictions between what women say about their desires to marry and what they actually do when the opportunity presents itself. We use exemplar cases from a longitudinal ethnographic study of low-income rural mothers to demonstrate our reasoning. Implications for future research and theory development are discussed.

Whom Do Immigrants Marry? Emerging Patterns of Intermarriage and Integration in the United States Daniel T. Lichter, Zhenchao Qian, Dmitry Tumin

Whom Do Immigrants Marry? Emerging Patterns of Intermarriage and Integration in the United States

Author: Daniel T. Lichter, Zhenchao Qian, Dmitry Tumin
Publisher: The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
Date: 11/2015

We document patterns of intermarriage between immigrants and natives during a period of unprecedented growth in the size and diversity of America’s foreign-born population. Roughly one in six U.S. marriages today involve immigrants and a large share includes U.S.-born partners. Ethno-racial background clearly shapes trajectories of immigrant social integration. White immigrants are far more likely than other groups to marry U.S.-born natives, mostly other whites. Black immigrants are much less likely to marry black natives or out-marry with other groups. Intermarriage is also linked with other well-known proxies of social integration—educational attainment, length of time in the country, and naturalization status. Classifying America’s largest immigrant groups (e.g., Chinese and Mexican) into broad panethnic groups (e.g., Asians and Hispanics) hides substantial diversity in the processes of marital assimilation and social integration across national origin groups.

Neighborhood Effects on Use of African-American Vernacular English John R. Rickford, Greg J. Duncan, Lisa A. Gennetian, Ray Yun Gou, Rebecca Greene, Lawrence F. Katz, Ronald C. Kessler, Jeffrey R. Kling, Lisa Sanbonmatsu, Andres E. Sanchez-Ordoñez, Matthew Sciandra, Ewart Thomas, Jens Ludwig

Neighborhood Effects on Use of African-American Vernacular English

Author: John R. Rickford, Greg J. Duncan, Lisa A. Gennetian, Ray Yun Gou, Rebecca Greene, Lawrence F. Katz, Ronald C. Kessler, Jeffrey R. Kling, Lisa Sanbonmatsu, Andres E. Sanchez-Ordoñez, Matthew Sciandra, Ewart Thomas, Jens Ludwig
Publisher: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Date: 09/2015

African-American Vernacular English (AAVE) is systematic, rooted in history, and important as an identity marker and expressive resource for its speakers. In these respects, it resembles other vernacular or nonstandard varieties, like Cockney or Appalachian English. But like them, AAVE can trigger discrimination in the workplace, housing market, and schools. Understanding what shapes the relative use of AAVE vs. Standard American English (SAE) is important for policy and scientific reasons. This work presents, to our knowledge, the first experimental estimates of the effects of moving into lower-poverty neighborhoods on AAVE use. We use data on non-Hispanic African-American youth (n = 629) from a large-scale, randomized residential mobility experiment called Moving to Opportunity (MTO), which enrolled a sample of mostly minority families originally living in distressed public housing. Audio recordings of the youth were transcribed and coded for the use of five grammatical and five phonological AAVE features to construct a measure of the proportion of possible instances, or tokens, in which speakers use AAVE rather than SAE speech features. Random assignment to receive a housing voucher to move into a lower-poverty area (the intention-to-treat effect) led youth to live in neighborhoods (census tracts) with an 11 percentage point lower poverty rate on average over the next 10–15 y and reduced the share of AAVE tokens by ∼3 percentage points compared with the MTO control group youth. The MTO effect on AAVE use equals approximately half of the difference in AAVE frequency observed between youth whose parents have a high school diploma and those whose parents do not.

Raising the Future: Parenting Practices among Immigrant Mothers Julia Gelatt, Elizabeth Peters, Heather Koball, William Monson

Raising the Future: Parenting Practices among Immigrant Mothers

Author: Julia Gelatt, Elizabeth Peters, Heather Koball, William Monson
Publisher: The Urban Institute
Date: 07/2015

To understand how children of immigrants are faring in the United States, it is important to examine contextual factors. In this paper, we analyze family influences; specifically, differences in parenting among immigrant mothers with different national origins, focusing on mothers from Mexico, other Latin American countries, China, and other Asian countries. Using the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Birth Cohort, we look at the economic, work, social support, and health contexts in which immigrant families are situated, and at differences in parenting practices. We then explore whether differences in contexts mediate the parenting differences our analyses reveal.

Race And Ethnicity - CPI Affiliates

Van C. Tran Assistant Professor of Sociology Columbia University
William Julius ... Lewis P. and Linda L. Geyser University Professor; Director, Joblessness and Urban Poverty Research Program Harvard University
Al Camarillo Leon Sloss Jr. Memorial Professor, Emeritus Stanford University
Anthony Antonio Associate Professor of Education Stanford University
Deborah Prentice Alexander Stewart 1886 Professor of Psychology; Dean of Faculty Princeton University

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Race And Ethnicity - Other Research

Title Author Media
Cohabitation in China: Trends and Determinants Jia Yu, Yu Xie

Cohabitation in China: Trends and Determinants

Author: Jia Yu, Yu Xie
Publisher: Population and Development Review
Date: 12/2015

Using recent, nationally representative data, we examine the prevalence and social determinants of premarital cohabitation, an important sign of the Second Demographic Transition (SDT) in China. Descriptive results show that although only about 7 percent of Chinese adults born before 1980 cohabited before first marriage, cohabitation has grown sharply among recent birth cohorts. Based on the theoretical perspectives of “ideational change” and “economic development,” we conduct multivariate analyses of social determinants of cohabitation that may reveal potential mechanisms of its diffusion. We find that greater exposure to Western culture, higher educational attainment for men, and more advantaged family background were all positively related to premarital cohabitation. Our results also show the influence of a unique social institution in China, with Communist Party members less likely than their counterparts to cohabit before first marriage. Broadly speaking, the positive association between economic development and local rates of premarital cohabitation suggests the transformative influence of modernization on family systems.

Compounded Deprivation in the Transition to Adulthood: The Intersection of Racial and Economic Inequality Among Chicagoans, 1995–2013 Kristin L. Perkins, Robert J. Sampson

Compounded Deprivation in the Transition to Adulthood: The Intersection of Racial and Economic Inequality Among Chicagoans, 1995–2013

Author: Kristin L. Perkins, Robert J. Sampson
Publisher: RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences
Date: 11/2015

This paper investigates acute, compounded, and persistent deprivation in a representative sample of Chicago adolescents transitioning to young adulthood. Our investigation, based on four waves of longitudinal data from 1995 to 2013, is motivated by three goals. First, we document the prevalence of individual and neighborhood poverty over time, especially among whites, blacks, and Latinos. Second, we explore compounded deprivation, describing the extent to which study participants are simultaneously exposed to individual and contextual forms of deprivation—including material deprivation (such as poverty) and social-organizational deprivation (for example, low collective efficacy)—for multiple phases of the life course from adolescence up to age thirty-two. Third, we isolate the characteristics that predict transitions out of compounded and persistent poverty. The results provide new evidence on the crosscutting adversities that were exacerbated by the Great Recession and on the deep connection of race to persistent and compounded deprivation in the transition to adulthood.

Judging Dream Keepers: Latino Assessments of Schools and Educators Angel Luis Molina Jr, Francisco I. Pedraza

Judging Dream Keepers: Latino Assessments of Schools and Educators

Author: Angel Luis Molina Jr, Francisco I. Pedraza
Publisher: Politics, Groups, and Identities
Date: 11/2015

There is consensus among scholars, policy experts, and ordinary Latinos that a Latino education crisis exists, and that education is the primary vehicle for achieving the American Dream. Yet we know surprisingly little about what predicts Latinos’ views of the bureaucrats and organizations charged with translating their educational hopes into reality. This study links disparate literatures to provide theory and evidence about how group features and elements of citizen-bureaucracy relations explain Latinos’ judgments of schools and their assessments of contact with school officials. Using the 2006 Latino National Survey, we find that nativity, acculturation, and discrimination undermine positive evaluations. Our results also indicate that some of these negative associations might be countered with Latino-salient outreach, including providing school-relevant information in Spanish language.

Stress, Place, and Allostatic Load Among Mexican Immigrant Farmworkers in Oregon McClure HH, Josh Snodgrass J, Martinez CR Jr, Squires EC, Jiménez RA, Isiordia LE, Eddy JM, McDade TW, Small J

Stress, Place, and Allostatic Load Among Mexican Immigrant Farmworkers in Oregon

Author: McClure HH, Josh Snodgrass J, Martinez CR Jr, Squires EC, Jiménez RA, Isiordia LE, Eddy JM, McDade TW, Small J
Publisher: Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health
Date: 10/2015

Cumulative exposure to chronic stressors has been shown to contribute to immigrants' deteriorating health with more time in US residence. Few studies, however, have examined links among common psychosocial stressors for immigrants (e.g., acculturation-related) and contexts of immigrant settlement for physical health. The study investigated relationships among social stressors, stress buffers (e.g., family support), and allostatic load (AL)--a summary measure of physiological "wear and tear"--among 126 adult Mexican immigrant farm workers. Analyses examined social contributors to AL in two locales: (1) White, English-speaking majority sites, and (2) a Mexican immigrant enclave. Our six-point AL scale incorporated immune, cardiovascular, and metabolic measures. Among men and women, older age predicted higher AL. Among women, lower family support related to higher AL in White majority communities only. Findings suggest that Latino immigrants' cumulative experiences in the US significantly compromise their health, with important differences by community context.

Foreign-Born Latinos Living in Rural Areas are More Likely to Experience Health Care Discrimination: Results from Proyecto de Salud para Latinos Daniel F. López-Cevallos, S. Marie Harvey

Foreign-Born Latinos Living in Rural Areas are More Likely to Experience Health Care Discrimination: Results from Proyecto de Salud para Latinos

Author: Daniel F. López-Cevallos, S. Marie Harvey
Publisher: Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health
Date: 09/2015

Health care discrimination is increasingly considered a significant barrier to accessing health services among minority populations, including Latinos. However, little is known about the role of immigration status. The purpose of this study was to examine the association between immigration status and perceived health care discrimination among Latinos living in rural areas. Interviews were conducted among 349 young-adult Latinos (ages 18 to 25) living in rural Oregon, as part of Proyecto de Salud para Latinos. Over a third of participants experienced health care discrimination (39.5 %). Discrimination was higher among foreign-born (44.9 %) rather than US-born Latinos (31.9 %). Multivariate results showed that foreign-born Latinos were significantly more likely to experience health care discrimination, even after controlling for other relevant factors (OR = 2.10, 95 % CI 1.16–3.82). This study provides evidence that health care discrimination is prevalent among young-adult Latinos living in rural areas, particularly the foreign-born. Effective approaches towards reducing discrimination in health care settings should take into consideration the need to reform our broken immigration system.

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