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Immigrant America

Immigrant America: A Portrait

Alejandro Portes
Rubén G. Rumbaut
Copyright Date: 2014
Edition: 4
Pages: 544
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/j.ctt7zw0nw
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  • Book Info
    Immigrant America
    Book Description:

    This revised, updated, and expanded fourth edition ofImmigrant America: A Portraitprovides readers with a comprehensive and current overview of immigration to the United States in a single volume.Updated with the latest available data,Immigrant Americaexplores the economic, political, spatial, and linguistic aspects of immigration; the role of religion in the acculturation and social integration of foreign minorities; and the adaptation process for the second generation. This revised edition includes new chapters on theories of migration and on the history of U.S.-bound migration from the late nineteenth century to the present, offering an updated and expanded concluding chapter on immigration and public policy.

    eISBN: 978-0-520-95915-6
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. List of Illustrations
    (pp. ix-xii)
  4. List of Tables
    (pp. xiii-xvi)
  5. Preface to the Fourth Edition
    (pp. xvii-xx)
  6. Preface to the Third Edition
    (pp. xxi-xxiv)
  7. Preface to the Second Edition
    (pp. xxv-xxvi)
  8. Preface to the First Edition
    (pp. xxvii-xxx)
  9. Acknowledgments for the Fourth Edition
    (pp. xxxi-xxxii)
    Alejandro Portes and Rubén G. Rumbaut
  10. Acknowledgments for the Third Edition
    (pp. xxxiii-xxxvi)
    Alejandro Portes and Rubén G. Rumbaut
  11. Acknowledgments for the Second Edition
    (pp. xxxvii-xxxviii)
  12. Acknowledgments for the First Edition
    (pp. xxxix-xlii)
  13. CHAPTER 1 The Three Phases of U.S.-Bound Immigration
    (pp. 1-47)

    Maricopa County, Arizona, was not a good place to be in the first years of the twenty-first century if you were foreign and of brown skin. A child of Italian immigrants retired from the Drug Enforcement Administration and then turned county sheriff unleashed a veritable campaign of terror against Latin American immigrants, aiming to make the county as inhospitable to them as possible. Sheriff Joe Arpaio was enthusiastically egged on by a white electorate composed largely of retirees from northern states who could not see any contradiction between their hiring of Mexicans and Guatemalans as nannies, maids, and gardeners and...

  14. CHAPTER 2 Theoretical Overview
    (pp. 48-79)

    There is no comprehensive theory of international migration. Those that exist tend to focus on manual labor migrants and then extend, haphazardly, to the origins and patterns of settlement of professional migrants, entrepreneurs, and refugees. Existing theories can be organized into four categories: (1) determinants of the origins of migration; (2) determinants of its continuation and directionality; (3) uses of migrant labor; and (4) patterns of migrant settlement and adaptation. In this chapter we review and evaluate these theories and note their applicability to the different types of migrant described in the prior chapter.

    The most widely held approach to...

  15. CHAPTER 3 Moving: Patterns of Immigrant Settlement and Spatial Mobility
    (pp. 80-111)

    In the aftermath of World War I the National Research Council initiated a series of “scientific studies of the causes and effects of migration.” One of these investigations, published in 1926 asMigration and Business Cycles,focused on “the shortage and surplus of labor in the United States in its relation to immigration and emigration.” Its author, the economist Harry Jerome, concluded that the inflow of population was “on the whole dominated by conditions in the United States. The ‘pull’ is stronger than the ‘push’.”¹ By that time, the gradual integration of the world economy had advanced sufficiently to make...

  16. CHAPTER 4 Making It in America: Education, Occupation, and Entrepreneurship
    (pp. 112-148)

    As we noted in chapter 2, a common perception of contemporary immigration is that it is predominantly a low-skill labor flow and that its quality is declining over time. This perception is not only common among the public at large but has been given academic credibility as well. Some time ago, an economist described his version of the trend as follows: “As one moves from one country to another … one begins to believe that there is something in common among jobs held by migrants in widely diverse geographic areas and very different historical periods: the jobs tend to be...

  17. Plates
    (pp. 149-160)
  18. CHAPTER 5 From Immigrants to Ethnics: Identity, Citizenship, and Political Participation
    (pp. 161-213)

    In 1916 Madison Grant, in a book calledThe Passing of the Great Race, deplored the “mongrelization” of America as the waves of eastern and southern European peasant immigrants threatened to overwhelm the great Anglo-Saxon traditions of the past. Grant minced no words: “The immigrant laborers are now breeding out their masters and killing by filth and by crowding as effectively as by the sword.”¹ Exactly eighty-eight years afterThe Passing of the Great Race, the Harvard political scientist Samuel Huntington sounded the same themes with reference to Mexican immigration. In his article “The Hispanic Challenge” Huntington bemoaned the harm...

  19. 6 Language: Diversity and Resilience
    (pp. 214-257)

    Learning to live simultaneously in two social worlds is a requisite of “successful” immigrant adaptation. In a world so different from one’s native land, much has to be learned initially to cope—especially, the new language. With few exceptions newcomers unable to speak English in the Anglo-American world face enormous obstacles. Learning English is a basic step to enable them to participate in the life of the larger community, get an education, find a job, obtain a driver’s license and access to health care or social services, and apply for citizenship. Language has often been cited as the principal initial...

  20. CHAPTER 7 Growing Up American: The New Second Generation
    (pp. 258-305)

    Mrs. Marín lives in a modest Miami home with luscious greenery on the front porch. The style is vintage working-class Cuban. Trophies for academic achievement of the children, a miniature sculpture of José Martí, and many family photographs decorate the living area. This is a female-headed household dependent on public assistance. Mrs. Marín is on disability because she has a back problem. She suffers from obesity and nervous distress caused largely by her divorce. She had been married for twenty years. Her husband left her for another woman. The impact of exile and divorce was so serious that she has...

  21. CHAPTER 8 Religion: The Enduring Presence
    (pp. 306-348)

    It’s 1:00 p.m. on a Sunday and the Spanish-language Mass in Saint Rose of Lima Catholic Church in Miami is about to begin, but the devout keep arriving in large numbers, delaying the start of the ceremony. Despite the church being packed, the choir is feeble, numbering only five women and no men. Its weakness is more evident because they sing the chants alone, without the rest of the congregation joining in. When the time comes for the sermon in Spanish, the young Cuban American priest, Father Tomás, alludes vaguely to the gospel of the day but uses it primarily...

  22. Plates
    (pp. 349-370)
  23. CHAPTER 9 Conclusion: Immigration and Public Policy
    (pp. 371-394)

    Sheriff Joe Arpaio won reelection in Maricopa County, albeit by a much diminished margin, in 2012. Meanwhile, the deportation campaign conducted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) continued apace. As we saw in figure 3, the evolution of deportations during the last two decades spiked significantly, their sharpest increase occurring in the last years of the Bush administration. This campaign amounts to what Douglas Massey has labeled “America’s war against its own immigrants.”¹ On the other side of the ledger, President Obama promulgated by decree a temporary stay of the campaign against the children of unauthorized immigrants, the Deferred Action...

  24. Notes
    (pp. 395-418)
  25. References
    (pp. 419-474)
  26. Index
    (pp. 475-495)
  27. Back Matter
    (pp. 496-496)