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The Housing and Economic Experiences of Immigrants in U.S. and Canadian Cities

The Housing and Economic Experiences of Immigrants in U.S. and Canadian Cities

Copyright Date: 2015
Pages: 408
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  • Book Info
    The Housing and Economic Experiences of Immigrants in U.S. and Canadian Cities
    Book Description:

    Since the 1960s, new and more diverse waves of immigrants have changed the demographic composition and the landscapes of North American cities and their suburbs.The Housing and Economic Experiences of Immigrants in U.S. and Canadian Citiesis a collection of essays examining how recent immigrants have fared in getting access to jobs and housing in urban centres across the continent.

    Using a variety of methodologies, contributors from both countries present original research on a range of issues connected to housing and economic experiences. They offer both a broad overview and a series of detailed case studies that highlight the experiences of particular communities. This volume demonstrates that, while the United States and Canada have much in common when it comes to urban development, there are important structural and historical differences between the immigrant experiences in these two countries.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-2289-0
    Subjects: Geography, Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  3. List of Figures and Tables
    (pp. ix-xii)
  4. Preface: Doing Better with Immigrant Integration
    (pp. xiii-xvi)
  5. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xvii-xviii)
  6. Introduction

    • 1 The Housing and Economic Experiences of Immigrants in Canada and the United States
      (pp. 3-20)

      Canada and the United States are known around the world as major destinations for international migrants. The large numbers of immigrants the two countries attract have played an important role in shaping the social, economic, and political landscapes of both countries in the modern “age of migration.” These immense inflows have transformed certain metropolitan areas in the United States and Canada into “cities of nations,” making them some of the most multicultural places on the planet (Anisef and Lanphier 2003; Kobayashi, Li, and Teixeira 2012).

      Cities in North America serve not only as “ports of entry” for immigrants from all...

  7. Part One: The Housing Experiences of Immigrants

    • Introduction to Part One: The Housing Experiences of Immigrants
      (pp. 23-42)

      This introductory chapter to Part One serves to present a short and updated literature review on immigrants’ diverse and complex housing experiences in Canada and the United States, and to situate the work of the six housing chapters that follow.

      Most immigrants to Canada and the United States continue to be attracted to major urban areas, but those coming since the late 1960s have differed in their country of origin, ethnic background, and economic status (Hou 2006; Hiebert 2009; Brown and Sharma 2010; Schwartz 2010; Murdie and Skop 2012). Immigrants have altered the social and economic diversity of North America’s...

    • 2 Homeownership among Immigrants in Canada and the United States: Similarities and Differences
      (pp. 43-68)

      The housing search process is the first activity immigrants engage in after arriving in their new country. All immigrants seek access to housing, whether rented or purchased. Most immigrants find that access to housing tends to be a function of thedifferencesbetween their characteristics and those of the larger society (such as income, educational attainment, etc.). Because housing access is unequal, based on both the internal characteristics of immigrants and external forces such as discrimination in housing and mortgage lending, differential rates of homeownership occur amongimmigrant¹ groups by place of birth.

      The objectives of this chapter are fourfold:...

    • 3 Household Formation and Homeownership: A Comparison of Immigrant Racialized Minority Cohorts in Canada and the United States
      (pp. 69-97)

      Since the late 1960s, both Canada and the United States have been attracting large numbers of immigrants from Asia, Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East. By 1971, more newcomers to Canada cited areas other than Europe as their previous residence (Troper 2003), and in 2006 nearly half of all residents in some Canadian cities identified themselves as a visible minority.¹ In the United States, four states have recently become majority-minority states where less than 50 per cent of the population is White of non-Hispanic origin.

      Shortly after these new immigrant groups began to arrive in Canada and the United...

    • 4 How Are Sri Lankan Tamils Doing in Toronto’s Housing Markets? A Comparative Study of Refugee Claimants and Family Class Migrants
      (pp. 98-120)

      Each year, thousands of immigrants arrive in Canada from diverse source countries and associated political economies of migration. Entering Canada under three main admissions classes – economic, refugee, and family class – newcomers bring with them various forms of capital (socio-economic-cultural) and networks (local and transnational) which profoundly affect their settlement experiences. Also, the recently arrived immigrants are almost an exclusively urban population, settling predominantly in three gateway cities: Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver (TMV). The urban geography of these big cities is often unique, creating distinct and diverse inter- and intra-urban contexts. Therefore, despite important nation-wide similarities of housing and...

    • 5 A Two-Sided Question: The Negative and Positive Impacts of Gentrification on Portuguese Residents in West-Central Toronto
      (pp. 121-145)

      Since Ruth Glass (1964) introduced the term in the 1960s, gentrification has become an integral part of the urban studies literature, and there have been numerous studies on the origin and explanations of gentrification, the nature of the process and its impacts, both negative and positive, on local neighbourhoods. Debates have emerged concerning the meaning of gentrification, but most researchers agree that gentrification is “the production of space for – and consumption by – a more affluent and very different incoming population” (Slater et al. 2004, 1145).

      In spite of the extensive amount of research concerning gentrification, there has been...

    • 6 The Good, the Bad, and the Suburban: Tracing North American Theoretical Debates about Ethnic Enclaves, Ethnic Suburbs, and Housing Preference
      (pp. 146-175)

      The implementation of more liberal immigration policies in the 1960s and increased immigration from non-European countries to Canada and the United States has led to transformations in urban settlement patterns. The diversity of immigrants has informed extensive research, most notably on the process of immigrant suburbanization. Although the settlement experiences of immigrant groups in both countries have been diverse, there seems to be a trend towards heterogeneous suburban landscapes, akin to ethnic enclaves on the periphery of major immigrant receiving cities. This chapter begins with an overview of research on immigrant settlement in suburbs and ethnic enclaves, which then leads...

    • 7 Housing Experiences and Trajectories among Ethnoburban Chinese in Los Angeles: Achieving Chinese Immigrants’ American Dream
      (pp. 176-204)
      WAN YU

      Obtaining a home in their receiving country is always a remarkable step for immigrant individuals and families, as housing represents a fundamental aspect of immigrants’ living situations, their socioeconomic status, their assimilation/integration process, and their communities (Alba and Logan 1992; Hiebert et al. 2008; Myers and Lee 1996). As contemporary globalization greatly accelerates and diversifies the immigrant compositions of migrant-receiving countries like the United States, analysis of immigrant housing experiences becomes an important way to understand their realities and issues.

      Chinese immigrant housing experiences in US metropolitan areas have been an interesting and hotly debated area of study for contemporary...

  8. Part Two: The Economic Experiences of Immigrants

    • Introduction to Part Two: The Economic Experiences of Immigrants in Canada and the United States
      (pp. 207-226)

      The notion of agency – the idea that people can and do act purposefully to improve the conditions in which they find themselves¹ – is an important foundation for this book. Given the focus of the second half of this book on the economic experiences of immigrants, a clear understanding of motivation and behaviour is essential because how immigrants experience and cope with life in their new country reflects at least in part what they were trying to achieve by immigrating and the strategies they used. My focus in introducing the five chapters on the economic experience of immigrants is...

    • 8 The Colour of Money Redux: Immigrant/Ethnic Earnings Disparity in Canada, 1991–2006
      (pp. 227-260)

      A large body of Canadian research shows that immigrants can face substantial labour market disparity, which may be worsening since 1990 (see, for example, Akbari 1992; Howland and Sakellariou 1993; Stelcner and Kyriazis 1995; Christofides and Swidinsky 1994; Baker and Benjamin 1995; Hum and Simpson 1999; Pendakur and Pendakur 1998; Lian and Matthews 1998). A smaller literature has established that Canadian-born visible minorities also face labour market disparity (see Stelcner 2000; Pendakur and Pendakur 1998, 2002, 2011). These papers have shown that both male and female visible minorities face disadvantage, and that certain visible minority ethnic groups drive this disparity,...

    • 9 Immigrant Underemployment in the US Urban Labour Markets
      (pp. 261-280)

      Compared to US-born workers, immigrants are more likely to be found working in jobs that are below employees’ full working capacity (Jensen and Slack 2003; Rebhun 2008; Batalova et al. 2008; Chiswick and Miller 2009). The phenomenon is often referred as “brain waste,” “overeducation,” or “underemployment.” According to a recent study, more than 1.3 million college-educated immigrants are unemployed or working in unskilled jobs such as dishwashers, security guards, and taxi drivers in the United States (Batalova et al. 2008). As in the case of Canada, such a situation contributes to lower income among immigrants, with persistent income disparity even...

    • 10 The Latino Commercial Landscape and Evolving Hispanic Immigrant Population in Two Midwestern Metropolitan Areas
      (pp. 281-301)

      In recent years, much of the focus on Latino immigration has been centred on new “gateway cities,” particularly in the American South and West, as well as small, rural communities that have been transformed by immigration from Mexico and elsewhere in Latin America (Singer, Hardwick, and Brettell 2008; Odem and Lacy 2009; Millard and Chapa 2004). Yet, in the US Midwest there has also been extensive immigration and a key, visible part of the changing population patterns consists of businesses that specifically cater to the Latino immigrant population and serve as a concrete and functional representation of immigrants’ economic experiences....

    • 11 Immigrant Entrepreneurship in the Washington Metropolitan Area: Opportunities and Challenges Facing Ethnic Minorities
      (pp. 302-327)

      During the 1990s metropolitan Washington, DC, emerged as a relatively new but increasingly important immigrant gateway city (Chacko 2008; Price and Singer 2008; Price et al. 2005). According to the most recent data from the US Census Bureau, the metropolitan region has 1.2 million foreign-born residents out of a total population of 5.6 million, and so 21.4 per cent of the population are immigrants (US Bureau of the Census 2009–11). In many ways the immigrant experience in Washington is representative of other twenty-first-century immigrant destinations in the United States and Canada, where immigrant flows are highly diverse in terms...

    • 12 Financing Immigrant Small Businesses in Canada and the United States
      (pp. 328-352)
      WEI LI and LUCIA LO

      Immigrant entrepreneurs have been recognized as an important force for boosting economic productivity and countering the population aging trend. The percentage of immigrants owning and operating a business in Canada and the United States has been on the rise since the postwar years, and has been higher than that of the native-born population (as illustrated in the two previous chapters). A recent report indicates that in 2010, 18 per cent of all US small-business owners are immigrants, higher than their share in the total population (13%) and labour force (16%) (Fiscal Policy Institute 2012). Moreover, the largest share of such...

  9. Conclusion

    • 13 Immigrant Experiences and Integration Trajectories in North American Cities: An Overview and Commentary on Themes and Concepts
      (pp. 355-376)

      The two largest nations of North America have much in common, including democratic ideals and their relatively recent, more inclusive immigration policies. These policies have had monumental impacts and greatly contributed to the transformation of the fabrics of metropolitan regions, settlement structures, and the landscapes of both Canada and the United States. Large metropolitan regions, especially established gateways, have been the major ports of entry for global migrants seeking better lives for themselves and their families, and are now multicultural regions with distinct ethnic settlement patterns within their increasingly complex metropolitan spatial structures. Changes in these regions have occurred due...

  10. Contributors
    (pp. 377-382)
  11. Index
    (pp. 383-389)