Twenty-First Century Gateways

Twenty-First Century Gateways: Immigrant Incorporation in Suburban America

Audrey Singer
Susan W. Hardwick
Caroline B. Brettell
FOREWORD BY Henry Cisneros
Copyright Date: 2008
Pages: 331
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  • Book Info
    Twenty-First Century Gateways
    Book Description:

    While federal action on immigration faces an uncertain future, states, cities and suburban municipalities craft their own responses to immigration.Twenty-First-Century Gateways, focuses on the fastest-growing immigrant populations in metropolitan areas with previously low levels of immigration -places such as Atlanta, Austin, Charlotte, Dallas-Fort Worth, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Phoenix, Portland, Sacramento, and Washington, D.C. These places are typical of the newest, largest immigrant gateways to America, characterized by post-WWII growth, recent burgeoning immigrant populations, and predominantly suburban settlement.

    More immigrants, both legal and undocumented, arrived in the United States during the 1990s than in any other decade on record. That growth has continued more slowly since the Great Recession; nonetheless the U.S. immigrant population has doubled since 1990. Many immigrants continued to move into traditional urban centers such as New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, but burgeoning numbers were attracted by the economic and housing opportunities of fast-growing metropolitan areas and their largely suburban settings. The pace of change in this new geography of immigration has presented many local areas with challenges -social, fiscal, and political.

    Edited by Audrey Singer, Susan W. Hardwick, and Caroline B. Brettell,Twenty-First-Century Gatewaysprovides in-depth, comparative analysis of immigration trends and local policy responses in America's newest gateways. The case examples by a group of leading multidisciplinary immigration scholars explore the challenges of integrating newcomers in the specific gateways, as well as their impact on suburban infrastructure such as housing, transportation, schools, health care, economic development, and public safety.

    The changes and trends dissected in this book present a critically important understanding of the reshaping of the United States today and the future impact of immigration, vital as the nation and metropolitan areas face changes to immigration policy.

    eISBN: 978-0-8157-7928-5
    Subjects: Political Science, Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Foreword
    (pp. vii-x)
    Henry Cisneros

    As has been the case at various points throughout our nation’s history, the ability of the United States to sustain a vibrant economy, to develop a productive workforce, and to nurture a cohesive civil society through the years of this century will depend in substantial measure on the effectiveness with which we integrate immigrants. The percentage of foreign-born persons in the American population today approaches the proportions of the peak periods of immigration at the beginning of the last century. The numbers of immigrants are so substantial and their demographic attributes so significant—due to the larger size of immigrant...

  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xi-xiv)
  5. PART I. The New Metropolitan Geography of Immigration

    • 1 Twenty-First-Century Gateways: An Introduction
      (pp. 3-30)

      Straddling two centuries, the ten-year period between 1995 and 2005 came to mean dramatically different circumstances for immigrants residing in the United States. Immigrants arriving in the late 1990s were drawn to a soaring economy bolstered by growth in “new economy” jobs, especially in the information technology sector. This in turn spurred population growth in many urban and suburban communities. Attracted by the demand for workers in construction, manufacturing, and service sectors, immigrants began to locate in areas with little or no history of immigration. Although older industrial areas—the Detroits, Pittsburghs, and Clevelands of this country—have suffered job...

    • 2 Toward a Suburban Immigrant Nation
      (pp. 31-50)

      When future scholars of immigration and urban studies look back at the last decade of the twentieth century and the first decade of the twenty-first century, they are likely to view this time period as a critical moment in the evolution of the American city, an era when asuburban immigrant nationfirst emerged. As urban geographer Peter Muller observed more than twenty years ago, after two decades of massive population shifts from the central cities outward in the years following World War II, an equally massive deconcentration of economic activity occurred in the late 1960s as businesses and other...

  6. PART II. Emerging Gateways:: The Leading Edge of Change

    • 3 ʺBig Dʺ: Incorporating New Immigrants in a Sunbelt Suburban Metropolis
      (pp. 53-86)

      Texas is home to three of the ten largest cities in the United States: Houston (ranked fourth-largest in 2005), San Antonio (ranked eighth), and Dallas (ranked ninth). Unlike Houston and San Antonio, the proportion of Hispanics in the city of Dallas was small before 1980—4 percent of the total population in 1960 and 7.6 percent in 1970. Yet by 1990 Hispanics constituted nearly one-fifth of the population in the central city, and a decade later they represented more than one-third (table 3-1). By contrast, between 1960 and 2000, the African American population in the city declined moderately, and the...

    • 4 Diverging Trajectories: Asian and Latino Immigration in Metropolitan Phoenix
      (pp. 87-104)

      With its proximity to Mexico and Latin America to the south and California and the Pacific Rim to the west, metropolitan Phoenix, as of 2006, the fifth largest U.S. city and one of the fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the nation, is an emerging immigrant gateway for both Latino and Asian immigrants. The trajectories of its two largest immigrant groups are quite different, however. In general, the metro area’s Latino population is less skilled and more economically disadvantaged, while its Asian immigrants are more highly skilled, as the metro area asserts itself as a nascent knowledge economy with growing demand for...

    • 5 Unsettled in the Suburbs: Latino Immigration and Ethnic Diversity in Metro Atlanta
      (pp. 105-136)
      MARY E. ODEM

      On April 10, 2006, Atlanta witnessed one of the largest marches and rallies for social justice since the civil rights era. Fifty thousand people, the vast majority Latino, walked a three-mile loop from the Plaza Fiesta shopping center down Dresden Avenue and then listened to speeches by local Latino, African American, and white politicians and activists. Marchers in Atlanta were part of nationwide demonstrations that brought millions of immigrants and their supporters to the streets to call on Congress to offer legal status and citizenship to millions of undocumented immigrants and to protest a proposed House bill that would speed...

    • 6 Edge Gateways: Immigrants, Suburbs, and the Politics of Reception in Metropolitan Washington
      (pp. 137-168)

      In just two decades, immigrants have ethnically and racially transformed the suburbs of metropolitan Washington, one of the latest top destinations in the country for newcomers. Immigrants are widely dispersed throughout the region, forming relatively few single-ethnic enclaves.¹ In the metropolitan area as a whole, the foreign-born are a mix of highly skilled and less-skilled workers, the majority report a good command of the English language, and they live primarily in moderate- to high-income neighborhoods, not the poorest ones.² Immigrants to this region come from nearly every country in the world, and some localities are home to people from more...

  7. PART III. Re-Emerging Gateways:: Attracting Immigrants Again

    • 7 Immigrant Space and Place in Suburban Sacramento
      (pp. 171-199)

      Over the past quarter century, metropolitan areas of all sizes have welcomed newcomers to America in numbers never before seen. New arrivals in both established and emerging immigrant gateways are settling increasingly in the suburbs and often in dispersed neighborhoods. This new pattern of immigrant settlement is rooted in a number of widespread trends: the overall suburbanization of homes and jobs in America; the wider availability of affordable housing outside the central city; the increasing number of middle- and upper-income immigrants; and the availability of technologies that enable “community without propinquity” locally and internationally.¹

      Sacramento is no exception to these...

    • 8 Impediments to the Integration of Immigrants: A Case Study in the Twin Cities
      (pp. 200-224)

      Minnesota is a place of contradictions. On the one hand, the state can boast of some of the most affluent, politically engaged, and highly educated residents in the nation. Among the twenty-five largest metropolitan areas in the United States, the Twin Cities region of Minneapolis and St. Paul is the second whitest and the fourth most affluent.¹ It ranks first in percentage of citizens who vote and among the highest in rates of volunteerism.² At the same time, Minnesota is home to severely impoverished African American, Native American, and Latino residents who have been highly concentrated in the central cities....

    • 9 ʺPlacingʺ the Refugee Diaspora in Suburban Portland, Oregon
      (pp. 225-254)

      The Portland suburban community of Beaverton defies common perceptions about life and landscape in the “burbs.” One-fourth of the residents speaks a language other than English at home, and one-fifth of the population is foreign-born. In today’s Portland metropolitan area, one in five new immigrants is settling in the suburbs. As a recent newspaper article reported, on a short jaunt through Beaverton’s streets you are likely to see or hear: “South Indianidliandvada, Dutchnagelkaas, Koreanjim-jil bang saunas, all-night reggae music at La Fogata, the festival ofDiwali—and the city’s schools, libraries, and huge farmer’s market...

  8. PART IV. Pre-Emerging Gateways:: Unexpected Change

    • 10 Austin: Immigration and Transformation Deep in the Heart of Texas
      (pp. 257-280)

      In the past twenty years, Austin has become internationally known for its fast-growing technology-based economy. The metropolis has consistently outperformed national growth levels and has been listed as a top city for local entrepreneurship and transnational business.¹ Austin has also repeatedly ranked high as a “creative center”—a place that promotes talent, technology, and tolerance.² Indeed, as both a university town and the capital of the state, Austin is often considered the one liberal bastion in Texas. These characteristics combine to make Austin stand out among other metropolises: it is known as the Live Music Capital, as the home of...

    • 11 The ʺNuevo Southʺ: Latino Place Making and Community Building in the Middle-Ring Suburbs of Charlotte
      (pp. 281-307)

      For most of its 225-year history, Charlotte—in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina—was the quintessential southern city. Its economy was based on textiles and local and regionally focused business services, its development patterns were structured around a suburban-focused Sun Belt model, and class and economic status were shaped by black-white social relations framed largely by segregation and social distance. In 1990 the city’s population was roughly two-thirds white and one-third black, with a small number of Asians (1.6 percent of the total city population) and Hispanics (1.4 percent).¹ Other ethnoracial minority groups were even less visible, with Native Americans, Pacific...

  9. Afterword: Coming to Terms with Federal and Local Immigration Reform
    (pp. 308-318)

    In July 2007 a federal judge ruled unconstitutional a local ordinance in Hazleton, Pennsylvania, that targeted illegal immigrants and those who did business with them. One of the first of its kind, the Hazleton “Illegal Immigration Relief Act” was passed in the summer of 2006.¹ The law received nationwide attention for launching a local crackdown on immigrants. It also served as a model for other places looking for ways to discourage immigrants from settling in local areas.²

    The Hazleton ordinance is emblematic of the frustration that many local public officials feel about the lack of federal guidance in reforming federal...

  10. Contributors
    (pp. 319-320)
  11. Index
    (pp. 321-332)
  12. Back Matter
    (pp. 333-334)