The Cross-Border Connection

The Cross-Border Connection: Immigrants, Emigrants, and Their Homelands

Copyright Date: 2015
Published by: Harvard University Press
Pages: 210
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  • Book Info
    The Cross-Border Connection
    Book Description:

    International migration presents the human face of globalization. Roger Waldinger addresses a paradox at its core: emigrants departing one society become immigrants in another, tying those two societies together. He explains how interconnections between place of origin and destination are built and maintained and why they eventually fall apart.

    eISBN: 978-0-674-73628-3
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. [i]-[iv])
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. [v]-[viii])
  3. CHAPTER ONE Immigrants, Emigrants, and Their Homelands
    (pp. 1-10)

    Immigrants are the people who leave one country behind to settle down somewhere else. Or so the dictionary contends. While citizens and sometimes even the scholars see the phenomenon in just this way, close observers of the immigrant experience in the United States have long known better. Though the huge transatlantic movements of the last century of migration generated millions of settlers, they also produced a continuous flow of people moving in the other direction. As discovered more than a century ago by the team that the US Immigration Commission sent to Europe, the results of the homeward bound flow...

  4. CHAPTER TWO Beyond Transnationalism
    (pp. 11-36)

    For the contemporary student of international migration, the central intellectual problem is how to manage two competing methodological temptations—nationalism, on one hand, and transnationalism, on the other. Methodological nationalism is the more common approach because in both scholarly and popular views, nation-states are thought normally to contain societies (as implied by the concept of “American—or Mexican or French—society”); from this perspective, the appearance of foreigners, with their foreign attachments, is seen as a deviant event, disrupting an otherwise integrated whole, only to later melt away and disappear. Consequently, the scholars—like the nationals—stand with their back...

  5. CHAPTER THREE The Dialectic of Emigration and Immigration
    (pp. 37-56)

    Every immigrant is an emigrant, every alien a citizen, every foreigner a national. Though this duality lies at the heart of the migration process, it is one that scholars all too often evade. For the proponents of assimilation, the people crossing borders are justimmigrants,moving to settle, which is why they quickly adapt to the ways and respond to the expectations of the new society they have joined. By contrast, the proponents of transnationalism see the migrants asemigrants,keeping up contacts and involvements with the people and places left behind. The transnational perspective provides a useful corrective to...

  6. CHAPTER FOUR Cross-Border Ties: Keeping and Losing the Connection
    (pp. 57-81)

    Migration involves the crossing of a territorial but not necessarily a social boundary. Once described as the “uprooted,” migrants are now often described as “the transnationals.” That label almost surely goes too far, but it is certainly true that many, perhaps most, of the migrants maintain some tie to kin, friends, and community in the country where they were born.

    Ties so often stretch across borders because the displacement from the core social network at the point of origin is almost always partial. To varying degrees, parents, spouses, children, siblings, and more distant relatives may remain at the point of...

  7. CHAPTER FIVE Engaging at Home from Abroad: The Paradox of Homeland Politics
    (pp. 82-105)

    Though international migration is an inherently political phenomenon, the study of migrants’ political behavior is only now moving from the field’s periphery to its center. This scholarship mainly focuses on receiving societies and henceimmigrantpolitics, whether involving political participation by persons who may or may not be citizens; learning the rules of a new and foreign political system; and last, gaining political influence and office. Echoing the long-standing interest in the retention of cultural beliefs or practices imported from the society of origin, students ofimmigrantpolitics have sought to understand the impact of political experiences and conditions in...

  8. CHAPTER SIX Emigrants and Emigration States
    (pp. 106-129)

    The people crossing borders actively shape their own destinies, doing what neither home nor host state wants, getting ahead by making effective use of the resource that they almost all possess—one another. A move to the territory of another richer state can fulfill the migrants’ objectives, improving their own lives while helping the kin and communities left behind. But in relocating not just to a different country but to an entirely different type of place, the migrants find themselves transformed in ways that they rarely expect, often producing distance from the people, places, cultures, and loyalties left behind.


  9. CHAPTER SEVEN Politics across Borders: Mexico and Its Emigrants
    (pp. 130-151)

    International migration is at once opportunityanddilemma, creating a conundrum that neither emigrants nor emigration states can escape. Migrants vote with their feetagainstthehomestate where they grew up and to which they belong, andforaforeignstate, where the gains in security, stability, and standard of living outweigh the costs of rejection and exclusion. Yet physical distance doesn’t yield separation, in part because both states and migrants think that it is possible to be at home while abroad. Emigration states look at the emigrants and see a collectivity that can be controlled and from which...

  10. CHAPTER EIGHT Hometown Blues: Migrants’ Long-Distance Pursuit of Development
    (pp. 152-172)

    Displaced from familiar ground and treated as strangers, migrants often discover a commonality in people originating from the same place. Since they may find comfort in the company of a familiar face, gain pleasure from reminiscing about times gone by, or derive satisfaction from the effort to make things better for the home and hometowners left behind, migrant hometowners repeatedly come together.

    These connections and the organizations and activities that they spawn comprise a migration universal, to be found wherever and whenever longdistance migration occurs (Moya 2005). But today, emigrants’ spontaneous efforts to use the resources captured in the rich...

  11. CHAPTER NINE Conclusion: Foreign Detachment
    (pp. 173-186)

    On July 4, 1984, theWall Street Journalcalled for a laissez-faire immigration policy, allowing labor to flow as freely as goods. Saluting immigrants, the editors asked whether anyone would “want to ‘control the borders’ at the moral expense of a two-thousand-mile Berlin Wall with minefields, dogs and machine-gun towers?” Answering no, they proposed a constitutional amendment: “There shall be open borders.”

    TheJournalhas kept beating that drum, reflecting the views of American business, which generally believes that the more immigrants, the better. Most Americans, however, see the matter differently. For the last decade or more, Republicans have been...

  12. Notes
    (pp. 189-194)
  13. References
    (pp. 195-218)
  14. Acknowledgments
    (pp. 219-220)
  15. Index
    (pp. 221-231)