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A&M sociologist sees shift in immigration trends

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A&M sociologist sees shift in immigration trends

Postby Mr S » Wed Nov 23, 2011 5:43 pm

http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas ... 278324.php

A&M sociologist sees shift in immigration trends
He says Chinese may replace Mexicans in unskilled labor

By JEANNIE KEVER
Updated 07:51 p.m., Saturday, November 19, 2011

Dudley Poston says illegal immigrants from China are supplanting those who once came from Mexico Photo: Michael R Kellett / Texas A&M University


Dudley Poston, a sociologist at Texas A&M University, began to study China in the early 1980s, when that country started sending larger numbers of students to the United States. Helping a handful of Chinese students learn the demographics of their own country was contagious; most of his scholarly work now involves the Asian nation. Poston says his work, coupled with research from Princeton University's Mexican Migration Project showing a dramatic drop in illegal immigration from Mexico, suggests Chinese immigrants may replace those from south of the border as the go-to workers for landscaping, construction, agriculture and other unskilled labor here. Poston discussed the theory with Chronicle reporter Jeannie Kever. The conversation has been edited and condensed.



Q: Why might Chinese immigrants overtake Mexican immigrants in low-wage, unskilled jobs here?

A: Mexico for decades has supplied our country with low-wage laborers, legal and illegal, but that's grinding to a halt. Increased border surveillance and high unemployment are keeping people away from the United States. Other things are holding people in Mexico. They have a lower unemployment rate than we do. And what a lot of people don't realize is that their fertility is dropping to 2.2 children per woman. It used to be six or seven children a few decades ago. There are fewer young people available (to take jobs), and fewer mouths to feed. There are about 4 million or 5 million undocumented Mexican immigrants in our country (and about 11 million illegal immigrants total). They pick up garbage, work construction, agriculture - all the things in big cities that the local people don't want to do. Who's going to do that work? There's already a network of migration from China to our country; probably 200,000 to 300,000 undocumented Chinese are here. They're mainly on the East Coast, in Houston and Los Angeles. They're mainly doing restaurant work. Undocumented Mexicans are much more visible.



Q: Why would they leave China for the United States?

A: You have all of these rural-to-urban migrants inside China who are essentially driving the Chinese economy, doing all the work in the big cities, doing all the construction, the nanny work, the low-level jobs. They're not going to do that forever. The economy is starting to slow down in China. The first people to lose their jobs will be these rural-to-urban migrants. In China, to move from one place to another, you have to get permission at both ends. That never happens, so people move unofficially. There are already 10 million unemployed rural-to-urban migrants. There's already a China-to-U.S. network of undocumented migrants.



Q: Won't Mexican immigration rebound if the U.S. economy improves?

A: If the economy improves, you'd still have the increased border surveillance and the things in Mexico that will keep people there. The only reason anybody is coming (to the United States) is economic opportunities. If you have those in your home country, you're going to stay there. Chinese immigration isn't crossing the river. Most is by airplane, with false or stolen passports. Most Chinese immigrants are flown into New York City or San Francisco or Los Angeles. Making taller fences isn't going to keep out the Chinese.



Q: Are you saying Chinese immigrants might eventually outnumber Mexican immigrants?

A: In terms of undocumented immigrants, yes. In terms of legal migration, you're talking 3 million Chinese in the United States now, including people born in China and also second- or third- or fourth-generation. Chinese-Americans are never going to overtake Mexican-Americans, but undocumented Chinese, they could overtake undocumented Mexican immigrants.



Q: Could that change how people think about immigration?

A: I don't know. There's so much sentiment against the Mexican population in general, even though many of them were born here and have been living in our country for three or four or five generations. There seems to be a more favorable view toward Chinese people in general, but a lot of that is because there are so few of them. That might change as the population grows larger. There is a bigger language gap, a bigger cultural gap.
"The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor and stoic philosopher, 121-180 A.D.
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Re: A&M sociologist sees shift in immigration trends

Postby Repatriate » Wed Nov 23, 2011 6:50 pm

Mr S wrote:
A: I don't know. There's so much sentiment against the Mexican population in general, even though many of them were born here and have been living in our country for three or four or five generations. There seems to be a more favorable view toward Chinese people in general, but a lot of that is because there are so few of them. That might change as the population grows larger. There is a bigger language gap, a bigger cultural gap.


4% vs 10% which is greater? Asian immigration has traditionally been stymied in the U.S. for variou s reasons. It doesn't take rocket science to figure out which team this guy is rooting for. Playing the anglo-culturalist game is a losing proposition though. He's stupid to take this path.
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Re: A&M sociologist sees shift in immigration trends

Postby Mr S » Thu Nov 24, 2011 4:30 am

Repatriate wrote:
Mr S wrote:
A: I don't know. There's so much sentiment against the Mexican population in general, even though many of them were born here and have been living in our country for three or four or five generations. There seems to be a more favorable view toward Chinese people in general, but a lot of that is because there are so few of them. That might change as the population grows larger. There is a bigger language gap, a bigger cultural gap.


4% vs 10% which is greater? Asian immigration has traditionally been stymied in the U.S. for variou s reasons. It doesn't take rocket science to figure out which team this guy is rooting for. Playing the anglo-culturalist game is a losing proposition though. He's stupid to take this path.


He's talking about UNSKILLED immigration Asian labor overtaking Mexican unskilled, not immigration as a whole.
"The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor and stoic philosopher, 121-180 A.D.
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Postby zacb » Sun Dec 29, 2013 5:02 pm

Interesting.
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Re: A&M sociologist sees shift in immigration trends

Postby OutWest » Sun Dec 29, 2013 9:23 pm

Mr S wrote:http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/article/A-M-sociologist-sees-shift-in-immigration-trends-2278324.php

A&M sociologist sees shift in immigration trends
He says Chinese may replace Mexicans in unskilled labor

By JEANNIE KEVER
Updated 07:51 p.m., Saturday, November 19, 2011

Dudley Poston says illegal immigrants from China are supplanting those who once came from Mexico Photo: Michael R Kellett / Texas A&M University


Dudley Poston, a sociologist at Texas A&M University, began to study China in the early 1980s, when that country started sending larger numbers of students to the United States. Helping a handful of Chinese students learn the demographics of their own country was contagious; most of his scholarly work now involves the Asian nation. Poston says his work, coupled with research from Princeton University's Mexican Migration Project showing a dramatic drop in illegal immigration from Mexico, suggests Chinese immigrants may replace those from south of the border as the go-to workers for landscaping, construction, agriculture and other unskilled labor here. Poston discussed the theory with Chronicle reporter Jeannie Kever. The conversation has been edited and condensed.



Q: Why might Chinese immigrants overtake Mexican immigrants in low-wage, unskilled jobs here?

A: Mexico for decades has supplied our country with low-wage laborers, legal and illegal, but that's grinding to a halt. Increased border surveillance and high unemployment are keeping people away from the United States. Other things are holding people in Mexico. They have a lower unemployment rate than we do. And what a lot of people don't realize is that their fertility is dropping to 2.2 children per woman. It used to be six or seven children a few decades ago. There are fewer young people available (to take jobs), and fewer mouths to feed. There are about 4 million or 5 million undocumented Mexican immigrants in our country (and about 11 million illegal immigrants total). They pick up garbage, work construction, agriculture - all the things in big cities that the local people don't want to do. Who's going to do that work? There's already a network of migration from China to our country; probably 200,000 to 300,000 undocumented Chinese are here. They're mainly on the East Coast, in Houston and Los Angeles. They're mainly doing restaurant work. Undocumented Mexicans are much more visible.



Q: Why would they leave China for the United States?

A: You have all of these rural-to-urban migrants inside China who are essentially driving the Chinese economy, doing all the work in the big cities, doing all the construction, the nanny work, the low-level jobs. They're not going to do that forever. The economy is starting to slow down in China. The first people to lose their jobs will be these rural-to-urban migrants. In China, to move from one place to another, you have to get permission at both ends. That never happens, so people move unofficially. There are already 10 million unemployed rural-to-urban migrants. There's already a China-to-U.S. network of undocumented migrants.



Q: Won't Mexican immigration rebound if the U.S. economy improves?

A: If the economy improves, you'd still have the increased border surveillance and the things in Mexico that will keep people there. The only reason anybody is coming (to the United States) is economic opportunities. If you have those in your home country, you're going to stay there. Chinese immigration isn't crossing the river. Most is by airplane, with false or stolen passports. Most Chinese immigrants are flown into New York City or San Francisco or Los Angeles. Making taller fences isn't going to keep out the Chinese.



Q: Are you saying Chinese immigrants might eventually outnumber Mexican immigrants?

A: In terms of undocumented immigrants, yes. In terms of legal migration, you're talking 3 million Chinese in the United States now, including people born in China and also second- or third- or fourth-generation. Chinese-Americans are never going to overtake Mexican-Americans, but undocumented Chinese, they could overtake undocumented Mexican immigrants.



Q: Could that change how people think about immigration?

A: I don't know. There's so much sentiment against the Mexican population in general, even though many of them were born here and have been living in our country for three or four or five generations. There seems to be a more favorable view toward Chinese people in general, but a lot of that is because there are so few of them. That might change as the population grows larger. There is a bigger language gap, a bigger cultural gap.


If that really happens it would cut crime and boost the intelligence level in schools.
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