Center for Social and Economic Policy

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UC Riverside Immigration Group

The Center for Social and Economic Policy invites all interested faculty, graduate students, and staff to join the UCR Immigration Group. The group's mission is to bring together individuals whose scholarly interests relate to the topic of immigration. In addition to sponsoring a  Lecture Series, the Immigration Group will serve as an interdisciplinary forum in which various immigration-related research interests can be explored -- with one possible end product being joint efforts to seek outside funding for research. The group meets once or twice a month for informal discussions and lectures.

Topics Discussed in Meetings during 1999-2000 Academic Year

October 20, 1999

Susan Carter and Richard Sutch, UC Riverside Economics Department
"Tracking the Long-Run Changes in Immigration:  Historical Statistics of the United States."

November 4, 1999

Belinda Reyes,  Public Policy Institute of California
"Mexican Immigration and Border Enforcement"

Border enforcement has become the primary means by which the United States has sought to prevent unauthorized immigration. By 1999, the U.S. expects to spend over $2 billion per year on border enforcement activities. However, little is known about the effect of enforcement on immigration. In this paper, we look for evidence of the effect of border enforcement on labor markets, characteristics of immigrants, and length of stay in the United States. We use various data sets to identify such effects. Because we rely primarily on descriptive statistics, our findings are suggestive at best. In subsequent research, we intend to develop models that allow us to evaluate the counterfactual case: what would have happened without increased enforcement.

November 19, 1999

Ruth Chao, UC Riverside Psychology Department
"Language Brokering Among Children of Immigrants: Family Processes of Acculturation."

Because children often acculturate to a new country and learn to speak English more quickly than their parents, parents may rely on their children to interpret or "broker" for them. This study examines whether children's participation in language brokering affects their relations with their parents. Data will be presented from both Chinese- and Mexican-descent high school students and their parents. Results will be presented for initial questions regarding the characteristics that are associated with brokering within families, and for questions addressing whether brokering is associated with greater parent-child closeness, but less parental authority.

January 19, 2000

Robert Nash Parker, UC Riverside Department of Sociology and Presley Center for Crime and Justice Studies
"Immigrants and Violence: the Importance of Neighborhood Context."

. The relationship between violence and immigration is examined. The importance of neighborhood context, including alcohol availability is also investigated. Methods. Using data from block groups, these relationships are examined in three California communities with significant immigrant populations. Data on socioeconomic characteristics is combined with police data concerning youth and data on alcohol availability These data were geocoded within a block group, and population based rates were calculated. A specialized regression package was used to examine these relationships. Results. Immigration and youth violence were not related, but violence was predicted by alcohol availability. Contextual factors such as family breakdown professional role models were also found to be significant predictors of youth violence. Conclusions. The context of violence occurs important in understanding why violence varies within communities. Violence prevention efforts may benefit from regulatory efforts to reduce the high concentrations of alcohol outlets that exist in some ethnic neighborhoods.

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