Immigration in the News:
DREAM Act-ivists pressure Obama and Congress to move quickly on immigration reform New York Daily News, 1/27/13
Technology firms holding out hope for high-skilled immigration reform, The Hill blog, 1/27/13
Lawmakers agree: It's now time for immigration fix, Arizona Daily Star, 1/27/13
Rethinking Why People Move
-"Push/Pull" Theories: Older (macro and micro neo-classical economics) model traditionally used to explain migration.
Macro: Political, economic, social changes make the homelands unstable or harder in which to prosper, pushing them out to other places. At the same time, opportunity - usually economic - is expanding in another country, pulling migrants there. International migration is caused by geographic differences in the supply of and demand for labor.
Micro: Migrants make a spontaneous and rational decision to move based on rational calculations of future prospects, alone and/or within families and households. People choose to move to where they can be most productive.
This approach obscures important other factors that facilitate migration (foreign imperialism, roles of recruitment agencies, roles of foreign and homeland governments in promoting migration, culture of migration).
-World Systems / Globalization Theories: Newer model used to explain migration in both the past and the present. Interconnected world economic systems (imperialism, capital investments, manufacturing, changes in traditional agricultural production) displace people while also creating a need for labor elsewhere
What sustains migration once it begins?
-Culture of migration:: Familiarity and positive association with migration creates a culture of desire to migrate. Letters, communications from relatives and friends already abroad ("America letters" from early 19th century, emails, skype, and blogs today) send optimistic images about life in the U.S. Globalization of American culture (movies, TV, celebrity culture) abroad creates romantic image of America and promotes migration. Often results in chain migration.
-Institutionalization of migration: how labor recruiters, organizations, non-profit organizations, collaborate across national borders to facilitate migration.
-Chain Migration: Process of migration by which a single migrant or group of migrants serves as the first in a chain of related migrants to settle in the same are (family, village ties). Related to culture of migration.
Migrant: person who moves to another country with or without the intention to stay permanently. These individuals can be both elite expatriates with abundant financial resources, or working-class migrants who cross borders to reunite with families once the work season has ended.
Transnational: migration process in which people live lives stretched across national borders. Transnational migrants ("transmigrants")are often simultaneously incorporated in sending and host societies through dual citizenship and/or maintaining families, networks, identities that span borders.
Immigrant: Migrates with the intention to settle, but can still move back and forth between home and host societies and maintain connections with both
Sojourner: Migrates with the intention of a temporary stay
Settler: Migrates as part of an imperial mission to colonize the land and is able advantage of recent colonial conquests of land and/or people
Alien: technically means "foreign resident," but has been used in derogatory ways to emphasize outsider status
Illegal Immigrant: may have false papers; may have overstayed a visa; may have entered the country without inspection or documentation. Considered derogatory and dehumanizing in that it equates irregular immigration status with serious crime
Undocumented Immigrant: entered the country without inspection or documentation
Refugee/Asylee: someone who has fled his/her country of nationality due to a "well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion" and is unwilling or unable to return to it. Status that leads to a resettlement process in another country