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Backlash against Latino dispersal in US

The Latino community in the US is dispersing away from historically immigrant gateway cities, which has already provoked antagonistic responses from the state or the public and threatens to exacerbate existing tensions.

RAND writes,

"During the early years of the 2000s 80 percent of the nation's Latinos lived in these large metropolitan areas (LA, New York, Miami), but this is changing as Latinos move to where the jobs are – to smaller cities, suburbs or even rural areas.

Both the increasing number and increasing dispersion of the Latino population have the potential to give rise to considerable tensions. Nationally, hardening views on immigration both legal and illegal are most evident in highly publicized debates on such matters as English as the national language, “Minuteman” patrols on the U.S.-Mexico border, and Arizona's SB1070, a law allowing police to arrest any individual suspected of being in the country illegally. Locally, the difficulties of ethnic cohabitation will become more and more visible as the Latino population resettles in previously white or other-minority bastions where they will compete for labor intensive jobs, have children, and send those children to public schools. These tensions were demonstrated in post-Katrina New Orleans as Latinos moved in for construction jobs. Mayor C. Ray Nagin made public comments about preventing the city from being “overrun by Mexican workers”; one parish banned roving taco trucks; and there were a number of reported assaults on Latino workers

Implications

IFTF observes that many highly publicized strategies for responding to this trend have been negative, and the need for integration strategies is high. The so-called Latino paradox and some studies on how Latinos have revived decaying communities might play out in favor of racial cohabitation, but they could deepen divides.

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Sources:

RAND, Nov 2010, page 11-12:http://newsletters.clearsignals.org/RAND_Nov2010.pdf#page=11

“Hispanics in the United States”, US Census Bureau. Accessed 11/5/10 at:
http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/hispanic/hispanic_pop_presentation.html.

Hulse, Carl, “Senate Votes to Set English as National Language”, The New York Times, 19 May 2006.
Accessed 11/4/10 at:
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/19/washington/19immig.html ; “Marchers Protest Border Patrol Group”

Associated Press, 24 July 2005, accessed 11/4/10 at: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/24/national/24march.html?_r=1&scp=3&sq=minuteman+Civil+Defense+Corps&st=nyt

Archibold, Randal C., “Emotions Flare after Immigration Law is Blocked”, The New York Times, 29 July 2010. Accessed 11/4/10 at: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/30/us/30arizona.html?ref=arizona-immigration-law-sb-1070

“The Law of Large Numbers”, The Economist, 9 September 2010. Accessed 11/3/10 at: http://www.economist.com/node/16992245?story_id=16992245&CFID=151091249&CFTOKEN=15331833

Mui, Ylan Q., “Five Years After Katrina, New Orleans Sees Higher Percentage of Hispanics”, The Washington Post, 21 August 2010. Accessed 11/3/10 at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/20/AR2010082005636.html