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    040713

    Immigration to Los Angeles: trends, attitudes, and reform.

    Goodis TA

    [Unpublished] 1986. Paper presented at the Population Association of America Annual Meeting, San Francisco, April 3-5, 1986. 28, [9] p.

    Based on 1980 census data, this paper examines the demographic characteristics of recent immigrants to Los Angeles, specifically focusing on Mexican immigration. In 1980, 1/4 of all foreign-born persons in the US lived in California. Results of a 1983 Urban Institute poll of public attitudes toward the impacts of immigration in southern California and the consequences of US immigration reform are also presented. Over 22% of Los Angeles County's total population was foreign-born in 1980. Public opinion shows that: 1) over 65% of all respondents predicted that the size of the undocumented population in southern California would increase over the next 5 to 10 years, 2) 75% thought that most undocumented immigrants would remain in southern California permanently, 3) 88% described the situation as very or somewhat serious, and 4) 70% felt the influx of illegal immigrants had a very or somewhat unfavorable effect on the state as a whole. Although the survey respondents were about evenly divided on whether illegal immigrants took jobs away from other residents, a 69% majority thought that undocumented workers tended to bring down wages in some occupations. Congress has responded to similar concerns throughout the US by proposing a comprehensive reform of US immigration laws. Results of the Urban Institute regression analysis find no significant relationship between black unemployment rates and the concentration of Hispanics. However, there is some evidence of wage depression attributable to immigrants. California's major challenge in the future will not be deciding how to provide for the economic integration of the millions of immigrants already in the state and the millions more to come, but rather learning how to absorb these immigrants into the mainstream of society.
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