Immigrants, the Native-Born,
and the Changing Division
of Labor in New York City
Richard Wright and Mark Ellis
President Lyndon Johnson signed the Hart-Celler Immigration Act of 1965 into law on Liberty Island in New York Harbor. This legislation transformed immigration to the United States in ways unanticipated by even the bill's most fervent supporters and its cosponsors. In the last thirtyfive years, the number of people migrating to the United States has grown tremendously, and immigrants to the United States arrive much more frequently from developing and transitional countries than they do from Europe. New York City serves as both a principal entry point and, more specifically, a place of residence and work for large numbers of these new immigrants.
A decade after this landmark immigration legislation, New York City endured a deep and widespread fiscal crisis. Un
The National Science Foundation (Grant # SBR-9310647) helped make this research possible. Thanks go to Nancy Foner for her comments and Darby Green and Enru Wang for their research assistance. This essay significantly modifies and extends our previous analysis of New York City's ethnic and racial division of labor published in Urban Geography in 1996.