Latin Journey: Cuban and Mexican Immigrants in the United States

Latin Journey: Cuban and Mexican Immigrants in the United States

Latin Journey: Cuban and Mexican Immigrants in the United States

Latin Journey: Cuban and Mexican Immigrants in the United States

Synopsis

Latin Journey details an eight-year study of Mexican and Cuban immigrants.

Excerpt

The movement of human population across space represents one of the major recurrent themes in history. The causes of such movements have been very diverse: escape from hunger and political oppression, the search for economic opportunity, the lust for riches and conquest. The gradual constitution of a state system in the modern world has modified the character of many such movements, adding to them an explicitly political dimension. Contemporary migration movements occur both within the boundaries of particular states and across international borders. Although the causes of internal and international migrations are often similar, increasing state regulation and control separate them today into juridically distinct phenomena.

This book concerns contemporary international migration between Latin American countries and the United States. It presents results of a sixyear longitudinal study in which immigrants from Mexico and Cuba were interviewed as they arrived in the United States and reinterviewed twice over that time span. These results help clarify the initial stages of the process of incorporation into a new society and bear directly on competing hypotheses about the role of immigrants in the modern world. In the first chapter, we examine the phenomenon of international migration, its types, and the theories advanced to explain its different aspects. This material serves as the theoretical context in which ensuing findings can be interpreted. Not all the hypotheses reviewed here can actually be tested with the available data. However, even those that are not tested elucidate the analysis and help delimit the scope of its results.

International migration is not an homogeneous process. It includes refugee movements forced by political repression and by dire economic con-

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