تغییراتی در نتایج استخدام در میان مهاجران مکزیکی به ایالات متحده، 1976-2009
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|3821||2012||15 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, Volume 30, Issue 1, March 2012, Pages 63–77
Although studies have examined the impact of U.S. immigration policy shifts in the 1980s and 1990s on the employment outcomes of migrants, scholars have paid less attention to how the federal government's shifting approach to worksite enforcement has transformed the conditions in which Mexican migrants work. Consistent with previous research, we find a worsening of conditions for both unauthorized and legal Mexican migrants in the years following the passage of the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) and that unauthorized status is associated with more unfavorable workplace conditions relative to legal immigrants. However, in the first decade of the 21st century, we also find that unauthorized immigrants’ employment outcomes more closely resemble those of legal immigrants now than in the past, suggesting a dramatic shift in the ways that employers treat unauthorized immigrants on the job. This convergence between authorized and unauthorized migrants is consistent with federal policies and practices related to workplace enforcement.
Prior studies about the employment conditions of Mexican migrant workers reveal a salient finding: the wages of the Mexican born have declined since the 1980s. Yet only a few studies examine how Mexican workers’ employment conditions are related to legal status. These show that wages deteriorated for Mexican male unauthorized workers after the implementation of the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) and of subsequent polices designed to restrict the entry of the unauthorized (Donato et al., 1992, Donato and Massey, 1993, Massey, 2007, Massey et al., 2002 and Phillips and Massey, 1999). Moreover, unauthorized Mexican women experienced more deterioration than men in wages and other labor market conditions (Donato, Wakabayashi, Hakimzadeh, & Armenta, 2008), and unauthorized men from the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua experienced similar wage consequences to those found for Mexicans (Donato, Aguilera, & Wakabayashi, 2005). In this paper, we build on these studies to consider shifts in wages and other employment conditions of Mexican migrants in the U.S. labor force. We ask whether and how recent employment conditions differ from those observed in the past and to what extent they reflect the consequences of exogenous policy shifts since 1986. In particular, we explore how policy shifts and the enforcement strategies underlying them led to changes in the employment conditions of Mexican immigrants by shifting the behaviors of employers and workers. We begin by describing recent policy shifts, focusing on workplace and other enforcement strategies designed to target employers and their supply of immigrant workers. These policies have led to an inverted-U pattern in employer enforcement since the 1980s, with the highest level of enforcement occurring in the early-to-mid 1990s. Since then, national security concerns have become paramount and enforcement efforts shifted away from worksites to target workers in critical infrastructure jobs. Several years later, high profile workplace raids began again, but subsequently the Obama administration replaced them by intensifying employer audits leading to criminal and civil charges against employers. Using data from the Mexican Migration Project, we link these shifts to employment conditions and find that, since 2003, there is a trend toward convergence in outcomes between the authorized and unauthorized. Although quite different from prior studies that document labor market penalties to undocumented status, our findings suggest that by the early 21st century employers were treating all Mexican migrant workers in similar ways, irrespective of legal status.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
While prior studies have used data from the Mexican Migration Project to examine the impact of U.S. immigration policy shifts in the 1980s and 1990s on migrant employment outcomes, scholars have paid less attention to the most recent policies and practices and their impacts on Mexican workers’ labor market conditions. This analysis builds on previous research to investigate how the U.S. government's shifting approach to worksite enforcement has transformed the conditions in which Mexican migrants work. Consistent with other studies, we find a worsening of conditions for both unauthorized and legal Mexican migrants in the years following the passage of IRCA and that unauthorized status is associated with more unfavorable workplace conditions relative to legal immigrants. However, in the first decade of the 21st century, we also find that unauthorized immigrants’ employment outcomes more closely resemble those of legal immigrants now than in the past, suggesting a dramatic shift in the ways that employers treat unauthorized immigrants on the job. That is, after September 11th, 2011, the employment gap between legal and unauthorized migrants began to close. One way to explain the shift toward convergence is that employers are treating all Mexicans the same, irrespective of legal status. With workplace raids and audits leading to employers facing civil and criminal charges as well as migrant workers losing their jobs and/or being deported, employers are likely to be risk averse and treat all Mexicans the same no matter what their legal status. We recognize that the emphasis on employer behavior is not directly observed, and therefore we caution readers from concluding that changes in the behavior of employers’ account for the observed effects in 2003–2009. Unfortunately, mechanisms related to employer behavior are extremely difficult to observe directly. While some qualitative research has successfully interviewed employers about labor market conditions (Donato and Bankston, 2008 and Kirschenman and Neckerman, 1991), acquiring any data from employers of Mexican migrants about labor market conditions and practices is almost impossible given the scrutiny that employers face under current regulations, their fears of criminal prosecution, and more generally, the heated national debate regarding immigration. Therefore, not having such data is a limitation of this study. However, consistent patterns in our findings for a variety of employment outcomes strongly suggest that employers of Mexican migrants have altered their hiring practices in response to a constantly changing, and more developed, federal immigration enforcement system. Therefore, our interpretation is that unauthorized Mexican migrant workers have become institutionalized in the U.S. labor force. As they respond over and over again to shifting federal policies and procedures regarding the hiring foreign born workers, employers may have set into motion a process of managerialization of legal status whereby they adopt a managerial strategy and treat legal workers like the unauthorized in an attempt to minimize ICE audits and achieve maximum profits and efficiency.12 Whereas immediately after IRCA's passage workplace conditions for unauthorized immigrants deteriorated as employers began to make distinctions between legal and unauthorized workers for the first time, workplace enforcement now is much more consequential and has created a situation where employers are more worried about having the correct paperwork filled out by a Mexican immigrant employee rather than what his/her true documentation status is. As a result, employers are more likely to pay their unauthorized Mexican workers using checks rather than cash and withhold taxes from those checks because doing so allows employers to comply with federal immigration guidelines and still satisfy their labor needs. Thus, employers are managing legal status such that the workplace conditions of legal and unauthorized Mexican migrants have begun to converge. Although there is some reason for optimism given findings about the unauthorized hourly wages by period – namely that unauthorized immigrants’ wages have recovered somewhat after declining in the late 1980s and early 1990s – the majority of our findings as well as those from other studies suggest worsened outcomes for Mexican migrants since 1986. For example, Massey and Gelatt (2010) suggest that a growing gap between the earnings of Mexican migrants (both legal and not) and the rest of the labor force. Therefore, while employment outcomes of legal and unauthorized immigrants are converging, this shift toward convergence has not led to gains for Mexican migrants relative to the U.S. workforce because migrant wages still lag behind those of nonmigrants. Moreover, although our analysis finds that labor market conditions of legal and unauthorized immigrants have begun to converge, the wage gap between the two groups persists indicating that unauthorized status remains salient in the employment experience of Mexican workers. These findings have serious implications for future research. For example, interviews from a systematic sample of employers may help reveal how they perceive and treat legal and unauthorized Mexican workers in light of the shifts in federal policies, practices, and regulations that govern how they are hired. Other research questions may be answered by using mixed methods and uncovering what the wage gap between legal and undocumented Mexican workers means for intergenerational mobility and family poverty. These are especially relevant queries given projections that suggest the foreign-born population will comprise approximately one-quarter of the working-age adult population by 2050 (Passel & Cohn, 2008), and that Mexican-born persons will make up the largest share. As a result, the employment conditions of Mexican immigrants will continue to figure prominently in social stratification processes for decades to come and must be an important topic of study for researchers going forward. In sum, this study highlights another chapter in a long monograph that describes negative impacts from shifting policy practices designed to deter unauthorized immigration. Its findings have significant implications for the future prospects of Mexican immigrants and their families. Together, they suggest a new resilience on the part of workers and employers in the U.S. economy early in the 21st century.