By Manuel Pastor, Justin Scoggins, and Jennifer Tran
Please note: reports dated earlier than June 2020 were published under our previous names: the USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) or the USC Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration (CSII).
A State Resilient: Immigrant Integration and California’s Future offered a nuanced understanding of California’s standing in terms of education, inequality, and immigrant labor force. It was intended to bring balance to a report by the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) entitled A State Transformed: Immigration and the New California. The CIS report noted that California had slipped to dead last in a list of states ranked by the share of the labor force that has completed high school and attributed both that and the state’s sharp rise in inequality to mass immigration.
A State Resilient pointed out that while inequality was a real problem in the state, the rise in inequality had occurred among the native-born. Further, changes in the state’s economic structure had not been driven by immigrants, but rather, had drawn immigrants to the state.
Moreover, if the implication was that our immigrant workforce has contributed to a slip in the quality of the workforce, it is hard to square that with California’s continued high standing in terms of both median household income and gross domestic product per employed worker. The report suggested that part of the issue has to do with understanding exactly what the changing educational level “signals” about the changing labor force.
Read our other publications by research area
Immigrant Integration & Racial Justice
Our work on immigrant integration and racial justice brings together three emphases: scholarship that draws on academic theory and rigorous research, data that provides information structured to highlight the process of immigrant integration over time, and engagement that seeks to create new dialogues with government, community organizers, business and civic leaders, immigrants and the voting public to advance immigrant integration and racial equity.
Economic Inclusion & Climate Equity
In the area of economic inclusion, we at ERI advance academic theory and practical applications linking economic growth, environmental quality, and civic health with bridging of racial and other gaps; produce accessible and actionable data and analysis through the data tools; and establish research partnerships to deepen and advance the dialogue, planning, and actions around racial equity, environmental justice, and the built environment.
Social Movements & Governing Power
ERI’s work in the area of governing power includes: conducting cross-disciplinary studies of today’s social movements, supporting learning and strategizing efforts to advance dialogues among organizers, funders, intermediaries, evaluators, and academics, and developing research-based social change frameworks and tools to inform—and be informed by—real-world, real-time efforts towards a vision of deep change.
In 2020, the USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) and the USC Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration (CSII) merged to form the USC Equity Research Institute (ERI).
The full list of publications published under our previous and current names can be found in our publications directory.