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Immigrant Inclusion & Racial Justice

June 2011

By Rob Paral and Associates

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).

Los Angeles County has a powerful interest in understanding how immigrant populations are progressing over time and if immigrants are, indeed, integrating. One piece of integration is naturalization, which can affect the social and economic standing of immigrants, and potentially close the gap between them and native-born populations.  To understand the effect of amnesty-related policy, Rob Paral estimated the impact of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA), a policy that led to the naturalization of many undocumented immigrants who had lived in the U.S. since 1982.

To examine the impact of IRCA, Paral constructed a proxy sample of Mexican immigrants residing in Los Angeles County who arrived in the 1975–1981 period. He then tracked their social and economic progress. A large portion became legalized, and subsequently improved their education, bought homes and earned more. Although gaps remain between IRCA-era immigrants and whites, there are strong signs of integration.

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.

    Publications Directory

    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.

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