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1 THE IMMIGRANT RIGHTS STRUGGLE IN THE AMERICAN SOUTH: A CASE STUDY FROM CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA By WILLIAM R HUMMEL A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE RE QUIRE MENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2012
2 2012 William R. Hummel
3 In memory of my grandfather, Albert F. Tibbs, who taught me the importance of hard work, dedication and family.
4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I would lik e to thank the Center for Latin American Studies at the University of Florida for awarding me a field research grant to conduct my research in Charlotte, North Carolina. I also owe thanks to Adriana Galvez Taylor and all the staff at Latin American Coaliti on in Charlotte who allowed me to volunteer with the immigrant community and w ho were the inspiration behind this thesis. I am grateful for the guidance provided by the members of my thesis committee, Dr. Philip Williams, Dr. Ana Mar gheritis, and Joan Floc ks. Their insight and commentary were instrumental during my research and writing process. By pushing me to better myself and my research, this thesis has become much more than I even could have imagined Most importantly I would like to thank my family fo r their constant support and patience over the last four year s In particular to my fiance Katie Tranum, who has stood by me and encouraged me to never give up on my goals.
5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 4 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 7 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION ................................ ................................ ................................ .................... 9 Background and Objectives ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 9 Methodology ................................ ................................ ................................ ........................... 12 Organization and Limitations ................................ ................................ ................................ 13 Charlotte: The Queen City ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 15 Race Relations in Charlotte ................................ ................................ ............................. 15 Latinos in Charlotte ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 16 2 LITERATURE REVIEW ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 19 Migration Theory ................................ ................................ ................................ .................... 19 New Immigrant Destinations ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 22 Characteristics of New Destina tions ................................ ................................ ............... 25 The Appeal of the American South ................................ ................................ ................. 26 Social Movement Theory ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 27 Co st Benefit Analysis and Resource Mobilization ................................ .......................... 29 Political Processes Approach ................................ ................................ .......................... 29 Framing ................................ ................................ ................................ ............................ 30 3 THE IMMIGRANT RIGHTS SOCIAL MOVEMENT? ................................ ....................... 32 Mass Mobilizations ................................ ................................ ................................ ................. 32 Successful Features of the Burgeoning Movement ................................ ................................ 34 Resources Mobilization: Leadership and Resources Present ................................ .......... 34 Political Processes ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 36 Immigration on the agenda ................................ ................................ ....................... 36 Courting the Latino vote ................................ ................................ .......................... 37 Framing: Immigrant Rights as Latino and Human Rights ................................ .............. 38 Failure to Launch ................................ ................................ ................................ .................... 40 Lack of Willing Leadership ................................ ................................ ............................. 41 Limited Resources ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 42 Tension with the Black Community ................................ ................................ ................ 43 Continuance of 287(g) and Policy Stalemate ................................ ................................ .. 45 Dis cussion ................................ ................................ ................................ ............................... 47 4 COMMUNITY AND RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS ................................ ...................... 49
6 Secular Community Organizations ................................ ................................ ......................... 49 Social Capital ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 50 Latino Organizations in Charlotte ................................ ................................ ................... 51 Advocacy ................................ ................................ ................................ .................. 53 Limitations ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 54 Religious Organizations ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 55 Religious Civic Organization ................................ ................................ .......................... 56 The moral authority of the Church ................................ ................................ ........... 56 Leadership training and networking ................................ ................................ ......... 58 Immigrants and the Role of Religion ................................ ................................ .............. 59 Religion and Assimilation ................................ ................................ ............................... 60 Religious Organizations in Charlotte ................................ ................................ .............. 61 Advocacy & ou treach ................................ ................................ ............................... 62 Education ................................ ................................ ................................ .................. 64 Discussion ................................ ................................ ................................ ............................... 66 5 CONCLUSIONS AND POLICY IMPLICATION S ................................ .............................. 68 Findings ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 68 Public Policy Implications ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 70 Social Movement Success ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 71 Comparison with Other New Destinations ................................ ................................ ............. 73 Future Avenues for Research ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 75 APPENDIX: INTERVIEW QUESTIONS ................................ ................................ .................... 76 LIST OF REFERENCES ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 78 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 86
7 Abstract of Thesis Pre sented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts THE IMMIGRANT RIGHTS STRUGGLE IN THE AMERICAN SOUTH: A CASE STUDY FROM CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA By Wi lliam R. Hummel May 2012 Chair: Philip J. Williams Major: Latin American Studies Over the last two decades, the Latino population in the United States has seen unprecedented growth rates rising from around 9% of the population in 1990 to 16% by 2010. One particular aspect of the increase in the Latino population is the rising diversity of settlement locations acr oss the country. New immigrant destinations in the United States, such as the American South, are experiencing some of the highest growth rate s for the Latino population. As Latino immigrants come into the United States and settle in these non traditional gateway locat ions, immigrants and the native born American population face particular challenges with regard to immigrant incorporation into t hese communities. As immigrants settle into new destinations, serious questions remain as to whether they will be welcomed into the poli tical discourse or face discrimination and marginalization. The objective of this thesis is to examine the ability of th e immigrant population to develop a political presence in new destinations, many of which have developed negative attitudes towards the incorporation of the immigrant population into the local political discourse. I look at Charlotte, North Carolina, an ar ea with one of the highest Latino population growth rates over the last twenty years to examine the effectiveness of immigrant activism. I find that while
8 in public policy reform or in creating a lasting immigrant rights social movement, avenues remain open for political advocacy on behalf of the immigrant population. Secular community organizations and religious institutions have stepped in and continue d on i n the struggle for immigrant rights, where mobilizations failed. Through such organizations, political advocacy and education are occurring and have brought limited success for immigrant rights in Charlotte. Until such time that the immigrant population it self can re mobilize, channeling efforts through these organizations presents the best chance for political advocacy and policy reform in Charlotte and much of the American South.
9 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Background and Objectives During the spring of 2006 my last semester as an undergraduate at Davidson College, located just north of Charlotte, North Carolina, the drive for immigration reform was coming to its peak. Various bills were being put forth before Congress, ranging from the draconian Border Prot ection, Anti Terrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act (better known as HR 4437) to various proposals that allowed for legalization of unaut horized immigrants, such as the McCain Kennedy bill. Immigrants and their supporters around the country mobiliz ed to protest against HR 44 37 and in support of immigrant rights. Protests and rallies were held in Los Angeles, Washington, Atlanta, and even in Charlotte. When HR 4437 was defeated in the U.S. Senate, immigrant advocates were thrilled and began pushing f or more comprehensive legislation like the McCain Kennedy Bill and the DREAM act, yet success never came. F ederal i mmigration reform has failed to move forward on the political agenda since that time. Every major piece of legislation with regard to immigra tion reform has failed to b ecome law, including the DREAM A ct in late 2010. As no significant federal immigration reform occurred, immigrants began to feel less and less welcome in many areas of the United States, especially the American South. States and 2010). Southern States, such as Georgia, Alabama and South Carolina have be en leading the way, enacting laws that allow police to check the immigration status of anyone suspected of being undocumented, prohibiting landlords from renting housing to immigrants without lawful status and attach state criminal liability to employers who hire workers who lack proper documentation
10 (Winders 2007; New York Times 2011). 1 Additionally Southern counties like Mecklenburg in North Carolina and Cobb in Georgia have led the way with their own local plans for immigration enforcement. The mos t direct action that has become particularly popular with localities is the actual enforcement of immigration laws by local police via a 287(g) agreement with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the federal agency charged with immigration law enforc ement. Under a 287(g) agreement, local or state law enforcement agencies receive authority from ICE to assume some immigration enforcement functions. 2 Since 2002 the program has greatly expanded to include 69 current 287(g) agreements around the country, 4 0 of which are with localities locat ed in the South (Immigration and Customs Enforcement 2011). As states and localities have begun to deal with issues of immigration, now more than ever there is a need for the immigrant community to have its voice heard in the ongoing policy debates. This is of particular concern as claims of discrimination surface across the South, not only against immigrants, but Latinos in general, regardless of immigration status have increased in the past ten years From issues of housing discrimination, to racial profiling by the police, Latinos have faced greater hostility in the South in wake of the rising levels of immigration (Southern Poverty Law Center 2009). As a result, laws intended to target the undo cumented immigrant po pulation are beginning to affect the wider Latino population. The previously mentioned state laws giving state and local police authority to stop those suspected of violating immigration l aw raise even more concerns about racial profiling. 1 Hammon Alabama Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act immigration bill (SB 20). All of these laws at the time of submission are being challenged in federal court by the Department of Justice. 2 Localities with 287(g) programs are under one of two models the Jail Enforcement Model or the Task Force Model. The Jail Enforcement Model allows local law enforcement to identify aliens already in custody who have been charged with or convicted of a separate criminal offense The Task Force Mod el allows of ficers to identify and process a Force Model, 287(g) officers can arrest and hold an alien even if not charged with a criminal offense
11 This question o f how to deal with the Latino immigrant population is of particular interest in the American South, given the long history of racial tensions in the region. The increase in the Latino population has changed the traditional racial construct of black and whi te, which has often been a defining feature of the South and its p olitical landscape (Furuseth & Smith 2006; Pruitt into many political con siderations (McClain et al 2006, 572). In addition, Latinos have t ended to settle in traditional b lack neighborhoods, adding to the perception of conflict between b lack and Latino populations (Mohl 2003). One study conducted in D urham, North Carolina found that Latinos and blacks did in fact have negative stereotypes of one another, which were intensified for those that lived in mixed neighborhoods (McClain et al 2006). Wh ile conflict is not inevitable the influx of Latinos int o Southern society has seriously altered the traditional notion and classification of race. The traditional What this means for political power and balance in the region, espec ially for the power and roles traditionally allocated to black 2006). Historically, because of the smaller Latino population and the lack of political clout with regard to electoral power it made sense for political discussions to go forth without the need for a South, a serious question as to how the Latino population can become politically active and have its concerns heard is an issue that must be addressed. Research on Latino political participation thus far demonstrates participation throughout t he South (Bullock & Hood 2006, 111 7). Part of this gap can be explained by the status of Latino migrants to the South, as many are not citizens or even legal
12 residents of the United States. However, Bullock and Hood found that even for those Latinos who are citizens and can participate act ively in the political scene, there was a significant gap in participation and political involvement (2006) Working with the Latino immigrant population in Charlotte, I saw the difficulties that arose for this segment of the population as some native resi dent s and local leaders adopted increasingly hardline positions in the wake of failed efforts at federal immigration reform. Many immigrants who had been living and working in the community for years began to feel less and less welcome. Given that a majori ty of the immigrant population in Charlotte and the American South as a whole are Latinos, many of whom are not U.S. citizens, I wondered what could be done to help this vulnerable segment of the p opulation (Weeks & Weeks 2010, 139). This thesis seeks to address the following set of questions related to immigrant rights in the American South. Why did a wave of mass protests and mobilization starting in 2006, which seemed to have such huge potential, fail to achieve immigration policy reform? What can be done going forward to advocate on behalf of the undocumented population ? W ho is best suited to do the advocacy given the existing climate of fear? Methodology I conducted my primary fieldwork over a six week period during the summer of 2009, with an addi tional two inte rviews in May 2011. Building on my previous volunteer experience with the Latin American Coalition, a community organization dedicated to serving the Latino community in the Charlotte area, I made contact with the various community and relig ious organizations that have become involved with the immigrant community in Charlotte. The list included both religious organizations (the Catholic Di ocese, the Charlotte Presbytery ) and secular organizations (the Latin American Coalition, and the United National and International Spanish Alliance ( UNISAL ) ). After making contact with each organization, I conducted one
13 hour semi structured interviews with leaders of these organizations, as well as interviews with a local political leader (on the Mecklenburg County Commission), with two local academics who research and write on immigrants to Charlotte, and with a local reporter active in the Latino community for a total of eight interviews For each interview I asked a set of standard q uestions (attached as Appendix ) and then allowed each interviewee to expand upon my questions as they saw fit. After each interview, answers were coded and categorized so as to allow comparison across interviewees. In addition to my field research in Charlotte, I reviewed and built off previous research done in Atlanta, Georgia by Dr. Philip Williams, Dr. Manuel Vasquez, and Dr. Timothy Steigenga. Using their research and findings, I was able to find similarities between Charlotte and Atlanta that led to drawing broader conclu sions about my research and implications that could apply to the wider region of the American South. Organization and Limitations This thesis is organized into five chapters. I conclude this chapter with a brief overview of the Charlotte area and the curre nt geographic and demographic information for the city, to contextualize the research. Chapter 2 examines the existing literature on two primary concepts for the thesis; migration theor y and social movement theory. Chapter 3 applies social movement theory to the immigrant mobilizations that occurred starting in 2006. Using social movement theory as a lens, I examine the rise and fall of the imm igrant mobilizations and describe how theory can help us better understand the failure of the immigrant rights move ment to sustain the high levels of mobilization achieved during 2006. Chapter 4 examine s how community and religious organizations can step in to fill the als o focus on the question of whether community organizations particularly churches are the
14 most appropriate vehicle for moving the fight for immigrant rights forward, especially in the historical context of the civil rights movement i n the American South. Finally, C hapter 5 draw s conclus ions about where the immigrant rights movement is headed, and proposes strategies that may be used by those carrying on the struggle within the American South. My research, which is based exclusively on interviews with lead ers in the Charlotte area nt (Steigenga & Williams 2009, 123). While I argue that there are sufficient similarities to draw broader conclusions from my research, I was unable to perform more extensive and more geographically diverse research to support these conclusions. I rely on information fo und by other scholars, who e xamined questions similar but not identical, to my own Additionally, my research focused on the leaders of community organizations, not the immigrants themselves, so their view points are absent in my research and would likely provide a different perspec tive. I also did not conduct interviews with any anti immigrant political leaders or organization s in Charlotte. I was unable to identify any local organization which could be categorized as anti immigrant. While anti immigrant sentiment exists, it appear s not to have sparked any concerted organizational efforts 3 I did attempt to contact one county commissioner who has taken a harder line on immigration policy, but my correspondence was never answered. Finally my research focus ed on urban and suburban but not rural areas of the South This choice was intentional due to the fact that the immigrant population growth rate is much more pronounced in urban and subur ban areas (Weeks & Weeks 2010, 142). Therefore the generalizability of some 3 E vidence of the anti immigrant sentiment was present when interviewing a journalist who showed me a file full of hate mail correspondence regarding the moderately positive coverage he gave the immigrant protests. Further sentiment can be seen on the Charlot issues at http://obsthisland.blogspot.com/.
15 of my findings a nd the particular strategies for mobilization may not be as applicable in rural localities with more geographically separated populations. Charlotte: The Queen City The City of Charlotte can be seen a s a micro model for the transformation of the South as a whole. Over the past thirty years, Charlotte grew from a regional city, to one of the major financial hubs of the United States (Smith & Graves 2003). People from across the United States began movi ng to Charlotte during the 1990 s as Bank of America and Wachovia (now Wells Fargo) established their headquarters in the city and anchored financial services as the backbone of the local economy, making it one of the leading destinations for internal migration in the U.S. (Frey 1996; Johnson & Kasarda 2009). The Charlotte metropolitan area has a total population of just over 1.5 million people, and encompasses five counties in North Carolina and one in South Carolina. (US Census 2011a). The City of Charlotte is the seat and largest municipality within Meckl enburg County, which is the most populous county in the state of North Carolina. Race Relations in Charlotte Geographically, the city has changed from one of relative racial heterogenei ty, where w hite and black households were relatively intermixed during the late 19 th century, to more racial segregated by the mid 20 th became more segregated during the first half of the 20 th century, with much of the black population eventually concentrated to the northeast and west of the city (Hanchett 1998, 3). It was due to this geographic segregation that ultimately led the city and school board to the United States Supreme Court in Swann v. Charlotte Mecklenburg Board of Education In this landmark s chool desegregation case, the Court ordered busing to achieve a more balanced racial integration in response to government promoted segregation over the years.
16 While the Charlotte area was mandated to adopt a more rigorous de segregation policy in, North Carolina has been noted for its relative moderation (compared to the rest of the South) in efforts to push back against forced desegregation (Douglas 1994). Douglas argues that North Carolina political leaders were committed to the economic development of the state and recognized the need to keep racial strife at a minimum. As a result, disparities in educational spending and voter registration levels between whites and blacks were smaller than any other southern state (Douglas 1994, 126). This is not to say there were not issues of racial tension and discrimination, as the Swann case demonstrates, there was still a pattern of discrimination. However North Carolina and especially Charlotte was able to avoid much of overt political violence that would make progress in the years to come easier. In the wake of the Swann decision, race relations and the balance of racial power ma de huge strides during the 1970 black neighborhood groups l ed a referendum that changed the city council structure, one composed of primarily at large seats to one based on election from individual districts, giving more weight to the working class white and black neighborhoods that traditionally lac ked representa tion. By the 1980 s, with broader representation in city government, officials aimed for diversity in additional urban development (Hanchett 1998). Latinos in Charlotte As mentioned previously, the change of the southern economy from industrial to service based, created a new demand for jobs on the low end labor market that immigrants began to fill. While Latino immigrants, specifically Cubans, came t o the area as early as the 1970 s, it was not until the 1990 s that the immigrant population truly exploded i n Charlotte and across North Carolina (Smith & Furuseth 2006; Griffith 2005). Between 1990 and 2004, the Hispanic population grew from around 6,000 to 66,000, an increase of 887 percent, the fourth highest
17 growth rate for a metro a rea in the country (De aton 2008, 1 2). North Carolina as a whole had the largest increase in Latino population from 1990 to 2000, and includes three of the top five highest metropolitan areas in Latino population growth (Deaton 2008, 1; Fur u s eth & Smith 2006, 8). 4 As of 2011 the US census estimated that the Latino population was 13.1% of the Charlotte population, and the foreign born population (of any national background) was 13.6% (US Census 2011b). While the majority of the Latino population in Charlotte is of Mexican o rigin (62%), noticeable populations of El Salvadorians, Hondurans, Colombians and Peruvians exist in the Charlotte area (Deaton 2008, 3). Additionally the Latino population is young, with 54% of the population between the ages of 15 to 34 years of age (Sm ith & Furuseth 2006 199). Just fewer than 60% of Latinos in 2000 were not U.S. citizens, though the number of undocumented within that group is undetermined. A study of the entire state of North Carolina estimated that the undocumented constituted 45% of the Latino population (Deaton 2008, 19; Johnson & Kasarda 2009, 71). Geographically, three districts have formed that are seen as the Latino settlement areas: the Central Avenue, South Boulevard and North Tyron Corridors. All three corridors are locat ed on the edges of the city lines, in areas once inhabited by lower middle class workers. It is significant that these areas do not have traditional public housing where city officials were accustomed to provi ding social services (Weeks & Weeks 2010). Ho wever, none of these areas approach a level of fifty percent (or more) of Hispanic residents to classify them as an ethnic enclave as 5 (1999) 4 The top five were: Raleigh Durham, Atlanta, Greensboro, Charlotte, and Orlando. 5 compact community where members of the same ethnic group interact closel 161).
18 also fails to fit the true nat ure of the Latino population settlement in the Charlotte area, due to the diversity in nationalities in the area and lack of geographic proximity from one area to another. 6 Finally while banking and the financial industry have become the hallmark for empl oyment as a whole for the Charlotte area, a more diverse employment picture exists for the Latino population. Top employment sectors for Latinos include: construction (31.5%), Carpentry (18%), janitorial and building upkeep (12.9%), painting and maintenanc e work (9.8%), and industrial vehicle operation (9.8%), all lower income sectors, traditionally seen as less desirable by much of the Amer ican middle class (Deaton 2008, 5). Yet all are based in employment that serves as the vital base in order to run a m ore service based economy exactly what Charlotte has s trived to become since the 1990 s. 6 The distance between the three Latino corridors is about ten miles from one another resulting in a driving time of twenty minutes or more, a nd even longer via public transportation.
19 CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW Migration Theory Over the years various theories have been proposed by scholars to explain why people take the risk to migrate across borde rs. Given that such a significant move is costly and time co nsuming, no matter where you are on the socio economic scale, the fact that so many immigrants in the United States have come from lower income countries warrants examination. The traditional and more widely accepted theoretical explanati on of migration is referred to as neoclassical economics, which focuses on wage differentials and the supply and demand of for income m 1998, 17). Migrants, after analyzing all the costs and benefits of moving, will choose to go to the location where net returns are expected to be at their highest (Borjas 1990). However numerous shortcomings demon strated the limited applicability of the neoclassical theory to full y explain migratory trends. According to neoclassical theory, migration is driven by the labor ma rket and wage inequalities, yet not all countries with similar economies and labor market s have similar migratory patterns. Furthermore migration levels have often effectively come to zero, before wage differentials become equal between sending and receiving nations. Scholars began to note that it was more than a cost benefit analysis that dro ve decisions to migrate. Researchers found that the decision to migrate is less an individual decision, but one instead made by fa mily units (Massey, Durrand, & Malone 2002). Additionally the neoclass ical model fails to consider how the role of states an d various migratory policies can hinder or bolster migratory flows (Zolberg 1983). Both Japan and the United States are advanced industrialized economies; yet do not see similar migratory levels, demonstrating the incomplete nature of using just the neocl assical
20 model to explain migratory trends. While decisions to migrate may start with economic choices, these are affected and at times altered by government policies (Haus 1999). In response the some of the shortcomings of the neoclassical model, a diff erent economic based theory called the new economics of migration model, emerged. The basis for the new economics of migration theory is that people and especially families decide to migrate not simply for income maximization, but to minimize risks faced d ue to living in their current location (Stark 1991). Because many migrants come from poorer countries, whose governments are unable to help their citizens effectively control and manage risks inherent in the markets, those from poorer countries can better immigrant remittances (M assey, Durrand, & Malone 2002, 12). This theory in particular takes into consideration the occurrence of cyclical mi gration, where individual choose to migrate and work for a set period of time, but ultimately return to rejoin their families and communities back home. However much like the neoclassical model, the new economics model has shortcomings. Governmental policies are similarly left out as a factor under the new econom ics model. The new economics model also concerns itself solely with the cause of migration with in the sending drawing migration within the receiving countries. Not all economic mo dels, however, focus on the decision s of the migrants. The segmented labor market theory looks to explain migration based upon the labor market needs of the industrialized countries, especially the need for cheap foreign labor (Piore 1979). Under this the as seen in the neoclassical or new economics of m nations. Especially in light of the continued advancement of education and
21 employment, the segmented labor market theory concludes that immigrants are the most logical population segment to fill low wage and relatively undesirable jobs at the bottom of the labor market, such as in agriculture, la ndscaping, construction, a nd housekeeping Macro and structural level theories are also driver behind the world systems theory of migration, which looks to how social and economic structures of the world economy have created more mobile populations prone to migra te. As capitalist firms from more economically developed nations enter les s developed nations in search of grea ter profits they consume raw materials, land, and change labor markets. As foreign industry helps industrialize these nations, workers in areas such as agricultu re and manual labor begin to see their means of economic livelihood disappear, creating a need to migrate domestically or internat ionally (Sassen 1991; Hatton & Williamson 1998). This same increase in economic development and technology also has made i nternational migration a more realistic and affordable option, as means of leaving their community. (Sassen 1991; Basch et al 1994). World systems theory and the economic globali zation behind it are particularly relevant in explaining migratory patterns between former colonies and their former administrators. Economic expansion drove countries to reach around the world, looking for land and resources. In doing so, they spread common languages and values that allow ed migration to the former colonial powers with less of a cultural shock. For example the migratory patterns of Indians to the United Kingdom, or Algerians to France is in part due to the colonial legacie s. Even for countries that were never colonized, the cultural influences that have developed from globalization can be powerful factors in migratory choices (Massey et al 1998). However the
22 weakness of world systems theory is that micro economic factors such as wage rates are not seen as a serious consideration in causing migration. A significant non economic approach to migration looks at w hy migration continues to occur especially in the wake of economic difficulties. Looking to the idea of social capi tal, scholars have demonstrated how once initial migrants have arrived to an area, the potential costs for others begin to decrease. Each additional migrant alters the social context of the settling area and creates a context in which migration eventually becomes self sustaining (Massey, Gold ring, & Durand 1994; Massey & Zentano ( L evy & Wadycki 1973), the social capital theory aligns well with the actual immigration policy of the United States, which has given preference to family member reunification. As mentioned, over the years new theories have come into existence as older theories are found not to be universally applicable. That said, each theory contributes to the understanding of the migratory process and provides insight into the possible reasons for why a person chooses to leave their country for another. But what can be taken from these theories to help explain the increase in immigration to the American South and other new destinations? U nd erstand ing new destinations in particular, involves the application of multiple migration theories to both the international migration context, as well as domestic migration within the United States. New Immigrant Destinations Latino i mmigrants began movin g to the American South and other new destinations in noticeable numbers starting in the 1990s. Much of the literature places this demographic shift into a greater context of ongoing immigration legal r eform that occurred in the 1980 s. In particular, the 1 986 Immigr ation Reform and Control Act (I R C A) is seen as crucial to the transformation of the South (and other new immigrant destinations) as a location fo r Hispanic migrants (Frazier & Reisinger 2006; Haverluk & Trautman 2008). I R C A, by granting amnesty
23 to over two million previously undocumented workers 1 allowed a huge pool of lower skilled labor to gain documentation to move around the country without fear of de t en tion and deportation. I R C A also allowed migrants, who traditionally stayed and worked in cities of first destination (where large networks of other Latinos existed), the freedom to seek work elsewhere where job opportunities were more abundant and smaller pools of competing lab or existed (Durrand, Massey, & Charvet 2000; Winders 2005). Fur thermore with a new expanded pool of legal permanent residents (LPRs), many whom were from Latin America, family reunification became a reality for extended relatives living abroad, as those family members in the US could now petition for law ful entry of r elatives in the United S tates I R C population and increase in immigrant p etitions. Along with amnesty, I R C A and further immigration legis lation in the early to mid 1990 s incr eased the presence of border enforcement, especially along the traditional crossing areas in California and around El Paso, Texas 2 By the s, in particular with Operation Gatekeeper, the manpower of the border patrol doubled and additional fences an d motion sensors we re installed all of which increased the risks and costs of migrating to the United States (Lyall 2009). For those that were able to make the journey, permanent settlement, not temporary migration became the more c ommon trend (Massey, Durran, & Malone 2002). Additionally, since the traditional entry areas became so heavily fortified, immigrants began using new points of entry, leading to new arrival destinations 1 I R C A provisions allowed for those immigrants who could prove continuous residence since January 1, 1982 and were not otherwise subject to other inadmissibility grounds, such as criminal convictions, were allowed to apply to become Legal Permanent Residences (LPRs). 2 The most significant of these was Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigration Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRIRA). This act increased the number of deportable offenses and mandated minimum re entry ba rs of three or ten years for those found to be unlawfully inside the United States depending on the amount of time which an alien was living in the U.S. without status.
24 as immigrants and smugglers sought to avoid the traditional arrival and se ttling areas on which border patrol focused. Other forces at work that have increased the flow of migra tion into the United States, have been the economic and politica l upheaval of Mexico and much of Central America. The North American Free Trade Agreemen t (NAFTA) was signed in 1994 by the governments of Mexico, Canada, and the United States to help further the economic integration of North America. As markets and trade barriers were eliminated, the Mexican economy in particular was transformed. Opening ma rkets for capitals, goods, and services implicitly created a need for a more mobile labor force (Fernandez Kelly & Massey 2007). Additionally the deregulation of agriculture in Mexico in particular, forced many rural Mexican peasants dependent on agricult ure to migrate. The inability of Mexican farmers to compete with U S agribusiness created an additional migratory population base that began coming to the United States ( Andreas 1998; Fernandez Kelly & Massey 2007). The subsequent economic crisis in Me xico in the wake of the peso devaluation exacerbated the crisis and expanded the trend of migration from a few select areas of Mexico, close to the US border, to new sending st ates especially those from more agricultural ly based south ern states (Ma ssey & Espinoza 1997; Odem & Lacy 2009) Central America, in addition to facing similar economic restructuring, faced addition al political difficulties from the lasting effects of civil wars and conflict s that occurred during the 1980 s. Guatemala, El Salvado r, and Nicaragua while all becoming less overtly violent during s faced enormous economic pressures to provide employment opportunities and economic development in the wake of years of conflict. Economic reforms intended to make economies more sus tainable caused high rates of unemployment leading to additional population segment s seeking to migrate As a result, migrants were no longer seeking to escape the political
25 situation (the reason for migration during the s) but instead the dire economic situation as these countries at tempted to rebuild (Hamilton & Stoltz Chinchilla 2001). Additional issues caused by natural disasters such as Hurrican e Mitch in 1998 only exacerbated the migratory flow (Wasem & Ester 2010). Characteristics of New Destin ations While many areas considered new destinations for immigrants at first glance have very little in common, there are several common alities between new destination areas that make comparison possible. New d estinations are first noted for their fairly h omogenous population s and historical lack of newly arriving immigrant population s Due to this fact, these locations lack any significant resources that are more commonly available to immigrants in traditional gateway cities (Williams et al 2009). This lack of resources in new destinations means a lack of support to assist immigrants in integration and adaptation to their new community. More traditional immigrant set tling areas with large networks have been showed to be important in providing this suppo rt in transition al phases of settlement (Benjamin Alvardo 2009; Hagan 1998). Traditional settling destinations like Miami have strong immigrant ne tworks and resources that have allowed immigrants to develop significant political power that cannot be igno red (Stepick et al 2003). With these networks missing in new destinations, social capital and a political ly active population base from which to call forth for political mobilizations would theoretically be lacking in these locations (Benjamin Alvardo 2009). New destinations, as expected, also tend to lack significant ethnic and racial diversity This makes makin g new ly arriving immigrants stand out from the native populatio n and not fit into historic racial /ethnic classifications for the area. This f eature is particular important in areas where the traditional classification has been black/white categories that newly arriving Latino
26 and Asian immigrants do not configure to easily. Consequently scholars have noted and theorized about immigrant/native interaction in new destinations and ethnicity may play a more important role in these locations. In particular the issue of the exis tence of a black/nonblack division has been examined by scholars (Marrow 2009; Lee & Bean 2007). Speculation about low wag e labor market competition between the black community and Latinos, as well as the symbolic challenge of Latinos to black minority status has fueled tension between these two communities (Rich & Miranda 2005 ; Ordoez 2006 ). The fact that Latino immigrant s often move into areas traditionally populated by blacks adds further possible conflict (Mohl 2003). However Latino settlement in New Destinations has not generally lead to a further deterioration of urban neighborhoods. As Latino migrants settle in ne w locations stores and services that cater to this growing population begin to establish themselves. Selling ethnic food, money wire services, international phone cards, these stores step in to fill a needed niche. In this process, immigrant stores occupy previous ly abandoned commercial spaces where few other services exist (Griffith 2005). The economic activity and revenue by immigrants can sometimes revitalize areas or even whole towns that were previously in decline (Grey & Woodrick 2005). The Appeal of the American South As Mohl and other scholars point out, immigration policy alone cannot account for the continued influx of Latinos into the South. A separate transformation of the Southern ec onomy also occurred tha t intensified this migratory pattern During the late 1980s and early 1990 s, traditional drivers of the Southern economy, in particular textiles, began to disappear as companies b egan shifting production oversea s to take advantage of lower labor costs. During the same time period the growth and expansion of high tech research facilities, food processing plants, and the banking sector created the rapid rise of a new service based economy. With this economic boom came a demand for low wage labor in the American South (Mohl 2003; Cobb
27 & Stueck 2005). Poultry processing plants, agriculture, and the booming service sector (especially construction) all created a huge demand for lower skilled labor, which could not be met from the existing Southern population ( Odem & Lacy 2009; Haverluk & Trautman 2008). Firms even began advertising and specifically recruiting workers from Latin America itself to make up for labor shortages in the region (Smith & Furuseth 2006 ; Pruitt 2009). These changes created job opportunities across the board in both cities and smaller communities throughout the South for Latinos moving to the region. From all this, one can see the combined application of the migratory theories the neoclassical, segmented labor market, and social capital theories to the American South. As the region transformed and became a more welcoming location for the American populace as whole with higher paying jobs, the inherent need for unskilled labor (to meet the needs of this growing middle and upper middle class population) created a pull spe cifically for the immigrant population. Furthermore as first generation migrants who gained legal status with I R C A moved to the area in the early to m id 1990 s, family reunification and social capital connections to extended family and friends abroad, spurr ed further migration to these new destinations. The demographic consequence of all these factors resulted in a swelling of the Latino population throughout the American South between 1990 and 2000, with growth rates in most Southern states over 200%, and as high as 400% in some states (Pew Hispanic Center 2005; Pruitt 2009). Social Movement Theory The study of social movements and collective action traces back the French Revolution and attempts by scholars to explain the rise of mass movements that began to occur across estion of when individual engage in collective action (specifically the working class). These early works,
28 while not defining the parameters of social mo vements, did help spark an initial interest in the study of collective action Particularly in relation to grievances that peopl e faced, and the role that grievances had in motivation people to take up collective action. The earliest attemp ts at social m ovement theory viewed ional referred to such forces as dysfunctional and outside the prescribed and accepte d norms of society (Tarrow 1989, 9). Social movements in this paradigm were only believed to come about b ecause of grievances that certain population segments faced. Due to these underlying grievances, it was assumed that social movements would therefore likely result in populations displaying disorderly or mob like conduct, acting outside established politi cal channels, and resulting in street action that resulted in little meaningful effect on policy formation. Yet new social movements that came about in the post World War II era, raised serious questions as to the validity of this perspective Movements b egan to form on such issues as human rights and the environment, issues on which the classic grievance approach was not as applicable. The movements were formed, not from the marginalized sectors, ignored by society, but from those in the middle and upper classes who saw these issues as important not simply for themselves, but for the greater societal good (Tarrow 1998). With this ongoing change, scholars began to shift their analysis of social movements and collective action towards the use of a rational choice model. This model aimed to explain why some movements were successful with regards to changing certain areas of public policy. In particular under what would come to be called resource mobilization theory, the focus was on the rational choice of act ors and resources available to each movement.
29 Cost Benefit Analysis and Resource Mobilization One of the key drivers for a reexamination of scholarship came from economist Mancur Olson, who raised serious questions as to the mere possibility of collective action. In his work, The Logic of Collective Action Olson raised the question of how social movements could sustain prolonged action when dealing with members who are guided by their own self interest (Olson 1965). As movements become larger, Olson saw a dilemma with others who may have some possible benefits would come to all if achieved. Olson proposed that movements would have to sustain themselves (Olson 1965, 51). borrowed the concept of a cost benefit analysis. Resource availability became a key factor under resource mobilization in explaining if and when social movements would experience success. In particular, under the work of McCarthy and Zald, the issue of fr ee riders could be minimized via the organization of the social movement, especially with the creation of a social movement organization (1977). With a professionally organized social movement, there could be a professionalization of leadership for social movements, as well as a better access and use of Political Processes Approach However, resource mobilization theory itself had shortcomings. In particular, it did not address the na ture of the political system in which these social movements existed. The political process approach attempted to correct this shortcoming and bring in political analysis to better understand social movements. Specifically the approach focused on the avai lability of political
30 opportunities for social movements, meaning that a successful social movement was one that could identify and take advantage of such opportunities. One of the more useful methods of analysis under this approach is through the use of f our key variables articulated by Sidney Tarrow to identity political opportunities: the degree of openness, stability of political alignments, presence of allies, and divisions within the political elite (1989). What is important in the use of the politica l processes approach is the recognition that social movements do not exist in a political vacuum, and that one must consider factors external to the movement (Tarrow 1998). Political context matters greatly in the success and growth of social movements. A ctions forms of action. Successful social movements are aware of this, and take advantage of potential allies or potential political realignments. By understandi ng when certain external factors have aligned correctly, one can see the political openings that are necessary for social movements to be successful at mobilization and effective at changing public policy at the most opportune moments. Framing Another sig nificant development in social movement theory has been on the use of collective action framing, or the efforts by social movements to better define both who they are and what they are seeking to change (Snow & Benford 1988). Borrowing somewhat from the n ew social movement theories originating in Europe, the concept explains the source of identity for social movements both their own internal identity and that given to movements by external actors. William Gamson proposes three main elements with which one can best understand collective framing: injustice, agency, and identity (1992). The injustice component is needed to invoke emotion in the population segment being targeted to spur people into action. Agency deals with the need to empower the participants with the idea that a solution to injustice is
31 possible by working together in the movement. Finally identity helps bring the group and potential allies together, as well as create an opposition force that is to be targeted in order to bring about the des ired change. The three theoretical approaches mentioned, resources mobilization, political processes, and collective action framing, are not mutually exclusive and overlap and complement one another to certain degrees. In the chapter that follows, I will use all three approaches to examine the beginnings of a social movement by the immigrant population in the S outh, specifically in Charlotte.
32 CHAPTER 3 THE IMMIGRANT RIGHTS SOCIAL MOVEMENT? Mass Mobilizations As discussed in Chapter 1, immigration reform ca me to the forefront of the national political debate during the summer of 2005, when various bills were proposed before Con gress With a perceived ever increasing number of undocumented immigrants coming into the United States, coupled with a fear of exploitation of the immigration system by potential terrorists, there existed public pressure for federal immigration r eform to find a way to fix the broken system While some legislation aimed for a comprehensive imm igration reform (including greater border security, expansion of the guest worker program, along with a legalization program specifically the McCain Kennedy Bill), other proposals focused exclusively on the border and immigration law enforcement aspect, t he most infamous being the Border Protection, Anti terrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act of 2005, better known as HR4437. HR4437 included provisions for: a 700 mile fence along the US Mexican border, the use of an electronic verification system b y employers, a requirement for federal officials to take custody of any undocumented immigrant detained by state or local police, and a mandate making it illegal for any person or organization to assist a person who remained illegally in the United States. At the same time, there was a surge of restrictionist legislation at the state and local levels, as localities began to take action against their perceived immigration problems in the wake of inaction by the federal government. HR4437 was passed by the Ho use of Representati ves in December of 2005, and then sent to the Senate for consideration. In response to HR4437, in early 2006, immigrant rights activists began to form coalitions across the country. The goals of the activists were to protest the various draconian provisions of
33 HR4437 and call for the Senate to reject the bill in favor of a more comprehensive immigration reform, along the lines of the McCain Kennedy bill (Navarro 2009). Beginning in California, a traditional immigrant destination area a nd home of larger immigrant rights based organizations, the protests spread across the country to new destinations such as Atlanta and Charlotte by April of 2006. On May 1 2006, instead of traditional May Day demonstrations, organizers promoted with out rants across the country to not to go to work or shopping that day, keep their children home from school, and participate in public protests. At their peak, such efforts brought up to 1 million people out in protest of HR4437 and other anti immigrant legislation, most of whom were Latino immigrants (Navarro 2009, 340). In Charlotte, an estimated 10,000 people participated in the 2006 rallies, most of which occurred in Marshall Park, adjacent to the main business and fi nancial district of t he city. (Coto & Ordonez 2006, 1A). While not nearly as large as the protests in cities su ch as Los Angeles or Chicago, the events in Charlotte were was still significant for the city, representing approximately ten percent of the Lat ino population of the greater Charlotte area. The immigrant rights protests arguably had many of the features necessary for a success ful social movement. First, the minimum level of potential social movement leadership was present and took initial efforts to organize activities. Second, a political window of opportunity opened, with immigration reform on the political agenda and debated across the country. Finally, the attempted framing of the debate by various immigrant rights organizations aimed to creat e a broad base on which to bring people together on the issue. All of these qualities are elements from the previously mentioned approaches to social movements and are arguably some of the most important for each respective theoretical approach (resource mobilization, political processes, and collective action framing respectively). Numerous scholars
34 in fact saw such mobilization in the wake of the 2006 rallies as the beginnings of a new Latino social movement (Gonzalez 2009; Barreto et al 2009; Garcia & Sanchez 2008). Successful Features of the Burgeoning Movement In this section I will review the mobilizations in light of the three major social movements theories discussed in Chapter 2: resource mobilization, the political process approach, and framin g. In the analysis of the mobilizations, one can see the presence of many of the critical factors necessary for a successful social movement. These positive factors in fact made many hopeful that an immigrant rights movement would form and play a major rol e in future immigrant reform debates. Resources Mobilization: Leadership and Resources Present Under resource mobilization theory, the variability of resources is paramount in explaining the emergence of any social movement. Arguably, this factor was inde ed present in the South and across the country by mid 2006. For the first time, particularly in new destinations like the American South, individuals and organizations existed that could provide leadership in this social movement. Good leaders can effectiv ely hold together a large organization as well as effectively manage and bring together resources to make collec tive action possible (Garcia & Sanchez 2008). Mobilization and management of both external and internal resources are of the utmost importance to movements in the startup stages of development (Tarrow 1998). Leaders interest to the outside society especially in the effort to bring together allies and outside res ources (Ga rcia & Sanchez 2008, 149). By 2006, a small yet clear set of leaders among the Latino population in Charlotte had emerged, specifically in the form of leaders from various immigrant service organizations. One elected official in fact pointed out that w hen dealing with the Latino community in Charlotte,
35 government officials now knew who to contact when there was need for feedback from this segment of the population (interview, August 5, 2009). In addition, because many of the leaders were from community aid agencies, they had knowledge of the local political scene as well as how to get purposes, but applicable for general awareness campaigns as well). The presence of these l eaders, who arguably would be best able to skillfully man a ge and acquire new resources, added huge potential to the immigrant rights movement. Furthermore the rise of Spanish language media in Charlotte and new destinations provided an outlet for this lead ership to emerge and reach out to the community. Over the last ten years, Charlotte, like other new destinations developed a Spanish language media base that the Latino i mmigrant community turned to re ly upon for community information and support (intervie w July 27, 2009). With this specific medium now available through which community rights movement grew exponentially as the disparate community became more acce ssible for recruitment to attend meeting and rallies The immigrant community also benefited from additional resources from ally or ganizations, especially religious groups. Religious leadership in some of the Christian d en ominations took part in mobilizati ons and those heading Latino congregations spread the word about rallies and education ef forts. While the resources of these groups, especially in 2006 2007, was limited in nature, the symbolic importance of religious involvement as well as the physical sp ace they could provide at times, provided needed resources to the movement. But resource mobilization is not usually sufficient for a mass action to become a social movement; the political climate must be taken into account when considering when might be t he best to
36 move forward with collective action. Only within certain political contexts can change be possible, which is the basis for the political process approach. Political Processes Immigration on the a genda During this time, immigration reform was cl early on the pol itical agenda, both at the federal as well as the state and local levels. In particular in Charlotte, increasing pressure to pass local measures to respond to the immigration problem created an environment in which be addressed; otherwise the local climate was likely to become even more immigrant hostile. Mecklenburg County was already one of the first local government bodies to sign a 287(g) agreement with ICE, and a mayoral immigration task force was also commiss ioned to provide recommendations for handling the immigration problem (Weeks et al 2006). The multiple spheres in which immigration policy was being debated (local, state, federal) were one political context which provided an opportunity for mobilizati on. There was a politica l opening in the fact that immigration was already on the agenda and minds of politicians. Resources would not need to be spent on making politicians aware of the issue, therefore allowing the movement to be goal oriented. In additi on, the rather restrictive immigration measures being proposed, national and locality, provided a catalyst for community unity and action. The fact that localities were taking actions in an area traditionally seen as a purely federal concern meant that the re were issues close to home in which to advocate for or against. While many immigrants may not have had the time to take off work to go to protest in Washington, gathering in the plaza near downtown Charlotte one weekend was something that was possible. Arguably if the debate had been solely based on federal immigration reform and HR4437, it
37 would have been much harder to convince immigrants in Charlotte that a rally would make a difference. Yet at the same time, those immigrants who mobilized in Charlot te were part of a broader movement to make people aware that immigrants had a presence in all regions. The 10,000 protestors in Char lotte were just part of the more than three million people gathering across the country. Immigrants in new destinations, lik e North Carolina, could be assured they were part of a greater community and had some role in national debate over immigration reform (Zepeda Milln 2010). The fact that so many rallies occurred simultaneously in so many cities was vital to demonstrate th on immigration policy (Benjamin Alvarado et al 2009). Those in Charlotte and other new destinations were making a difference both locally and nationally empowering them witho ut taxing their limited resources. Courting the Latino vote Another element of political opportunity which came into play during this time period, and one observed by Tarrow, is that of shifting political alignments Changing coalitions encouraged those n on aligned political groups being sought after to exercise their now important political change (Tarrow 1998, 78). Leading up to and during this time period, the Latin o vote, a growing segment of the population, was up for grabs and had attracted the attention of both parties. Republicans and Democrats had been attempting to capture this important and growing voting population since the 2000 pres idential election ( J. G arcia & Sanchez 2004). During 2006, with mid term elections on the way, it was the time for the Latino voting population to come forth and make demands on issues of importance to them as both parties attempted to court their political allegiance.
38 In fac t in the wake of the mobilizations, the leaders of the Latino community began a drive to emphasize the power of the ballot and the need for those who could vote to register and ensure their voices were heard on this issue (Coto 2006). Organizations moved to offer English and civics classes to help those who had LPR status naturalize and become voting citizens. Furthermore, this citizenship effort was a relatively low cost endeavor, and added legitimacy to e than just groups of undocumented people protesting but actually voting citizens. Yet, it is important to point out that political elites were more concerned with the Latino voting population than listening to the immigrant population as a whole (or pa rticularly the undocumented). While many immigrants are in fact of Latino origin, this does not necessarily translate in Latino citizens. Yet the use of collective action ng 2006, were successful in paint ing this as an issue that ap plied to beyond the undocumented, to anyone of Latino decent or with immigrants in their family With the Latino population as whole in support of immigration rights and willing to mobilize, the movement gained serious political clout and recognition. Framing: Immigrant Rights as Latino and Human Rights responsibility to others, and propose solutions to i a social movement (Tarrow 1998, 111). Leaders from social movements ideally adopt frames that reach the widest possible audience to build up a base of support from which to launch significant instances of coll important frame of social movements since the 1960 s, and was adopted by the immigrant mobilizations as well (Snow & Benford 1992). For the South in par ticular, there was so me analogizing with the civil rights struggles in the s and talk
39 of continuing t he fight for equality for the new underclass of American society (however, as will be explained later this strategy backfired to some degree) More importan t than the civil rights framing were the successful efforts by the organizers to emphasize a sense of Latino ethnic solidarity, tur ning the immigrant rights issue into one of greater Latino rights. In particular, a key frame that resonated across Latino nationality lines was the emphasis on families and family unification. Much of the Latino population has some history with i mmigration to the United States and with family members that are not U.S. citizens. More than half of all undocumented member that is a U.S. citizen or legal resident. O ne in five children in the U.S. as whole is born 2008, 397). All of this made family unification a resonating and powerful theme (Martinez 2008). A n even more powerful rallying point and theme was increase racial profiling in immigration enforceme nt (Navarro 2009; Barreto et al. 2009; Okamoto & Ebert 2010). This was evidenced through d ocumented case s of racial profiling by lo calities with 287(g) agreements. R oadblocks in Latino neighborhoods and targeting vehicles driven by Latino males, served as a rallying force to expand the fight beyond simply im migrant rights particularly as it began to affect the lives of U.S. citizen Latinos (Deaton 2008; Southern Poverty Law Center 2009). The rise of anti immigration legislation and policy and the spillover effect on the Latino population threatened but also mobilized the community (Zepeda Milln 2010; Be njamin Alvarado et al 2009). With Latinos as a whole united on this issue of immigration, the of supporters who could exercise their right to vote to express frus tration on behalf of their immigrant allies.
40 The extreme measures of HR4437 also mobilized supporters outside the Latino making any person or organization who aided an undocumented alien in even basic forms face imprisonment, created push back from some of the native born population (Zepeda Milln 2010). From employers, landlords, and small businesses, to churches and soup kitchens, those whose daily lives involved interaction and business with the undocumented population realized the potential criminal liability t hey could face in wake of such law s With such harsh punishments and rather vague boundaries as to what activities could fall under the new law s a small but significantly important population segment of the native born turned against HR4437 Under all three theoretical approaches, resource mobilization, political processes, and framing, there were signi ficant signs of the formation of a new immigrant rights social movement during 2006. Yet despite efforts to mai ntain the movement, after the defeat of HR4437 in the Senate, most immigrants and Latinos went back to their daily lives. In Charlotte, one Latin o community leader found that while many people were still interested in keeping up with the news of immigration reform, getting significant numbers of people out to rally was just not possible after mid 2006 (interview, August 7, 2009). What prevented the social movement from taking off? Why have immigrants who were willing to protest in 2006, now removed themselves from much of the efforts on immigration reform? Failure to Launch The immigrant rights mobilizations in the South, and elsewhere in the count ry, failed to convert themselves into sustainab le collective mobilization. While many of the features of successful social movements were present, leadership issues, limited resources, tension with the black community and policy stalemate hindered the immi grant rights struggle in Charlotte.
41 On a national level, once the movement achiev ed success with the defeat of HR 4437 and there was a sense that no future bill would contain similar draconian elements, various factions within the immigrant ri ghts movem ent were co opted by compromise and moved away from confrontation and protest. Church leadership, labor unions and moderate Hispanic Americans were drawn into the immigrant rights movement out of concern for HR 443 7, but that was a s far as common interest s aligned. Questions of whether to settle for a compromise like the McCain Kennedy bill, or to continue to mobilize and push for wider and more liberal reform, split the movement into pieces (Gonzales 2009). Furthermore the increased localiza tion of immig ration policy (such as through 287(g) programs), led to a decline in commonality across the country as c oncerns of immigrants focused on local issues that the national movement was not prepared to address (Benjamin Alvarado 2009). This localization can be seen in the specific difficulties experienced by the movement in Charlotte. Lack of Willing Leadership While quality leadership options were present in the Charlotte community, there was hesit ation and tension in the decision as to who would lead mob il ization efforts. T he number of Latino and immigrant assistance organizations h as increased over the years, the Latin American Coalition (the Coalition) is the largest and oldest organization in the area and is still the only organization with enough resou rces to realistically take on such a role. As two local scholars on immigration geography, Heather Smith and Owen Furuseth, commented, there is a perceived hesitation on the part of other organizations to increase their own advocacy efforts. They commented that the Coalition may be seen as acted as a disincentive for other organizations with fewer resources to step up (interview, July 12, 2009). Furthermore, the Coalition was the principle organization to deal with the political backl ash from the mobilization efforts, a burden others are not likely willing to help share. While leaders of organizations have
42 recognized this lack of cooperation before, little meaningful progress has been made to address it (Deaton 2008); (interview, Augu st 7, 2009). At the same time, while the Coalition has taken on leadership responsibility and created a specific program for political advocacy, it is still reluctance to take on advocacy and mobilization full time. The Coal ition at times has been almos t forced to be the leading organization, espec ially with regards to logistics During the April 2006 rallies, people looked to and assumed the Coalition would get the necessary protest permits and handle the sound equipment and other logistical needs. Acc ording to Coalition leaders, they were willing to do this because they had the experience and the knowledge to do so, but it was not part of the ir initial plan to be so overtly involved. And while advocacy efforts by the Coalition have expan ded, its long t erm goal is to work more to support grassroots efforts of the clients themselves and encourage the community to define the issues on which it wants to see action. For the Coalition, efforts should focus on empowering clients to act for themselves, rather t han creating a situation where people must rely on the Coalition for action (interview, August 7, 2009). Limited Resources The availability of resources also hampered the ability of some organizations to step up and share the responsibility of leading an d organizing protests with the Coaliti on. Smaller groups like the United National and International Spanish Alliance (UNISAL) and Hondurenos Unidos, have been unable to take the lead in any serious fashion with regards to political advocacy. These smaller organizations, while expanding their services over the years, have reported that they do not have the resources to get more seriously involved. Unlike the Coalition, which receives some United Way and county funding for social services, most of the smaller organizations rely solely on donations. UNISAL, for example, commented that it has to pick and choose how and where
43 to allocate resources, and has focused on more immediate and financially feasible areas to direct its work in the community (interview, May 13, 2011). The organizations focuses on helping its clients with basic immigration petitions, taxes, and the procurement of national identification cards to better meet the immediate needs of the community. Without such support and additional resources, the Coalition remains the only local organization capable of providing any significant resources to mobilization efforts. Furthermore, the immigrant community in Charlotte has been unable to contribute significantly to cover financial costs necessary for p rotests and advocacy, thus leaving the Coalition to rely on funding from primarily native citizen donors and public funding from the city sources that are harder to maintain when public reaction turns against the immigrant community. Tension with the Bl ack Community In addition to leadership and resource allocation issues, early efforts t o draw analogies the immigrant rights struggles to that of the civil right movements backfired to some degree and limited the potential base of supporters. Especially i n the South, the civil rights movement took shape in the form of mass protests and collective action (Tarrow 1988). Arguably some parallels can be seen between efforts of local governments to make immigrants feel unwelcome and a kin to second class citizen s, and the Jim Crow laws by the southern states that relegated black greater civil rights struggle was seen as a way to encourage support from the b lack communit y in the South. However, while Charlotte lacked the overt racial hostility that occurred in other Southern cities, support from b lack communities was never realized. One local reporter commented that he often heard complaints that immigrant protests were concerned with a different category of rights (i nterview, July 27, 2009). Black American citizens saw the immigrant rights struggle as
44 completely different from their own during the civil rights movement ( interview, July 12, 2009) Some blacks contrasted t heir own struggle as one fighting for ri ghts in their own country where they were born, where as immigrants were ask ing for rights and privileges in a country to which they chose to come many in violation of the law Further more the lack of overt violenc e and struggle that occurred in comparison to the civil rights movement made the a nalogy less powerful among the b lack community (Deaton 2008). One of the most powerful divisive issue between b lack and Latino immigrant communities were fears of economic competition between the two groups (Ordonez 2006; Deaton 2008 ) In fact several black academics and community leaders came out against elements of immigration zens the harde (Ordonez 2006, 1A). At first glance this fear does appear to have some legitimacy much of the employment that immigrants hav e taken on has been in areas traditi onally filled by black Americans, much of the unskilled labor such as construction and h ousekeeping. In particular, as the American economy bega n to slow down in the late 2000 s there was some sense from black leaders that Latinos were undercutting blacks by working for lower wages (Deaton 2008). Viewing the situation as a zero sum game, some segments within the black community hesitate to help the Latino population, for fear of losing out, especially economically While economic data on the effects of immigration on black employment is somewhat mixed, numerous studies have demonstrated that L atinos have had little if any significant effect on black employment in the American South. In fact, for Mecklenburg County specifically, black employment actually rose between 1990 and 2000, even with increasing numbers of Latino immigrants (Pew Hispanic Center 2005).
45 27, 2009). Adopting the language of the civil r ights movement without significant pre existing support from the black community further intensified exist ing resentment and created a fear of rising competiti on for blacks hard fought gains in economic and especially political power (Ordonez 2006). With few local leaders from the black community voicing their support for immigrant rights, wider support from the community never materialized. Continuance of 287(g) and Policy Stalemate The final element that hurt efforts to create a social movement was the s imultaneous failure of HR4437, efforts at federal immigration reform, and efforts to repeal 287(g) in M t achievement for the immigrant right demonstrators yet their more complete goal of comprehensive immigration reform has not been politically feasible. By the end of 2006, it was clear th at immigration reform would be off the table until a new presidential administration began With this, many of the moderate political elites who had come on board to stop HR4437 began to shift their focus to other matters (Gonzalez 2009). At the local l evel, none of the more restrictionist measures proposed by the Mayoral Task Force, were adopted. Yet the 287(g) has continued and most likely will stay in place for the indefinite future, according to one county commissioner (interview, August 5, 2009). Wh ile numerous efforts have been made to create a dialogue about the use of 287(g) in the community, its continued presence has not made the immigrant community feel any more welcome in the Charlotte area. On issues that matter in the community such as 287(g ), education, and labor rights, the situation has not worse ned but the mobilizations failed to markedly improve the situation even at the local level.
46 Specifically the inability to eliminate the 287(g) program 1 continu es to create a climate of fear and hampers any meaningful relationship between the immigrant community and law enforcement (interview, July 12, 2009). While numerous community and religious leaders have about screen those brought into the county jail after committing o ffenses. However, around the country, the number of incidents of immigrants being brought in on minor charges and then placed in to removal proceedings has been found to constitute over half the number of immigrants removed via the 2 87(g) program (Capps et al 2011, 2). In fact the communities located in the American South, 2 were found to constitute the top localities for issuing detainers 3 on immigrants whose sole criminal offense was a traf fic violation (Capps et al 2011, 23). The overall lack of meani ngful political success has been found to be one factor in particular that can deter immigrant participation and organization (Klandermans et al 2008; Okamoto & Ebert 2010). While immigrants themselves were not interviewed, one community leader did comme nt that local policy has been something that arouses less interest and passion perhaps indicating a presence of cynicism among immigrant s that discourage further 1 While more recently the Department of Homeland Security has implemented nationwide t he Secure Commun ities Program, which seeks to i dentify from arrestees, anyone with a deportation order. In Charlotte, the continuance of the 287(g) program is the larger issue due to the fact that with a 287(g) program, local law enforcement can initiate deportation proceedings, while secure communities allows ICE to simply issue a detainer if they wish to deport the alien in question. 2 T his study found of the top ten localities based on number of detainers issued against immigrants, five were located in the South: Cobb County, GA, Gwinnett County GA (which both are part of the Atlanta metro area), Mecklenburg County, NC (Charlotte), Wake County, NC (Raleigh) and Davidson County, TN (Nashville). 3 A detainer is how a local law enforcement officer under t he 287(g) program can begin the deportation process. O nce an alien is brought into custody, officers will question the immigrant to ascertain their legal status. If w arranted, officers may then issue an immigration detainer. If a detainer is issued, it mus t be signed by an ICE supervisor. ICE agents can then pick up the alien for transfer to immigration detention within 48 hours. However, it is within the discretion of the ICE supervisor to not sign the detainer, at which point local law enforcement no long er have authority to hold the alien on the basis of immigration violations.
47 mobilization (interview, August 7, 2009). While HR4437 was never passed, 287(g) remained in M ecklenburg County and in fact deportat ions under the program have increased since the 2006. By 2009, over 62,000 immigrants were identified for removal from 287(g) localities, a tenfold increase from 2006 (Office of the Inspector General 2010, 6). Col movement, but what does that mean for the future? Could the movement revive itself and make another attempt at mobilization and advocacy to bring up meaningful (and positive) i mmigration reform? Discussion The protest and mobilizations in 2006 had many features of a successful social movement. Given these features scholars and immigrant activists at the time may have believe d that a new social movement was being born as the pr otests grew in number and spread across the country. The defeat of HR4437 was no small accomplishment and demonstrated the power of massive mobilization when there is unity and coordination. Using the three social movement theories, resource mobilization, political processes, and framing, one can see underlying elements necessary for social movement formation Yet as discussed, the movement ultimately failed to achieve lasting success due to the issues of leadership conflict, limited resources, tension with the black community, and stalemate of 287(g) policy. These particular challenges faced by the immigrant rights movement in Charlotte, demonstrate s the need for the appli cation of multiple theories simultaneously to understand social movement formation a nd success. The numerous leaders and their inability to unify into a cooperative single effort led to a splintering of resources, at the time when unificatio n and resource consolidation are critical according to the resource mobilization approach. The inab ility to change aspects of the 287(g) program and its increased popularity with political leaders,
48 reflect the political processes approach and its emphasis on the underlying political opportunities L ocal political leaders felt pressure to deal with the i mm igrant community in some mann er and 287(g) became a simple and popular measure for local leaders to take action, with little economic costs and almost no political fallout. Little political incentive existed for leaders to repeal the program, especially with push back coming from a non voting population segment. Finally the attempt to frame the immigrant rights movement as analogous to the civil rights movement, without significant black leadership support backfired against the immigrant community, dimin ishing potential allies and at the same time increasing political tension. It is only with the application of all these theories that we gain a more complete understanding of the challenges faced by the immigrant rights movement. One aspect of social movem ents not touched on is the existence and use of social networks and social capital. The existence and creation of social capital has been noted by scholars as an important variable in social movement success (Putnam 2000; Williams et al 2009). In partic broader bases of support on issues with which one can bring greater pressure on political elites to ights movement has a hope to re energize itself. Gathering allies will greater improve efforts by immigrants to lobby against local anti immigrant policies, as well as bring people back out to mobilize if necessary. But where is the best place to look to find such allies? T he next chapter examines the rise of various community and religious organizations in the immigrant rights movement and how these organizations helped continue the struggle for immigrant rights in Charlotte.
49 CHAPTER 4 COMMUNITY AND R ELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIO NS As explored in the previous chapter, the immigrant rights social movement failed to launch, not just in the American South, but across the United States However it was in the South, in the wake of the immigrant rights mobilizations that the anti immigrant backlash was the strongest. L ocalities throughout the region sought ways to become less attractive destination s for unauthorized immigrants. More 287(g) agreements were signed and in Charlotte, NC Congresswoman Susan Myrick succe ssfully established a new immigration court to speed up the deportation process i n North Carolina (Zagaroli 2008, 1B). With the undocumented imm igrant population unable to achieve significant policy reform, even on the local level, the immigrant struggle had to shift focus. In wake of the backlashes against immigrant mobilizations from the local community, the movement curta iled many of its more visible activities especially significant public demonstrations. However, that has not meant an end t o the immigrant rights struggle in Charlotte or in other new immigrant destinations. Since late 2006, the immigrant rights struggle has shifted focus and become a cause taken up by various community and religious organizations. These organizations have not only taken on an advocacy role on behalf of the undocumented population by lobbying political leaders but also have implemented educational outreach programs in an effort to change the attitudes and stereotypes that have contributed to the negative politi cal climate around the issue of immigration. It is with these organizations that the immigrant rights movement has foun d a viable method to continue the fight for immigration reform. Secular Community Organizations When immigrants are unable to successful ly organize and become involved in local political advoca cy, Latino community groups are places where the undocumented can go for
50 assistance. While much of the immigrant population in the Charlotte area are new arrivals, Latinos have had a presence in Char lotte long enough that various Latino community groups exist, some for almost twenty years. Although not every organization is all inclusive in the services that it provide s to the immigrant community, many strive to be more than social service organizatio ns. Most secular organizations serve as resources and advocates for the immigrant population, allowing immigrants to gradually become involved in American civil society. For that are not part of political society or government and in which members of a society reflect upon and fo rm 127). With these organizations, the hope is that immigrants can become empowered to build up the skills and connecti igrant rights movement. As social capital is so important in the formation of social movements, further discussion is warranted. Social Capital As Putnam writes gagement and social capital entail mutual obligation and r 21). Those seeking to engage and change the political system, benefit from the connections and trust they establish throughout their lifetime. Higher levels of socia l capital (defined as the connections among individuals, and the value these social networks possess) allow people to call upon friends and allies wh en in need of political support One form of social capital, social networks are in fact noted for being a into 1998, 124). Therefore immigrants seeking to breathe new life into the immigrant rights movement, especially in new destinations like Charlotte, would benefit from established relationships and c onnections something these Latino secular organizations seek to provide at least across the Latino community itself. With such social capital, the immigrant community could be more unified during any future mobilizations.
51 In Bowling Alone Putnam indenti fies two forms of social capital, bonding and bridging (2000) Bonding social capital is seen as a more exclusive form of social networking that often of bondin g social capital related to immigrants would be Latino community o rganizations (because of their ethnic nature), or social groups based on nationality. While these organizations often create very deep personal connections between members, those who do not fit the nationality or ethnicity of the group usually feel excluded. There is deep in group loyalty with bonding social capital, but it can also create antagonism between the group and everyone else. Bridging social capital meanwhile works to link variou s groups together, often creating broader identities and coalitions between groups who find a common cause or purpose. Bonding social capital is particularly well suited for those groups in need of additional resources and for those in search of wide infor mation distribution. Bonding and bridging are not mutually exclusive choices, and many groups in fact do bond and bridge at the same time organizations seek to empower and make connections in the L atino community, many also do some outreach beyond the Latino community, to slowly create bridging social capital that is more useful for broader social movements (Putnam 2000). The ability of Latino community organizations to create bridging social capit al, however may be limited, as I will discuss later on. Latino Organizations in Charlotte As mentioned, Charlotte has a variety of Latino community organizations, the largest and most well known of which is the Coalition. Other groups include Mi Casa Su Casa; UNISAL; and Hondurenos Unidos. All of these organizations are secular in nature and do not have any direct ties to religious organization s or congregations. All are also social service organizations to
52 varying extents, providing assistance with housi ng, wage disputes, and referrals to social services or shelters. Some groups also coordinate with various consulates to help immigrants obtai n some form of identification (interview August 7, 2009; i nterview May 13, 2011). T hrough their activities all of these organizations create bonding social capital. Particularly through cultural celebrations and E nglish as a Second L anguage (ESL) classes, the Latino immigrant community in Charlotte is provided with a means of interaction with one another, across ethnic and nationality lines. Cultural celebrations, such as the Latin American Festival and ethnic holiday celebrations, seek to incorporate elements from across the region to demonstrate the diversity of the Latin population in the area to the immigrant and wider native born community. Analogous to what Steigenga and Williams found in their research in new r the immigrant community (2009, 115). ESL classes also encourage inter mingling and unity with in the community, as classes often include intermixed levels, allowing people at various stages of English proficiency to assist one another. During ESL classes, members of the immigrant community get together, help one another navig ate life in Charlotte and relate over the difficulties they have faced living in the U.S. Both cultural celebrations and ESL classes are also avenues these community groups use to create bridging social capital between the immigrant community and the na tive born population. Cultural celebrations are open to the public and are often advertised across the city. At the Latin American Festival I witnessed significant attendance from the Anglo Am erican community especially since that the fes tival is held in the Southpark M all area, a n upper income neighborhood that is well trafficked location The Latin American Coalition and Mi Casa Su Casa also use ESL classes to build co nnections by encouraging native born Americans learning
53 Spanish to come to ESL classes for language partners. The local universities the University of North Carolina Charlotte, Central Piedmont Community College, and Davidson College are also targeted for ESL volunteers and language partners further creating bridging social capital. Advo cacy While some organizations like UNISAL do not engage in direct advocacy (due to limited resources), for the Coalition and Mi Casa Su Casa (the two larger Latino organizations), advocacy has become a large part of the daily workload (interview May 13, 2011; i nterview July 12, 2009). By working to mediate and resolve housing disputes, wage and labor issues, as well as contacting law enforcement for families seeking information on detained individuals, both of these organizations often step in for the i mmigrant community when it is unable or unwilling to do so out of fear. However solely advocating on behalf of clients is not the end goal when doing advocacy can assisting them along the way as they need it (i nterview August 7, 2009). Recognizing that reactive advocacy was not enough, both groups have sought to support grassroots activity by the community. By providing meeting spa ce, education, and technical assistance, the hope is that immigrants can begin to advocate on their own behalf. Because the resources of these community organizations such as these are limited, empowerment would allow them to help as much of the community as possible and become involved only in the more serious issues. This goal of working to self empower the immigrant community, is in fact directly supported by the Coalition and its linkage with the Reform Immigration for America campaign, one of the large st groups involved in advocating for federal immigration reform.
54 North Carolina advocacy d irector in their office demonstrates the assistance the Coalition provides to th nterview, August 7, 2009). Limitations While these community organizations have helped create bonding social capital within the Latino Community, there are li mitations to their work and the help they can provide The se organizations are inhibited by two principle factors limited resources and lack of appeal beyond the immigrant community. As with any group of social service organizations, financial resources are limited and often involve similar groups competing f or the same sources of money. While groups do cooperate on some issues, there is a sense of competition between groups at times, especially for finan cial resources and recognition (i nterview, August 7, 2011). The Coalition, being the oldest and largest org anization, is sometimes wo local immigration scholars (i nterview, July 12, 2009). As a result there in fact may be a disincentive on to offer only limited services is related to this very fact any service expansion would compete against t he Coalition and lead to the inefficient use of resources (i nterview May 13, 2011). Tension between organizations already exists, due to the ra ther large presence of the Coalition. During the mobilizations in 2006, when many of these community groups were working together to organize and coordinate the protests and rallies, the news media portrayed the event as organized solely by the Coalition, causing tension between organizations (i nterview, A ugust 7, 2011). While over the y ea rs there have been improvements with groups teaming up and working together more often on issues, underlying per sonality disagreements remain (i nterview, July 27, 2009).
55 Even more limiting than financial and issues however, is the narrow support base that these organizations have been able to build to date. While, as mentioned, these Latino community groups seek to create bridging social capital, the rate of success has b een low at this point. Though students and more socially active people from the Charlotte community have begun to work with these organizations, their reach into the wider Charlotte community is limited. Additionally, as these organizations have located th emselves within the geographic areas which are more heavily populated by the Latino immigrant communities, their visibility to the native born population is almost non existent. The limited resources and funding mean that broader outreach to the white and black community is not a possibility with so many other more immediate concerns needing to be addressed. The fact that they are Latino organizations, serving clientele who often do not have proficiency in English, by default limits the interest that native born may have in the organizations. With limited resources and limited appeal, the Latino c ommuni ty organizations can only go so far in their assistan ce. In order for the immigrant rights movement to become revitalized, especially in new destinations li ke Charlotte, a broader based coalition must be created. In particular there is the need for allies that can speak on the sensitive issue of immigration without being dismissed by politicians and the native born population as groups of illegals. But where can immigrants turn to for such assistance? Here is where religious institutions have played a seek to find a respected ally from which the native born community can be reached. Religious Organizations As Robert Putnam writes repository of s 66). Churches provide a space and community in which people can build civic skills create common interests, and become more involved in the
56 broader community (Putnam 2000). These faith communities and organizations have become a vital part of the larger concept of civil society. As both Putnam and Wood found in thei r research, religio us and faith based organizations have come to pla y an ever increasing role in U.S. ci vil society As Putnam notes, many forms of social capital have declined over the past thirty years in American society (2000). However, faith based communities remain one of the few reservoirs of social capital Churches and other places of worship remain key space s where people may interact and build personal connections with one another. In particular in the American South, the historical importance of the interaction be tween religion and politics warrant examination into the potential power that religious organizations can have in a social movement. Religious Civic Organization With such a repository of social capital, it is not surprising that civil society and social movements have come rely on faith communities for organization and support. As Peggy Levitt notes encourage civic 778). Religious communities in the past have been found vital to the foundation of social movements, like the civil rights movement (Morris 1984; Putnam 2000). Yet there is often a hesitancy to overtly intermingle religion and politics in American society. So how can religious organizations work succ essfully in this social movement context? The moral authority of the Church Churches can be excellent resource s for social movements and those involved in civic engagement because of the moral authority They occupy in American culture. Working with issue s through a religious framework, allows ideas and proposals coming from these groups to be articulated in an ethical framework, not a political one. Religious organizations often put forth a
57 moral vision of society, not based on (solely) political beliefs, making it harder to immediately be dismiss ed by elected officials (Wood 2002). The moral authority of the Church in the American South is of particular importance. As Putnam noted, unlike many other areas of the country, religious engagement is still comparatively high in the South (2000). The continued importance of religion in the lives of many S outherners, translates into a continued spillover effect of religion into politics of note in this region. Moral political issues such as abortion, gay ma rri age, and separation of church and state play themselves out most heavily in the American South. Church positions on moral s on these issues, as people look to church leadership for guida nce However it is not only the position that the Church may take, but also that of local religious leaders, that can affect the opinions and ideas of church members on political issues. recognize the effects they can have over those in their congregation. (Stout 2010, 199). The leadership of the church not only helps members practice their faith, but also provides moral de of church. Church leaders recognize this role and have begun to acknowledge their role and influence outside the walls of the church. While not becoming expressly political, there is no avoiding the political implications that pastoral work may have. One of the best historical examples of the role of church leadership and the moral authority religious based organizations can have in social movements, is in the development of the civil rights movement in the American South during the 1950 s and uilding from a base of strong and charismatic clergy leadership, the civil rights movement was able to get off
58 the ground as black clergy convinced their parishioners to become involved in the struggle for civil rights. One of the key initial drivers of th e civil rights movement was the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, whose strategy was based on involvement of religious leadership. With religious leaders on board and involved in the civil rights movement, these leaders could take the message to th eir parishioners and encourage them to join the struggle (Morris 1984).Once the black community w as mobilized, the use of moral discourse and religious based organization al structure s arguably gave the movement a political high ground which opponents foun d harder to attack and dismiss. While the civil rights m ovement is a n example of the success a social movement can have when joining forces with religious intuitions, it is by no means an easy task to accomplish. Religious civic organ izations can face bac klash, and resistance from within the church and from external opponents regarding involvement in political issues. However, the moral dimensions that r eligious organizations bring to issues make immediate dismissal less plausible by politicians, especiall y those in the American South. Leadership training and networking Religious institutions additionally can play important roles in the creation of civil society and social movements because of the leadership training that members can gain from religious pa rticipation. Many religious congregations rely on members efforts to create a meaningful faith community. Congregations need volunteers to lead bible study, provide child care, and organize social events just as some examples (Ammerman 2005). By volunteer ing for such activities partici pants in religious communities take on administrative duties, learn event planning and preparation, and network both inside their congregations and with other external groups as well all valuable skills for leading civi l so ciety and social movements ( Handy & Greenspan 2009; Marquardt et al 2011). In fact, because of the political clout that religious organizations can
59 have, active members of religious organizations can easily transition to roles in political discussions and leadership (Levitt 2008). Putnam found that those who place a higher importance on religion are more likely to have higher levels of social capital. H igher levels of social capital, whether through service groups, sports clubs, or volunteer organizat ions, correlate with increased levels of civic engagement. While Putnam cautions not to assume causation between the two factors, the existence of a relationship is still significant (2000). Religious organizations can provide important resources to those seeking to become more involved in their community in any fashion; further explaining why a floundering social movement might turn to religious groups to rebuild and refocus their mission. However it is not just the availability of resources that religious organizations can provide that make them a logical ally in the immigrant rights movement. One must also consider the role that churches themselves play in many immigrants lives. Immigrants and the Role of Religion Peggy Levitt states, God needs no passp ort (2007) Religion is an important aspect of an th them when they migrate While migrants may leave behind their families, jobs, and homes they usually can bring their faith and religious practices with them Part icularly in wake of globalization and the connections that now exist between communities of faith across the world, an immigrant ted 2007, 64). When immigrants arrive in a new country, a co nnection to a religious institution arguably is the first and easiest connection to make in their community of settlement e specially if they are able to find place s of worship under the same parent organization as they had back home This is
60 particularly noteworthy in new destinations like Charlotte. In these locations, churches are frequently the only public spaces where immigrants feel welcome (Williams et al 2009). R eligio n and A ssimilation Religious participation in addition to providing the ini tial first source of support for immigrants coming to a new country can also provide methods of acculturation to allow immigrants to become part of the larger American culture. Immigrants who attend inter ethnic services, or participate in ethnic congrega 2007). Native born parishioners and church leaders can provide an important first connection between the immigrant population and broader community where they live helping them find social services, employment, housing, etc. As mentioned, religious institutions often provide members with numerous opportunities for civic engagement and leadership training, all of which can help with the assimilation proce ss. In a study done looking a Canadian immigrants, it was found that when immigrants do volunteer, it was more likely due to religious motivations and with religious organizations when compared with the native born Canadian population (Handy & Greenspan 2 009). By volunteering and taking on responsibility, immigrants often acquired not only leadership experience, but also bu ilt up contacts with those outside the congregation, creating bridging social capital that can be called upon at a later time if necess ary. Many immigrants in the study who volunteered outside their congregation in fact reported that their initial efforts began first with their congregation and expanded over time to non religious based volunteering, reflect ing a growth in social capital ( Handy & Greenspan 2009, 970). As immigrants settle and assimilate in American society, religious institutions are also important in maintaining a connection to their home country and culture. With ethnic congregations, religious services can be conducte d in another language and maintain certain
61 method first generation immigrants can use to pass on tradition and a sense of their original identity to their American born children, allowing them to share in religious beliefs and practices that maintain some sense of connection to the home country for future generations (Portes & Rumbaut 2006; Warner 2007). Religious Organizations in Charlotte In Charlotte the Cath olic Church and the P resbyterian Church (PCUSA) have played the most active roles in addressing the n eeds of the immigrant community. T hese are the only two denominations that I found with a dedicated Latino or Hispanic Outreach coordinator with no additio nal pastoral assignments. For the Catholic Church, in the Charlotte Parish (which encompasses the Charlotte metropolitan area), eight churches offer a Hispanic ministry with masses in Spanish. offer services in Spanish, as well as provides additional services to the Latino community at other churches around the area. The significant involvement with the immigrant community of these two denominations in Charlotte that have significant involvement mirrors their historical involvement at the national 2009, 315). The fact that Latin o immigrants in cities across the U.S. are becoming a larger and larger percentage of the church going population in the Catholic Church, makes this strong stance rather unsurprising. On the other hand, while t he Presbyterian Church lacks a large historic Latino membership it was one of the first denominations involved with the S anctuary movement in the 1980 s that protected Central American refugees from deportation (Gzesh 2006). Since that time, the PCUSA national leadership has continued to call for an
62 welcoming immigrants into our communities and providing just laws that effect those who live 2006) The Catholic Diocese and the Presbytery of Charlotte connect immigrants to their home country and culture and help them adjust to life in the area. Over the last decade, both denominations have rapidly expand ed the amount of Spanish language services offered, both in number and geographic distribution around the Charlotte metro po litan area. Additionally both have expand ed their social service offerings including everything from English classes and food pantries to transportation assistance (interview, July 16, 2009; i nterview July 22, 2009). As the undocumented population is le gally ineligible for most public assistance programs churches have become the primary support network immigrants turn to when in need of assistance. Through these programs, religious organizations ease the transition to life in Charlot te, by not only prov iding immigrants something familiar (religious services they can understand) but also introducing them to the Charlotte community. Additionally, many Latino congregations share church space with native born congregations and are led by native born clergy m embers allowing immigrants more mea ningful contact with the native born population. Advocacy & o utreach Beyond service provision, religious institutions in Charlotte also work in two other areas direct politica l advocacy and outreach. It is in these taken on a particularly unique dimension in the South. Churches justify their expansion of services to immigrants as part of the biblica l mandate to help those in need W hen the local political climate became more negative towards the immigrant community, church leadership realized that in order to truly serve this community in need, they needed to provide more than social s ervice s (i nterview, July, 22, 2009). With local
63 laws and policies having a greater impact on the daily lives of immigrants, to the point where families were afra id to leave the house to attend services, church leadership felt it was time to step in and pla y a role in unifying the immigrant community. In order to help bring the immigrant community together, churches began organizing meeting s for immigrants to express mass grievances and help Latino community leaders better synthesize demands of the communit y to bring to political leaders (Deaton 2008). With churches being one of the few relatively safe and familiar spaces congregation halls became an easier place to gather the community together without significant fear of immigration checks. Additionally as about 70% of the Latino community in Charlotte is Roman Catholic, reaching out to the community through the Catholic C hurch arguably was an easy and effective way to get the word out to the communi ty (Deaton 2008, 16). Even more significant than orga nizing the immigrant community however has been the efforts of ch urches to reach out and lobby to local political leaders on behalf of the immigrant community itself. By sponsoring and hosting forums for political leaders and candidates, as well as the She that through these forums, local leaders can better understand the ne eds of this growing community (i nterview, July 22, 2009). As mentioned earlier, the moral authority and power a church brings to a political issue is something political leaders in the South cannot easily ignore. With (some) religious leadership taking a positive stance on immigration policy, political leaders who adopt a more negative and anti immigran t must confront and explain the moral dimensions this community? This is a tough question for a politician to answer successfully.
64 As discussed in Chapter 3 mass mobilizations had little significant effect on local polit ical leaders. The 287(g) program gained additional political support and animosity towards the immigrant community grew in the wake of the 2006 protests. With immigrants themselves unable to reach l ocal political leaders, advocacy and outreach by religious institutions has become a more effective method for the immigrant community to express their grievances. In fact political leaders consider clergy as contacts they can turn to when they seek to rea ch out to the Lati no community (i nterview, August 5, 2009). Churches have become an important ally for the Latino community. But it is not just the local political leadership that churches seek to educate about the Latino community. The native born populat ion is also a focus of religious intuitions, as they seek to educate and change the attitude of the native born population towards the immigrants. Education Education of the native born pop ulation (both white and black ) has become a third avenue of involv ement that churches have taken on in their efforts to become more involved with the immigrant population. The Catholic Diocese in fact sees education of the native population as the most important part of its Hispanic ministry (i nterview, July 16, 2009). It is through educational and awareness programs that church leaders hope they can mediate problems and misunderstanding s that arise between the native born and Latino immigrant popu lations in the Charlotte area (i nterview, July 22, 2009). By conducting p rograms targeted to clergy and parishioners respectively, religious institutions are trying to reach out and change public opinion to make the overall climate less hostile to the immigration population. According to church officials in b oth the Catholic Diocese and the Presbytery of Charlotte, there has been no significant backlash or resistance from clergy members or even parishio ners to this education effort (interview July 19, 2009; i nterview July 22, 2009). W hat
65 has been more common is a lack of ent husiasm or interest from the native population to become significantly involved. Church members may not resist the church involvement with the Latino community, and parishioners are learning to tolerate the presence of the immigrant community, but the in volvement ends there. One official from the Diocese c ommented that while most native born parishioners did not want a crackdown against the immigrant community, but they preferred to ignore the issue as whole (i nterview July 19, 2009). While ignorance m ay not be bliss in this situation, it is an improvement compared to possible backlash against immigrants As one community leader stated, elected leaders and the n ow there is a s nterview, August 7, 2009). In addressing immigration, churches like the Catholic Church and PCUSA in Charlotte avoid directly discussing national immigration policy reform but frame it as an issue of so cial justice and human rights (i nterview July 19, 2009). This position on immigration policy, whi ch could be considered a involvement of religious institutions. With major religio us institutions involved in educati on and advocacy, the immigrant rights struggle has an important ally to temper heated discussions and shift the framing of the issue. In Charlo tte, religious institutions do not take a position on how immigration reform should occur, or whether an immigrant stays in this country or not. Instead churches talk about how people in the community should treat one another, making all feel welcome. I believe, t his framing by religious organizations, has altered the tone of th e immigration debate and made a di fference in preventing any more restrictive immigration policies (beyond the 287(g) program) since 2007. Charlotte has not experienced any additional push for local laws that target
66 immigrants on issu es of housing, or loit ering as are becoming prevalent in other communities around the nation. While churches have not had complete success in converting the native born community into dedicated allies of the immigrant community, the rhetoric around the issue of immigration has improved. Discussion they has hoped, the cause that brought much of the Latino population together and out into the streets is not lost. In Charlotte, community and religio us groups have stepped in and taken up many of the causes and goals that the immi grant rights movement held Better treatment for the immigrant population and a change in the tone of debate about immigrati on policy a re two primary causes that organizations continue to focus on in the Charlotte community. Through these groups, the immigrant rights movement has shifted tactics and found a more viable lon g term method to achieving its goals. Secular community organizations continue to work with the immigrant community, providing education and resources to immigrants that can allow them to b ecome better civic participants. By bringing the community together and building social capital, the hope is that immigrants will experience self empowerment and be capable of taking action on their own when faced with political grievances in the future. However immigrant community unity and empowerment has its limits, especially in a community where deportation remains a real possibility, given the 287(g) program and record numbers of deportations (Capps et al 2011). This shortcoming is where religious institutio ns can and have begun to fill the gap and work with the immigrant community in its fight for social justice. The respected position of churches in the American So uth makes them powerful allies. Religion, politics and race in the South have an intertwined history, as demonstrated by the civil rights movement; a fact that
67 immigrant rights advocates have begun using to their advantage (Feldman 2005). Religious organi zations occupy a moral high ground from which to criticize actions of the political elite. They encourage their members to be more accepting of the immigrant community, and become more knowledgeable about why people come to this country, and the contributi ons immigrants are making to the community. As discussed rd (Steigenga & Williams 2009, 123). As immigrant mobiliz ations on their own have failed to materialize into a meaningful social movement with political impact, religious organizations and their particular importance in the American South provide an avenue for affective advocacy. These institutions also allow fo r the creation of greater social capital and networks on which to rely f or political advocacy and in future efforts to support the formation of an immigrant rights movement.
68 CHAPTER 5 CONCLUSIONS AND POLI CY IMPLICATIONS Findings The immigrant rights mo vement and struggle had huge potential in 2006. With mass mobilizations occurring across the country, real change on the issue of immigration reform seemed possible. In new destinations across the country, including Charlotte, the immigrant mob ilizations marked the first time many immigrants became politically active. Furthermore, the mobiliz ations in Charlotte made many in the na tive born community aware of the s ize of the immigrant population. Thr ough protests, education and naturalization efforts, and voter registration campaigns, it seemed that the immigrant rights movement had developed into a successful social movement that would finally unite and empower the Latino community as whole. However, as discussed in this thesis the social movement largel y failed across the country. In particular, an inability to sustain nationwide action for long periods of time hampered Charlotte, specific challenges arose t hat the immigrant community was unable to overcome. Lack of willing leadership from the immigrant community itself, lack of sufficient resources to allow the community to self organize, conflict and resistance from the black community, and the continuance of the 287(g) program were obstacles that the movement could not successfu l l y manage. While some of the issues such as lack of willing and competent leadership and lack of resourc es were applicable to the immigrant rights movement as a whole, conflict with the black community and the 287(g) program were more localized issues. The traditional minority status and power that the black community has in Charlotte (and in many parts of the county but especially the South) is an aspect that some within the black community believe would be
69 threatened by Latinos. While currently the Latino population does not have the po litical clout to threaten b lack political gains, this could occur in the future as immigrants naturalize and begin to vote. (Ordoez 2006 1A). The underlying tensions between the Latino and black community must be addressed in the years to come if the immigrant rights movement wishes to remobilize. The 287(g) program also presents particular issues in Charlotte and in other localities with such pro grams (again many of them being in the South). With 287(g), local police can intimidate the immigrant community in such a way that political engagement becomes risky. Fear of being arrested on a minor criminal issue, like public disorderly conduct, or driv ing without a license, makes attending public rallies and demonstrations a risk for the undocumented population. Even when local law enforcement do not target the immigrant population (and there are rep orts of times that they do) the effect of 287(g) is ch illing on any mobilization effort in the to get involved in a rally becomes a risk not worth taking. Even with all of these s etbacks, though, the immigrant righ ts movement has not lost all hope. As I found, the struggle for immigration policy reform in Charlotte shifted focus in the wake of these challenges. Community and religious organizations stepped in to take on the cause of immigrant rights. Latino communit y groups in Charlotte are attempting to reorganize and unify the community. By helping to create a united group that understands the American political make their v oices heard in Charlotte, and across the country. In the mean time, while the Latino c ommunity groups do work in outreach and direct political advocacy, the religious organizations in C harlotte have become a principal ally of the immigrant population. Act ing on behalf of the population, religious leaders in Charlotte have
70 reached out both to elected officials and the native born general population to educate the community on the realities of immigration and stress the need to humanize the discourse on the topic of immigration reform. From a moral high ground and respected position in Southern culture, religious leaders seek to detoxify the local political climate, and act at times as intermediaries between the native born and immigrant community. While the o verall climate around immigration is still not a completely positive one, it has become less negative over the last few years. Native born Americans in Charlotte likely would still not rally with the immigrants if they were to protest again, but the calls for more deportations and further restrictionst legislation that would have targeted the immigrant community has dissipated. Public Policy Implications While the debate over federal immigr ation reform is an issue beyond the current research I believe th at severa l public policy lessons can be gleaned from this work. First is the important role religious institutions can play when they choose to become involved in a political issue. Religious institutions have the ability to frame an issue in a way that i s unmatched, especially in the American South. Those seeking to take on larger social causes should look to churches for immediate allies that bring a wealth of experience and power to the table. Second and related to the importance of religious institu tions, is the need to broaden the base of any social movement, particularly those that that deal directly or indirectly with the issue of race. While the immigrant rights movement did attempt to frame the issue as one of human rights applicable to all U.S. citizens, the fact that many native born Americans viewed immigration as a Latino issue hampered the ability to acquire allies. Additionally, the conflict between the black community and the Latino community further added a sense of racial divisions. Whil e churches are beginning to address this issue by reaching out to educate the
71 native born population, more needs to be done. Especially in the American South, the issue of race is an ever present theme that has the ability to break apart political consensu s. Third is the importa nce of education on all sides on the immigration debate Changing country is a key component to help detoxify the issue of immigration p olicy. By better understanding the immigrant community, native born Americans hopefully see immigrants not as a threat to the community, but instead as a group that plays a vital role in the local economy. The immigrant population also must become educated Locally immigrants need to be aware that programs like 287(g) are here to stay for the foreseeable future. On the national level, the immigrant community must become educated about the immigration laws of the United States so that specific and concrete proposals can be put forward when immigration reform comes back on the agenda. Only with detailed proposals, can there be hope of convincing the American people there will not be any blanket amnesty, but instead an economical and logical approach that will only ensure American economic stability. Immigrants will need to understand why the current system that favors family based immigration may change to one focused more on the long term economic needs of the U.S. Social Movement Success Measuring success political by products that lie outs 1999, 268). Scholars caution on g (1999, xx). Especially with regard to public policy, social movements often fail to directly change policy. However, while social movements cannot always directly influence policy or get the best possible outcome, it does not mean they have no influence at all. Measuring the success
72 of social movements can and should go beyond looking for direct policy changes, as often times such methods give an incomplete picture of social moveme nts (Guigni 1999). T he lasting effects of social movement are often not i mmediately apparent in the wake of demonstrations and protests In Charlotte, a good example of an indirect outcome of the immigrant rights movement is educational programs that are being instituted by the community and religious organizations. Through education groups can influence policy indirectly by convening information to elected and intensity rstein 1999, 19). The motivation behind these educations programs was in part due to the lessons learned from the immigrant rights mobilizations and the difficulties faced by the immigrant community in gathering allies for mobilizations It was these diff iculties that spurred an effort towards education and outreach. Another arguable success for social movements, is change in the tone and political discourse surrounding the issue(s) a social movement attempts to address. Related to the increased education al efforts ongoing in Charlotte and especially the involvement of religious groups, the lowering of political tension around immigration policy is of importance. Anti immigrant sentiment has not di sappeared in Charlotte and likely never will. A t the same t ime other than the 287(g) program no other local policies have come into e ffect th at aim to target the immigrant population. C harlotte has not become like Hazleton, Pennsylva nia or Maricopa County, Arizona Even on a state wide level to date, no Arizona style law has been passed by the North Carolina legislature. Success may even exte nd outside of political aspects to include features with a cultural dimension (Johnston & Klandermans 1995). In particular when social movement s include
7 3 strong elements of cultural identity, such as the immigrant rights movement, cultural aspects are important to consider when trying to measure success or failure. In the wake of the mobilizations, there has been an effort by community organizations to increase the social capital of the immigrant community, both bonding and bridging social capital Furthermore within the immigrant community, the protests and subsequent work of the communi ty organiz ations has created a basic infra structure and knowledge base within the commu nity which was absent during the initial mobilization efforts in 2006. Where previously the community relied on groups like the Coalition to assist in organizing, the immigrant community now has individuals with the knowledge and experience to take the le ad in the future if re mobilization occurs. The recent protests in 2010 on the issue of in state tuition for undocumented students demonstrate the increased capacity of the community to self organize. By focusing exclusively on policy outcomes when assess ing the immigrant rights struggle one would miss some of the more lasting effects of the mobilizations on the immigrant community. Policy wise, the immigrant rights mobilizations did help in the defeat of HR 4437, yet c omprehensive immigration reform seem s out of reach in the current political climate. But a broad er understanding of success and method s of measurement does demonstrate numerous additional positive outcomes for the immigrant community, stemming from the 2006 protests. Many of these outcomes may have been unintended, yet still demonstrate the possible wide reaching political consequences of social movements despite the lack of significant policy reform. Comparison with Other New Destinations While my research and findings are limited to Charl otte, North Carolina, there are some trends that I believe can be taken from my work to apply to oth er locations, especially other
74 S outhern urban locations. Research from other scholars who have fo cused on Latino immigration to S outhern urban locations par allels my findings from Charlotte. Jamie Winders, whose research focused on Nashville, Tennessee, found trends very based economy fueled a boom in the La tino population during the 1990s s, in the wake of public pressure, the city council began considering various local initiatives to target the Latino community and address the problem of unauthorized immigration In response, Latino community organizations had to transfor m their work to serve the needs of this growing population that was becoming political targets, similar to trends seen in Charlotte. The remaining question for Winders is how the key challenge to future inclusion of the immi gration community (Winders 2006, 1884). This importance of knowledge and education to the future of immigrant rights is comparable to my findings in Charlotte. Work done in Atlanta, Georgia by Marie Marq uardt, Timothy Steigenga, Philip Williams, and Manuel Vsquez also presents direct comparisons, in particular to the important role increasingly have put themselves o et al. 2011, 158). Using specific examples of the work of Atlanta area congregations like Ray Thomas Memorial Presbyterian Church and St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church their research gives insight into how religious institutions can create opportunities to bring together the immigrant and native born communities in a positive way. Churches in Charlotte, especially the Catholic Church and the PCUSA are similarly working to bring together the se communities
75 s et al. 2011, 202). These comparisons strength en the idea of commonalities across new destinations, especially within the American South. Strategies that are successfully being implemented in Charlotte are similar to strategies being adopted in other S outhern urban locations. Immigrant advocates across the South, can employ similar methods in their efforts to change the political discourse on immigrat ion policy on the local and state level Especially as more states like South Carolina and Alabama adopt state laws relating to immigration enforcement, the need for additional advocacy in the region is only increasing. Change will not happen overnight Ye t with similar methods, advocates in Charlotte, Atlanta, and Nashville have begun to make a difference in regards to immigrant rights. Future Avenues for Research Several of the previously mentioned limitations of my study are ripe areas for additional re search. A larger comparative study of multiple locations by one scholar would add to the ability to make comparisons and generalizations for the American South as a whole. Additionally, as no current research exists that directly compares urban to rural lo cali ties, such research would further our understanding as well as assist those involved in public policy advoc acy to adopt more specific strategies for each location. Finally the views of immigrants themselves are missing in my research. Hearing their own perspectives on the immigrant rights struggle in Charlotte and across the South would allow for better conclusions on the needs of the immigrant community and what needs to be done to move forward to better incorporate the community into Southern society.
76 APPENDIX INTERVIEW QUESTIONS 1. How would you describe the local environment for the Latino population? And specifically the undocumented? 2. How did your organization come to help the undocumented population? 3. Was the organization founded by immigrants th emselves? 4. If not what was the reasoning behind its creation? 5. Does your organization specifically advocate for the undocumented? If not, why not? 6. If so what methods do you use rallies? Awareness campaigns? Reaching out to elected leaders? 7. Has your organi zation been involved with any of the rallies/mobilizations since 2006 on immigration reform? 8. Was there a debate to be involved or not (if they participated)? 9. Why did your organization not participate (if the organization did not)? 10. Have you been involved with efforts at mobilization on local policy reform? Such as the Immigration and Custom Enforcement agreements with police? 11. How successful do you believe your methods have been? What has particularly worked well? What has not worked well? What have you lea rned from past efforts? 12. Have mobilization or advocacy efforts produced any sort of backlash against your organizations and/or the Latino community as a whole? 13. Have you changed any of your strategies from these successes/failures? 14. Do you believe local pol itical leaders are responsive to the needs of the Latino population? 15. Do you work with other organizations in the area?
77 16. If so, have collaborative efforts been successful? 17. Which other organizations have you worked with? 18. Have you seen immigrant run organiza tions developed out of some of your organizations advocacy and collective action efforts? 19. What are the reasons for the absence of immigrant run organizations (if applicable)? 20. n and networks? Specifically in the ability of Latinos to be political incorporated and heard by elected officials? 21. What do you see as the specific challenges for the undocumented population in Charlotte? 22. Are there similarities that you perceive between ot her locations around the South or the U.S. as a whole?
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86 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH William R. Hummel was born in 1984 in Richmond, Virginia. He grew up outside of Studies, grad uating in 2002. Afterwards William went to Davidson College where in 2006 h e earned a Bachelor of Arts in political science with a Spanish m inor. During his undergraduate studies he studied abroad in Spain and Argentina, where he developed an interest in migration studies. After college, William worked for two years as the Fellow in the Dean Rusk International Studies Program at Davidson. After his fellowship, William enrolled at the University of Florida in the Joint Degree program with law and Latin A mer ican s tudies. His research interests include immigration law and policy and effects of immigration on the American South.