The Well-Being of Latinos in Traditional and New Destinations
November 14, 2013 09:00 AM
By Senovia Guervara, University of Michigan
This Thursday session was chaired by Danya E. Keene, University of Pennsylvania, and included presentations by Abigail Fisher Williamson, Trinity College; Van C. Tran, Columbia University; and Brendan Saloner, University of Pennsylvania.
Williamson presented on Mexican-Americans and Mexican immigrants and what variables affect their civic participation levels. She stated that the literature included conflicting predictions and findings on the question of whether these groups participate more among concentrations of co-ethnics. Her dependent variables included volunteering, public meeting attendance, neighborhood project participation, and others. She found that Mexican-Americans participated more in less-concentrated areas of co-ethnics, while the situation for Mexican immigrants was the reverse. The results could indicate greater opportunities outside of gateways or selection or both, while with immigrants, selection was less plausible.
Saloner reviewed health care experiences of Latino children in emerging and traditional destinations. There are persistent health care disparities for Latino children, with Mexican-Americans having persistent problems in access for health care. In research with Carole Gresenz, Georgetown University, they compared health care outcomes using geo-coded data from the National Survey of Children’s Health. They reviewed data from 2003, 2007, and 2011-2012, looking at more than 30,000 Latino youth. They found that emerging destinations were much less likely to be urban and offered better coverage and provider supply. Saloner noted that traditional destinations may have better coverage and enrollment playbook. In emerging destinations, there may be better labor markets that provide better access to employee sponsored insurance.
Tran shared information about the differences between different generations of Latinos compared against other groups. While groups such as Cubans did well in educational achievement in comparison to whites, other groups did not fare as well, even when compared to another group such as African-Americans. During the question and answer period, Tran noted that although the country has an immigration policy, it has no assimilation policy. He also stated that although policy at the federal level may be more anti- immigration, communities at the local level may be more welcoming, seeing immigrants as part of the community and wanting to include them.