Post-War Immigration to the Deep South Triad: What Can a Peripheral Region Tell Us about Immigrant Settlement and Employment?
Elliott, James R.
Contemporary research on immigrant settlement and adaptation emphasizes the interactions of ethnic-immigrant resources and local economic contexts. Yet, understandably, most research in this field continues to focus on major urban centers, truncating our view of the range of these interactions and the extent to which theories and concepts emerging from immigrant "magnets" generalize to more peripheral regions of the country. To address this shortcoming, we use census data from the postwar period to examine immigrant settlement trends in the Deep South Triad of Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Findings indicate that this peripheral region of an otherwise booming South is extremely diverse in terms of its foreign-born population and that the largest groups (British, Vietnamese, Indians, and Hondurans) exhibit strong yet distinct patterns of concentration in the regional economy. These findings suggest that many of the same immigrant-adjustment processes documented in core immigrant cities generalize reasonably well to very different regional contexts withsubstantially lower rates of immigration and employment growth.