ERIC Number: ED467302
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-May
Reference Count: N/A
Migrants of the Information Age: Indian and Mexican Engineers and Regional Development in Silicon Valley. Working Paper No. 16.
Immigration and domestic industrial policies have been powerful instruments in the creation of immigrant "niches" in labor markets. While Indians have clustered in the information technology industry, Mexicans have formed niches in low-skilled industries such as agriculture. A review of the relationship between immigration policy and the requirements of the information technology industry reveals two important conclusions. First, immigration policy changes of the mid-1960s facilitated the immigration of Indians with high levels of education. Asians and Africans could not use family reunification to enter the United States, so the only path open to them was the use of occupational skills. This explains why these immigrants are so highly educated and why they concentrate in high-tech industries. On the other hand, Mexican immigrants constitute the largest group of unskilled workers because economic and social costs of immigration are lessened by geographical propinquity. In addition, specific U.S. immigration policies, direct recruitment, and the development of social networks have encouraged the immigration of unskilled workers. The departure of IBM from India in 1978, and the failure of the country to develop a domestic viable computer industry forced most Indian users to rely on imports. Thus, during the 1970s and 1980s Indian programmers learned how to work on a variety of platforms. In contrast, Mexico has solidified its role as the preferred location for the electronics manufacturing industry. (Contains 33 references.) (TD)
Descriptors: Agricultural Laborers, Educational Attainment, Foreign Countries, Immigrants, Indians, Information Industry, Labor Market, Mexican Americans, Policy Analysis, Public Policy, Skilled Workers, Unskilled Workers
For full text: http://www.ccis-ucsd.org/PUBLICATIONS/wrkg16.pdf.
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: California Univ., San Diego, La Jolla. Center for Comparative Immigration Studies.
Identifiers - Location: India; Mexico
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: North American Free Trade Agreement