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Making Los Angeles HomeThe Integration of Mexican Immigrants in the United States$
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Rafael "Alarcon, Luis Escala, Olga Odgers, and Roger Waldinger

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780520284852

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520284852.001.0001

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Economic Integration

Economic Integration

Mobility, Labor Niches, and Low-End Jobs

(p.83) Chapter 4 Economic Integration
Making Los Angeles Home

Rafael Alarcón

Luis Escala

Olga Odgers

, Dick Cluster
University of California Press

This chapter describes the economic integration of Zacatecans, Oaxacans, and Veracruzans in metropolitan Los Angeles. In spite of the solid regional economy of the 1960s and 1970s, the Zacatecan men and women began with insecure and low-paid jobs in restaurants, garment factories, agriculture, and canneries. Because of their extended presence in Los Angeles and their high percentage of naturalization or legal residency, the Zacatecan men show a relatively upward occupational trend. Likewise, Oaxacan men initially worked in restaurants. Meanwhile, Oaxacan women worked as factory workers, sales workers, or self-employed housecleaners or personal care workers. However, Oaxacan men and women do not show upward occupational mobility. With regards to Veracruzan men and women, they have filled low-end jobs as both their initial and 2008 employment, due fundamentally to their undocumented status. Ultimately, the chapter suggests that legal immigration status and a long period of residence lead to more successful economic integration.

Keywords:   Zacatecans, Oaxacans, Veracruzans, metropolitan Los Angeles, low-paid jobs, naturalization, legal residency, economic integration

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