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object(Timber\Post)#3711 (44) { ["ImageClass"]=> string(12) "Timber\Image" ["PostClass"]=> string(11) "Timber\Post" ["TermClass"]=> string(11) "Timber\Term" ["object_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["custom"]=> array(5) { ["_wp_attached_file"]=> string(12) "R_605SRR.pdf" ["wpmf_size"]=> string(6) "453226" ["wpmf_filetype"]=> string(3) "pdf" ["wpmf_order"]=> string(1) "0" ["searchwp_content"]=> string(235419) "Immigrants and Local Governance: TheView from City Hall ••• S. Karthick Ramakrishnan Paul G. Lewis 2005 Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Ramakrishnan, S. Karthick (Subramanian Karthick), 1975Immigrants and local governance : the view from the city hall / S. Karthick Ramakrishnan, Paul G. Lewis. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references. ISBN: 1-58213-113-9 1. Emigration and immigration—California—Political aspects. 2. Immigrants— California. 3. Municipal government—California. 4. Emigration and immigration—California—Social aspects. 5. Local officials and employees— California—Attitudes. I. Lewis, Paul George, 1966- II. Public Policy Institute of California. III. Title. JV6920.R36 2005 320.6’09794—dc22 2005010182 Copyright © 2005 by Public Policy Institute of California All rights reserved San Francisco, CA Short sections of text, not to exceed three paragraphs, may be quoted without written permission provided that full attribution is given to the source and the above copyright notice is included. PPIC does not take or support positions on any ballot measure or on any local, state, or federal legislation, nor does it endorse, support, or oppose any political parties or candidates for public office. Research publications reflect the views of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the staff, officers, or Board of Directors of the Public Policy Institute of California. Foreword A number of PPIC reports have documented the rather poor level of civic engagement by immigrants in California—from the lack of voting to lower levels of participation in mainstream civic groups. This latest PPIC report by S. Karthick Ramakrishnan and Paul G. Lewis suggests that local government itself is generally not very effective in fostering effective communications between immigrants and elected officials. The authors do point out that cities with more immigrants do better than smaller cities in providing translators and translated documents, but elected officials in cities with a higher share of immigrants are also more likely to report mistrust of police as a significant problem. Ironically, the authors found that police departments are considerably more attuned to immigrant communities than elected officials are. This suggests that the lack of political participation among immigrants impairs their relationship with elected officials but not with city agencies that interact often with immigrant communities. Much of what concerns us about lack of civic engagement by the foreign-born today will most likely pass into history fairly quickly. California is undergoing dramatic and unprecedented change in its population composition. Although new residents and our local governments might be slow to adapt to the new circumstances, we will most likely look back on this period as exactly what it is—an era of transition that had to be experienced before a new equilibrium was established between the private lives of families and civic engagement. Adaptation may well take longer than expected, but we can be sure that the style of doing business will never be the same. David W. Lyon President and CEO Public Policy Institute of California iii iv Summary Scholars and commentators have long focused on the implications of immigration for state- and national-level politics and policy. Yet there has been little research on the ways local governments have reacted to changes in their constituencies brought about by immigration. This report presents an analysis of political and policy dynamics in California’s “immigrant destination cities,” or municipalities where the foreign born account for a sizable proportion of residents. In some cases, even using the word constituent to refer to immigrants may sound strange, because many foreign-born Californians are ineligible to vote or, if eligible, do not exercise their vote. However, the dictionary provides two other definitions for constituent. First, constituents are component parts of a larger community. Such is certainly the case for immigrants in most California communities, because more than one in four Californians are foreign born. Moreover, substantial immigrant populations are not limited to the state’s largest cities. Of the 474 municipalities in existence at the time of the 2000 Census, 299 (63%) had an immigrant share of the population of at least 15 percent. Using this 15 percent threshold, we focus our study on these 299 cities, plus five others where at least 10,000 immigrants lived in the city. The vast majority of the state’s central cities and suburbs, as well as nearly half of its rural municipalities can, to varying degrees, be considered immigrant destination cities. Most immigrants in California lack much experience with the American political system, and many are not fluent English speakers. Others come from societies in which active political participation is unwelcome or where authorities may be repressive. For these reasons, immigrant involvement in city government may be quite limited. However, those interested in immigrants’ success and adaptation know that it is often at the local level where issues of most consequence to immigrants—policing, housing policy, and local service provision—are v decided. A second definition of constituent refers to a person or group that has the power to alter a political constitution. It is in this latter sense—the ability of immigrants to influence the activities of local government—that we are particularly interested in immigrant destination cities. Are immigrants reshaping the policies and routines of city government, or are they largely unseen and unheard? In this report, we focus on the political relevance of immigrants to City Hall, on the degree of communication between immigrants and local officials, and on city policy responses to the presence of immigrants. We pay special attention to the needs and effects of immigrants in two areas: law enforcement and housing conditions and policies. To understand these issues, we conducted mail surveys of mayors and councilmembers, police chiefs, and planning directors in these 304 communities. We received at least one response from an elected official in 86 percent of the communities. In addition, 69 percent of planners and 62 percent of police officials responded. These surveys were supplemented with visits to four large suburban cities—two each in Orange County and in the San Francisco Bay Area—where we interviewed leaders of civic organizations, immigrant and ethnic advocacy groups, elected officials, and city employees. We also reviewed print media coverage of immigrant-related issues and controversies from cities throughout the state. Among our major findings are the following: 1. Communication between immigrants and elected officials is quite limited, and immigrants’ influence in local politics is perceived to be low in most cities. Immigrant and ethnic organizations rank near the very bottom of a list of groups in terms of their perceived influence in city politics, according to mayors and councilmembers. Most elected officials could not name a single organization they would contact if they wished to engage in outreach to local immigrants, and more than one-third reported that they have a “hard time learning about the political or policy interests of local immigrants.” Also, Hispanics and Asians are underrepresented among local elected officials and appointive board and commission members. This lack of influence is generally in keeping with the lower level of political vi participation among the foreign born, but it also reflects a general lack of city government outreach to immigrant communities. In particular, intermediary groups that might speak for immigrant residents lack a presence in many small and medium-sized communities. 2. However, there are some routes to improvement in this regard. Our interviews indicated that proactive local officials, through “boundary-crossing” outreach to a wide variety of local organizations and groups, can be a catalyst for enhanced information flows with immigrants and more immigrant influence in local affairs. In particular, a form of political tutelage, in which immigrants and minorities are recruited for service on appointive city boards and commissions, can be a way to improve communication flows and get more immigrants involved in local affairs. However, in many cities, elected officials have taken a more reactive approach, expecting that immigrants will mobilize and organize themselves if they are concerned about local issues. Another avenue for improving the accessibility of local government to foreign-born residents is language assistance. In only a small percentage of cities do elected officials report that city documents are regularly translated into non-English languages. Interpreters are more widely available in City Hall, but their use tends to be somewhat irregular and ad hoc. 3. To some degree, “demography is destiny” in influencing city responses to immigrant concerns, but this is not uniformly the case. We undertook numerous statistical analyses of the responses to the mail surveys, paying special attention to the relationship between city political or policy practices on the one hand and, on the other, immigrants’ share of the overall city population or the recentness of their migration to the United States. To some degree, the findings are as one would expect in a political system where relative numbers translate into voice and power. For vii example, officials in cities with higher proportions of foreignborn residents say that they hear from more information sources about local immigrants and are more likely to say that immigrant-related issues have been topics of local political debate. High-immigration cities are also more likely to make interpreters available for resident communication with City Hall, all else equal. On the other hand, immigration does sometimes present issues that are not quickly or easily resolved. Elected officials in cities with higher shares of immigrants are more likely to report mistrust of police as a significant problem. Certain policy outcomes that one might expect immigrants to be interested in, such as the creation of human relations commissions or police review boards, are also less common in high-immigration cities, all else equal. And in cities where a higher proportion of local immigrants are recent (i.e., after 1990) arrivals to the country, elected officials are more likely to say that group conflict is a challenge facing their local government. 4. The size of a city and the characteristics of its local governing coalition also matter. Our interviews found that immigrantserving organizations often concentrate their efforts in the largest cities, with much less advocacy activity in suburbs and smaller communities. Immigrant communities generally have deeper roots and a potentially broader support network in larger cities. Not surprisingly, then, elected officials in large cities are more likely to report receiving information on local immigrants from numerous sources and to report satisfactory levels of ethnic representation on boards and commissions. Large cities are also more likely to provide interpreters and to translate public documents, to have a human relations commission, to use community policing techniques, and to accept Mexican consular ID cards as valid identification. viii As with many past studies of local politics, we also find that local political discretion makes a difference and that the ideology of elected officials can be a powerful influence on city government choices. For example, in cities where elected officials reported that the majority of councilmembers were conservative, our statistical models show that their municipalities are less likely to provide translation of government documents and less likely to report that ethnic organizations were influential in city politics. In those communities where there are gatherings of day laborers (workers, often immigrants, who stand outdoors looking for informal work from passersby), cities with conservative council majorities are less likely to fund a hiring center or to designate an area where day labor activity is permitted. Individual elected officials who identified themselves as conservative were less likely to be able to name an organization they would turn to for outreach to immigrants. 5. Few cities consider the special needs of immigrants in their housing plans. According to our survey of mayors and city councilmembers, housing is the biggest challenge facing immigrant residents. A follow-up survey of planning directors reveals a similar picture: Crowding is more common, and affordability conditions are somewhat worse, in cities with a higher proportion of immigrant residents. However, only 27 percent of planners reported that their city council or planning commission has discussed immigrant-related housing needs, and only 20 percent reported that the housing element of their city’s general plan discusses immigrants. The passage of inclusionary housing policies to promote affordable housing development is not related to the proportion of immigrants in the city population, although such policies are more common in cities where the immigrant flow is more recent. 6. Policing techniques appear to be more responsive than housing policy to the demographic shifts in these cities. Given potential language barriers and lack of trust of authorities, police have a challenging ix job in high-immigration cities. By necessity, however, many police departments have found ways to better communicate with and relate to local immigrants. Local police forces are considerably more ethnically diverse than the elected officials in these communities. An overwhelming majority of departments consider bilingualism as a positive factor in recruiting new officers and offer a pay increment to bilingual officers, and most make use of such officers in situations where translation is necessary. Most police departments say that they accept Mexican consular IDs as a valid form of identification and that they do not report the presence of suspected undocumented immigrants to federal officials. Community policing techniques, such as meetings with neighborhood groups and police cooperation with local school districts, are widely embraced in immigrant destination cities, although they appear to be somewhat less common where the foreign-born share of the population is high. Overall, we conclude that city governments are moving somewhat slowly in reacting to the new issues and needs presented by immigrants, although significant progress can be detected on specific issues and in specific cities. We recommend that cities consider taking a more proactive and long-term approach in reaching out to local immigrants, specifically through appointments to boards and commissions. Public officials concerned with reaching out to immigrants may also find it beneficial to work with local religious congregations that serve many immigrants to find out about the concerns of foreign-born residents and to inform them of city programs and policies. This may be particularly applicable to smaller cities, where immigrant civic organizations are less likely to exist. In addition, we recommend that larger cities employ a coordinator of outreach to immigrant residents instead of relying strictly on informal intermediaries such as directors of social service organizations. We suggest that language support be made more widely available, and that local plans more explicitly address the housing needs and conditions of immigrants. We recommend that police departments continue the progress already made toward enhancing trust between x immigrants and officers by expanding community policing approaches and increasing outreach to ethnic associations and immigrant-owned businesses. Finally, nongovernmental organizations with an interest in facilitating immigrant adaptation have a potentially important role to play in helping immigrants to connect with and understand local civic affairs. By expanding their presence and engagement in small and medium-sized cities, these intermediary groups can help make the difference between a politically invisible immigrant population and one that is taken seriously by local government. xi Contents Foreword......................................... iii Summary......................................... v Figures .......................................... xv Tables ........................................... xvii Acknowledgments................................... xix 1. INTRODUCTION: IMMIGRANTS AND CITY GOVERNANCE ................................ Overview of the Study............................. Research Questions to Be Answered ................. Two Policy Areas of Special Focus................... Research Methods .............................. The Prevalence and Characteristics of Immigrant Destination Cities in California ........................... Special Needs and Issues of Immigrant Destination Cities.... Looking Ahead.................................. 1 2 3 3 4 7 11 15 2. THE POLITICAL RELEVANCE OF IMMIGRANTS TO CITY HALL ................................... How City Officials Learn About Local Immigrants......... Influence of Immigrant and Ethnic Organizations on City Hall ...................................... Translation and Language Issues...................... Appointments to City Boards and Commissions .......... Immigrants and City Council Agendas ................. Human Relations Commissions ...................... Conclusion .................................... 17 17 21 25 30 33 35 37 3. HOUSING POLICY CHALLENGES ................. Housing Conditions and Political Responses in Immigrant Destination Cities ............................ Crowding and Code Enforcement .................... 39 40 43 xiii Official Attention to Immigrant Housing Needs .......... 48 Inclusionary Housing Policies ....................... 50 Conclusion .................................... 51 4. POLICING AND LAW ENFORCEMENT ISSUES ...... Local Policing Conditions and Police-Community Relations .................................. Trust of Police in Diverse Communities ................ Approaches to Policing ............................ Translation and Language Issues...................... Interactions with Undocumented Immigrants ............ Day Laborers ................................... Informal Businesses............................... Hate Crimes ................................... Ethnic and Racial Diversity of Officers ................. Police Review Boards ............................. Conclusion .................................... 53 54 56 58 61 63 66 69 71 72 74 74 5. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS ....... 77 Recap of Findings................................ 77 What Can Be Done? .............................. 80 Appendix A. Mail Survey Methods and Profile of Respondents.......... 87 B. Result of Multivariate Analyses....................... 95 Bibliography ...................................... 109 About the Authors .................................. 113 Related PPIC Publications............................. 115 xiv Figures 1.1a. 1.1b. 1.2. 1.3. 2.1. 2.2. 3.1. 3.2. 4.1. Percentage of Foreign-Born Residents in Cities in the San Francisco Bay Area ......................... Percentage of Foreign-Born Residents in Cities in the Los Angeles Region............................ Challenges for Municipal Governments in Responding Cities ..................................... Problems Faced by All Residents, According to Councilmembers and Mayors..................... Sources of Information on Local Immigrants, as Relied on by Mayors and Councilmembers ................ The Availability of Translated Documents and Interpreters ................................. Relationship Between Percentage of Immigrants in the City and Planning Directors’ Perception of Housing Problems ................................... Relationship Between Immigrants and Household Size in California Cities .............................. Day Labor Conditions and Policies................. 8 9 12 14 18 26 45 46 68 xv Tables 1.1. Demographic Characteristics of Low- and HighImmigration Cities ............................ 10 2.1. Influence of Various Nongovernmental Groups in City Politics, as Rated by Elected Officials ............... 22 2.2. Elected Officials’ Views of How Well Various Groups Are Represented on City Boards and Commissions...... 31 2.3. Salience of Immigration and Immigrants as Issues in City Politics, According to Elected Officials .............. 34 3.1. Local Housing Affordability Conditions, as Perceived by Planners and Elected Officials .................... 40 3.2. Housing Unaffordability in California Cities, by Immigrant Share.............................. 41 3.3. Enforcement of Relevant Building Codes ............ 46 4.1. Police Chiefs’ Views of Local Conditions ............ 54 4.2. Police Chiefs’ Descriptions of Local Policing Approaches ................................. 59 4.3. Elected Officials’ Views on Police/Community Interactions ................................. 61 4.4. Typical Response of an Officer If Victim/Witness Unable to Speak English, According to Police Chiefs/ Commanders ................................ 62 4.5. Typical Police Responses to Informal Businesses, According to Chief/Commander .................. 70 4.6. Ethnic/Racial Makeup of Police Force in 173 Immigrant Destination Cities............................. 73 A.1. Percentage Distribution of Response Rates to Mayor/ Councilmember Surveys ........................ 89 A.2. Percentage Distribution of the Race/Ethnicity of Respondents to Mail Surveys ..................... 91 B.1. Elected Officials’ Assessments of the Degree of Challenge Posed by Group Conflicts ....................... 96 xvii B.2. Elected Officials’ Sources of Information on Immigrants and Knowledge of Outreach Organizations ........... 97 B.3. Measures of City Policy Responsiveness ............. 99 B.4. Immigrant Concerns and Local Politics.............. 100 B.5. Degree of City Housing Enforcement ............... 101 B.6. Housing and City Politics ....................... 102 B.7. Police/Community Relations ..................... 103 B.8. Police Practices Relevant to Immigrants ............. 104 B.9. Elected Official Reports Regarding Law Enforcement Issues...................................... 105 B.10. Diversity of Police Forces ....................... 106 B.11. Informal Businesses and Police Review Boards ......... 107 xviii Acknowledgments We have been fortunate to be able to draw on the insights of many people in preparing this report. We offer sincere thanks to the dozens of local officials, city employees, community organization leaders, immigrant activists, and others who agreed to participate in detailed interviews in our four case-study cities. We also owe a major debt of gratitude to the hundreds of councilmembers, mayors, police chiefs and commanders, and planning officials who participated in the mail surveys undertaken for this research. At PPIC, our former colleague Nikesh Patel participated in three of the case studies, compiled and tracked media coverage on several relevant topics, took the lead role in organizing the logistics of the mail surveys, and helped to manage the survey data. Jennifer Paluch also played an important role in collecting media coverage as well as quantitative data on immigrant-destination cities, and Rachel Flood reviewed literature and collaborated on one case study. We thank them for their contributions. Mark Baldassare has been supportive of this project throughout its lengthy gestation, and Joyce Peterson and Gary Bjork provided useful editorial comments on this report. Our work has also benefited substantially from the detailed reviews of an earlier draft by Claudine Gay, Jaime Regalado, Belinda Reyes, and Victor Rubin. In planning our research, we were aided by the substantive input of Zeny Agullana, Saeed Ali, Heather Barbour, Michael Chang, Andres Jimenez, Yoriko Kishimoto, Sara Mercer, Barbara Pierce, and Charlene Wear Simmons. Although all of these people made important contributions, we are solely responsible for any errors of fact or interpretation. xix 1. Introduction: Immigrants and City Governance Many forces are at work shaping California communities—the relocation of industries and the creation of new ones, state policies and infrastructure investments, and social changes, such as the increasing movement of the elderly to retirement communities. This report focuses on perhaps the most profound element of transition now facing California and its communities: the rapid increase in foreign-born populations in most parts of the state. Immigration changes the constituencies of local government officials and raises the issue of how local governments can assist immigrants in their adaptation to American democracy—as well as how the cities themselves are adapting to the issues and needs raised by their changing population. As recently as 1970, fewer than one in 11 residents in Californians was born outside the United States. By 1990, the immigrant population had grown to more than 20 percent of the statewide population and, according to the most recent Census, they now account for more than one in four California residents (26%). In some areas, that percentage is considerably larger; indeed, in 20 cities, the foreign-born account for a majority of the resident population. Most newcomers lack much experience with the American political system, and many are not fluent English speakers. Furthermore, much of this immigration has occurred in the last two decades, presenting new experiences and challenges for communities where these newcomers have settled. Finally, immigration has also changed the racial and ethnic composition of California, with the foreign-born population more likely to be composed of Latinos and Asians.1 _____________ 1Although we recognize the great diversity within each group, in this report we use the terms Hispanic and Latino interchangeably, as we do for the terms black and African American. We use the term white to refer to non-Hispanic Caucasians, and the term 1 What do these trends portend for local governments? Although many studies have addressed the social and economic effects of immigration, we know relatively little about the effects of immigration on public policymaking and representation at the local level. Native-born residents can affect local policy through voting and a variety of organized interests, but such mechanisms of representation and influence are less likely to be present among immigrant populations. First, a high proportion of immigrants either cannot or do not vote and, second, the groups and associations in which they participate often lack direct connections to mainstream politics. Given these differences, how do local officials regard the immigrant populations in their cities? How do they learn about the needs of immigrants, and how do they respond to policy issues that immigration raises? This report presents answers to these questions by examining those cities with relatively large immigrant populations—what we term “immigrant destination cities.” The results of the study are important for at least two reasons. First, the political integration of new groups is a perennial and important challenge in a democratic society. Second, in the future, a growing number of communities in California and elsewhere will be dealing with conditions associated with large-scale immigration. Overview of the Study In our investigation of local governance in immigrant destination cities, we focus on the political relevance of immigrant communities to municipal governments. We examine the extent to which city officials pay attention to the concerns of immigrant communities, the ways they learn about immigrant needs and concerns, and the ways they formulate policy and communicate policy decisions back to immigrant communities. ______________________________________________________________ Asian or Asian American to refer to those who identify themselves on the Census as Asian or Pacific Islander. Any exceptions dictated by our data sources will be pointed out in the text. 2 Research Questions to Be Answered We will focus on two major sets of research questions. The first set of questions involves how local elected officials become aware of the needs and preferences of immigrant populations. Do local officials claim to know much about the needs and interests of immigrants, or do they feel somewhat in the dark? How do they learn about local immigrants, and who speaks for immigrants at the local level? And how do officials in City Hall attempt to communicate city issues or policies to their immigrant constituents, some of whom may not speak English or understand the process of local government in the United States? We also consider the extent to which immigrant concerns are addressed in City Hall. Relevant factors include councilmember evaluations of group influence, the appointment of Latinos and Asian Americans to city boards and commissions, and the creation of commissions dealing specifically with the needs of immigrant residents. We anticipate that differences in the way local officials perceive the needs of immigrants and their role in the community will be explained by a number of factors, including the economic conditions of the city, the racial/ethnic and ideological composition of its population, the ideology of the city council, and the personal characteristics of local officials. Through the use of a survey of city officials, we examine the relative importance of these factors in shaping the extent to which officials consider the needs and effects of immigrants to be politically relevant. Two Policy Areas of Special Focus We pay special attention to the needs and effects of immigrants in two areas: law enforcement, and housing conditions and policies. These two types of public services are particularly relevant for this study because they are generally provided at the municipal level and may be profoundly affected by the presence of immigrants in the community. For example, cities may find it necessary to engage in community outreach to overcome distrust or fear of legal authorities among immigrants. These cities also may experience pressure to develop or enforce regulations governing informal economic activities, such as day labor or unlicensed sidewalk peddling. The question of whether local police accept Mexican 3 consular IDs as valid identification has also become a major issue in some communities. In the area of housing, overcrowding and code enforcement are particularly salient issues in some immigrant destination communities. For example, officials in some cities have wrestled with community concerns over overcrowding and illegally subdivided residential structures that, some argue, compromise fire safety or sanitation standards. In other cities, providing low-cost housing for migrant workers is a major policy challenge. For each of these two issue areas, this report will highlight the ways municipal officials perceive the needs of immigrants and their effects on the larger community. We also examine the formal and informal policy approaches city governments have taken to address them. Research Methods Our primary evidence in this study comes from three mail surveys targeted to (a) mayors and councilmembers, (b) police chiefs, and (c) planning directors in California’s immigrant destination cities. For our purposes, we define immigrant destination cities as those meeting either of the following two criteria: • Foreign-born residents constitute at least 15 percent of the city population, as of the 2000 U.S. Census. (Among California cities, 299 met this criterion.) • The city is slightly below the 15 percent threshold but has at least 10,000 foreign-born residents. (Five additional cities were included through this criterion.2 Each had more than 13 percent immigrants in 2000, and in some cases the current foreign-born population probably exceeds 15 percent.) Although the 15 percent cutoff is somewhat arbitrary, one can assume that these 304 communities all have immigrant populations that are significant (relative to the size of the city) and visible components of the local society. The cutoff also allows for considerable variation in the _____________ 2These cities were Antioch, Bakersfield, Lancaster, Rancho Cucamonga, and Ventura. 4 share of immigrant residents, with a mean of 29 percent and a maximum of 58 percent. We considered sending our survey of local officials to all cities in California but feared that respondents in low-immigration cities would find some of the questions inapplicable or puzzling and would therefore be less likely to respond. 3 Surveys, printed in booklet format, were mailed to recipients in these 304 cities in 2003, using lists of mayors, councilmembers, planning or community development directors, and police chiefs purchased from the League of California Cities. We received usable responses from 32 percent of elected officials (but with at least one response from 86% of cities), 62 percent of police chiefs, and 69 percent of planning directors. These survey responses were then merged with a dataset that included voluminous information on each California city, mainly from the 2000 U.S. Census. By doing so, we were able to analyze how officials’ survey responses differed depending on the size, demographic features, or other characteristics of their cities. We promised officials anonymity in their survey responses to promote high response rates and to make them feel comfortable about answering our questions. Therefore, we do not report the results in ways that would identify individual officials or specific cities. Survey methods are described in greater detail in Appendix A, as are some techniques we have used to check the veracity of our survey data. In addition to the surveys of city officials, we also conducted interviews with key informants in four immigrant destination cities—two in Orange County and two in the San Francisco Bay Area. Each city was a medium-sized suburb with a population of 60,000 to 80,000—a relatively typical California municipality in terms of size—but the cities varied in ethnic makeup, socioeconomic status, and the recentness of immigrants’ entry (i.e., whether immigrant residents had moved to the United States before 1990 or afterward). We spoke with leaders of civic, religious, ethnic, and immigrant organizations in these cities, as well as elected city officials, city employees, and other _____________ 3We tested for sample selection bias using a Heckman selection model that incorporates city population size, poverty rates, and proportion of foreign-born residents to predict the selection of cities that were not sent survey questionnaires. The resulting analyses did not change the significance of our multivariate regression coefficients. 5 knowledgeable observers. Although these case studies are not a formal component of this report, we do draw on representative quotations from our interviews to amplify the survey findings. Additional material is also drawn from media coverage of issues in other immigrant destination cities in California. Finally, it is important to note that as its title indicates, this report focuses primarily on local officials and the responses of city governments to immigrants—not on immigrant organizations or the experiences of individual immigrants. A forthcoming PPIC study will examine immigrants’ local civic participation and volunteerism in more detail. Also, although we address many issues relating to local governance in California, we do not examine a number of public services of concern to immigrant communities, such as public education, health care, and the provision of welfare. Municipal governments play a relatively smaller role in these arenas than other institutions, such as school districts and various county agencies. Thus, for instance, immigrant communities may be invisible to municipal agencies in a particular city yet active in school board politics or on county-level decisionmaking bodies. Our interviews and analysis of media coverage of immigrant-related issues reveal that immigrant advocates may indeed be active in neighboring cities with larger immigrant populations or in other levels of government (such as school boards, transportation districts, or county agencies). It is possible that immigrants’ attention to other issues may help account for their lack of influence over municipal affairs. Nevertheless, this does not detract from the importance of studying immigrants’ relations with city government, particularly with respect to such issues as housing, law enforcement, and certain aspects of economic regulation. As indicated above, municipal governments play a significant role in regulating the activities of residents and often serve as a launching pad for political involvement among newcomer groups. It is therefore important to assess the extent to which elected city officials and municipal agencies pay attention to the concerns of immigrant residents and enact policies for cities undergoing significant demographic change as a result of immigration. 6 The Prevalence and Characteristics of Immigrant Destination Cities in California The 304 municipalities that met our criteria as immigrant destination cities represent nearly two-thirds (64%) of the 474 cities that existed in California at the time of the 2000 Census.4 These include 90 percent of the state’s central cities but also 71 percent of its suburbs and 47 percent of its rural municipalities.5 High-immigration cities constitute the majority of cities in most urbanized counties and over twothirds of the cities in the San Francisco Bay Area, the Los Angeles region, and the Central Valley. In the Central Coast, 63 percent of municipalities are immigrant destination cities, as are half of those in San Diego County. However, in the remaining, mostly rural parts of the state, only one city in ten meets our criteria. Figures 1.1a and 1.1b show patterns of immigrant settlement in the central portions of the state’s two most populous regions—the Bay Area and the greater Los Angeles region. Clearly, high-immigration cities are present throughout wide portions of both metropolitan areas. Areas of particularly high concentrations of foreign-born residents in Southern California include the city of Los Angeles itself, portions of the San Gabriel Valley, the Bell/Bell Gardens area in Los Angeles County, and the Santa Ana/ Garden Grove area in northern Orange County. In the Bay Area, highimmigration settlement is skewed toward the southeastern part of the region around San Jose, although San Francisco and neighboring Daly City also have high immigrant concentrations. It is also important to look inside immigrant destination cities to discuss their socioeconomic characteristics and to learn something about the immigrants who have decided to call these communities home. What factors, other than a high proportion of foreign-born residents, are _____________ 4Four new cities have since incorporated. 5Central cities are those identified as such by the Census Bureau as of 1999. We define suburbs as the noncentral-city municipalities that lie within the urbanized areas of metropolitan counties, again using Census delineations. All other cities are treated as rural. 7 Figure 1.1a—Percentage of Foreign-Born Residents in Cities in the San Francisco Bay Area distinctive to these cities? How similar are the characteristics of immigrant destination cities, and in what ways do they vary? Many immigrant destination cities have special needs and conditions that are related to their demographic characteristics. Some of these center on levels of socioeconomic status (SES), whereas others may be traced to language and cultural differences from other cities. Table 1.1 provides a number of demographic characteristics from the 2000 Census for three categories of communities, showing the average value of each variable for cities with less than 15 percent immigrants, 15 to 25 percent immigrants, and more than 25 percent foreign-born. Higherimmigration cities tend to have larger populations and also show lower levels of high school completion than lower-immigration cities. At the upper end of the immigration scale (25% or more), cities also tend to have significantly lower median household incomes and higher 8 Figure 1.1b—Percentage of Foreign-Born Residents in Cities in the Los Angeles Region unemployment rates than low-immigration communities. Also of interest in terms of economic opportunity, low-immigration cities are more likely to be job centers, with a higher ratio of jobs to resident workers than medium-immigration cities, although cities in the highestimmigration category also tend to have more jobs than workers within their boundaries. It is often noted that immigrants tend to live in extended-family or multigenerational households; others “double up” within housing units. First-generation Latinas also have a higher birth rate than the general population (Hill and Johnson, 2002). These observations are borne out by the data in Table 1.1, which indicate significantly larger household sizes in high-immigration cities. Overcrowded housing is an emerging issue in many immigrant destination cities, as we discuss in Chapter 3. In a related vein, cities with higher proportions of foreign-born residents also tend to have a younger age profile, with significantly higher 9 Table 1.1 Demographic Characteristics of Low- and High-Immigration Cities % of City Residents Foreign-Born 25% Number of cities Average population Median household income % of residents (age 25+) not high school graduates % unemployed Ratio of jobs to workers within city (1990) Median persons per household % of population under age 18 % of population age 65+ % of residents (age 5+) who speak English less than “very well” % of population white, non-Hispanic % of population black, non-Hispanic % of population Hispanic % of population Asian or Pacific Islander % of foreign-born residents who are naturalized citizens % of foreign-born residents who immigrated after 1990 175 24,462 $54,704 15 6 1.19 2.6 25 15 5 76 2 14 4 48 30 137 51,444* $56,657 20* 7 0.94* 2.9* 28* 11* 162 99,837* $46,607* 35* 9* 1.09 3.4* 30* 10* 13* 28* 57* 29* 4* 5* 28* 49* 8* 14* 43* 37* 34* 38* SOURCE: Calculated from the 2000 Census, except the job-worker ratio, which is calculated from the 1994 Census Transportation Planning Package. *Indicates a significant difference from low-immigration cities (p < .05, two-tailed t-test). percentages of children and lower shares of elderly in the population. Finally, English-language ability is a much greater issue in immigrant destination cities, as one would expect. In the highest-immigration category, which includes 162 cities, more than a quarter of residents reported not speaking English very well. Although immigrants come from many nations and may be of any race, cities with higher shares of foreign-born residents do have distinctive racial and ethnic profiles. As shown in Table 1.1, nonHispanic whites account for about three-quarters of the resident population in cities with less than 15 percent of an immigrant 10 population but less than a third of residents in the 162 cities where immigrants account for more than 25 percent of the population. Also, high-immigration cities tend to have higher black populations, indicating that many communities experiencing immigration have a multiethnic character, with more than two significant demographic groups in the population. Finally, even among immigrant populations themselves, circumstances are often different in high-immigration communities, which are frequently an initial way station in a chain of household relocations. A higher percentage of foreign-born residents in highimmigration communities tend to be recent arrivals to the United States—and a smaller percentage are naturalized citizens—than in lowimmigration cities. Special Needs and Issues of Immigrant Destination Cities Many issues can pose difficulties or challenges for local governments—whether for fiscal, political, technical, or other reasons. This section highlights the challenges that elected officials in our set of immigrant destination cities identified as facing their governments as well as their resident populations. We asked the mayors and councilmembers to rate nine sets of issues on a five-point scale from “not much of a challenge” to a “very serious challenge.” Figure 1.2 shows the average ratings given to these issues, aggregated to a citywide basis (that is, we average the scores provided by respondents in each city, and then weight each city equally). The figure also distinguishes the average city’s degree of challenge according to its foreign-born share of the resident population. For the most part, the challenges cited by city governments were consistent regardless of the immigrant share of the resident population. Perhaps not surprisingly, in this period of fiscal stringency and uncertainty, “ensuring a sufficient revenue base to provide public services” stood out as the most serious challenge for these city governments. Examining the other issues seen as relatively challenging, 11 Ensuring sufficient revenue for public services Improving/maintaining roads, infrastructure Managing land-use and planning issues Encouraging participation of residents in civic affairs Ensuring public safety Maintaining productive relations with state, federal governments Attracting/retaining quality city staff Managing social conflicts between groups Maintaining constructive political dialogue on council 1 35%+ 25–34% 15–24% 234 Average degree-of-challenge score 5 Figure 1.2—Challenges for Municipal Governments in Responding Cities (Citywide Average Response by Share of Foreign-Born Population) we find that “improving/maintaining city roads and infrastructure”—a challenge closely connected with the fiscal constraints noted above— ranks second. “Managing land-use and planning issues” is also seen as a significant challenge, although its importance tends to be lower in highimmigration cities. Conversely, concerns about ensuring public safety and the participation of local residents in civic affairs are slightly higher in high-immigration cities. However, these differences are not statistically significant and are no longer apparent if we control for other factors such as city size and poverty rates. “Managing social conflicts between different groups in the community” is viewed as one of the least challenging issues by elected officials in these cities (with an average citywide score of 2.7), despite what one might expect in an era of rapid demographic change. If these perceptions of low group-conflict levels are correct, this news is 12 heartening for political life and the incorporation of new groups in California civic affairs. Still, officials from 15 percent of the cities responding rated the challenge as four or higher on the five-point scale. In a multivariate analysis of the local characteristics that underlie differences in these social-conflict scores, we found some evidence that this concern was higher in cities with a greater proportion of immigrant residents who are recent arrivals to the United States.6 The results presented so far relate to officials’ assessments of the problems faced by their city government. We also asked them directly about the degree of problems various issues posed for their residents, with the mayors and councilmembers rating a list of nine issue areas. We present the results in Figure 1.3, again differentiating responses according to the share of immigrant residents in a city. None of the problems shows a dominating level of importance, although issues of housing affordability, employment, and traffic rank among the most serious problems. In some cases, the reported severity of problems differed according to the proportion of immigrants living in the city. Education was seen as a greater challenge in cities where the foreign-born share of the population exceeds 25 percent than in cities where the share is 15 to 24 percent. This is probably because immigrants are more likely than the native-born population to have school-aged children, partly owing to varying age structures and levels of fertility (Hill and Johnson, 2002). Employment was also seen as a greater challenge in high-immigration cities, as were issues of overcrowding and crime. By contrast, such issues as traffic congestion and environmental problems were ranked as less severe in cities with a high proportion of foreign-born residents. For the most part, these city-level differences are attributable to such factors as population size and poverty rates. In a few instances, however, the share _____________ 6Specifically, in an ordinary least squares (OLS) regression model explaining the average score in each city for the level of challenge of group conflicts, we controlled for the city’s population, the percentage of city residents in poverty, the Latino percentage of nonwhites, and the political leanings of voters and city councilmembers. We found that the percentage of immigrants who are post-1990 arrivals was related to the dependent variable in the positive direction at the 10 percent level of significance. A 10 percentage point increase in the recent-immigrant share is associated with an increase in the socialconflict score of about 0.1 points, on a five-point scale. See Appendix Table B.1 for results. 13 Housing supply or affordability Jobs, economic opportunity, recession Traffic, transportation problems Schooling, educational opportunities Health care problems, health insurance coverage Crowding, overpopulation Crime, drugs, gangs Financial burdens of taxes, fees Environmental problems 35%+ 25–34% 15–24% 12345 Average degree-of-challenge score Figure 1.3—Problems Faced by All Residents, According to Councilmembers and Mayors (Citywide Average Response by Share of Foreign-Born Population) of immigrant residents plays a significant role even after controlling for these other factors. Most notably, housing affordability and overcrowding are rated as more severe in high-immigration cities, whereas traffic congestion and environmental problems are mentioned less often. Finally, we asked mayors and city councilmembers to list the three issues (of the nine listed) that posed the biggest problems for immigrant residents of their city (and for minor children of immigrants). The problems that officials saw as specifically facing immigrant residents and their children in these cities were similar to those found among the overall population. However, the prominence given to housing issues was clearly higher for immigrants than for the native-born. And although traffic and transportation problems were seen as a major problem among the general population, they were not viewed as a large 14 problem for immigrant residents. Overall, basic economic needs— housing, jobs, and health care—seem to be of greater concern among immigrant residents than among the general population. These findings, in addition to our interviews of local officials and civic leaders in four communities, indicate that immigrants in California are more vulnerable than the general population to economic downturns and cuts in social services. Looking Ahead We have argued that a large influx of newcomers to America in any city’s population is likely to create new pressures and issues that will confront local elected officials and public agencies. In short, immigrant destination cities may face a distinctive set of policy challenges. We define immigrant destination cities as those where immigrants are at least a 15 percent share of the local population or account for at least 10,000 foreignborn residents, and we find that most California municipalities meet one of these criteria. These cities are not just traditional immigrant-receiving locales, such as central cities and farm towns, but appear throughout the state. Their elected officials tend to see housing and other basic economic issues as the main problems besetting local immigrants, and they view budget constraints as the major issue facing city government. The next chapter looks at the relationships and communication between immigrants and their municipal elected officials and examines the degree to which immigrants are influential or even relevant actors in local political life in these cities. Chapter 3 deals with housing challenges in immigrant destination cities, such as crowding and housing affordability, and the ways cities have responded to these challenges. A parallel analysis regarding policing and law enforcement issues of relevance to immigrants appears in Chapter 4, where we look at such issues as day laborers and police interactions with undocumented immigrants. Finally, in Chapter 5, we review this body of evidence and offer some conclusions about the successes and remaining challenges of immigrant destination cities, along with some policy considerations for improving relations between local governments and immigrant residents. 15 2. The Political Relevance of Immigrants to City Hall City governance involves learning about local conditions and populations and responding to their needs. As a consequence, communicating local needs to public officials holds an essential place in the governing process. We expect these communication processes to be more difficult and complex among immigrants than among native-born residents. Our examination of the political relevance of immigrants to City Hall also extends beyond channels of communication to questions of whether immigrant advocates are seen as influential actors and whether issues of relevance to immigrants reshape city policies and procedures. Immigrant residents usually face significant disadvantages in organizing politically at the city level compared to such groups as neighborhood associations, business groups, and municipal employees. Analyses at the statewide level have offered several explanations for the limited political influence of immigrant residents: limited English proficiency, low rates of citizenship and voting, and limited participation in mainstream civic groups (Citrin and Highton, 2002; Ramakrishnan, 2005; Ramakrishnan and Baldassare, 2004). This chapter explores the issue of political relevance at the municipal level, including questions of how elected officials learn about local immigrants and the degree to which immigrants, their organizations, and their advocates have influence in the local decisionmaking process. How City Officials Learn About Local Immigrants For local officials, learning about the needs of immigrant constituents can be difficult for several reasons: language barriers, some immigrants’ lack of legal standing, lower rates of electoral participation, and the absence of prominent or influential civic organizations in the immigrant community. It is therefore important to determine how city 17 officials learn about the needs and conditions of immigrants and immigrant communities. Our survey of elected city officials indicates that councilmembers rely most heavily on emphatically local sources of information about immigrants (Figure 2.1).1 The survey responses suggest that it is the uniquely local, contextual knowledge provided by school personnel, local media, and individual contacts that seems most useful and persuasive for these elected officials. By contrast, information from the U.S. Census, state government, or Often Sometimes Local school district Local newspapers Contacts from individual immigrants U.S. Census, federal agencies Churches, faith-based organizations State or county government Municipal departments Immigrant business leaders Advocacy groups, labor unions Universities, nonprofits, research organizations 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 Percentage relying on source Figure 2.1—Sources of Information on Local Immigrants, as Relied on by Mayors and Councilmembers _____________ 1Given that most of our elected-official respondents are councilmembers—and that most of our mayor respondents also are considered members of the city council—we sometimes, for the sake of brevity, refer to the elected official respondents as councilmembers. 18 research groups may provide information at too broad a geographic or topical level to be as useful. The greater reliance on churches than on advocacy organizations may occur because faith-based organizations with significant immigrant constituencies are more numerous at the local level than labor unions or political advocacy groups, especially in smaller cities. Advocacy groups, some interviewees mentioned, are typically oriented more toward policy issues at the state and county levels than at the municipal level. Finally, the reliance on faith-based organizations may depend less on the political ideology of city councilmembers than on labor unions and advocacy groups. Our data allow us to test some explanations for why councilmembers rely on some sources of information more frequently than others, by controlling for various factors at the individual and citywide levels. For instance, we can analyze whether self-described liberals on city councils are more likely than conservatives to receive information from certain types of groups, or whether differences in receptivity to information sources exist by gender or age of the officials. Our multivariate analysis of information sources regarding immigrants indicates some significant differences across individual councilmembers (see Appendix Table B.2, columns a through k for the full regression results). For instance, black councilmembers are more likely than other officials to receive information from advocacy groups and labor unions, and Latinos and Asians are less likely than others to rely on information from municipal departments. White councilmembers are significantly less likely than others to rely on information from research organizations, and Latino councilmembers are significantly more likely than their non-Latino counterparts to receive information on immigrant concerns from churches and faith-based organizations. There are also differences according to gender. Female councilmembers are more likely than their male counterparts to receive information about immigrant needs from local school districts, advocacy groups, research organizations, state and county government, and federal agencies such as the U.S. Census Bureau. Other individual-level factors such as age and ideology bear little relationship to where councilmembers get information about immigrants, except that conservatives rely less on information from advocacy groups, labor unions, and immigrant 19 individuals. In sum, some individual-level differences (gender, race, ideology) shape how elected city officials become informed about immigrant needs and concerns. However, these factors do not bear consistently strong relationships across outcomes. Characteristics of the city itself tend to have more consistent effects in explaining sources of information used by city officials. In particular, councilmembers serving in cities with larger populations are more likely than those in small cities to receive information on immigrant needs from most of the sources mentioned. Also, the higher the share of immigrants in the total population, the more likely councilmembers are to receive information on immigrant needs from immigrant business leaders, other immigrant individuals, local school districts, and municipal departments.2 It is likely that several factors account for these gaps in information, based on city size and the proportion of immigrants. For instance, local newspapers and community organizations are more likely to exist and to have the necessary resources to conduct research and provide information in larger cities. They are also more likely to commit resources to gathering information about immigrants in cities where the foreign-born account for a sizable portion of the resident population. The motivation of elected officials may also vary, with greater interest in immigrantrelated issues among those councilmembers representing larger cities and those with a greater proportion of immigrant residents. The motivation to learn more about immigrant needs may also help explain why individual-level factors such as gender and race/ethnicity play a role in shaping where city councilmembers get their information about immigrant residents. However, it is difficult to determine from the survey data alone whether councilmember motivations play a role in gathering information about immigrant residents and how such motivations may interact with the availability of relevant information. Our interviews with city officials in one large Bay Area suburb indicated that the assumptions, _____________ 2In an alternative model, we found that it is the percentage of recent (post-1990) immigrants, rather than established immigrants, who drive the positive relationships for immigrant businesspersons, other immigrant individuals, and advocacy groups. 20 predispositions, and experiences of the officials can shape the degree to which they actively seek information from or about immigrant residents. For instance, a high-ranking appointed official said that in many cases “it’s hard to know what the community wants,” in part because some immigrants “come from repressive regimes where it’s just not the norm to participate.” Nevertheless, other officials in the city gave much more attention to their immigrant constituents, particularly where they concluded that increasingly significant shares of registered voters in the city are immigrants or second-generation residents. One former elected official mentioned that during his campaigns and subsequent terms in office, he had learned how to say “hello” in many different languages and had spent much time working on intonations, dialects, and grammatical issues (such as which form of “you” was most appropriate when addressing younger or older Vietnamese residents). Similar patterns were present in our Orange County interviews, indicating that the proactiveness and motivation of local officials can indeed play a significant role in learning about immigrant needs and interests. Influence of Immigrant and Ethnic Organizations on City Hall Discussion of the political relevance of immigrants leads naturally to the central issue of whether the organizations representing or advocating on behalf of immigrants in a city—if they exist at all—have clout in local decisionmaking. Much of the literature on urban politics claims that business and real estate interests hold something of a privileged position in local policymaking when compared to more populist or neighborhood groups (Stone, 1980; Logan and Molotch, 1987), although such research tends to be based on large cities. In our survey of elected officials, we asked respondents to rate various groups, on a five-point scale, in terms of their influence over policy matters that come before the council and mayor—from not influential to very influential. Groups listed included business associations, real estate developers, church groups, labor unions, neighborhood associations, advocates for social equity and the poor, and organizations representing immigrants and racial/ethnic minorities. Table 2.1 presents the average citywide response, as well as the 21 Table 2.1 Influence of Various Nongovernmental Groups in City Politics, as Rated by Elected Officials (Citywide Average Responses) Neighborhood, residential associations Developers, real estate interests Public employee unions or associations Chamber of Commerce, other business associations Individual entrepreneurs or businesses Environmental/preservationist groups Clergy or church groups Taxpayer groups Advocacy groups/nonprofits on poverty and social equity issues Organizations representing ethnic or racial groups, immigrants Other labor unions Mean Score 3.38 3.01 2.89 2.80 2.79 2.73 2.52 2.40 2.40 2.36 2.27 % Ranked as Highly Influential 41 17 20 16 11 14 10 7 7 7 7 percentage of cities where a particular group received an average rating of four or above. Neighborhood and residential associations rank highest among these external groups in terms of having influence in city politics, with over 40 percent of cities rating them as highly influential.3 Developer interests and public employee unions rank second and third, respectively, with high influence ratings in about one in five cities. By contrast, groups that tend to advocate on behalf of immigrants rank low in terms of influence on City Hall. Although clergy or church groups are mentioned in the survey and case study interviews as fairly important sources of information about immigrant needs, these informants are ranked as influential in only 10 percent of immigrant destination cities. Groups advocating on behalf of the poor or immigrants and racial/ethnic _____________ 3Councilmembers and mayors were not specifically asked to rank the various groups, either from first to last or in pairwise comparisons. Still, the questions were all listed on the same page using the same scale, leading us to believe that one group’s level of influence can be ranked in relation to those of others. 22 minorities rank among the least influential groups in city politics, with only 7 percent of cities ranking such groups as highly influential. Controlling for a variety of city-level demographic and contextual factors, we find that, surprisingly, the percentage of immigrants in the local population is not itself systematically related to the perceived influence of immigrant and ethnic organizations at the citywide level (see Appendix Table B.4, column a). However, when we distinguish between the percentage of recent and established immigrants, we do find a positive association between the share of recent newcomers and the power of such organizations. This suggests that the influence of immigrant advocates may spring not as much from electoral power as from their ability to help governments manage the challenges of rapid demographic change. In addition, immigrant and ethnic organizations are seen as more influential in larger cities, cities with higher proportions of Latinos, and places with a greater proportion of registered Democrats. The advocacy groups are seen as less influential in cities with conservative city councils. Who are these immigrant advocates? In another survey question, we asked elected officials to provide the names of groups or organizations they “would be likely to turn to in order to help reach” immigrant residents, regarding salient issues or government programs in their city. Respondents could name as many as two organizations. Forty-five percent of the elected officials responding to our survey were able to name one or more such groups, with more than 200 individual organizations mentioned. Among the most common types of organizations were many specific churches or religious congregations, ethnic service organizations (e.g., Fil-Am Association, Latino Town Hall), ethnic chambers of commerce, local charitable organizations, and neighborhood organizations. The remaining 55 percent of elected officials did not name any such groups.4 _____________ 4Appendix Table B.2, column l, shows results of an individual-level model intended to estimate which characteristics help explain the ability of elected officials to name at least one such outreach group. Female and Asian officials were more likely to be able to name a group, whereas self-described conservatives were less likely to name such a group. Officials were more likely to name one or more groups if they served in large cities, cities with higher proportions of Democratic registrants, and cities where Latinos were a larger 23 In many cities, part of the problem may be traced to a lack of visible organizations involved with immigrants. In our case studies, interviewees in all four communities noted a dearth of groups specifically seen as representing immigrants. One councilmember in an Orange County city stated, “I don’t think there are any groups that advocate for immigrants. I can’t think of anyone who has come to a city council meeting and said ‘I’m from MALDEF [Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund]’ or some other group.” Community size was also seen as hindering the ability of such groups to form in smaller cities or to receive the attention of immigrant advocates in nearby large cities. According to some respondents in our Orange County suburban case studies, several organizations in nearby Santa Ana and Anaheim advocate on behalf of immigrants. However, because of resource constraints and the enormity of tasks in these larger cities, these organizations have been largely uninvolved in the politics of the two suburban communities we studied, despite awareness of some of the issues and difficulties facing immigrant residents there. In one Orange County city, councilmembers interviewed did not see the lack of advocacy as a problem. Indeed, they viewed their community as a small town where immigrants would find out about policy decisions from the local newspaper or through word of mouth—this despite the fact that the city has grown to more than 65,000. Also, despite some highly charged controversies with ethnic overtones, such as protests over the busing of primarily Latino students from one part of the city to a school outside the city limits, the councilmembers we spoke with did not consider social cleavages to be so strong as to necessitate the involvement of immigrant advocacy groups in local affairs. In some instances, social service nonprofits and religious congregations were viewed as surrogates that have sporadically been active in local political affairs. Elected officials in our Bay Area case ______________________________________________________________ share of the nonwhite population. Although the percentage of foreign-born residents is negatively associated with officials’ ability to name outreach groups, results differed somewhat when we sorted out the recentness of local immigrants. Specifically, officials in cities with larger shares of recent (post-1990) immigrants were more likely to name such a group, whereas those in cities with higher proportions of pre-1990 immigrants were less likely to do so. 24 studies were more likely than those in Orange County to mention local organizations who periodically alert them to issues concerning immigrants and other vulnerable populations. These information sources were often social service provider organizations. The executive director of one multiservice community organization noted that she sometimes attended city council meetings to advocate on behalf of particular issues affecting low-income residents but that the city would need to take more proactive steps to ensure greater participation from immigrants. Although city leaders may be waiting for Latinos to step forward, form organizations, and get involved, she considered such expectations to be unrealistic given the reluctance of undocumented immigrants to speak out in public. Perhaps with the hiring of an ombudsman, she noted, Latinos would feel more comfortable making their concerns heard. In another Bay Area city with a somewhat higher income profile, a neighborhood association that represents an ethnically mixed part of town was seen by interviewees as a particularly visible and successful way to connect diverse residents with city officials. The group has concentrated on “bridge-building” activities across racial and ethnic groups, including music in the park events, astronomy nights, and international potluck dinners. An informal community breakfast meeting is held once a month, with leaders of ethnic organizations making presentations to elected city officials in attendance. One interviewee said, “At the community breakfasts, where [city government] leaders and residents meet, there is great communication. . . . You don’t have that chance at city hall meetings.” Translation and Language Issues In examining channels of communication between immigrants and city governments, it is important to consider not only how immigrant needs are communicated to City Hall but also how local governments communicate policies and decisions back to immigrant communities. Since many immigrants lack fluency in English, communicating with foreign-born residents often entails strategies that go beyond the standard efforts of publicity and citizen outreach. In areas with substantial numbers of recent immigrants, translation services become an essential 25 aspect of communication channels between immigrants and City Hall. We examined two forms of language assistance. First, in our survey of elected city officials, we asked whether city government documents, such as council agendas or minutes, are “routinely translated” into non-English languages. Here, we present the results on a citywide basis, taking into account the various answers given by elected officials from the same city (Figure 2.2). There was a fair amount of disagreement on this issue among respondents from the same city, which leads us to assign 21 percent of cities to an “unallocated” category because of uncertainty as to the city’s actual practices. Even including these cities in our total, however, most communities (52% of the total) do not provide any translation of public documents. Approximately one-fifth (20%) provide translation “only upon request,” whereas very few immigrant destination cities (6%) routinely translate city documents into foreign languages. Spanish was overwhelmingly the language of choice for translation of documents, with officials in only a handful of communities indicating that documents were regularly prepared in languages other than English or Spanish, such as Chinese or Tagalog. Our survey also included a question on the availability of interpreters for residents lacking fluency in English. We asked the mayors and councilmembers whether “interpreters are available through the municipal government, so that residents who do not speak English can discuss issues with city staff or at public hearings.” This aspect of Translated Documents Interpreters Routinely available Only upon request None Unallocated Often Sometimes Almost never Never Figure 2.2—The Availability of Translated Documents and Interpreters 26 translation is far more common than for city documents. More than two-thirds of high-immigration cities either often (29%) or sometimes (40%) provide such interpreters, although in 20 percent of the cities such interpretation is almost never available and in 11 percent is never available. It is important to bear in mind that the wording of this question allows for informal types of translation (such as a bilingual city clerical worker helping an administrator communicate with an immigrant at City Hall) as well as more formal types of translation (such as by a paid interpreter at a public hearing). In our case-study cities, it was common to encounter informal translation, often more a matter of necessity than of explicit policy design by the city council.5 One of our cities relied for some day-to-day translation tasks on an active program that solicited and organized community volunteers to help with city needs. Interviewees saw this volunteer program as quite beneficial in improving communication. Multivariate analysis can reveal whether there are any systematic differences in the provision of translated documents and interpreter services across cities. In particular, we were interested in seeing if such demographic factors as the proportion of recent immigrants in the population, such economic factors as the poverty rate among a city’s population, and such political factors as the ideology of elected officials make any difference with respect to the availability of translation services. The multivariate results (see Appendix Table B.3, columns a and b) indicate that the availability of interpreters increases with the proportion of foreign-born residents in a city but does not bear any significant relationship to the share of immigrants who are post-1990 arrivals. Interpreters are also more widely available in larger cities, in cities with higher poverty rates, and in places where Latinos account for a larger proportion of the nonwhite population. This last characteristic may ease the task of translation, since Spanish would be the dominant foreign language. Indeed, a planner we interviewed in one community with _____________ 5Such informal translation tasks can take a toll on city staff who provide language support. As one city employee noted: “It’s convenient for them to get me out to the counter—they call me a lot. I tell them they should call AT&T [contract translation service] for better translation. It’s not an all-day job, so I don’t mind. Still, it takes extra time and effort for me to complete my other work.” 27 immigrants from numerous nations said that official city planning notices are run in the local paper solely in English. Given the large number of languages spoken in the community, he asked “where would we stop [if the material was translated]?”6 In this case, however, a note at the bottom of such advertisements does note that non-English speakers may call the city for a translator. We considered an alternative statistical model that replaces the proportion of immigrants and recent immigrants with the share of city residents having limited English proficiency—arguably, a more precise measure of the needs of the immigrant population for language assistance. With such a model, we found that the availability of interpreters is indeed higher in cities with a higher proportion of residents with English-language limitations. Browning, Marshall, and Tabb (1984), in a major study of 11 California cities, found that the ideology of city council majorities and of the electorate was a key factor in explaining the degree of black and Hispanic empowerment in local government. Our results support the notion that council ideology affects policy outcomes of interest to immigrants. Cities with a conservative council majority are considerably less likely than cities with moderate or liberal council majorities to provide translation of documents. Indeed, it appears that cities exercise much more discretion in deciding whether to translate printed documents than in providing interpreters. In addition to the dominant ideology in City Hall, the party identification of the city electorate makes a difference, with translated documents more readily available in cities where Democrats account for a larger share of registered voters. The provision of translated documents also increases with the size of the city population and with the proportion of Latinos in the population but bears no significant relationship to the proportion of immigrants or the recentness of immigrants’ entry to the country. Also, our alternative model indicates that the provision of translated documents bears no _____________ 6A local interest group leader in this multiethnic city similarly noted that there could be difficulty in knowing which translators to bring to meetings, since there are so many languages spoken, and it is often unclear which ethnic groups might be present in the audience. 28 relationship to the proportion of city residents with limited English proficiency. Together, these findings indicate that the provision of translated documents is more subject to political considerations such as council ideology, the partisan leanings of registered voters, and the proportion of Latinos and foreign-born citizens in the electorate than is the case for providing interpreters. This may be due to the greater costs associated with translating city documents, which tends to occur on a less ad hoc basis than the provision of interpreters. Cost considerations, and perhaps the public visibility of translated documents, may make translated documents more subject to the political preferences of the electorate and council than the occasional use of an interpreter.7 In 1973, the state government enacted the Dymally-Alatorre Act, which requires that state and local agencies provide language assistance where there is a substantial need for it. The act states, “Every local public agency . . . serving a substantial number of non-English speaking people, shall employ a sufficient amount of qualified bilingual persons in public contact positions or as interpreters to assist those in such positions, to ensure provision of information and services in the language of the non-English speaking person.” The act left it up to local entities to determine what constitutes a “substantial number” of non-English speakers and qualified bilingual persons, which has led to considerable variation in language assistance across California cities, even among cities with comparable language needs. This ambiguity stands in contrast with the language provisions of the federal Voting Rights Act, which mandate assistance in jurisdictions where a population with language needs accounts for more than 5 percent of the total population. Finally, it should also be noted that the Dymally-Alatorre Act was never enforced in relation to state agencies.8 In 1986, moreover, voters passed _____________ 7During the 1980s, for instance, some suburban municipalities in Southern California with a growing number of Asian businesses passed city ordinances requiring “English only” business signs (Eljera, 1996). 8In 2002, State Senator Martha Escutia (D-Norwalk) carried legislation that would introduce enforcement mechanisms and require all state agencies to provide short-term and long-term implementation plans. Although the measure passed both houses, thenGovernor Gray Davis vetoed the bill, citing budget constraints. 29 Proposition 63, a potentially conflicting measure that established English as the official language of California and allowed any resident to sue the state to enforce the action. It was later invalidated by the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals as a largely symbolic measure that was not enforceable. To sum up, then, translation policies remain largely within the purview of local governments, and language assistance is provided unevenly and often very informally. Appointments to City Boards and Commissions As noted above, city governments differ considerably in the extent to which they consider immigrant advocates to wield influence in local politics. Another avenue for immigrant influence in city politics is through appointments to boards and commissions. In many local governments, appointive positions, such as those on planning, parks, or civil service commissions, are quite important in policymaking. Furthermore, occupants of these positions may gain experience and name recognition that help them become leaders in local affairs, either by subsequently running for elective office themselves or by attaining leadership positions in civic organizations and other groups. Immigrants hold a somewhat tenuous position in some cities when it comes to service on these bodies. Such positions are often used to reward longtime community residents, and some cities have official or unofficial rules against naming non-U.S. citizens to such offices. Thus, even though immigrants may constitute large and growing shares of the population of various cities, there is likely to be a lag in terms of their representation on boards and commissions. In our survey, we did not ask elected officials directly about how well immigrants per se are represented on city boards and commissions but rather asked about the officials’ perceptions of how well Latinos, Asian Americans, and African Americans are represented. This approach was based on indications from our qualitative work that city councilmembers would turn to ethnic members (regardless of nativity) to provide information about their respective communities, and that the elected officials would not typically differentiate ethnic members on boards and commissions according to nativity. Table 2.2 indicates (according to citywide average responses) that, judging by these elected officials’ views, 30 Table 2.2 Elected Officials’ Views of How Well Various Groups Are Represented on City Boards and Commissions (Citywide Average Responses, in Percent) Latinos Asian Americans African Americans All Cities Responding Very Marginal/ Well Somewhat None 34 48 18 13 45 42 15 34 50 Cities with Ethnic Group >15% of Population Very Marginal/ Well Somewhat None 40 49 25 47 48 29 11 28 24 Latinos are far more likely than the other two groups to be very or somewhat well represented on such bodies. Of course, this may be partly because Latinos tend to account for a greater share of the population in California’s cities than Asian Americans or African Americans. However, even when we restrict the comparison to cities where the ethnic group makes up at least 15 percent of the population, Latinos are perceived to have a significantly greater level of representation on boards and commissions than African Americans, and Asian Americans are seen to have the least degree of representation. Still, it is important to note that Latinos are seen as well represented in only 40 percent of the cities where they constitute a sizable share of the population. Of course, these assessments of ethnic representation on boards and commissions are subjective evaluations of elected city officials. In the absence of any comprehensive data on appointed city officials in California, however, the reports of elected city officials remain an important indicator of the relative ability of groups to maintain channels of communication with City Hall.9 What might explain a city’s level of racial and ethnic representation? We controlled for various city-level factors and found that ethnic representation is consistently higher in cities with large populations and _____________ 9Indeed, it could be argued that the subjective evaluations of city councilmembers provide a better measure of the quality of representation of immigrant interests than raw numbers of ethnic appointees. 31 in cities where the relevant ethnic group makes up a larger share of the resident population (see Appendix Table B.4, columns b through d). The proportion of immigrants in a city, per se, is not associated with ethnic representation, after controlling for other city-level factors. Given the positive relationship between group size and representation on boards and commissions, the question naturally arises as to whether the differences in group representation would remain significant if each group accounted for an identical proportion of a city’s population. Analysis of the city survey data indicates that if Asian Americans and African Americans accounted for the same proportion of residents as Latinos, their predicted level of representation would be even higher than that found among Latinos today. Our interviews led us to conclude that a “critical mass” of ethnic members of boards and commissions can play a major role in improving the process of communication between city government and newcomers to the community. We spoke with one board member in a Bay Area city who was, at the time, the lone Latino on a city government body. He indicated a frustrating experience in trying to raise issues of diversity with his colleagues: There have been several African Americans before me who have served on the Commission. But the others have always resisted making them Chairs of the Commission. And if they did, they always made it a big issue. I remember talking to the Chair at the time about the problem. She appointed an election committee for the next round of officers. A committee with three Anglo members. This committee basically nominated itself! Instead of asking people around who is interested, they formed a committee, and they basically nominated themselves to the Chair and Vice-Chair position. Being the only minority there other than [X], I am very disgruntled. I don’t really want to go to the meeting anymore. I’m just spinning my wheels there. The meetings always make me angry. It takes me three or four days just to get over it and get the balance back in my life. I’m just one Hispanic on one little committee, and that’s the kind of treatment I get. And I know the mayor and others in the city council! The implication here is that, if a native-born Latino who has worked on political campaigns and knows several elected officials has a difficult time making his voice heard on a commission, it would be considerably more 32 challenging for a foreign-born Latino with limited political experience to get involved. In another Bay Area city, by contrast, appointive boards and commissions have been a major route to the empowerment of immigrants. A long-time former mayor and councilmember (who is white) was credited by several interviewees with working strategically to increase diversity in city leadership. During his 20 years in office in the city, he attempted to diversify boards and commissions by consistently striving to generate a larger pool of potential appointees. Another former elected official, an Asian-Pacific American, said of these appointments made beginning in the late 1980s, “Previously, [immigrants] were unaware—no one reached out and asked them to get involved.” However, after appointments were made, “minorities could see someone getting on a board, and they thought, ‘I can do this, too.’” Moreover, he noted that commission service may whet one’s appetite for higher political office: “When you get on a city commission, you get your official papers and business cards. It makes [you] feel important.” Indeed, several immigrants who first served the city on appointed commissions have subsequently run for local elective office. This former official spoke of the importance of “boundary crossers”—those who are able to “break the boundaries of their safety net and reach out to other communities.” A local activist said the city government “is progressive because the commissions are so diverse.” Immigrants and City Council Agendas The political relevance of immigrant communities in city politics can also be measured by the extent to which immigrant concerns or conditions are discussed by local elected officials. We asked mayors and councilmembers whether, over the past five years, immigrants or immigration has been “an issue debated in the local politics of your city.” Given the sizable proportions of immigrants in our survey cities and the rapid demographic changes occurring in many of them, one might expect a fair amount of city-level discussions of immigrant-related matters. However, the plurality response is that immigrants and immigration have not risen to the level of being an issue; this is the case for 43 percent of the citywide responses to our survey (Table 2.3). 33 Table 2.3 Salience of Immigration and Immigrants as Issues in City Politics, According to Elected Officials (Citywide Average Responses, in Percent) Major issue Minor issue Not an issue All Survey Cities 10 24 43 15% to 25% Foreign-Born 4 27 60 > 25% Foreign-Born 15 25 35 NOTE: Proportions do not sum to 100 percent because we are unable to allocate citywide responses to this question in some cases where there are disagreements among respondents. Responses from about one-quarter of cities (24%) maintain that these topics have been debated as a minor issue, whereas a smaller percentage (10%) view immigrant-related concerns as constituting a major city issue. Even though our analysis is confined to immigrant destination cities, there is a positive relationship between the proportion of immigrants in the community and the extent to which immigrant issues make it onto agendas of local governance. Immigrants or immigration also appear more likely to be discussed as a political issue where the flow of newcomers is more recent. The multivariate results (see Appendix Table B.4, column e) also indicate that immigrant-related issues are more likely to appear on local political agendas in immigrant destination cities with larger populations and in those places where Latinos account for a large share of the nonwhite population. Other statistical models (not shown) indicate that the appointment of Latino officials to boards and commissions is positively related to the discussion of immigrant-related issues in City Hall, but the representation of Asian Amerians and blacks does not seem to increase discussion of immigrants in city politics. Granted, it is unclear from these data whether the appointment of Latino officials bears a causal relationship to whether immigrant concerns get debated by city governments. The very appointment of such officials may well be greater in cities that have given prior consideration to immigrant-related issues. 34 However, our interviews in Orange County and the Bay Area indicated that the appointments of Latinos and Asian Americans can lead to increases in agenda-setting power as far as immigrant interests are concerned. Human Relations Commissions Finally, the political relevance of immigrants to City Hall can also be measured by whether a municipality has a human relations commission (HRC) or another similar body. HRCs focus on intergroup relations, most notably along lines of race, immigration, and ethnicity. Our survey of city councilmembers included a question on whether the city had an HRC “or other such group with the responsibility of dealing with conflicts and equity issues among members of various ethnic, racial, or other demographic groups.” According to the citywide responses, only about one-quarter of cities (24%) had such a commission, 69 percent did not, and 7 percent did not know or had contradictory responses among city councilmembers. Thus, although nonwhites accounted for more than a third of the population in 85 percent of the cities surveyed and more than half the population in nearly 60 percent of cities, the presence of HRCs was considerably lower. Multivariate analyses (see Appendix Table B.3, column c) indicate that such commissions are more common in larger cities and in places where Democrats account for a greater share of registered voters. Interestingly, however, the share of foreign-born residents in cities and the Latino share of nonwhites both actually have negative relationships to the existence of HRCs. At the same time, the proportion of immigrants who are recently arrived bears a statistically significant and positive relationship to the existence of HRCs, indicating that cities undergoing more rapid demographic change are indeed more likely to have institutions that seek to mitigate conflicts between various groups. The structure and role of mediating institutions can vary from city to city. None of our case-study cities had a commission specifically empowered to address issues of racial and ethnic tension. However, three of the four cities had a commission with the power to advise the city in its disbursement of federal community development block grants, which often led to interactions with immigrant-focused nonprofits. In 35 one city, the commission taking on this advisory role has gone even further, implementing ideas such as an expanded Neighborhood Night Out program geared toward increasing and improving interpersonal relationships among members of different racial and ethnic groups living in each neighborhood. Finally, it should be noted that some large cities have gone beyond the concept of HRCs to create institutions that are specifically tailored to the needs of immigrant residents. In San Francisco, for instance, an Immigrant Rights Commission was created in 1997 to enhance the quality of life for immigrants through political empowerment and improving access to social services. Initially, the commission served an advisory role in the provision of city services. More recently, however, it has been given some oversight authority.10 The commission was empowered to receive complaints from immigrant residents regarding the provision of services, and it works with individual departments to resolve such complaints. This commission is also more proactive than HRCs in other cities in its advocacy of immigrant interests. It has organized summits highlighting the needs of immigrant residents, conducted regular outreach to various community-based organizations, and worked with ethnic media in the city and region. Santa Clara County has a similar organization, the Immigrant Relations and Integration Services (IRIS) office, that is part of its Office of Human Relations. However, unlike its counterpart in San Francisco, which serves as an advocate in City Hall, the IRIS office collaborates with community partners to provide direct services such as assistance with citizenship applications, immigrant leadership classes, and immigrant community education. Finally, some cities do not have immigrant-specific commissions but do incorporate a significant amount of advocacy and community education into the existing framework of related commissions. Thus, for instance, the Human Services _____________ 10In 2001, the city passed an ordinance that city departments must provide services in a particular non-English language (such as translated materials, bilingual phone messages, and bilingual staff in public contact positions) when the language is spoken by 10,000 or more city residents, or 5 percent of the clients served by that department. Coverage was initially limited to Spanish and Chinese (Immigrant Rights Commission, 2002). 36 Commission in Los Angeles advocates on behalf of immigrants in discussions with local, state, and federal agencies and has a full-time policy advisor who conducts research on immigrant needs. Conclusion Overall, how well do city governments understand the needs of their immigrant residents? In our survey, we asked respondents whether they would agree or disagree with the statement that they “have a hard time finding out about the political or policy interests of local immigrants.” More than one in three councilmembers agreed with this statement, with 12 percent expressing strong agreement. Such a finding is not surprising given what else we have learned in this analysis of communication between city governments and immigrant communities. Although a majority of cities surveyed have populations where more than 10 percent of residents have limited English proficiency, only a small minority of cities provides translated documents regularly. The availability of interpreters is more widespread, but even these are provided regularly by fewer than one in three immigrant destination cities. Finally, less than one-third of city councilmembers indicate that they often receive information about immigrant needs—from sources ranging from local newspapers and school districts to state agencies and the U.S. Census Bureau. Interviews also indicated significant blockages or limitations in the process of communication between immigrants (or their surrogates) and local officials. Immigrants in California are thus largely unseen and unheard in City Hall. Even when they are heard, immigrants and immigrant organizations lack influence when compared to well-organized actors such as neighborhood associations, developers, and public employee unions. Although churches and ethnic organizations may be relied on for information about the needs of immigrant communities, they are not seen as having much influence in local politics. Little surprise, then, that immigrant concerns are seen as significant issues in local politics in only one in ten cities, and in only 15 percent of the cities where immigrants account for more than one-quarter of the resident population. In many instances, such demographic factors as the proportion of immigrants in the city, the recentness of arrival of those immigrants, and 37 the Latino share of the population play an important role in differentiating between those municipalities that have active channels of communication with immigrant communities and those that do not. Yet demography is not destiny. For example, the relevance of such factors as the ideology of city councils and the partisan makeup of the city electorate indicates that there is considerable discretion in the extent to which cities provide translated documents. There is also a considerable amount of discretion relating to where immigrant groups wield political influence. Immigrant interests are less likely to be viewed as influential in cities with conservative city councils and more likely to have influence in cities where Democrats account for a larger share of registered voters. Political appointments also make a significant difference with respect to the political relevance of immigrants to city government, with the appointment of coethnic commission members leading to greater attention to immigrant needs and concerns. Still, the evidence from our surveys and case studies suggests that councilmembers and mayors can play a significant role in shaping whether immigrant communities are seen, heard, and exercise influence in City Hall. 38 3. Housing Policy Challenges As noted in Chapter 1, local elected officials identified housing as the top concern facing immigrants in their cities. Housing is a policy issue of particular concern to immigrant destination cities for two main reasons. First, many immigrants live in household arrangements—such as multiple generations, multiple families, or unrelated individuals sharing the same household—that are nontraditional by U.S. standards and that may clash with community norms or trigger local enforcement actions (Harwood and Myers, 2002). In the immigrants’ home countries, it may be far more common for multiple generations to reside together, but in a typical California suburb, such household arrangements may lead to scrutiny from neighbors concerned about parking issues and perceived neighborhood disruptions. A related issue concerns the affordability of housing for immigrants and the suitability of the housing stock to the needs of newcomers. Although experts disagree on the extent of the California housing shortage and its distribution around the state (Johnson, Moller, and Dardia, 2004), few doubt the challenges that housing costs pose for lower-income Californians, a group in which immigrants are overrepresented. In many communities, immigrants are disproportionately housed in such irregular forms of housing as converted garages, illegally subdivided homes, or even shanty housing. In addition to raising issues of basic shelter needs, such conditions also often serve to heighten the concerns about crowding noted above. This chapter investigates housing and land-use conditions in immigrant destination cities and city policy and political responses to these issues. We draw on our survey of planning directors as well as the electedofficial survey. 39 Housing Conditions and Political Responses in Immigrant Destination Cities Why do mayors and councilmembers consider housing to be the paramount issue facing local immigrants? Survey results make it abundantly clear that there are widespread perceived problems of housing cost, affordability, and quality in our set of immigrant destination cities. Table 3.1 reports on the share of planners and the share of citywide elected-official responses indicating agreement with four statements about local housing conditions. The first two statements evoke positive views of local housing opportunities, whereas the second two indicate serious problems (homelessness or very marginal shelter) among at least a segment of the local public. The perceptions of the two groups of respondents are remarkably similar—and quite distressing. Taken together, only about one city in five is seen as having “plenty” of affordable rental units, and in fewer than four cities in ten are civil servants, such as teachers and police, seen as having a reasonable ability to purchase housing in or near the town they work in. Perhaps worse still, about one city in four has a visible homeless problem or “quite a few” residents living in garages, cars, and so on. Table 3.1 Local Housing Affordability Conditions, as Perceived by Planners and Elected Officials There are plenty of rental units in the city that are affordable to low-income residents Most of our police, teachers, and city staff are able to buy housing in or near this city Quite a few people live in garages, cars, or other informal dwellings in this city Homelessness is a visible problem in this city % Who Agree or Strongly Agree Elected Officials Planners (Citywide Average) 16 20 36 39 26 27 21 24 40 Although many immigrant destination cities may have particular difficulty with housing affordability, these challenges are not unique to cities with many immigrants. Table 3.2 relates a measure of housing “unaffordability” in cities to the percentage of foreign-born residents in the city. Across all regions, this unaffordability ratio is higher in cities with more than one-quarter of the population composed of immigrants than in cities with less than 15 percent foreign-born residents. However, both within regions and at the statewide level, the relationship between the percentage of immigrants and housing unaffordability is not an especially close one. In rural areas of California and other states, colonias are one important manifestation of the affordability challenge. Colonias are rural settlements in which the majority of residents are low-income immigrants, typically farmworkers. They have sprouted up throughout the Central Valley and along the Central Coast, and several of the highest-immigration communities in the United States are California colonias (Taylor, Martin, and Fix, 1997). Serving as virtual dormitories for laborers, they often lack much of a tax base. Some have essentially become “rural ghettos,” where economic life centers on seasonal farm work. “As new migrants continue to arrive, established residents rent out their garages and backyards” for the newcomers to sleep in (Taylor, Martin, and Fix, 1997, p. 46). Table 3.2 Housing Unaffordability in California Cities, by Immigrant Share Average City-Level Ratio of Median Home Value to Median Household Income Percentage of City Residents Foreign-Born 25 All California Cities 4.55 4.52 4.69 Southern California Region 4.39 4.19 4.67 San Francisco Bay Area 5.58 5.83 5.79 Central Valley 3.00 3.16 3.07 SOURCE: Calculated from the 2000 Census. NOTE: Southern California is defined as the six counties of the Southern California Association of Governments. 41 In general, the housing situation for migrant workers across the state became more difficult after September 11, 2001. With greater security at the borders, many seasonal workers remain in informal camps through winter so that they do not risk the chance of not making it across the border in the following year. With the length of stay of undocumented workers in the United States increasing, communities that once benefited from cheap labor without the associated problems of low-income workers have been transformed. For example, in Stockton in the San Joaquin Valley, the city’s poverty rate climbed by nearly 30 percent during the 1990s, resulting in almost a quarter of the city’s residents living below the poverty line. City schools saw an influx of Spanishspeaking students, and farmworkers lived in run-down apartments or makeshift housing. “The houses violate the city code,” said the city’s mayor. “But if we chase them out, they will only go live by the river” (quoted in Porter, 2003). Given the wide belief among local officials that many of these immigrant destination cities have critical needs for affordable housing, it is interesting to ask whether local politics gives much weight to those in favor of affordable housing development, as against those who might be expected to oppose it. We asked both the planners and elected officials whether there was a group in the community—“not including homebuilders, real estate interests, or city staff”—that “actively lobbies for increased housing opportunities or affordable housing.” Among the planners responding to this question, there was an even split—48 percent yes, 48 percent no. (The rest did not know.) The citywide responses of elected officials (that is, the predominant response in the city among mayors and councilmembers responding) were extremely similar in character: 42 percent yes, 44 percent no. (The remaining cities could not be allocated to one or another category because of either “don’t knows” or conflicting responses.) We find no pattern between the reported activism of affordable housing groups and the proportion of immigrant residents in the city, although we do find that such groups are less active in cities with high poverty rates, where they are perhaps most needed (see Appendix Table B.6, column c). 42 Crowding and Code Enforcement An issue related to affordability in many immigrant destination cities concerns household size. On average, immigrant households have more persons per dwelling unit than households of the native-born. This pattern is likely due to a combination of factors, including a cultural tradition in many Latin American and Asian societies of multiple generations living together in the same home, poverty among some immigrants that leads to doubling-up in housing units, and a higher rate of childbearing among first-generation Latinas (Moller, Johnson, and Dardia, 2002; Myers, 2001). Some have suggested that California’s housing market is mismatched to its emerging demographic needs for a number of reasons: Most housing was built decades ago for a population with different characteristics and preferences; developers have largely concentrated on serving more traditional households; and production of rental and attached housing slowed during the 1990s compared to production of single-family units (Myers, 2000). In addition, media articles have reported on numerous cases of highimmigration cities—typically the less-affluent communities in this group—experiencing controversies over overcrowded housing. In some such circumstances, long-time residents or city officials have complained about the large numbers of (sometimes unrelated) individuals living in a given housing unit, about illegal conversion of garages or other structures into dwelling units, or about neighborhood parking shortages ostensibly brought on by increases in the number of people living in a given area. These conditions have also raised fire-safety and sanitation concerns in at least a few communities. Over time, attitudes toward housing crowding and neighborhood norms may shift, relieving community conflict. In one city we visited, a minority officeholder said that overcrowding in local homes (and too many cars parked on the street) was one of the top ten issues raised by residents during a recent election campaign. But he noted that such concerns seemed to be more of a problem for “old-timer” residents—a euphemism for long-time, white, often elderly residents—rather than the immigrants themselves. Similarly, a member of a city commission said that although his commission had received complaints in the past of 43 “people living twelve to a house,” these complaints have dwindled since “there’s acceptance now that that’s the reality.” Another city commission member—an Asian American who has worked in real estate—explained that “Asians like to help each other out, so they often share houses” with other families. These joint purchases are viewed as an advantage in teaching the immigrants “how to be responsible in owning a home. But to the American way, it is unfavorable because they look at it as overcrowding.” Over time, the housing aspirations of immigrants and their children may tend to approach the U.S. middle-class norm. A community activist noted such generational differences in attitudes toward housing, saying that those who immigrated decades ago “now want space and hills,” whereas newcomer immigrants “aren’t concerned about space” but rather about building equity through property ownership. How widespread are concerns about residential crowding? Overcrowding—particularly in areas where many immigrants live—is perceived as a problem in a sizable minority, but not a majority, of California’s high-immigration cities. Responses from planners and elected officials to an equivalent set of crowding-related questions showed a fair amount of agreement, although the elected officials were slightly more inclined to see problems. Among responding mayors and councilmembers (citywide responses), in about four cities in ten— compared to about one in three among planners—there was agreement or strong agreement that overcrowded housing was a problem, that residents often complained about shortages of parking in the neighborhoods, and that overcrowding and housing code violations were mainly a problem in the sections of the city where immigrants tend to live.1 Furthermore, cities in which respondents agreed or strongly agreed that residential overcrowding was a major problem, or that complaints about parking were frequent, tended on average to have higher proportions of immigrants in the population. Figure 3.1 illustrates this pattern for the planners’ responses; the picture looks quite similar for the _____________ 1Parking shortages may occur for a number of reasons, some of which have little to do with crowded housing units. 44 % foreign-born in average city Agree Strongly agree Neutral Disagree Strongly disagree 45 Overcrowding a major problem Complaints about parking shortage 35 Problems mainly in immigrant areas 25 15 Response category Figure 3.1—Relationship Between Percentage of Immigrants in the City and Planning Directors’ Perception of Housing Problems citywide responses of elected officials. Census data also bear out the conclusion that there is a relationship between immigrant populations and housing crowding (Figure 3.2). In general, the average number of persons per household in cities grows noticeably higher as the proportion of foreign-born residents increases. How do city governments respond to these conditions? In our survey, few planners indicate that their cities issue citations to many properties for occupancy over the legal limit (Table 3.4). In California, cities are legally constrained in their discretion to set standards for residential occupancy beyond the relatively permissive standards set by the state (Harwood and Myers, 2002). On the other hand, about six in ten high-immigration cities cite property owners for illegal secondary units at least occasionally, according to the planners, and 19 percent cite this condition often.2 Of course, we do not mean to imply that these issues occur only in high-immigration communities, or that immigrants are the _____________ 2Secondary units are commonly known as in-law units or granny flats. However, it is important to understand that many secondary units are completely legal (and in some jurisdictions, encouraged by city policy as a way to produce more affordable housing). Our survey of planners asked specifically about illegal secondary units. 45 Average persons per household 5.0 4.5 4.0 3.5 3.0 2.5 2.0 1.5 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 % of residents foreign-born Figure 3.2—Relationship Between Immigrants and Household Size in California Cities Table 3.3 Enforcement of Relevant Building Codes (Percentage of Cities) Occupancy over Illegal Secondary Legal Limit Units Often cited Occasionally cited Rarely cited Condition not present Do not know 3 15 58 18 5 19 41 31 8 1 SOURCE: Planning directors’ survey. responsible parties for most code violations. However, for reasons discussed above, we do suspect that concerns over housing crowding are more prevalent in high-immigration cities. Statistical analysis helps shed further light on which types of cities are most active in such code enforcement activities.3 The level of _____________ 3In the analyses reported in this section, code enforcement is measured on a threepoint scale (rarely, occasionally, or often cited). Cities where planners say the condition 46 citations for illegal secondary units is only mildly correlated with a city’s average number of persons per household (r = .15; p < .05 in a pairwise bivariate correlation). Moreover, in multivariate analysis that controls for several relevant city characteristics, average household size is estimated to be unrelated to the level of enforcement against illegally subdivided units. Rather, it appears that cities with larger populations and those with a higher proportion of registered Democrats in the local electorate engage in more enforcement against illegal in-law units. We surmise that larger cities have more staff capacity to engage in such enforcement and that cities with more Democrats may have a greater preference for policies that regulate property owners. The percentage of immigrants or of recent immigrants in the local population appears to be unrelated in any significant manner to the level of enforcement against illegal units. Perhaps not surprisingly, the degree of code enforcement activity for overcrowded housing is more strongly correlated with a city’s average number of persons per household (r = .28; p < .01). Indeed, average household size remains a strong predictor of code enforcement against crowded units when controlling for other factors in a multivariate model. Other city characteristics that appear to increase the probability of such enforcement are having a large population size, a more Republican electorate, and a moderate or liberal (as opposed to conservative) city council majority. Again, the share of immigrants in the city population is not significantly associated with enforcement of occupancy limits. Thus, although high-immigration cities may be more prone to overcrowding as a result of having households that are larger than average, the presence of more immigrants, in and of itself, does not appear to render local governments more strict in cracking down on local housing code violations. This might be taken as heartening (albeit only suggestive) evidence that there is not a double standard for immigrants in the enforcement of building regulations. As one city planner told us regarding illegal secondary units, “We don’t look under stones. But if ______________________________________________________________ is not present, or where the planner does not know, are omitted from the analysis. This reduces the number of cities in the analysis below 200, which leads us to be somewhat tentative about the results discussed. Full results of the ordered logit models discussed in this section are in Appendix Table B.5. 47 someone complains, we’re legally and professionally obligated to investigate.” A member of a commission in the same Bay Area community agreed that city staff do code enforcement “when pushed, but the city does not volunteer” to take on crowding issues. Official Attention to Immigrant Housing Needs Given the special dimensions of the housing challenge for highimmigration cities, do the governments of these communities devote specific consideration to immigrant housing needs? In some cities, extensive attention has been given to the housing conditions facing newcomer residents. For example, the Concord city council, reacting specifically to the growth of a dilapidated area of apartments that mainly housed immigrants, passed a far-reaching approach, the Multi-Family Housing Inspection Program. The program proactively sends out inspectors to check every apartment building of four or more units. The ordinance requires that landlords repair units in a timely manner and forces delinquent landlords to bear the cost of tenant relocation if any unit is found unsafe. This aggressive approach to rehabilitating affordable housing is different from that in most cities, which respond only to specific complaints about code violations. However, advocates for low-income families in Concord worried that if renovations were to be made, about 300 families then living in 190 units would be at least temporarily displaced. According to a housing consultant hired by the city, who interviewed residents in blighted areas, there were “hundreds of stories involving evictions, high rent increases, lack of legal assistance and verbal, mental, and physical abuse from landlords” (quoted in Krishnan, 2001). As redevelopment plans continued, the city also solicited the help of nonprofits to improve existing properties. The city council and redevelopment agency loaned $2.3 million toward this effort. By 2003, the initial inspections were nearly complete. After discovering an array of problems, the city altered the incentive structure for landlords by cutting the $33 annual per-unit fee that had been levied to finance the program but only for landlords who had been providing safe housing. Are such examples of proactive policy widespread? In our survey of planning directors, we asked whether housing conditions among 48 immigrant residents have been “an issue debated by your city’s planning commission or city council.” Respondents from a large majority of cities in our survey (71%) indicated that immigrant housing conditions had not been debated by these local bodies. By contrast, 13 percent said that the topic of immigrant housing conditions had been a major issue before the council or planning commission, and 14 percent said it had been a minor issue. (The other 2 percent did not know.) Surprisingly, we found no close correlation between the percentage of immigrants in the city and its degree of debate on immigrant housing issues.4 In multivariate statistical analyses, too, there was no relationship between the proportion of immigrants and the extent to which immigrant housing issues were discussed. Indeed, the only characteristic that predicted higher debate was overall poverty rates in the city, with such factors as city size and ethnic composition playing no significant role. It appears that the appearance of debates over immigrant housing conditions in city governments is largely context-specific. One potentially important opportunity for city governments to take immigrant-related housing issues into account is when local planning documents are updated or rewritten. A city’s housing element is a staterequired portion of its general plan that discusses the community’s existing and anticipated housing needs, conditions, and policies (Lewis, 2003). Survey responses from planners indicate that housing issues specific to immigrants are equally unlikely to receive attention in local housing element preparation as in council or planning commission debates. Specifically, 80 percent of the respondents from these immigrant destination cities indicated that their city’s housing element does not specifically address immigrant housing needs or conditions, whereas 20 percent said that the local plan does discuss immigrants. We found no correlation between the relative presence of immigrants in the city and treatment of immigrant issues in the housing element. And once again, multivariate analysis did not reveal any local characteristics _____________ 4The pairwise correlation between the percentage of immigrants in the city and the degree of policy debate on immigrant housing is 0.13 (p < .10). The relationship between degree of debate and percentage recently arrived immigrants is somewhat stronger (r = 0.21, p < .01), but still not exceedingly close. 49 that provide a handle on whether a city is likely to analyze immigrants in the housing element. In general, then, immigrants’ housing issues are not treated as distinctive from the housing needs of other groups in these cities, such as low-income residents, renters, or farmworkers. Consistent with our findings on code enforcement, it appears that city officials do not approach housing issues very differently as a result of the nativity status of the city population. Depending on the context, advocacy groups that work for immigrant uplift might view this apparently agnostic approach to immigrant housing issues in a negative light (in the case of the lack of attention from local housing plans) or in a positive one (in that officials are not enforcing occupancy standards more stringently in highimmigration cities). Inclusionary Housing Policies What are some potential local policy responses to the housing affordability problems that affect immigrants (and other local residents)? One increasingly common, though somewhat controversial, approach in California and other states is the “inclusionary housing” requirement. Such a policy requires that developers of new residential projects include a proportion of units priced to be affordable to low- or moderate-income buyers or renters within their projects. We asked planners whether their city had a formal inclusionary housing requirement for at least some types of residential projects. Slightly less than half (44%) indicated that their city had such a requirement, compared to 54 percent who said that the city did not have such regulations. A multivariate analysis indicated that the adoption of inclusionary housing policies is not significantly related to the percentage of immigrants in a city (see Appendix Table B.6, column a). However, cities whose immigrant populations are more heavily weighted toward recent (post-1990) newcomers are more likely to have such a policy. Cities with conservative council majorities are much less likely to adopt such a policy—not surprisingly, as many view inclusionary housing as a significant government intervention into the housing market. Finally, 50 cities with larger populations are more likely to adopt inclusionary housing, as are lower-density cities.5 Conclusion Results from our surveys of local officials, from the 2000 Census, and from our interviews, as well as media accounts from numerous cities, all show that housing issues pose substantial challenges for many immigrant destination cities. Although the housing problem transcends high-immigration communities in California, household sizes tend to be significantly larger, and affordability often slightly worse, than in cities less affected by immigration. Nevertheless, there is little evidence that immigrant destination cities have chosen to grapple with aspects of the housing challenge that are associated with immigrants. Only a small minority of cities have specifically addressed immigrants in their housing plans or have discussed immigrant housing needs at the council or planning commission level. At the same time, there is no evidence that the presence of higher percentages of immigrants triggers stricter enforcement of housing codes regarding overcrowded or illegally subdivided buildings. In short—and with sporadic exceptions—city officials have been more reactive than proactive in regard to immigrant-related housing issues. _____________ 5Presumably the density bonuses offered to developers of inclusionary projects would have fewer spillover effects and arouse less opposition in low-density than in highdensity cities. 51 4. Policing and Law Enforcement Issues In housing policy, the role of city government is often not direct or obvious to residents. By contrast, law enforcement and public safety are municipal functions that can be quite visible and can touch the lives of immigrants and other residents in a very direct way. With their uniforms and patrol cars, police officers are probably the most obvious, and frequently encountered, representatives of municipal government in most cities. One Latino elected official told us that police are “the everyday, human face of the city government,” so it is important to strive for an “approachable” police force. Police are also quintessential “streetlevel bureaucrats” (Lipsky, 1980): Although operating under a complex set of legal rules, they have considerable discretion in applying those rules to particular incidents and situations that occur on their rounds. Thus, the organizational culture of police departments and their standard operating procedures can differ dramatically from city to city (Wilson, 1970). In immigrant destination cities, this visibility and bureaucratic discretion interact with local demographic change to make for a potentially very sensitive and challenging job for police. Some immigrants, in their home countries, dealt with law enforcement officials who were corrupt or who used force indiscriminately; others lived in fear of government authorities more generally. Moreover, cultural practices among some immigrants are distinctive and may make them “stand out” in some communities. This chapter examines approaches to policing and police/community relations in our set of high-immigration communities. We analyze results from our surveys of police chiefs (or in contract cities, commanding officers of the police bureaus that cover the city in question), along with views on some policing matters from elected officials. 53 Local Policing Conditions and Police-Community Relations Ethnic change in neighborhoods has long been associated with social conditions that can make the job of police officers more challenging. In the popular imagination and in media accounts of big-city ethnic neighborhoods, images such as youth gangs, extortion of small businesses, and fear or avoidance of the police are common. Moreover, some of the police sources we interviewed in our case-study cities indicated that reluctance to seek help from the police or to inform the police of criminal activity was a significant problem in some immigrant neighborhoods. Explanations proffered for such reluctance included language barriers, bad experiences with officials in the immigrants’ home country, and a fear of detection among undocumented immigrants. In our survey, we sought a more systematic assessment of the conditions facing police in immigrant destination cities. These results show that some, but certainly not all, high-immigration communities face special policing challenges (Table 4.1). For example, just under half of the police chiefs agreed or strongly agreed that youth gangs are a major source of crime in their city, and about three in ten reported problems in which immigrants are taken advantage of by scam artists, whereas fewer than one in ten agreed that their city has had problems with attempted extortion of immigrant business owners. Continuing a theme from our analysis of housing issues, one-fifth of police chiefs Table 4.1 Police Chiefs’ Views of Local Conditions Statement About City Youth gangs are a major source of criminal activity Immigrant residents are often reluctant to seek help from police Problems exist in which immigrants are targeted by fraud, confidence schemes, scams Police often get complaints of too many people living in a housing unit Mistrust of police by residents is a major problem Extortion attempts of immigrant-owned businesses is a problem % Who Agree or Strongly Agree 49 38 28 21 9 9 54 indicated that their departments often receive complaints about overcrowded residential units. In terms of police-community relations, however, the picture looks relatively bright, at least from the point of view of the police chiefs. Fewer than four in ten said that local immigrants are often reluctant to seek police help, and only about one in ten agreed that residents’ mistrust of police is a major problem. Although it might be argued that police chiefs may see this trust issue through rose-colored lenses, when we asked the same question in our survey of elected officials, responses were quite similar. In only 11 percent of cities did mayors and councilmembers agree or strongly agree that mistrust of police represented a major problem (according to the citywide average response). To what degree is the presence of immigrants in these cities associated with such conditions? Such problems as youth gangs or extortion of businesses can occur in cities composed entirely of nativeborn residents as well as in high-immigration cities. Bivariate analysis of the survey results indicate that each of the problems (as perceived by the police chiefs)—with the exception of immigrants’ reluctance to seek help—is more prevalent in cities with higher proportions of foreign-born residents. It is worth emphasizing that we do not attempt to unravel the tangle of causal factors that lead to local crime-related conditions (an analysis beyond the scope of this report) and thus do not argue that the presence of immigrants is itself a causal factor. Nonetheless, it does appear that cities with higher proportions of newcomers are more prone toward certain conditions that complicate policing.1 _____________ 1For example, one relatively new public safety issue that has emerged in several Southern California cities concerns “cybercafes,” which offer customers high-speed, lowcost Internet connections. According to various media reports, the primary clientele in some cities are young Asian men interested in using the high-speed connections for multiplayer fighting games. Critics have complained that cybercafes are a new hangout for gangs where fights and drugs have become an issue. Los Angeles police have reported more than 300 disturbances, including a homicide, at cybercafes. With its large Vietnamese and Korean populations, Garden Grove saw a proliferation of cybercafes in the early 2000s and created some of the strictest regulations on the business. Cybercafe owners, many of whom are also immigrants, complained of disproportionate targeting of their businesses. In 2004, an appeals court upheld some of the city’s cybercafe rules, such as a requirement for security guards during peak hours, but struck down the requirement 55 Trust of Police in Diverse Communities Because of the special importance of police-community relations in changing communities, we undertook a multivariate analysis of the issue of mistrust of police (see Appendix Table B.7, column a). The analysis controlled for city population size, poverty rate, percentage black, and Hispanic proportion of the nonwhite population. Results indicate that the percentage of foreign-born residents in the population showed a statistically significant association with mistrust of the police—in other words, an increase in the immigrant share of the local population is associated with a small increase (along the five-point scale) in the chief’s agreement to the question of whether mistrust of police is a major problem in the city.2 To what degree can police actions help set the tone for relationships of trust or distrust between immigrants and municipal governments? One Bay Area city we visited was well-known in the post–World War II period for racial exclusion, when it was tagged as one of the nation’s most racist suburbs (Self, 2003). Racial exclusion was felt primarily in housing, where residents entered into informal agreements to screen out blacks, but our interviews with local officials and community leaders indicate that it was also felt in policing. As one councilmember told us, “the police would stop people if they were different, coming out of Oakland. They would sometimes pick them up and take them back over the border.” Other respondents echoed similar sentiments, indicating that police misconduct was part of the more general problem of race relations in the city during the 1960s and 1970s. Little surprise, then, that this particular city remained largely white until the 1980s, despite having a large black population nearby in Oakland, a growing industrial base, and expanding real estate development. ______________________________________________________________ for cafes to obtain conditional use permits from the city. Further information and a list of news sources consulted are available upon request from the authors. 2The recentness of the city’s immigrant population (i.e., the percentage of immigrants who arrived after 1990) was not a significant predictor of perceived mistrust of police, however. The only other significant variable in the model was a positive association between poverty rate and perceived mistrust. When we added to the model a control for the local crime rate (measured as the average FBI Uniform Crime Rate in the city over the years 2000 through 2002), these results were unchanged. 56 Even when the racial and ethnic demographics began to change with the influx of immigrants, tensions between police and nonwhite residents remained a significant problem. However, most of our interviewees indicated that the situation had changed dramatically for the better in the past decade or so, attributable primarily to the “inclusive” and “proactive” leadership of the current police chief and his predecessor. For instance, one community leader noted that the department has hired several Latino and Asian American officers, who have been more involved in community outreach and working with families to prevent gang violence. The police chief indicated that, in addition to increasing racial/ethnic diversity in the police force, the department has provided training to all its officers in such issues as handling domestic violence cases in different communities and learning about the needs of the Muslim community after the attacks of September 11, 2001. Finally, the department also makes it a point to attend various community events and neighborhood meetings, even if doing so involves significant overtime pay. In many ways, the police department is more proactive in its outreach efforts to immigrants than are other agencies and elected officials in this city. Many of the elected and appointed officials we spoke with said that they do not know much about the immigrant community. They also bemoaned the lack of involvement by immigrants; yet meetings between elected officials and immigrant business owners or advocates are rare, and very few city documents are translated. By contrast, the police department has succeeded in learning about various immigrant communities and has gained a modicum of trust in many neighborhoods. At the same time, the police department’s interest in outreach toward immigrant communities is limited. The department enforces certain policies that make life for some immigrant communities more difficult than, say, in such large cities as Los Angeles or San Francisco. For one, it aggressively enforces some ordinances that are less likely to be tenable in areas of overcrowded housing (for example, the prohibition on fixing cars on the street even for a short period of time, or ensuring that no storage items are visible from the street). The city’s prohibition on loitering and solicitation means that day laborers often have to travel to 57 Oakland to find work, and the police department is also vigilant in cracking down on informal businesses such as street vendors and unlicensed home enterprises.3 Some may argue that these measures are based solely on concerns with public health, quality of life, and safety, and that immigrants themselves ultimately benefit from the enforcement of such laws. Yet if informal businesses and overcrowding are inevitable aspects of immigrant life in the city (especially given the present state of wages, rents, and profit margins on immigrant-run businesses), then the enforcement of such ordinances places a greater burden on immigrants than on the native-born population. The city council has not addressed the issue of whether ordinances should be altered to suit the changing dynamics of the population and the local economy. Thus, police outreach to immigrant communities is limited and structured by the department’s overall concern with “quality of life” issues. Such outreach may exceed that of the city council, but it falls far short of what one might consider to be immigrant empowerment, where communities have a say in the formulation of municipal policies. Approaches to Policing One element in establishing rapport and trust between police officers and immigrant members of the community may involve policing styles. Are police officers seen as an alien presence in immigrant-heavy neighborhoods, or are there attempts to increase the level of routine and positive interactions between officers and residents? The latter approach is encapsulated in the theory of community policing, which calls for a return to “beat cops” who get to know a particular neighborhood through their patrol routines and maintain linkages with community groups, storekeepers, schools, and social service providers. _____________ 3For instance, the police chief noted that when officers notice someone selling strawberries on the street, they shut down the operation and warn them not to do it again. They also find out who set up the operation to prevent future instances of unlicensed vending. 58 While making no judgment as to the efficacy of community policing in reducing crime or breaking down cultural barriers, we included four items in our survey intended to capture the police department’s patrol style and community interactions (Table 4.2). Nearly all police chiefs agree or strongly agree that their departments have made major efforts to implement community policing (a concept that we did not define in the questionnaire and which is certainly open to interpretation). A similarly high share say that their department’s interaction with the local school district has been “close and cordial” on issues relating to juveniles. Nearly three-quarters say that the police regularly engage in outreach and community meetings. On the other hand, fewer than four in ten say that foot or bicycle patrols are a major component of police patrols in their city. In short, although police departments in immigrant destination cities overwhelmingly subscribe to the community policing ideal, for most, the “cop on the beat” is still one riding in a patrol car.4 To further probe the relationship between immigration and policing style, we estimated multivariate models analogous to the one described in Table 4.2 Police Chiefs’ Descriptions of Local Policing Approaches Statement About City % Who Agree or Strongly Agree On issues affecting juveniles, relationship with local school district is close and cordial 93 Department has made major efforts to implement “community policing” approach 91 Police regularly hold neighborhood meetings and engage in community outreach 73 Foot or bike patrols are a major component of police patrol efforts 38 _____________ 4We asked the same questions of the elected officials, for another perspective. As might be expected, they are somewhat less sanguine than the chiefs in describing local police practices on most of these questions—but not by much. According to the citywide responses of the elected officials, 41 percent of police departments make major use of foot and bike patrols, 63 percent have regular neighborhood meetings, 84 percent work closely with the schools, and 83 percent have made major efforts to implement community policing. 59 the preceding section (see Appendix Table B.7, columns b through e).5 Only city population size was persistently related to the police chiefs’ responses to these four questions: On all questions except the one about police-school district relations, larger cities were more likely to engage in the community policing modality. However, cities with higher proportions of immigrants showed less tendency toward the use of foot or bike patrols. The immigrant “effect” is not large—a 10 percent increase in the foreign-born share is associated with about 0.2 points lower responses by the police chief on the five-point agreement scale regarding foot patrols. But it is statistically significant. Police chiefs in cities with higher Hispanic proportions of the nonwhite population are also less likely to report the use of foot or bike patrols or community meetings and outreach.6 We can only speculate as to why the presence of foreign-born residents or Latinos is associated with lower use of foot patrols, or less satisfactory interactions with the school district. Perhaps language barriers or other cultural differences make police in these communities less confident about such approaches. (The language issue is explored more closely below.) Finally, in considering approaches to policing diverse populations, it is worth moving beyond the responses of police chiefs to also include the views of local elected officials. Table 4.3 shows citywide average responses by mayors and councilmembers to survey items regarding the local police department’s cultural sensitivity, its efforts to work on behalf of vulnerable groups, and its reputation for the use of force. Elected officials in most cities clearly have positive views of their police departments on these dimensions. For instance, in only 14 percent of cities do officials say that there have often been complaints about the alleged inappropriate use of police force. This measure may indeed be an underreporting of the full extent of the problem in California’s cities, _____________ 5We added a control for cities’ population density, given the possibility that it could affect methods of policing, particularly foot and bike patrols. 6Police chiefs in cities with higher proportions of African American residents and higher poverty rates are less likely to report favorable relations with the schools, according to the results of this model. 60 Table 4.3 Elected Officials’ Views on Police/Community Interactions Statement About City Police are adequately trained to deal with persons of different cultural backgrounds Police make special efforts to combat fraud and other activities that target vulnerable groups Residents have often expressed concerns about allegedly inappropriate use of force by police % of Cities Where Average Response Is Agree or Strongly Agree 72 58 14 either because of the reluctance of undocumented immigrants to report complaints or because of limited oversight of law enforcement in particular cities. However, the generally positive view of police departments also conforms to our interviews with elected officials and community activists in our case-study cities, with many respondents noting that police departments were generally doing a good job in learning more about and reaching out to immigrant communities. Finally, results from a multivariate analysis of the survey of elected officials reveal no statistically significant connection between the immigrant share of the city population and perceived concerns about the use of force.7 Thus, police departments are generally viewed as responsive to immigrant needs, and concerns about the inappropriate use of force are not significantly greater in cities with high proportions of immigrant residents, other things being equal. Translation and Language Issues In police work, time is of the essence—either in responding to phone calls or in questioning victims and witnesses soon after a crime has occurred. How do police departments deal with victims and witnesses who have difficulty understanding or speaking English? In our _____________ 7The population size of the city, the poverty rate, and the percentage of Democrats in the electorate also are positively and significantly related to perceived concerns about excessive force (see Appendix Table B.9, column a). 61 questionnaire, we presented police chiefs with the following hypothetical scenario: If an officer in your police department responds to a call, and a victim or witness is unable to speak English, how would the officer typically proceed? (Assume the responding officer is not fluent in the victim’s language.) Please check one response [emphasis in original]. As Table 4.4 indicates, 9 percent of the respondents refused to be pinned down to one answer, with some pointing out that the response would be dictated by the circumstances (e.g., whether an officer speaking that language was on duty or whether the incident was an emergency or a routine call). However, the vast majority said that the police officer would typically ask the department to send an officer fluent in that language—an indication that departments have already recognized the need for language diversity and have recruited accordingly. The priority given to language translation is further underscored by survey responses indicating that 81 percent of departments count bilingualism in favor of job candidates during the recruitment process, and 87 percent offer additional pay to bilingual officers. And, although the survey did not include a question on the various languages supported, our case study interviews with police officials indicate that there is typically greater diversity in language support among police staff than among the staff in City Hall. In cities with no language support among police staff, departments typically rely on civilian translators, with about one in seven police chiefs Table 4.4 Typical Response of an Officer If Victim/Witness Unable to Speak English, According to Police Chiefs/Commanders Response Ask the department to send an officer who speaks the person’s language Ask a civilian family member, neighbor, etc., to translate Call on a translation service the department contracts with for this purpose Call on a translator employed by the city or county More than one of the above/it depends (volunteered) % 69 14 5 2 9 62 indicating that they would rely on the family members or neighbors of victims and witnesses. Also, a small percentage of police chiefs indicated that they would call on a translator employed by the city or county, or a live translation service such as Language Line in Monterey, California. (This service was founded in 1982 by an instructor from the Defense Language Institute at the Presidio of Monterey and a police officer from San Jose.) A multivariate analysis of the question on language response shows that large cities and those where Hispanics are a larger proportion of the nonwhite population are more likely to send bilingual officers (see Appendix Table B.8, column a). Although use of bilingual officers for this purpose is not significantly related to the percentage of foreign-born residents of the city, we do find that it is negatively related to the proportion of immigrants who arrived after 1990—even though the more recent newcomers likely have a greater need for language access related to law enforcement. This suggests a lag in staffing response among police departments, with the addition of bilingual personnel more likely in cities with more long-term immigrant populations. Interactions with Undocumented Immigrants One of the most controversial issues in recent years surrounding immigration in California concerns the question of whether foreign government identifications—particularly, the matricula consular issued by the Mexican government for Mexicans abroad—may be used as a valid form of identification for a variety of official purposes in the United States. These identification cards have been issued since 1871 by the Mexican Consulate to Mexican citizens abroad. The card, which resembles a driver’s license, includes a picture, birth date, address in the United States of the individual, a phone number of the issuing consular office, and (on cards issued since March 2002) several visible and invisible security features. Cards typically expire after five years. Proponents say that the acceptance of the cards gives Mexican citizens the opportunity to open bank accounts, use libraries, and document their identification for minor police infractions. Without identification, they say, individuals could be jailed for even reporting or witnessing a crime. The role of police departments is fiercely debated. 63 Some critics of the card believe that police officers should contact federal immigration officials on the presentation of a consular ID. However, many police and sheriff departments throughout California accept the card as a valid identification document. They note that the cards can help them to increase trust among immigrant groups in reporting crimes, and that, when “pulling someone over” or questioning them for a crime, it is better to have some form of ID than none at all (Wall, 2004). No statewide policy for the acceptance of the matricula consular is currently in effect, leaving it up to local communities and cities to make their own policies. Assembly Bill 522 (Diaz) would have required that all California cities and counties accept the cards, and was passed by both the Senate and Assembly. However, Governor Gray Davis vetoed the bill just before leaving office in 2003 and instead signed Senate Bill 60 (Cedillo), which would have allowed illegal immigrants to obtain a driver’s license. This controversial measure was repealed by the legislature in December 2003 at the urging of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. At present, the driver’s license proposal faces an uncertain future: Despite the governor’s veto of a similar measure in 2004 (AB 2895, Nuñez), a driver’s license bill was again introduced in the State Senate in 2005. Despite pressure from the Mexican government, the matricula consular is not recognized as proof of identity at the federal level in the United States. Fourteen states, with varying acceptance in some municipalities across the states, recognize the matricula consular as a valid form of identification. The state of New York has acted to officially refuse to accept the cards as proof of identity, citing security concerns regarding terrorism. By contrast, Los Angeles city officials have announced plans to accept ID cards from other countries. Mayor James Hahn, reportedly seeing the matricula consular as a model, signed an ordinance calling on city officials to develop safeguards toward accepting identification cards issued from the other 87 consulates in Los Angeles (Nash, 2004). As in some of the other questions relating to law enforcement, our survey asked both city councilmembers and police chiefs whether their departments generally accept consular IDs or other Mexican ID cards as valid forms of identification. The results showed an interesting disparity 64 in familiarity with local practices. Sixty-two percent of the chiefs and commanding officers indicated that their departments generally accept these forms of identification, whereas 29 percent said they do not. The remaining 9 percent did not know, which probably indicates that the issue has not, as of yet, formally presented itself in these communities. Lack of knowledge regarding the status of consular IDs was much greater among city councilmembers, with more than two-thirds of respondents not knowing whether their city’s police department accepts such forms of identification. A somewhat related issue that has received some attention is whether local police departments contact federal immigration authorities (now part of the Department of Homeland Security) after determining that a suspect is in the United States illegally. For instance, the U.S. House of Representatives in 2003 debated the Clear Law Enforcement for Criminal Alien Removal (CLEAR) Act, which would authorize local and state police departments to “investigate, apprehend, detain, or remove aliens” and would withhold federal incarceration assistance to those authorities who failed to do so within two years of the act’s passage. The bill was not reported out of committee in the 108th Congress (2003–04), but is expected to be reintroduced in the current term. Many local police departments and state groups such as the California Police Chiefs Association (CPCA) have resisted such measures, arguing that they should not be in the business of immigration law enforcement. CPCA President Rick Turboch stated in a letter to Attorney General John Ashcroft in 2002, “It is the strong opinion of [CPCA] that in order for local and state law enforcement organizations to be effective partners with their communities, it is imperative that they not be placed in the role of detaining and arresting individuals based solely on a change in their immigration status” (Richardson, 2002). Despite the strongly worded statement from the CPCA, some local departments in California do indeed cooperate with federal agencies on immigration-related matters. We asked the police officials whether their department would typically contact federal immigration authorities “if an individual in police custody is unable to produce a valid ID and is suspected to be an undocumented immigrant.” Just over one-quarter of respondents (27%) said that their department would likely contact 65 federal authorities, whereas 70 percent said that this was unlikely and 3 percent did not know.8 Not surprisingly, most police departments that accept Mexican consular IDs as valid forms of identification typically refrain from contacting federal authorities when a person in custody is an undocumented immigrant. However, about one-fifth of cities that accept consular IDs also indicate that they would report immigrants in custody to federal officials. These responses may seem contradictory at first blush, but our interview with one suburban police chief indicates that some departments are willing to accept consular IDs for identifying witnesses and perhaps minor infractions but are not willing to do so for more significant offenses that require detention.9 More generally, however, a multivariate analysis reveals that the acceptance of consular IDs is unrelated to our standard battery of demographic factors, except that larger cities are more likely to accept the card (see Appendix Table B.8, columns b and c). The inclination of police departments to contact federal authorities decreases with the Latino share of nonwhite residents. This relationship may be due to increased political clout of Latinos in areas where they constitute a larger share of the population. It is also possible that police departments in these cities may have adopted more permissive approaches out of a concern with establishing trust among immigrant Latinos. Day Laborers Some cities have encountered conflicts regarding so-called day laborers—individuals who gather, often outdoors, to seek manual labor jobs or other employment for the day. Without formal employment, these individuals—who may or may not have legal residency status in the _____________ 8We asked the same question of city councilmembers and, as in the case of consular IDs, more than two-thirds did not know whether federal immigration authorities would be contacted if the local police had a suspected undocumented immigrant in custody. 9Although Mexican consular officials had come to discuss the issue with the department, police were not yet convinced of its merits because of the potential for forgery and the problem of insufficient history linked to an identification card. The chief noted that the department would certainly use the card if it were the only form of photo identification available, but did not see it as a reliable way to authenticate someone’s identity. 66 United States—seek work from passersby, who often know where the laborers tend to gather. Certainly not all day laborers are immigrants, but the issue is closely associated with immigration, both legal and illegal. Although day labor has a long history in the United States and other societies, this issue has risen to a level of community controversy in some California cities, judging by numerous media reports. Concerns have been raised over a host of issues, ranging from traffic congestion, crime, or visual blight in day-labor areas, to shakedowns and unsafe working conditions on the part of employers. Local police are sometimes asked to respond to these concerns. Some city governments have made policy decisions to try to reduce day-labor activity or regulate its location. Other cities have attempted to move the activity off the streets by supporting hiring halls, often in partnership with nonprofit groups. Finally, some cities have attempted to make it illegal for day laborers to solicit work. An anti-solicitation ordinance in the city of Agoura Hills was challenged in state appellate court in 1994 but upheld, clearing the way for similar measures in other cities. In 2000, however, a federal judge ruled that a similar ordinance in Los Angeles County was unconstitutional, violating the 1st and 14th amendments. In our surveys, we asked police chiefs and city councilmembers alike whether four statements about day labor and local policy were true in their community: • “Day laborers often gather outdoors at one or more locations in our city, looking for work from passersby.” • “The city has designated an area or building at which day-labor activity is allowed.” • “The city provides funding to support a hiring center for day laborers (either locally or elsewhere in the region)”. • “The city actively enforces a policy that forbids day laborers to congregate in outdoor locations.” Because of our initial experience with the mayor/council survey, we gave police officials the additional option of indicating that day-labor issues 67 were not present in their city, and 58 percent agreed that that was the case. Figure 4.1 shows the percentage of police officials agreeing with each statement, along with the predominant response of the elected officials to these questions, at the citywide level. Although the councilmembers are more likely to agree with each statement, the overall story is consistent across the two groups: More than one-third of immigrant destination cities have “visible” day-labor markets, but relatively few have responded with specific policy measures. Specifically, about one city in ten has designated an area where such activity is permitted, 8 or 9 percent provide funding for a hiring center, and 5 to 8 percent of communities attempt a “prohibition” policy. In short, most city governments—and their police departments—do not experience this issue, but of the substantial minority that do, no policy response has gained clear popularity, except perhaps avoidance of the issue. However, multivariate analyses do reveal that in cities with day laborers, supportive city policies—which we define as either the designation of a special area for soliciting work or the funding of a hiring hall—increase in likelihood with city population size and decrease in Day laborers often gather outdoors City has designated area/building where allowed City provides funding for hiring center City enforces policy that day laborers may not gather 0 City council response Police chief response 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 % who agree with statement Figure 4.1—Day Labor Conditions and Policies 68 likelihood where there is a conservative city council majority (see Appendix Table B.9, column b). However, there is no relationship between supportive day labor policies and the proportion of Latinos or immigrants in the population, regardless of whether the immigrant population is recent or more established. As in prior analyses, these findings suggest that the capacity of the city and its political leanings shape local policy responses to immigrants. Some cities are simply pressed by circumstances into developing a policy. The city council of Thousand Oaks, which for over 15 years had fielded numerous resident complaints about the gathering of day laborers, voted in 2002 to construct a day labor hiring site on public greenbelt land, providing such simple facilities as picnic tables, bicycle racks, toilets, and driveways designated as pickup zones. The deputy city manager explained, “We can’t make the problem go away. We can’t arrest the day laborers and contractors and make them go away” (“New Hiring Site for Laborers Open,” 2002). However, emotions often run high on such approaches. One Thousand Oaks resident wrote in an editorial that because most of the laborers are illegal immigrants, “what we are truly hiding in the greenbelt area is the fact that we are publicly endorsing an illegal activity” (Fisher, 2002).10 Informal Businesses Immigrants are a select group, by virtue of their decision to uproot themselves from familiar surroundings and move to the United States. For many, economic advancement is the major goal, and many immigrants historically have engaged in entrepreneurship—running stores, services, or restaurants, for example—to advance their fortunes. However, some newcomers with few formal resources, little access to credit, and incomplete knowledge of business regulation in their new country may resort to running small businesses informally or “under the _____________ 10Informal case histories of day-labor controversies in several Northern and Southern California cities, assembled from media reports, are available from the authors. In addition, Sandoval and Tambini (2004) have made a documentary film on a community controversy over day laborers in a Long Island suburb. 69 table.” Undocumented immigrants may also engage in informal businesses in an attempt to avoid detection by authorities. Although many such businesses are fairly invisible to the outside community, in other cases—as with day laborers—conflicts have arisen with neighbors and local authorities. Home-based businesses, such as car repair shops or beauty salons, street peddlers selling food or flowers in public areas, personal services operating without a business license, and other such businesses, are tolerated in some communities but considered nuisances in others. Of course, not all informal businesses belong to immigrants, but we suspect that the issue is more likely to arise in cities with larger immigrant populations. We therefore asked police officials about the policy approach taken with respect to informal businesses and illegal peddling.11 However, we recognize that in many cities employees from other city departments—building or health inspectors, for example—might be the primary point of contact with such business operators. Therefore, these results should be considered illustrative rather than definitive. Table 4.5 indicates that—as in the case of day labor—overt policy responses to informal businesses, or aggressive enforcement against such activities, seem to be the exception rather than the rule. About 46 percent of the police chiefs indicate that such issues either are investigated only in response to specific complaints or are generally Table 4.5 Typical Police Responses to Informal Businesses, According to Chief/Commander Response % of Cities Investigate in response to specific complaints only 39 Another city department handles such issues 35 Aggressively seek out such activities and cite offenders 16 Usually try to resolve the issue informally 7 No such issues in this city 4 _____________ 11We took care to indicate that this question was not directed at “vice” businesses, such as illegal drug sales or prostitution. 70 resolved informally. About one in six chiefs indicates that the city is more aggressive in finding and citing such illegal operators. Another one-third of chiefs say that some other city department is typically responsible for responding. Only a handful indicate that such issues do not occur locally. Multivariate analysis—of those cities reporting such problems but not referring these issues to another department—indicates that the proportion of immigrants in the local population does tend to be linked to more aggressive enforcement. It is possible that the presence of more immigrants makes unlicensed businesses more prevalent and thus more of a target for enforcement (although our analysis screens out cities where these conditions are not present). Cities with higher shares of blacks and Hispanics in the population also appear to be more aggressive in citing informal businesses, according to these results, which may hint that cities with diverse populations are prone to more cultural or economic conflict over unlicensed businesses. Hate Crimes Sometimes, population change may also, unfortunately, be accompanied by a rise in hate crimes. Police in more than half of the immigrant destination cities responding to the survey (55%) indicated that their department had investigated at least one hate crime incident in the previous year. Asked whether any of the alleged hate crimes had been targeted against an immigrant or immigrants, among those departments indicating that they had investigated hate crimes, 29 percent said that immigrants were targeted, 54 percent said the targeted persons were not immigrants, and 17 percent did not know if the victims were immigrants. On the elected-officials survey, we asked whether the mayors and councilmembers felt that police in their city “aggressively investigate hate crimes or incidents of ethnic/racial harassment.” Nearly three-quarters of citywide responses either strongly agreed (28%) or agreed (46%) with this statement. Multivariate analysis of our police chiefs survey indicates that the incidence of hate crimes may actually be slightly higher in cities where immigrants are a smaller proportion of the population. A similar analysis of city council data reveals no significant relationship between the 71 proportion of immigrant residents and the reported zeal with which police departments investigate hate crimes. Ethnic and Racial Diversity of Officers Recruitment and retention of a diverse police force may be one way police departments can help ease relations with a changing community. Accordingly, some police administrators have gone to some lengths to try to create a police force that “looks like the community,” although such efforts can be complicated by hiring, testing, and promotional rules and by California’s Proposition 209, which sought to limit affirmative action. In one city we visited, for instance, the police chief has attempted to maintain a very diverse applicant pool. By continually testing (i.e., using the civil service exam) for police positions even when there are no openings, he keeps the applicant pool large. “I look at the whole hiring list . . . and select based on what they can do in this city.” The chief noted that language skills were an important consideration in hiring in this multiethnic city, and that recruitment announcements were listed in ethnic newspapers as well as in major dailies and police publications. Thus, on any given call to the police, the chief says, at least one of the responding officers is likely to be nonwhite, which “minimizes complaints from the community and increases the level of trust in interactions.” We asked the chiefs or commanders to indicate the number of sworn officers working in their city and the number of those officers who are Hispanic/Latino, African American/black, or Asian or Pacific Islander. Several respondents chose not to complete this section. For the 173 cities where respondents substantially completed this survey question, Table 4.6 shows the aggregate number of police officers in each category. About four in ten officers in these high-immigration cities are members of these minority groups, with Latino and African American officers reaching 25 percent and 9 percent of the total, respectively. However, both Latinos and Asians/Pacific Islanders are represented in police forces to a significantly lower degree than their presence in the overall population in these communities, as the table documents. The ethnic and racial makeup of police forces varies considerably across cities. For example, although the median department in this 72 Table 4.6 Ethnic/Racial Makeup of Police Force in 173 Immigrant Destination Cities % of % of Number Officers Residentsa Total sworn officers Hispanic or Latino African American or black Asian or Pacific Islander 28,475 7,186 2,442 1,874 100 25 9 7 — 36 6 11 NOTE: The racial and ethnic terms reported here are identical to those used in the survey instrument. aOf these 173 cities. group has a force in which Latino officers are 17 percent of the total, at least two small departments are more than 70 percent Latino; by contrast, in more than one-fifth of the departments, Latino officers are less than 10 percent of the total police force. These differences are due in large part, although not entirely, to differences in the racial and ethnic composition of each city. In various multivariate models we estimated, for example, the most significant predictor of the Latino proportion of the police force was the Hispanic proportion of the city population (see Appendix Table B.10). Similarly, holding other factors equal, the percentage of Asian officers is higher in cities with a higher proportion of Asians in the population. It is also higher in communities with higher proportions of Democratic registered voters. The proportion of both Asian and Latino officers tends to be lower in departments where the chief is a non-Hispanic white. However, here it is not clear what is cause and what is effect. A department with more minority officers will likely have more minority applicants for the position of chief when it becomes available. Overall, there is a very strong relationship between the percentage of immigrants in a city and the diversity of its police force.12 _____________ 12This refers to a bivariate correlation. Omitting one small outlier department that has no white officers, the correlation between percentage foreign-born in the city and percentage nonwhite among sworn officers is 0.51. 73 Police Review Boards Another potentially important issue in diverse communities, given the potential conflicts inherent in policing, is whether residents have any forum or feedback mechanism to discuss the performance or practices of the local police. One potential forum would be to contact elected officials regarding concerns about the police. However, immigrant destination cities tend to have disproportionately few elected officials from Hispanic or Asian backgrounds, compared to the overall population (see Appendix Table A.2). This might reduce the likelihood that some immigrants will contact officials because of perceived cultural or language barriers. Another forum in some communities is the police review board or citizen review commission. The police chiefs were surveyed with regard to the presence in their city of such an “officially constituted group that has the power to review complaints and allegations by residents against police officers and recommend remedies or punishments.” Fewer than one in ten responding cities (9%) has such a body. Multivariate analysis offers (somewhat weak) evidence that review boards are less common in cities with higher proportions of immigrants. Since there is no reason to suspect that immigrants have a distinctive preference against the formation of review boards, it may be the case that immigrants have fewer political skills or less political power to mobilize on behalf of the creation of such a board. We found review commissions to be more prevalent in cities with larger populations (see Appendix Table B.11, column b). Conclusion Overall, there is something of a “glass half full” quality to the relationship between police and immigrants in California’s immigrant destination cities. On the one hand, despite some of the special challenges many such cities encounter in the area of law enforcement (such as youth gangs, vulnerable populations, and a reluctance of some to contact the police), few police chiefs or elected officials feel that mistrust of the police is widespread or that complaints about the use of police force are common. However, multivariate analysis shows that perceived 74 mistrust of police tends to be more common where the percentage of foreign-born residents is higher. At the same time, police review boards tend to be less prevalent in high-immigration cities. Similarly, community policing techniques are very popular among police departments in immigrant destination cities—yet police in cities with higher immigrant proportions of the population are less likely to use foot or bike patrols or to report close relationships with local school officials. Almost by necessity—because of the frequent everyday interactions between police and local residents—police departments have felt the need to adapt to the presence of immigrants in a way that many other areas of city government have not. Most police chiefs see a need for bilingual officers, use such officers in situations requiring translation, and offer pay and recruitment incentives to get bilingual talent. In line with this approach, police forces in immigrant destination cities tend to be relatively diverse—about one-third of the total number of officers in these cities are Hispanic or Asian—much more so than the elected officials of these towns, although less so than the population as a whole. Where the foreign-born share of the population is high, police departments tend to be particularly diverse. Most police departments say they accept Mexican IDs (although there is some confusion on this point), and relatively few would contact federal immigration authorities if they suspected a resident of being an undocumented immigrant. This relatively laissez-faire approach extends to day laborers, who regularly gather in about two in five immigrant destination cities. None of the possible policy responses to day labor— restrictive or supportive—have received a very strong foothold across these communities. Similarly, informal businesses apparently are mostly left alone by the police. In short, it appears that police departments have begun to make adjustments that seem necessary to them in dealing with new situations and interactions brought about by demographic change. Police/community relations appear reasonably healthy, although perhaps somewhat more negative in cities with high proportions of foreign-born. Nevertheless, in the absence of clear direction or policy leadership from the elected officials in these communities, these departments appear to be going it alone to some degree. Although most police forces appear to be 75 retaining the trust of their increasingly diverse residents, there are real limits to the solutions they can offer in helping to integrate immigrants into mainstream community life and local politics. 76 5. Conclusions and Recommendations This report has explored various facets of the question of how immigrant needs and interests are being addressed by city governments in California. The various surveys, supplemented with interviews in four communities, have enabled us to consider important questions regarding channels of communication between city governments and immigrant communities, the political relevance of immigrants to City Hall, and variations in housing and law-enforcement policies in immigrant destination cities. We had good reasons to expect these processes to be different for immigrant residents than for the native-born. Past studies have shown that although immigrants are a sizable proportion of the resident population, they have remained relatively powerless in the political process for various reasons, including the lack of English proficiency, the relative marginality of organizations serving immigrants, and the sizable proportion of recent arrivals and undocumented immigrants among the foreign-born. Given these barriers to civic and political participation, institutional policies and practices can go a long way in ensuring that immigrant needs are considered in the decisionmaking processes of local governments. Recap of Findings In the case of communication channels between immigrants and City Hall, we have seen that interpreters are regularly available in only one in three cities. Even fewer cities regularly provide translation of documents such as council agendas and minutes—and where such translation occurs, it is typically provided only in Spanish. Provision of translated documents is more prevalent in cities with a greater proportion of residents with language needs. However, there also seems to be a considerable amount of discretion across city governments, because those 77 with conservative council majorities are less likely to provide such assistance. In addition, only 45 percent of our respondents were able to name a single organization they might rely upon to assist in outreach to and communication with local immigrants, with the mention of such organizations less likely where the elected official identifies as a conservative. There are also significant differences in elected officials’ receptivity to immigrant needs because of individual-level differences. For example, women and self-described liberals are more likely to seek information about immigrant needs and are more likely to be aware of groups serving immigrants in their city. Thus, the discretionary actions of city governments and councilmembers can play a significant role in shaping whether immigrant needs and interests are heard in City Hall. Cities in California also vary in the political relevance of immigrant communities in local politics and policymaking. Organizations representing immigrants and racial minorities are seen by councilmembers as highly influential in only 7 percent of cities, a low figure when compared to those for neighborhood associations (40%), public employee unions (20%), and real estate interests (17%). Although neighborhood associations may be a way for immigrants to have a voice in City Hall, our interviews suggest that such a pathway to influence is somewhat unusual. The more typical way for immigrant communities to have influence in local affairs is through the appointment of coethnics to city boards and commissions and the creation of special commissions dealing with issues of demographic diversity. The elected officials we surveyed indicate that Latinos are generally better represented than Asian Americans or blacks on boards and commissions. However, even Latinos are seen as being well represented in only 40 percent of the cities where they constitute more than 15 percent of the resident population. Only one of the four cities we visited fared well in terms of the political empowerment of immigrants through appointments to boards and commissions. Even in this relative success story, however, the benefits of appointing coethnics were felt mainly among the relatively affluent Asian immigrants rather than the sizable Latino immigrant community in the city. 78 Human relations commissions also hold the potential to make immigrant communities more politically influential in local government. In San Francisco and Santa Clara County, bodies exist within the local government that deal exclusively with issues relating to immigrants, whereas in most other counties, commissions deal with immigrant issues as part of a larger concern with maintaining harmony between various racial and ethnic groups. We found that such commissions are present in only 25 percent of the cities we surveyed, even though 85 percent of the cities have nonwhite populations exceeding one-third of the resident population. The biggest challenge immigrant residents face is housing, according to our elected-official respondents. Immigrant destination cities tend to have more persons per household, and slightly worse affordability than low-immigration communities, in what is already a high-cost state for housing. Yet city policy regarding immigrant housing needs and conditions might best be described as an avoidance approach. Only onefifth of immigrant destination cities mention immigrants in their housing plans, and in only about one in four cities have city councils or planning commissions given official consideration to immigrant housing. This lack of special scrutiny may sometimes work to immigrants’ advantage, as the percentage of foreign-born in these cities bears no relationship to enforcement of rules against, for example, illegal secondary units. Still, such issues as informal housing, illegally subdivided units, and code violations frequently present themselves in these cities, owing in part to the difficulty many immigrants face in finding and paying for standard housing units—as has been starkly illustrated in some cities with farmworkers or migrant laborers. Policing in immigrant destination cities tends to embrace a more proactive approach than housing policy to immigrant and ethnic communities. Some of this difference may be attributed to necessity, because police are in close daily touch with city populations and depend on cooperation and information from the public to do their jobs. Most police departments in these cities see the hiring of bilingual officers as a priority and offer recruitment and pay incentives to get such talent. Most have also arrived at policies, often informal, on the acceptance of Mexican consular IDs from undocumented immigrants and the 79 reporting of undocumented immigrants in custody to the Department of Homeland Security, even though councilmembers from the same city are often not aware of such arrangements. Finally, police departments tend to be relatively diverse. About one-third of the total officers in our survey cities are Latino or Asian—much more so than the respective shares of elected officials in these cities. At the same time, there are limitations in the extent to which police departments engage with immigrant communities. Our survey indicates that perceived mistrust of the police is more common in cities where the percentage of foreign-born residents is higher. Furthermore, police review boards tend to be less prevalent in high-immigration communities and the use of foot or bike patrols is also less common. Finally, even though police departments are engaged with immigrant communities, their role is generally limited to conflict management rather than empowerment, with the latter task mainly the province of elected city officials. What Can Be Done? What can city governments do to facilitate the incorporation of immigrant needs and concerns into deliberations and policies? The evidence in this report leads us to offer the following recommendations for policymakers. 1. Cities should consider taking a more proactive and long-term approach to decisions on the appointment of immigrants to various city boards and commissions. As noted in Chapter 2, sustained efforts to give immigrant residents experience in local governance can reap significant rewards in terms of allowing immigrant concerns to be heard in City Hall and increasing the likelihood that ethnic candidates will run for political office. Such outcomes appear to depend on having a critical mass of Latino and Asian American appointees in city government. We found this model of “political tutelage” to be particularly successful in the case of Asian immigrants in one city we visited. 80 In other cities where we conducted interviews, the presence of only one or two ethnic minority appointees or elected officials has not been sufficient to ensure that immigrant concerns are being addressed in City Hall. Indeed, in one instance, the lone Latino appointed official expressed frustration and a sense of isolation in bringing up issues of concern to immigrant residents. Results from our surveys of elected city officials reinforce the finding that immigrant issues are more likely to be discussed when a larger proportion of Latinos and Asians are appointed to boards and commissions. Finally, in multiethnic cities, the model of political tutelage needs to be extended beyond one racial or ethnic group. This may be especially challenging in cases where significant socioeconomic differences exist between particular immigrant groups and native-born residents and where politically influential groups such as the Chamber of Commerce and particular neighborhood associations are composed primarily of the native-born. In such cases, city governments need more inventive strategies for outreach to identify potential candidates for appointed office. Some of our other policy recommendations may prove helpful in this regard. 2. City officials should consider the benefits of greater outreach to residents in all neighborhoods, with interpreters available for language support. Many city councilmembers bemoan the lack of any immigrant presence in council meetings or in neighborhood associations and other civic groups. Our interviews with immigrant advocates indicate that many immigrant residents see City Hall as a distant entity. They are often reluctant to participate because of such barriers as a lack of English proficiency and insufficient economic resources to participate in dues-paying organizations. In cities that have immigrant-heavy neighborhoods, the council could hold outreach meetings in neighborhood schools or community centers to learn more about immigrant concerns and to solicit greater input into local governance. Our interviews with elected 81 officials and community leaders indicate that both sides gain significantly from interactions in neighborhood and community venues, with immigrant residents more likely to be in attendance there than in formal meetings or hearings at City Hall. In cities where immigrants are more dispersed, elected officials could work with some of the larger religious institutions serving immigrants to communicate with immigrant constituents and recruit candidates for appointed office. Our survey results indicate that city councilmembers and mayors already receive a fair amount of information about the needs of immigrant residents from leaders of religious congregations. City governments can enhance these relationships by attending meetings and encouraging congregation volunteers to get involved in local public affairs. Finally, we have found that outreach efforts are more likely to succeed if there are interpreters present. In some cases, cities have mobilized community volunteers to provide such interpreter services. This not only relieves the city of some financial burdens, but it also has the potential to inform and empower a greater number of immigrant residents who serve as volunteer interpreters. 3. Large and medium-sized cities should consider creating a staff position dedicated to immigrant-related issues. Where they exist, human relations commissions and similar bodies have a very broad mandate to consider issues affecting various segments of society including children, the elderly, the indigent, and members of different racial and ethnic groups. In our interviews of government officials and community leaders, we found that the interests of immigrant communities often get lost in the shuffle of other concerns. In some cities, the directors of large social service organizations serve as intermediaries between City Hall and immigrant communities. However, our interviews with these informal intermediaries indicate that their involvement tends to be sporadic because of competing time 82 pressures from their organizational and professional responsibilities. In medium-sized cities, the appointment of an ombudsman or outreach coordinator would help alleviate this problem by providing a more regular contact with immigrant populations who can advocate on behalf of immigrant residents in City Hall. Large cities should consider the examples of immigrant rights commissions along the lines of San Francisco and immigrant services programs along the lines of Santa Clara County as potential ways to bring together elected city officials, immigrant advocates, and community members to respond to constituent complaints and to give immigrant communities greater voice in the local policymaking process. 4. Local housing policy, including local comprehensive plans, housing elements, and other policy efforts, should address more explicitly the housing needs of immigrants. Latino and Asian immigrants are more likely to live in extended families, and many immigrants do not earn sufficient wages to afford, by themselves, apartments and homes in many California cities. Furthermore, some immigrants in California lack the legal standing to benefit from federal subsidies that relieve the burden of housing affordability among low-income residents. Cities should therefore pay greater attention to the particular needs of immigrant residents in devising plans for greater housing affordability and for a mixture of housing types and styles to suit a variety of households. Local and state policymakers should resolve which conditions related to crowded housing should be subject to local regulation and which do not rise to the level of health or safety violations. Concord’s rental housing code enforcement approach (noted in Chapter 3) could serve as a model for resolving concerns about housing decay in immigrant neighborhoods, without excessive displacement of tenants. 5. Police departments and city leaders should continue the progress already made toward enhancing communications and trust between 83 immigrants and officers. Both in our survey and city visits, we found heartening evidence of police departments finding ways to learn about and relate to immigrants. However, not all signs are positive in this area. Community policing approaches appear to be less common in cities with more immigrants, and relationships with local school districts appear to be worse in high-immigration communities. As in the case of elected officials, many police departments could benefit from enhanced trust and communication if they reach out more to ethnic associations, immigrant businesses, and church and schoolrelated groups. City governments would do well to look to the practices of successful police departments in other local governments in their region. Further, immigrant destination cities that are interviewing for new police chiefs should question candidates about their approaches to policing under circumstances of ethnic and cultural diversity. Police departments are quasi-military organizations with clear lines of command, and thus officers will tend to follow the style and direction set at the top. Finally, there appears to be a need in many cities to bridge the gap between what the police know and confront, and what elected officials are aware of, regarding such issues as Mexican consular ID cards, hate crimes, and relations with the Department of Homeland Security on undocumented immigrants. This will give elected officials a truer sense of the issues facing immigrant residents and will also enable them to facilitate solutions to problems in cities where mistrust of police is a serious issue. We have reflected primarily on the role of city officials and employees in building better relations with newcomers. Further research is necessary to better understand immigrant/city government relations from immigrants’ point of view, examining which factors promote or discourage their engagement in local politics. Nevertheless, it is apparent from this report that nongovernmental entities with an interest in facilitating immigrant adaptation—community-based nonprofits, 84 religious institutions, ethnic associations, community foundations, and advocates—have a potentially important role in helping immigrants to understand the workings of local government and to participate in local civic affairs. By their presence and engagement not only in the largest cities but in suburbs and rural towns, such intermediary groups can help make the difference between a politically invisible immigrant population and one that is taken seriously in local politics. Whatever approach city governments choose in dealing with their transitions, it is fairly certain that new issues, conditions, and challenges will continue to appear for them. California’s demographic dynamism seems to ensure that most of its local governments will be under nearly continuous pressure to accept and adapt to community change. 85 Appendix A Mail Survey Methods and Profile of Respondents Methods Mail surveys were sent to mayors and councilmembers, police chiefs, and planning directors in California’s immigrant destination cities, defined as cities where the foreign-born constitute at least 15 percent of the population or slightly below that but have at least 10,000 foreignborn residents. The elected officials survey was pretested with several local officials. We were not able to identify a planning respondent in three cities and a police respondent in seven cities.1 Nonrespondents were contacted two or three times by mail or email to encourage participation, and phone and email contacts were made with some respondents to clarify questions or responses. We achieved response rates of 32 percent for elected officials, 62 percent for police chiefs/commanders, and 69 percent for planning directors. These levels of participation are well within the range of acceptable to good response rates, judging by similar surveys conducted by various research organizations. The elected officials responded at a significantly lower rate than the police or planners, but this was expected, given the busy lives of local politicians, the part-time nature of their city positions (in most cases), and the substantially greater length of the survey questionnaire they received. The response rate of the elected city officials is also comparable to or superior to response rates of mass public _____________ 1For the police survey in cities that contract for police services, we ascertained the proper contact in the contract agency through phone calls and websites. We were thus able to identify the relevant commanding officer in all but seven cases. In our survey sent to police representatives for these contract cities (typically part of a county sheriff’s department), we specified on the cover of the survey which city we were asking about. We also specified that the our questions about the police force should pertain only to those officers patrolling the city in question. 87 opinion surveys where individuals are not compensated for their participation. Moreover, it is heartening that we received responses from one or more elected officials (mayor or councilmember) in 86 percent of the cities surveyed. For those 86 percent, we received slightly more than two responses per city, on average, for a total of 532 elected officials. In addition, 209 planners and 184 police officials responded to our survey.2 Some of the questions in the elected officials survey pertained to these officials as individuals, whereas other questions related to the experiences of their city or city government as a whole. Therefore, in reporting the results in this report, we refer either to “individual-level responses” of elected officials or to “citywide responses.” The individual responses weight each responding mayor or councilmember equally, regardless of whether there were several respondents from their city or only one. The citywide responses summarize the average or predominant response for all of the elected officials in a given city, and then weight each city equally. Averages are used for survey items using continuous scales, whereas the predominant response is used for dichotomous (yes/no) or mutually exclusive answer categories.3 In cases where there is only one respondent from a given city, we take that respondent’s answers as the citywide response. Table A.1 presents our mayor/city councilmember survey response rates by region of the state, by city population size, and by percentage foreign-born in the city. At the citywide level, the elected officials’ response rates are excellent across all categories; that is, we have at least one response from the vast majority of cities in all categories. However, individual elected official response rates are somewhat lower than average in the Central Valley, in Los Angeles County, and in cities with small _____________ 2For further detail on the mail surveys, see Lewis, Ramakrishnan, and Patel (2004). 3For example, assume that there were three respondents from City A, rating a problem on a 1 to 5 scale of seriousness. Two respondents rated the problem as a “1,” and another respondent rated the problem as a “2.” In this case, the citywide response to this question is a 1.33 rating. On the other hand, if two respondents answered “no” to a question about their city, and the third respondent answered “yes,” we report the citywide response to this question as “no” because of the preponderance of responses in that category. In cases where there was no clear-cut citywide response (e.g., one “no” and one “yes” response), we are not able to allocate a citywide response to the city for that question. 88 Table A.1 Percentage Distribution of Response Rates to Mayor/ Councilmember Surveys Response Rates (%) No. of Cities (of 304 HighImmigration Cities) Elected Officials (Citywide Responses) Elected Officials (Individual Responses) Region Los Angeles County Other Southern California San Francisco Bay Area Central Valley Rest of state Population size < 25,000 25,000–49,999 50,000–199,999 200,000+ % of immigrants 13–24 25–34 35+ 77 68 68 60 31 113 72 105 14 142 82 80 82 88 96 75 87 78 89 90 100 85 93 80 29 33 38 28 34 28 37 33 38 33 35 30 NOTES: Other Southern California refers to cities in Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego Counties. San Francisco Bay Area includes cities in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma Counties. Central Valley includes cities in Butte, Colusa, El Dorado, Fresno, Glenn, Kern, Kings, Madera, Merced, Placer, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Shasta, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Tulare, Yolo, and Yuba Counties. populations. Response rates for police officials do not differ much by region and dip below 50 percent only in cities in the 25,000 to 49,999 population category. Planner response rates are high across all categories. The variation in response rates by region and city size presents two potential challenges to the validity of our findings. First is the issue of selection bias, where systematic differences in response rates may bias the effects of some of the factors used in our analysis. The second potential issue is with varying precision in our outcome measures, depending on whether cities had one respondent or several. We have explored the issue 89 of outcome imprecision by estimating multivariate models that are weighted according to the number of respondents in each city, for the citywide models. In most cases, the effects of our explanatory variables remain consistent, with the role of city size, for example, unchanged across our models. The only instances of changes in significance are in the models regarding ethnic representation, where conservative city councils are now negatively related to the extent of black and Asian representation on boards and commissions and where a higher proportion of foreign-born residents is associated with less representation (although the positive signs associated with percentage Asian, Latino, and black remain positive and statistically significant). We also tested for possible sample selection bias for those cities where there were no respondents and also for those cities where surveys were not sent because they fell below the 15 percent threshold for the proportion of immigrant residents. We used a Heckman selection model that uses city population size, poverty rates, and proportion of foreignborn residents and found no changes in the significance of these factors on our full explanatory model. Finally, to address the issue of clustering effects in the individual respondent models (because of unmeasured citywide traits), we have used robust standard errors grouped by city for all of our citywide models. Profile of Local Officials Responding Given the ethnic and racial diversity of immigrant destination cities, an interesting question is whether the officials representing these communities are similarly diverse. Many foreign-born residents cannot vote (because they are not citizens), and even those who are naturalized citizens are often less vested and involved in local politics, because of persistent language barriers, the absence of political mobilization, or the immigrants’ continuing emphasis on securing an economic foothold in the United States before engaging in politics (Ramírez and Wong, forthcoming; Ramakrishnan, 2005). For these reasons, one would expect that the representation on local governing bodies of immigrants in particular, and of Latinos and Asians in general, may lag well behind those groups’ proportions of the local population. For nonelective positions, such as police chief and planning director, it is also an open 90 question whether public personnel have begun to reflect the diversity of these communities. It is often suggested that minorities are more likely to be named to administrative positions where there are minorities in elective office to appoint them. Table A.2 shows the racial and ethnic self-identification of the three types of public officials responding to our surveys. (The questionnaire instructed respondents to check “all that apply” among these demographic categories.) A large majority of the elected officials responding were white, although about one in six selected Hispanic/ Latino, and fewer than one in 20 selected Asian or Pacific Islander. Police chiefs showed a similar ethnic/racial distribution to the elected officials, whereas planning directors were more likely to be white and less likely to be Latino than the elected officials or police chiefs. By way of reference, the average makeup of the population among the 304 cities in our sample included 39 percent Latinos, 11 percent Asians or Pacific Islanders, and 5 percent African Americans. Given the immigrant-related subject matter of our survey, one might anticipate that Latino and Asian officials would be more likely to respond than their colleagues of other races. Although we cannot directly check for this potential response bias, information gleaned from another set of sources is encouraging, at least as regards the elected Table A.2 Percentage Distribution of the Race/Ethnicity of Respondents to Mail Surveys Group Caucasian/white Hispanic/Latino African American/black Asian Native American Pacific Islander Other Elected Officials 72 17 5 4 3 <1 3 Police Chiefs 71 15 7 2 4 2 2 Planning Directors 84 9 2 5 2 1 1 NOTE: Columns sum to more than 100 percent because some respondents identified as more than one race/ethnicity. 91 officials. Using data collected by the National Association of Latino Elected Officials (NALEO), we calculate that 16.5 percent of the mayors and councilmembers in the 304 immigrant destination cities were Latinos as of 2002. This is extremely close to the 17.1 percent of our elected-official survey respondents who identified as Latino. Similarly, in 2004, the National Asian Pacific Islander Political Almanac (NAPA) showed that 3.2 percent of the mayors and councilmembers in these communities identified themselves as Asian or Pacific Islander, relatively close to the 4.5 percent who described themselves using one of those terms in our survey.4 In short, it appears that any overrepresentation of Asians and Latinos in our survey is relatively modest, at least among the elected officials. Although there are certainly exceptions to the rule, elected officials in California’s high-immigration cities are much more likely to be male and older than the residents of their cities. Nearly two-thirds of the mayors and councilmembers (64%) were male, and more than half (55%) were age 55 or older. In fact, the median elected-official respondent was a 55-year-old male. We have no reason to suspect that this pattern is different in low-immigration communities. Turning to the appointed officials, the median police chief or commander responding to the survey was 50 years old, and 96 percent were male. Similarly, among planning directors, the median respondent was 49 years old, and 77 percent were male. The elected officials responding to the survey tended to have a fair amount of experience in office, with the median respondent having had two successful elections to municipal office and five years of service. The median police respondent had worked in local law enforcement in California for 27 years and had served as chief for three years. As for planners, the median respondent had worked in a local planning or development department in California for 20 years. _____________ 4Specifically, the NALEO database identifies 269 Hispanic mayors or councilmembers in these 304 cities in 2002, and the NAPA database identifies 52 Asians or Pacific Islanders. Our denominator of 1,634 mayor and council positions was determined using information from an earlier PPIC survey of city clerks on local government structure (Hajnal, Lewis, and Louch, 2002), supplemented with information from city websites. 92 Officially, local elective offices in California are nonpartisan. But this obviously does not mean that officials’ personal political beliefs do not play a role in their policy decisions (see Browning, Marshall, and Tabb, 1984). We therefore asked mayors and councilmembers to describe their own political ideology and that of the majority on their city council. More than half (52%) of the individual elected officials described themselves as moderates, with self-described liberals (22%) and conservatives (21%) roughly equal in number. Regarding the council majority in these cities, we constructed citywide responses to this question by taking the average of each elected official’s rating of his or her council’s majority on a liberal/conservative scale.5 We found that the council majority was seen as moderate in 56 percent of cities, conservative in 35 percent, and liberal in only 9 percent of the communities.6 It appears, then, that the individual respondents to the survey were more likely than their colleagues to be liberal, although it is impossible to answer this question definitively with the available data.7 Nevertheless, by averaging the elected-official responses for each city for many of the results presented in this study, we most likely have a more reliable basis of information regarding citywide patterns of policy and politics than if we had simply surveyed one local informant, such as the mayor or city manager. Finally, we find that there is a slight, though significant, tendency for cities with higher percentages of foreign-born residents to have liberal council majorities.8 _____________ 5Responses that the council had “equal numbers of liberals and conservatives, no real majority” were recoded as moderate. 6The same question was also asked of the planning directors, and their responses were broadly similar: 53 percent viewed their council’s majority as moderate (or as having an equal number of liberals and conservatives), 31 percent as conservative, and 13 percent as liberal. 7It is heartening that the percentage of elected officials responding was essentially the same in cities with liberal, moderate, and conservative council majorities. However, because the council-ideology measure is itself based on survey responses, we cannot know whether cities with nonliberal councils were less likely to provide any responses. 8On a three-point liberal-to-conservative scale, the correlation of council ideology to percentage immigrant residents is –0.15 (p < .05). The significant relationship between these two variables persists even if we control for the city’s region (Los Angeles region, San Francisco Bay Area, Central Valley), median income, and the education level of its population. 93 Appendix B Result of Multivariate Analyses The following tables report results of multivariate models referred to in the main body of the report. All independent variables are measured as of the year 2000 and measure city-level characteristics, except where indicated. Dependent variables are indicated by the column headings of the tables. We tested for the possibility of regional effects and found none to be consistent across any of the sets of outcomes we have considered. However, we did find a few notable regional differences: Bay Area councilmembers are more likely to rely on information from advocates than their counterparts in other regions, and the region also has less enforcement of illegal secondary housing units and overcrowded housing. Also, police departments in the San Diego/Imperial Valley region are more likely to say that they report undocumented immigrants to federal authorities—most likely because of the proximity to the Mexican border. 95 Table B.1 Elected Officials’ Assessments of the Degree of Challenge Posed by Group Conflicts Group Conflicts Are a Challenge % foreign-born % of foreign-born who immigrated after 1990 Population (log) Poverty rate % Democrat Conservative city council Latino share of nonwhites Constant Observations R-squared 0.007 [0.006] 0.013 [0.007]* 0.066 [0.044] 0.014 [0.011] 0.004 [0.005] –0.173 [0.109] 0.002 [0.003] 1.208 [0.713]* 252 0.10 NOTES: Cell entries are OLS regression coefficients. Standard errors are in brackets. *Significant at 10 percent. 96 Table B.2 Elected Officials’ Sources of Information on Immigrants and Knowledge of Outreach Organizations 97 (a) (b) (c) (d) (e) (f) (g) (h) (i) (j) (k) (l) State or County Other Mention Federal Municipal School Immigrant Immigrant Advocacy Local Research All Organization Agencies Departments Districts Churches Businesses Individuals Groups Newspapers Organizations Sources for Outreach Age of official 0.015 [0.009] 0.005 [0.008] 0.009 [0.009] 0.016 0.011 –0.002 [0.009]* [0.008] [0.008] –0.008 0.000 0.003 [0.009] [0.009] [0.008] –0.003 [0.009] 0.002 [0.003] –0.005 [0.010] Official is Latino 0.139 0.154 –0.885 0.196 0.611 0.117 0.318 0.470 –0.170 0.834 0.075 –0.060 [0.322] [0.281] [0.276]*** [0.319] [0.295]** [0.278] [0.320] [0.290] [0.279] [0.303]*** [0.086] [0.309] Official is black 0.668 0.401 –0.346 0.280 0.413 –0.284 0.534 0.894 0.489 0.622 0.162 –0.512 Official is Asian [0.552] 0.320 [0.445] 0.328 [0.402] –1.000 [0.470] [0.410] [0.539] 0.314 –0.362 –0.063 [0.387] [0.399]** [0.488] 1.250 0.776 0.991 [0.333]* [0.096]* 1.145 0.153 [0.570] 1.140 Official is female [0.411] 0.679 [0.337] 0.754 [0.580]* [0.494] [0.457] [0.358] –0.107 0.773 0.121 0.159 [0.535]** [0.504] [0.548]* 0.018 0.352 0.302 [0.461]** [0.143] 0.621 0.181 [0.575]** 0.530 [0.202]*** [0.197]*** [0.203] [0.189]*** [0.184] [0.194] [0.187] [0.191]* [0.212] [0.200]*** [0.053]*** [0.219]** Official is conservative –0.092 –0.157 0.007 –0.066 0.054 0.159 –0.264 –0.380 –0.154 –0.004 –0.055 –0.620 [0.165] [0.158] [0.157] [0.153] [0.149] [0.151] [0.153]* [0.171]** [0.151] [0.165] [0.049] [0.176]*** % Democratic voters 0.018 0.014 (of two-party registrants) [0.007]** [0.008]* 0.015 0.005 0.008 0.001 [0.009]* [0.009] [0.008] [0.008] 0.003 0.022 –0.011 [0.009] [0.009]** [0.009] –0.006 [0.009] 0.004 [0.002] 0.025 [0.010]** % foreign-born 0.003 [0.010] 0.004 [0.009] 0.023 0.018 –0.006 0.024 0.020 0.005 0.009 [0.010]** [0.011]* [0.010] [0.010]** [0.011]* [0.009] [0.011] 0.013 [0.009] 0.006 –0.025 [0.002]** [0.012]** % of foreign-born who 0.008 0.005 –0.007 0.016 0.009 0.031 0.028 0.025 0.012 –0.002 0.007 0.041 immigrated post-1990 [0.012] [0.012] [0.012] [0.012] [0.012] [0.011]*** [0.012]** [0.011]** [0.013] [0.011] [0.003]** [0.013]*** Population (log) –0.065 –0.072 0.185 –0.035 0.170 0.250 0.167 0.481 0.240 0.261 0.078 0.375 Poverty rate [0.081] –0.026 [0.075] 0.002 [0.092]** [0.090] [0.075]** [0.081]*** [0.094]* [0.074]*** [0.083]*** [0.066]*** [0.018]*** [0.089]*** 0.009 0.001 0.018 0.015 0.006 –0.028 0.007 0.006 –0.002 0.016 [0.018] [0.016] [0.020] [0.018] [0.017] [0.018] [0.018] [0.020] [0.020] [0.018] [0.005] [0.007]** Table B.2 (continued) 98 Conservative council (a) State or County 0.270 (b) Federal Agencies 0.086 (c) Municipal Departments –0.211 (d) (e) (f) (g) (h) (i) (j) (k) Other School Immigrant Immigrant Advocacy Local Research All Districts Churches Businesses Individuals Groups Newspapers Organizations Sources 0.214 –0.011 0.169 0.202 –0.221 0.127 –0.206 0.020 (l) Mention Organization for Outreach 0.189 majority Latino % of nonwhites [0.180] [0.195] 0.019 0.012 [0.181] 0.009 [0.204] [0.197] [0.199] [0.225] [0.202] 0.006 0.003 0.002 0.003 0.023 [0.210] 0.003 [0.196] [0.051] 0.009 0.004 [0.223] 0.018 [0.005]*** [0.005]*** [0.005]* [0.005] [0.005] [0.005] [0.006] [0.005]*** [0.005] [0.005]* [0.001]*** [0.006]*** Constant –0.071 –7.540 [0.349] [2.05]*** Observations 440 436 431 441 441 439 433 434 444 434 407 459 NOTES: (a) through (j) are ordered logit models; (k) is an OLS regression; and (l) is a logit regression. Cell entries are regression coefficients. Standard errors are in brackets. Robust standard errors are reported, with observations clustered by city. *Significant at 10 percent. **Significant at 5 percent. ***Significant at 1 percent. Table B.3 Measures of City Policy Responsiveness (a) (b) (c) Human Interpreter Document Relations Services Translation Commission % foreign-born % of foreign-born who immigrated after 1990 Population (log) Poverty rate % Democratic voters (of two-party registrants) Conservative council majority Latino % of nonwhites Constant Observations R-squared 0.012 –0.021 [0.006]** [0.019] 0.004 –0.022 [0.007] [0.022] 0.194 0.503 [0.042]*** [0.137]*** 0.022 0.013 [0.010]** [0.027] 0.000 0.026 [0.005] [0.015]* –0.042 –0.991 [0.103] [0.322]*** 0.008 0.040 [0.003]*** [0.010]*** –1.263 [0.680]* 249 194 0.21 0.15 –0.033 [0.019]* 0.068 [0.026]*** 1.021 [0.203]*** 0.056 [0.036] 0.033 [0.016]** –0.470 [0.356] –0.023 [0.010]** –14.089 [3.087]*** 230 0.28 NOTES: Model (a) is an OLS regression; (b) is an ordered logit; (c) is a logistic regression. Pseudo R-squared used for non-OLS regressions. Standard errors are in brackets. *Significant at 10 percent. **Significant at 5 percent. ***Significant at 1 percent. 99 Table B.4 Immigrant Concerns and Local Politics (a) Influence of Immigrant/ Ethnic Organizations (b) (c) Latinos on Asians on Boards and Boards and Commissions Commissions (d) (e) Immigrant Blacks on Issues Boards and Debated in Commissions Local Politics % foreign-born % of foreign-born who immigrated after 1990 Population (log) Poverty rate % Democratic voters, of two-party registrants Conservative council majority % Latino % Asian % black Latino % of nonwhites Constant Observations R-squared 0.003 [0.005] 0.011 [0.006]* 0.162 [0.040]*** –0.009 [0.009] 0.011 [0.004]** –0.309 [0.098]*** 0.000 [0.004] –0.006 [0.004] 0.121 [0.027]*** 0.006 [0.007] 0.000 [0.003] –0.005 [0.068] 0.015 [0.002]*** –0.006 [0.004] 0.001 [0.004] 0.115 [0.024]*** 0.002 [0.006] 0.000 [0.003] –0.083 [0.059] 0.029 [0.003]*** 0.006 [0.003]** –0.076 [0.638] 252 0.20 –0.602 [0.424] 251 0.34 –0.612 [0.376] 247 0.41 –0.003 [0.004] –0.004 [0.004] 0.108 [0.027]*** 0.003 [0.005] –0.003 [0.003] –0.110 [0.063]* 0.059 [0.006]*** –0.198 [0.417] 249 0.44 0.062 [0.017]*** 0.070 [0.021]*** 0.550 [0.135]*** –0.015 [0.027] –0.004 [0.013] –0.272 [0.288] 0.017 [0.008]** 193 0.15 NOTES: Models (a) through (d) are OLS regressions; (e) is an ordered logit. Pseudo R-squared used for (e). Standard errors are in brackets. *Significant at 10 percent. **Significant at 5 percent. ***Significant at 1 percent. 100 Table B.5 Degree of City Housing Enforcement (a) Enforcement of Illegal Secondary Units (b) Enforcement of Overcrowding Population (log) Average persons per household % foreign-born % of foreign-born who immigrated after 1990 Poverty rate % Democratic voters, of two-party registrants Conservative council majority Observations Pseudo R-squared 0.608 [0.133]*** 0.116 [0.333] 0.015 [0.018] 0.003 [0.019] 0.026 [0.024] 0.029 [0.013]** –0.49 [0.359] 180 0.11 0.366 [0.171]** 1.949 [0.598]*** –0.040 [0.027] 0.041 [0.029] 0.036 [0.031] –0.034 [0.019]* –0.937 [0.492]* 150 0.12 NOTES: Models are ordered logits. Cell entries are ordered-logit coefficients. Standard errors are in brackets. *Significant at 10 percent. **Significant at 5 percent. ***Significant at 1 percent. 101 Table B.6 Housing and City Politics (a) (b) (c) Official Inclusionary Discussions Affordable Housing on Immigrant Housing Policy Housing Lobby Population (log) Population density (log) % foreign-born % of foreign-born who immigrated after 1990 Poverty rate % Democratic voters, of two-party registrants Conservative council majority % black % of housing units recreational/seasonal % lived in same house past five years Constant Observations Pseudo R-squared 0.554 [0.179]*** –0.750 [0.298]** –0.012 [0.019] 0.102 [0.025]*** –0.029 [0.025] 0.017 [0.015] –1.359 [0.432]*** –3.217 [2.157] 188 0.19 0.255 –0.028 [0.163] [0.174] –0.200 –0.142 [0.277] [0.286] 0.005 –0.018 [0.018] [0.020] 0.023 0.018 [0.020] [0.023] 0.061 –0.067 [0.023]*** [0.026]** 0.013 0.029 [0.015] [0.016]* –0.589 –0.971 [0.415] [0.395]** 0.006 [0.031] 0.006 [0.032] –0.017 [0.031] 1.300 [3.173] 191 188 0.06 0.10 NOTES: Model (b) is an ordered logistic regression; models (a) and (c) are logits. Cell entries are logit coefficients. Standard errors are in brackets. *Significant at 10 percent. **Significant at 5 percent. ***Significant at 1 percent. 102 Table B.7 Police/Community Relations (a) (b) Mistrust Foot/Bike of Police Patrols (c) Meetings and Outreach (d) (e) Good Relations with School Community District Policing Population (log) Population density (log) Poverty rate % black % Hispanic, of nonwhite population % foreign-born % of foreign-born who immigrated after 1990 Constant Observations Adjusted R-squared 0.056 [0.054] 0.034 [0.013]*** 0.012 [0.011] –0.002 [0.004] 0.013 [0.007]* –0.009 [0.008] 0.892 [0.684] 183 0.12 0.155 0.317 [0.074]** [0.063]*** 0.064 -0.018 [0.142] [0.121] -0.005 0.001 [0.015] [0.013] 0.022 0.012 [0.013]* [0.011] 0.010 -0.007 [0.005]** [0.004]* -0.017 0.005 [0.009]* [0.008] 0.006 0.002 [0.010] [0.009] 0.387 0.848 [1.070] [0.913] 183 183 0.11 0.24 0.042 [0.047] -0.104 [0.090] -0.019 [0.010]* -0.025 [0.008]*** -0.001 [0.003] -0.009 [0.006] 0.005 [0.006] 5.474 [0.682]*** 183 0.16 0.145 [0.049]*** -0.062 [0.094] 0.001 [0.010] 0.011 [0.008] -0.003 [0.003] 0.002 [0.006] 0.007 [0.007] 3.240 [0.707]*** 183 0.10 NOTES: Cell entries are OLS regression coefficients. Standard errors are in brackets. *Significant at 10 percent. **Significant at 5 percent. ***Significant at 1 percent. 103 Table B.8 Police Practices Relevant to Immigrants (a) Send Bilingual Officer (b) (c) Accept Report Mexican Undocumented ID Immigrant Population (log) 0.837 0.257 [0.197]*** [0.142]* Poverty rate –0.038 –0.004 [0.037] [0.030] % black –0.001 –0.017 [0.029] [0.025] % Hispanic, of nonwhite population 0.031 0.004 [0.012]*** [0.009] % foreign-born 0.023 –0.011 [0.022] [0.017] % of foreign-born who immigrated after 1990 –0.055 0.026 [0.026]** [0.021] Constant –7.623 –2.673 [2.234]*** [1.792] Observations 157 160 Pseudo R-squared 0.17 0.03 –0.117 [0.132] 0.034 [0.030] 0.021 [0.024] –0.015 [0.009]* –0.026 [0.018] 0.004 [0.020] 1.201 [1.666] 176 0.04 NOTES: Cell entries are logit coefficients. Standard errors are in brackets. *Significant at 10 percent. **Significant at 5 percent. ***Significant at 1 percent. 104 Table B.9 Elected Official Reports Regarding Law Enforcement Issues (a) (b) (c) Concerns Supportive Aggressively About Use Day Labor Investigate of Force Policy Hate Crime Population (log) Poverty rate % black % Hispanic, of nonwhite population % Democratic voters, of two-party registrants Conservative council majority % foreign-born % of foreign-born who immigrated after 1990 Constant Observations Adjusted R-squared 0.104 [0.048]** 0.022 [0.011]** 0.018 [0.012] 0.004 [0.003] 0.024 [0.006]*** –0.055 [0.113] –0.002 [0.007] –0.005 [0.007] –0.722 [0.744] 253 0.26 0.422 [0.192]** –0.034 [0.051] 0.001 [0.048] 0.013 [0.013] –0.027 [0.023] –0.877 [0.447]** –0.005 [0.025] 0.040 [0.030] –4.056 [3.187] 130 0.11 0.110 [0.043]** –0.002 [0.010] –0.010 [0.011] –0.001 [0.003] –0.010 [0.005]* –0.141 [0.101] –0.007 [0.006] 0.007 [0.006] 3.667 [0.668]*** 253 0.09 NOTES: (b) is a logit model. Models (a) and (c) are OLS regressions. Standard errors are in brackets. *Significant at 10 percent. **Significant at 5 percent. ***Significant at 1 percent. 105 Table B.10 Diversity of Police Forces (a) (b) % of Officers % of Officers Hispanic Asian % black % Hispanic % Asian % foreign-born % of foreign-born who immigrated after 1990 % Democratic voters, of two-party registrants No. of officers patrolling city Chief is white, not Hispanic Constant Observations Adjusted R-squared –0.137 [0.128] 0.461 [0.071]*** 0.130 [0.124] 0.107 [0.149] –0.094 [0.106] 0.007 [0.082] 0.001 [0.001] –4.496 [1.883]** 5.907 [5.228] 166 0.59 –0.027 [0.054] –0.082 [0.030]*** 0.141 [0.053]*** 0.096 [0.065] –0.009 [0.045] 0.097 [0.034]*** 0.000 [0.000] –1.597 [0.812]* –0.859 [2.261] 152 0.43 NOTES: Models are OLS regressions. Standard errors are in brackets. City population is not included in these regressions because it is highly correlated with the number of police officers patrolling the city. *Significant at 10 percent. **Significant at 5 percent. ***Significant at 1 percent. 106 Table B.11 Informal Businesses and Police Review Boards (a) (b) Cite Informal Police Review Business Board Population (log) Poverty rate % black % Hispanic, of nonwhite population % foreign-born % of foreign-born who immigrated after 1990 % Democratic voters, of two-party registrants FBI Uniform Crime Index 2002 (log) Constant Observations Pseudo R-squared 0.077 [0.193] –0.017 [0.049] 0.099 [0.048]** 0.027 [0.015]* 0.064 [0.032]** –0.046 [0.035] –0.007 [0.026] –0.101 [0.596] –2.986 [4.821] 105 0.12 0.624 [0.230]*** 0.089 [0.056] 0.033 [0.045] –0.008 [0.020] –0.079 [0.046]* 0.055 [0.043] –0.011 [0.037] 1.007 [0.736] –17.864 [7.108]** 174 0.29 NOTES: Cell entries are logit coefficients. Standard errors are in brackets. *Significant at 10 percent. **Significant at 5 percent. ***Significant at 1 percent. 107 Bibliography Browning, Rufus P., Dale Rogers Marshall, and David H. Tabb, Protest Is Not Enough: The Struggle of Blacks and Hispanics for Equality in Urban Politics, University of California Press, Berkeley, California, 1984. Citrin, Jack, and Benjamin Highton, How Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration Shape the California Electorate, Public Policy Institute of California, San Francisco, California, 2002. Eljera, Bert, “The Chinese Beverly Hills,” AsianWeek, May 24, 1996. Fisher, Carl, “Laborers’ Illegal Activity,” Ventura County Star, June 30, 2002. Hajnal, Zoltan L., Paul G. Lewis, and Hugh Louch, Municipal Elections in California: Timing, Turnout, and Competition, Public Policy Institute of California, San Francisco, California, 2002. 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Self, Robert, “California’s Industrial Garden: Oakland and the East Bay in the Age of Deindustrialization,” in Jefferson Cowie and Joseph Heathcott, eds., Beyond the Ruins: The Meanings of Deindustrialization, Cornell University Press, Ithaca, New York, 2003. Stone, Clarence N., “Systemic Power in Community Decision-Making,” American Political Science Review, Vol. 74, December 1980, pp. 978–990. Taylor, J. Edward, Philip L. Martin, and Michael Fix, Poverty amid Prosperity: Immigration and the Changing Face of Rural California, Urban Institute Press, Washington, D.C., 1997. Wall, Stephen, “Foreign ID Cards Cause for Debate,” Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, March 7, 2004. Wilson, James Q., Varieties of Police Behavior: The Management of Law and Order in Eight Communities, Atheneum, New York, 1970. 111 About the Authors S. KARTHICK RAMAKRISHNAN Karthick Ramakrishnan is a research fellow at PPIC. His research interests include civic voluntarism, political participation, and public opinion, with a particular focus on immigration, race, and ethnicity. His recent book from Stanford University Press, Democracy in Immigrant America, analyzes the political participation of U.S. immigrants from a cross-racial perspective. His current projects include research on the “2.5 generation” (those with one immigrant parent and one native-born parent) and on civic voluntarism among immigrants in the United States. Before joining PPIC, he was a fellow at Harvard University’s Department of Government. He holds a B.A. in international relations and political science from Brown University and a Ph.D. in politics from Princeton University. PAUL G. LEWIS Paul Lewis is a research fellow and Director of the Governance and Public Finance program at the Public Policy Institute of California. He is the author of a book, Shaping Suburbia (University of Pittsburgh Press), seven previous PPIC reports, and numerous journal articles and other publications on topics relating to local government and politics, urban development, housing, transportation, and community change. He serves on the editorial board of the State and Local Government Review. He holds a Ph.D. in politics from Princeton University. 113 Related PPIC Publications How Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration Shape the California Electorate Jack Citrin and Benjamin Highton Municipal Elections in California: Turnout, Timing, and Competition Zoltan L. Hajnal, Paul G. Lewis, and Hugh Louch In Short Supply? Cycles and Trends in California Housing Hans P. Johnson, Rosa M. Moller, and Michael Dardia California’s Housing Element Law: The Issue of Local Noncompliance Paul G. Lewis The Ties That Bind: Changing Demographics and Civic Engagement in California S. Karthick Ramakrishnan and Mark Baldassare “A State of Diversity: Demographic Trends in California’s Regions” California Counts: Population Trends and Profiles Volume 3, Number 5, May 2002 Hans P. Johnson “Second-Generation Immigrants in California” California Counts: Population Trends and Profiles Volume 6, Number 4, May 2005 S. Karthick Ramakrishnan and Hans P. Johnson PPIC publications may be ordered by phone or from our website (800) 232-5343 [mainland U.S.] (415) 291-4400 [outside mainland U.S.] www.ppic.org 115" } ["___content":protected]=> string(102) "

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" ["_permalink":protected]=> string(98) "https://www.ppic.org/publication/immigrants-and-local-governance-the-view-from-city-hall/r_605srr/" ["_next":protected]=> array(0) { } ["_prev":protected]=> array(0) { } ["_css_class":protected]=> NULL ["id"]=> int(8323) ["ID"]=> int(8323) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "1" ["post_content"]=> string(0) "" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-05-20 02:36:37" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(3506) ["post_status"]=> string(7) "inherit" ["post_title"]=> string(8) "R 605SRR" ["post_type"]=> string(10) "attachment" ["slug"]=> string(8) "r_605srr" ["__type":protected]=> NULL ["_wp_attached_file"]=> string(12) "R_605SRR.pdf" ["wpmf_size"]=> string(6) "453226" ["wpmf_filetype"]=> string(3) "pdf" ["wpmf_order"]=> string(1) "0" ["searchwp_content"]=> string(235419) "Immigrants and Local Governance: TheView from City Hall ••• S. Karthick Ramakrishnan Paul G. Lewis 2005 Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Ramakrishnan, S. Karthick (Subramanian Karthick), 1975Immigrants and local governance : the view from the city hall / S. Karthick Ramakrishnan, Paul G. Lewis. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references. ISBN: 1-58213-113-9 1. Emigration and immigration—California—Political aspects. 2. Immigrants— California. 3. Municipal government—California. 4. Emigration and immigration—California—Social aspects. 5. Local officials and employees— California—Attitudes. I. Lewis, Paul George, 1966- II. Public Policy Institute of California. III. Title. JV6920.R36 2005 320.6’09794—dc22 2005010182 Copyright © 2005 by Public Policy Institute of California All rights reserved San Francisco, CA Short sections of text, not to exceed three paragraphs, may be quoted without written permission provided that full attribution is given to the source and the above copyright notice is included. PPIC does not take or support positions on any ballot measure or on any local, state, or federal legislation, nor does it endorse, support, or oppose any political parties or candidates for public office. Research publications reflect the views of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the staff, officers, or Board of Directors of the Public Policy Institute of California. Foreword A number of PPIC reports have documented the rather poor level of civic engagement by immigrants in California—from the lack of voting to lower levels of participation in mainstream civic groups. This latest PPIC report by S. Karthick Ramakrishnan and Paul G. Lewis suggests that local government itself is generally not very effective in fostering effective communications between immigrants and elected officials. The authors do point out that cities with more immigrants do better than smaller cities in providing translators and translated documents, but elected officials in cities with a higher share of immigrants are also more likely to report mistrust of police as a significant problem. Ironically, the authors found that police departments are considerably more attuned to immigrant communities than elected officials are. This suggests that the lack of political participation among immigrants impairs their relationship with elected officials but not with city agencies that interact often with immigrant communities. Much of what concerns us about lack of civic engagement by the foreign-born today will most likely pass into history fairly quickly. California is undergoing dramatic and unprecedented change in its population composition. Although new residents and our local governments might be slow to adapt to the new circumstances, we will most likely look back on this period as exactly what it is—an era of transition that had to be experienced before a new equilibrium was established between the private lives of families and civic engagement. Adaptation may well take longer than expected, but we can be sure that the style of doing business will never be the same. David W. Lyon President and CEO Public Policy Institute of California iii iv Summary Scholars and commentators have long focused on the implications of immigration for state- and national-level politics and policy. Yet there has been little research on the ways local governments have reacted to changes in their constituencies brought about by immigration. This report presents an analysis of political and policy dynamics in California’s “immigrant destination cities,” or municipalities where the foreign born account for a sizable proportion of residents. In some cases, even using the word constituent to refer to immigrants may sound strange, because many foreign-born Californians are ineligible to vote or, if eligible, do not exercise their vote. However, the dictionary provides two other definitions for constituent. First, constituents are component parts of a larger community. Such is certainly the case for immigrants in most California communities, because more than one in four Californians are foreign born. Moreover, substantial immigrant populations are not limited to the state’s largest cities. Of the 474 municipalities in existence at the time of the 2000 Census, 299 (63%) had an immigrant share of the population of at least 15 percent. Using this 15 percent threshold, we focus our study on these 299 cities, plus five others where at least 10,000 immigrants lived in the city. The vast majority of the state’s central cities and suburbs, as well as nearly half of its rural municipalities can, to varying degrees, be considered immigrant destination cities. Most immigrants in California lack much experience with the American political system, and many are not fluent English speakers. Others come from societies in which active political participation is unwelcome or where authorities may be repressive. For these reasons, immigrant involvement in city government may be quite limited. However, those interested in immigrants’ success and adaptation know that it is often at the local level where issues of most consequence to immigrants—policing, housing policy, and local service provision—are v decided. A second definition of constituent refers to a person or group that has the power to alter a political constitution. It is in this latter sense—the ability of immigrants to influence the activities of local government—that we are particularly interested in immigrant destination cities. Are immigrants reshaping the policies and routines of city government, or are they largely unseen and unheard? In this report, we focus on the political relevance of immigrants to City Hall, on the degree of communication between immigrants and local officials, and on city policy responses to the presence of immigrants. We pay special attention to the needs and effects of immigrants in two areas: law enforcement and housing conditions and policies. To understand these issues, we conducted mail surveys of mayors and councilmembers, police chiefs, and planning directors in these 304 communities. We received at least one response from an elected official in 86 percent of the communities. In addition, 69 percent of planners and 62 percent of police officials responded. These surveys were supplemented with visits to four large suburban cities—two each in Orange County and in the San Francisco Bay Area—where we interviewed leaders of civic organizations, immigrant and ethnic advocacy groups, elected officials, and city employees. We also reviewed print media coverage of immigrant-related issues and controversies from cities throughout the state. Among our major findings are the following: 1. Communication between immigrants and elected officials is quite limited, and immigrants’ influence in local politics is perceived to be low in most cities. Immigrant and ethnic organizations rank near the very bottom of a list of groups in terms of their perceived influence in city politics, according to mayors and councilmembers. Most elected officials could not name a single organization they would contact if they wished to engage in outreach to local immigrants, and more than one-third reported that they have a “hard time learning about the political or policy interests of local immigrants.” Also, Hispanics and Asians are underrepresented among local elected officials and appointive board and commission members. This lack of influence is generally in keeping with the lower level of political vi participation among the foreign born, but it also reflects a general lack of city government outreach to immigrant communities. In particular, intermediary groups that might speak for immigrant residents lack a presence in many small and medium-sized communities. 2. However, there are some routes to improvement in this regard. Our interviews indicated that proactive local officials, through “boundary-crossing” outreach to a wide variety of local organizations and groups, can be a catalyst for enhanced information flows with immigrants and more immigrant influence in local affairs. In particular, a form of political tutelage, in which immigrants and minorities are recruited for service on appointive city boards and commissions, can be a way to improve communication flows and get more immigrants involved in local affairs. However, in many cities, elected officials have taken a more reactive approach, expecting that immigrants will mobilize and organize themselves if they are concerned about local issues. Another avenue for improving the accessibility of local government to foreign-born residents is language assistance. In only a small percentage of cities do elected officials report that city documents are regularly translated into non-English languages. Interpreters are more widely available in City Hall, but their use tends to be somewhat irregular and ad hoc. 3. To some degree, “demography is destiny” in influencing city responses to immigrant concerns, but this is not uniformly the case. We undertook numerous statistical analyses of the responses to the mail surveys, paying special attention to the relationship between city political or policy practices on the one hand and, on the other, immigrants’ share of the overall city population or the recentness of their migration to the United States. To some degree, the findings are as one would expect in a political system where relative numbers translate into voice and power. For vii example, officials in cities with higher proportions of foreignborn residents say that they hear from more information sources about local immigrants and are more likely to say that immigrant-related issues have been topics of local political debate. High-immigration cities are also more likely to make interpreters available for resident communication with City Hall, all else equal. On the other hand, immigration does sometimes present issues that are not quickly or easily resolved. Elected officials in cities with higher shares of immigrants are more likely to report mistrust of police as a significant problem. Certain policy outcomes that one might expect immigrants to be interested in, such as the creation of human relations commissions or police review boards, are also less common in high-immigration cities, all else equal. And in cities where a higher proportion of local immigrants are recent (i.e., after 1990) arrivals to the country, elected officials are more likely to say that group conflict is a challenge facing their local government. 4. The size of a city and the characteristics of its local governing coalition also matter. Our interviews found that immigrantserving organizations often concentrate their efforts in the largest cities, with much less advocacy activity in suburbs and smaller communities. Immigrant communities generally have deeper roots and a potentially broader support network in larger cities. Not surprisingly, then, elected officials in large cities are more likely to report receiving information on local immigrants from numerous sources and to report satisfactory levels of ethnic representation on boards and commissions. Large cities are also more likely to provide interpreters and to translate public documents, to have a human relations commission, to use community policing techniques, and to accept Mexican consular ID cards as valid identification. viii As with many past studies of local politics, we also find that local political discretion makes a difference and that the ideology of elected officials can be a powerful influence on city government choices. For example, in cities where elected officials reported that the majority of councilmembers were conservative, our statistical models show that their municipalities are less likely to provide translation of government documents and less likely to report that ethnic organizations were influential in city politics. In those communities where there are gatherings of day laborers (workers, often immigrants, who stand outdoors looking for informal work from passersby), cities with conservative council majorities are less likely to fund a hiring center or to designate an area where day labor activity is permitted. Individual elected officials who identified themselves as conservative were less likely to be able to name an organization they would turn to for outreach to immigrants. 5. Few cities consider the special needs of immigrants in their housing plans. According to our survey of mayors and city councilmembers, housing is the biggest challenge facing immigrant residents. A follow-up survey of planning directors reveals a similar picture: Crowding is more common, and affordability conditions are somewhat worse, in cities with a higher proportion of immigrant residents. However, only 27 percent of planners reported that their city council or planning commission has discussed immigrant-related housing needs, and only 20 percent reported that the housing element of their city’s general plan discusses immigrants. The passage of inclusionary housing policies to promote affordable housing development is not related to the proportion of immigrants in the city population, although such policies are more common in cities where the immigrant flow is more recent. 6. Policing techniques appear to be more responsive than housing policy to the demographic shifts in these cities. Given potential language barriers and lack of trust of authorities, police have a challenging ix job in high-immigration cities. By necessity, however, many police departments have found ways to better communicate with and relate to local immigrants. Local police forces are considerably more ethnically diverse than the elected officials in these communities. An overwhelming majority of departments consider bilingualism as a positive factor in recruiting new officers and offer a pay increment to bilingual officers, and most make use of such officers in situations where translation is necessary. Most police departments say that they accept Mexican consular IDs as a valid form of identification and that they do not report the presence of suspected undocumented immigrants to federal officials. Community policing techniques, such as meetings with neighborhood groups and police cooperation with local school districts, are widely embraced in immigrant destination cities, although they appear to be somewhat less common where the foreign-born share of the population is high. Overall, we conclude that city governments are moving somewhat slowly in reacting to the new issues and needs presented by immigrants, although significant progress can be detected on specific issues and in specific cities. We recommend that cities consider taking a more proactive and long-term approach in reaching out to local immigrants, specifically through appointments to boards and commissions. Public officials concerned with reaching out to immigrants may also find it beneficial to work with local religious congregations that serve many immigrants to find out about the concerns of foreign-born residents and to inform them of city programs and policies. This may be particularly applicable to smaller cities, where immigrant civic organizations are less likely to exist. In addition, we recommend that larger cities employ a coordinator of outreach to immigrant residents instead of relying strictly on informal intermediaries such as directors of social service organizations. We suggest that language support be made more widely available, and that local plans more explicitly address the housing needs and conditions of immigrants. We recommend that police departments continue the progress already made toward enhancing trust between x immigrants and officers by expanding community policing approaches and increasing outreach to ethnic associations and immigrant-owned businesses. Finally, nongovernmental organizations with an interest in facilitating immigrant adaptation have a potentially important role to play in helping immigrants to connect with and understand local civic affairs. By expanding their presence and engagement in small and medium-sized cities, these intermediary groups can help make the difference between a politically invisible immigrant population and one that is taken seriously by local government. xi Contents Foreword......................................... iii Summary......................................... v Figures .......................................... xv Tables ........................................... xvii Acknowledgments................................... xix 1. INTRODUCTION: IMMIGRANTS AND CITY GOVERNANCE ................................ Overview of the Study............................. Research Questions to Be Answered ................. Two Policy Areas of Special Focus................... Research Methods .............................. The Prevalence and Characteristics of Immigrant Destination Cities in California ........................... Special Needs and Issues of Immigrant Destination Cities.... Looking Ahead.................................. 1 2 3 3 4 7 11 15 2. THE POLITICAL RELEVANCE OF IMMIGRANTS TO CITY HALL ................................... How City Officials Learn About Local Immigrants......... Influence of Immigrant and Ethnic Organizations on City Hall ...................................... Translation and Language Issues...................... Appointments to City Boards and Commissions .......... Immigrants and City Council Agendas ................. Human Relations Commissions ...................... Conclusion .................................... 17 17 21 25 30 33 35 37 3. HOUSING POLICY CHALLENGES ................. Housing Conditions and Political Responses in Immigrant Destination Cities ............................ Crowding and Code Enforcement .................... 39 40 43 xiii Official Attention to Immigrant Housing Needs .......... 48 Inclusionary Housing Policies ....................... 50 Conclusion .................................... 51 4. POLICING AND LAW ENFORCEMENT ISSUES ...... Local Policing Conditions and Police-Community Relations .................................. Trust of Police in Diverse Communities ................ Approaches to Policing ............................ Translation and Language Issues...................... Interactions with Undocumented Immigrants ............ Day Laborers ................................... Informal Businesses............................... Hate Crimes ................................... Ethnic and Racial Diversity of Officers ................. Police Review Boards ............................. Conclusion .................................... 53 54 56 58 61 63 66 69 71 72 74 74 5. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS ....... 77 Recap of Findings................................ 77 What Can Be Done? .............................. 80 Appendix A. Mail Survey Methods and Profile of Respondents.......... 87 B. Result of Multivariate Analyses....................... 95 Bibliography ...................................... 109 About the Authors .................................. 113 Related PPIC Publications............................. 115 xiv Figures 1.1a. 1.1b. 1.2. 1.3. 2.1. 2.2. 3.1. 3.2. 4.1. Percentage of Foreign-Born Residents in Cities in the San Francisco Bay Area ......................... Percentage of Foreign-Born Residents in Cities in the Los Angeles Region............................ Challenges for Municipal Governments in Responding Cities ..................................... Problems Faced by All Residents, According to Councilmembers and Mayors..................... Sources of Information on Local Immigrants, as Relied on by Mayors and Councilmembers ................ The Availability of Translated Documents and Interpreters ................................. Relationship Between Percentage of Immigrants in the City and Planning Directors’ Perception of Housing Problems ................................... Relationship Between Immigrants and Household Size in California Cities .............................. Day Labor Conditions and Policies................. 8 9 12 14 18 26 45 46 68 xv Tables 1.1. Demographic Characteristics of Low- and HighImmigration Cities ............................ 10 2.1. Influence of Various Nongovernmental Groups in City Politics, as Rated by Elected Officials ............... 22 2.2. Elected Officials’ Views of How Well Various Groups Are Represented on City Boards and Commissions...... 31 2.3. Salience of Immigration and Immigrants as Issues in City Politics, According to Elected Officials .............. 34 3.1. Local Housing Affordability Conditions, as Perceived by Planners and Elected Officials .................... 40 3.2. Housing Unaffordability in California Cities, by Immigrant Share.............................. 41 3.3. Enforcement of Relevant Building Codes ............ 46 4.1. Police Chiefs’ Views of Local Conditions ............ 54 4.2. Police Chiefs’ Descriptions of Local Policing Approaches ................................. 59 4.3. Elected Officials’ Views on Police/Community Interactions ................................. 61 4.4. Typical Response of an Officer If Victim/Witness Unable to Speak English, According to Police Chiefs/ Commanders ................................ 62 4.5. Typical Police Responses to Informal Businesses, According to Chief/Commander .................. 70 4.6. Ethnic/Racial Makeup of Police Force in 173 Immigrant Destination Cities............................. 73 A.1. Percentage Distribution of Response Rates to Mayor/ Councilmember Surveys ........................ 89 A.2. Percentage Distribution of the Race/Ethnicity of Respondents to Mail Surveys ..................... 91 B.1. Elected Officials’ Assessments of the Degree of Challenge Posed by Group Conflicts ....................... 96 xvii B.2. Elected Officials’ Sources of Information on Immigrants and Knowledge of Outreach Organizations ........... 97 B.3. Measures of City Policy Responsiveness ............. 99 B.4. Immigrant Concerns and Local Politics.............. 100 B.5. Degree of City Housing Enforcement ............... 101 B.6. Housing and City Politics ....................... 102 B.7. Police/Community Relations ..................... 103 B.8. Police Practices Relevant to Immigrants ............. 104 B.9. Elected Official Reports Regarding Law Enforcement Issues...................................... 105 B.10. Diversity of Police Forces ....................... 106 B.11. Informal Businesses and Police Review Boards ......... 107 xviii Acknowledgments We have been fortunate to be able to draw on the insights of many people in preparing this report. We offer sincere thanks to the dozens of local officials, city employees, community organization leaders, immigrant activists, and others who agreed to participate in detailed interviews in our four case-study cities. We also owe a major debt of gratitude to the hundreds of councilmembers, mayors, police chiefs and commanders, and planning officials who participated in the mail surveys undertaken for this research. At PPIC, our former colleague Nikesh Patel participated in three of the case studies, compiled and tracked media coverage on several relevant topics, took the lead role in organizing the logistics of the mail surveys, and helped to manage the survey data. Jennifer Paluch also played an important role in collecting media coverage as well as quantitative data on immigrant-destination cities, and Rachel Flood reviewed literature and collaborated on one case study. We thank them for their contributions. Mark Baldassare has been supportive of this project throughout its lengthy gestation, and Joyce Peterson and Gary Bjork provided useful editorial comments on this report. Our work has also benefited substantially from the detailed reviews of an earlier draft by Claudine Gay, Jaime Regalado, Belinda Reyes, and Victor Rubin. In planning our research, we were aided by the substantive input of Zeny Agullana, Saeed Ali, Heather Barbour, Michael Chang, Andres Jimenez, Yoriko Kishimoto, Sara Mercer, Barbara Pierce, and Charlene Wear Simmons. Although all of these people made important contributions, we are solely responsible for any errors of fact or interpretation. xix 1. Introduction: Immigrants and City Governance Many forces are at work shaping California communities—the relocation of industries and the creation of new ones, state policies and infrastructure investments, and social changes, such as the increasing movement of the elderly to retirement communities. This report focuses on perhaps the most profound element of transition now facing California and its communities: the rapid increase in foreign-born populations in most parts of the state. Immigration changes the constituencies of local government officials and raises the issue of how local governments can assist immigrants in their adaptation to American democracy—as well as how the cities themselves are adapting to the issues and needs raised by their changing population. As recently as 1970, fewer than one in 11 residents in Californians was born outside the United States. By 1990, the immigrant population had grown to more than 20 percent of the statewide population and, according to the most recent Census, they now account for more than one in four California residents (26%). In some areas, that percentage is considerably larger; indeed, in 20 cities, the foreign-born account for a majority of the resident population. Most newcomers lack much experience with the American political system, and many are not fluent English speakers. Furthermore, much of this immigration has occurred in the last two decades, presenting new experiences and challenges for communities where these newcomers have settled. Finally, immigration has also changed the racial and ethnic composition of California, with the foreign-born population more likely to be composed of Latinos and Asians.1 _____________ 1Although we recognize the great diversity within each group, in this report we use the terms Hispanic and Latino interchangeably, as we do for the terms black and African American. We use the term white to refer to non-Hispanic Caucasians, and the term 1 What do these trends portend for local governments? Although many studies have addressed the social and economic effects of immigration, we know relatively little about the effects of immigration on public policymaking and representation at the local level. Native-born residents can affect local policy through voting and a variety of organized interests, but such mechanisms of representation and influence are less likely to be present among immigrant populations. First, a high proportion of immigrants either cannot or do not vote and, second, the groups and associations in which they participate often lack direct connections to mainstream politics. Given these differences, how do local officials regard the immigrant populations in their cities? How do they learn about the needs of immigrants, and how do they respond to policy issues that immigration raises? This report presents answers to these questions by examining those cities with relatively large immigrant populations—what we term “immigrant destination cities.” The results of the study are important for at least two reasons. First, the political integration of new groups is a perennial and important challenge in a democratic society. Second, in the future, a growing number of communities in California and elsewhere will be dealing with conditions associated with large-scale immigration. Overview of the Study In our investigation of local governance in immigrant destination cities, we focus on the political relevance of immigrant communities to municipal governments. We examine the extent to which city officials pay attention to the concerns of immigrant communities, the ways they learn about immigrant needs and concerns, and the ways they formulate policy and communicate policy decisions back to immigrant communities. ______________________________________________________________ Asian or Asian American to refer to those who identify themselves on the Census as Asian or Pacific Islander. Any exceptions dictated by our data sources will be pointed out in the text. 2 Research Questions to Be Answered We will focus on two major sets of research questions. The first set of questions involves how local elected officials become aware of the needs and preferences of immigrant populations. Do local officials claim to know much about the needs and interests of immigrants, or do they feel somewhat in the dark? How do they learn about local immigrants, and who speaks for immigrants at the local level? And how do officials in City Hall attempt to communicate city issues or policies to their immigrant constituents, some of whom may not speak English or understand the process of local government in the United States? We also consider the extent to which immigrant concerns are addressed in City Hall. Relevant factors include councilmember evaluations of group influence, the appointment of Latinos and Asian Americans to city boards and commissions, and the creation of commissions dealing specifically with the needs of immigrant residents. We anticipate that differences in the way local officials perceive the needs of immigrants and their role in the community will be explained by a number of factors, including the economic conditions of the city, the racial/ethnic and ideological composition of its population, the ideology of the city council, and the personal characteristics of local officials. Through the use of a survey of city officials, we examine the relative importance of these factors in shaping the extent to which officials consider the needs and effects of immigrants to be politically relevant. Two Policy Areas of Special Focus We pay special attention to the needs and effects of immigrants in two areas: law enforcement, and housing conditions and policies. These two types of public services are particularly relevant for this study because they are generally provided at the municipal level and may be profoundly affected by the presence of immigrants in the community. For example, cities may find it necessary to engage in community outreach to overcome distrust or fear of legal authorities among immigrants. These cities also may experience pressure to develop or enforce regulations governing informal economic activities, such as day labor or unlicensed sidewalk peddling. The question of whether local police accept Mexican 3 consular IDs as valid identification has also become a major issue in some communities. In the area of housing, overcrowding and code enforcement are particularly salient issues in some immigrant destination communities. For example, officials in some cities have wrestled with community concerns over overcrowding and illegally subdivided residential structures that, some argue, compromise fire safety or sanitation standards. In other cities, providing low-cost housing for migrant workers is a major policy challenge. For each of these two issue areas, this report will highlight the ways municipal officials perceive the needs of immigrants and their effects on the larger community. We also examine the formal and informal policy approaches city governments have taken to address them. Research Methods Our primary evidence in this study comes from three mail surveys targeted to (a) mayors and councilmembers, (b) police chiefs, and (c) planning directors in California’s immigrant destination cities. For our purposes, we define immigrant destination cities as those meeting either of the following two criteria: • Foreign-born residents constitute at least 15 percent of the city population, as of the 2000 U.S. Census. (Among California cities, 299 met this criterion.) • The city is slightly below the 15 percent threshold but has at least 10,000 foreign-born residents. (Five additional cities were included through this criterion.2 Each had more than 13 percent immigrants in 2000, and in some cases the current foreign-born population probably exceeds 15 percent.) Although the 15 percent cutoff is somewhat arbitrary, one can assume that these 304 communities all have immigrant populations that are significant (relative to the size of the city) and visible components of the local society. The cutoff also allows for considerable variation in the _____________ 2These cities were Antioch, Bakersfield, Lancaster, Rancho Cucamonga, and Ventura. 4 share of immigrant residents, with a mean of 29 percent and a maximum of 58 percent. We considered sending our survey of local officials to all cities in California but feared that respondents in low-immigration cities would find some of the questions inapplicable or puzzling and would therefore be less likely to respond. 3 Surveys, printed in booklet format, were mailed to recipients in these 304 cities in 2003, using lists of mayors, councilmembers, planning or community development directors, and police chiefs purchased from the League of California Cities. We received usable responses from 32 percent of elected officials (but with at least one response from 86% of cities), 62 percent of police chiefs, and 69 percent of planning directors. These survey responses were then merged with a dataset that included voluminous information on each California city, mainly from the 2000 U.S. Census. By doing so, we were able to analyze how officials’ survey responses differed depending on the size, demographic features, or other characteristics of their cities. We promised officials anonymity in their survey responses to promote high response rates and to make them feel comfortable about answering our questions. Therefore, we do not report the results in ways that would identify individual officials or specific cities. Survey methods are described in greater detail in Appendix A, as are some techniques we have used to check the veracity of our survey data. In addition to the surveys of city officials, we also conducted interviews with key informants in four immigrant destination cities—two in Orange County and two in the San Francisco Bay Area. Each city was a medium-sized suburb with a population of 60,000 to 80,000—a relatively typical California municipality in terms of size—but the cities varied in ethnic makeup, socioeconomic status, and the recentness of immigrants’ entry (i.e., whether immigrant residents had moved to the United States before 1990 or afterward). We spoke with leaders of civic, religious, ethnic, and immigrant organizations in these cities, as well as elected city officials, city employees, and other _____________ 3We tested for sample selection bias using a Heckman selection model that incorporates city population size, poverty rates, and proportion of foreign-born residents to predict the selection of cities that were not sent survey questionnaires. The resulting analyses did not change the significance of our multivariate regression coefficients. 5 knowledgeable observers. Although these case studies are not a formal component of this report, we do draw on representative quotations from our interviews to amplify the survey findings. Additional material is also drawn from media coverage of issues in other immigrant destination cities in California. Finally, it is important to note that as its title indicates, this report focuses primarily on local officials and the responses of city governments to immigrants—not on immigrant organizations or the experiences of individual immigrants. A forthcoming PPIC study will examine immigrants’ local civic participation and volunteerism in more detail. Also, although we address many issues relating to local governance in California, we do not examine a number of public services of concern to immigrant communities, such as public education, health care, and the provision of welfare. Municipal governments play a relatively smaller role in these arenas than other institutions, such as school districts and various county agencies. Thus, for instance, immigrant communities may be invisible to municipal agencies in a particular city yet active in school board politics or on county-level decisionmaking bodies. Our interviews and analysis of media coverage of immigrant-related issues reveal that immigrant advocates may indeed be active in neighboring cities with larger immigrant populations or in other levels of government (such as school boards, transportation districts, or county agencies). It is possible that immigrants’ attention to other issues may help account for their lack of influence over municipal affairs. Nevertheless, this does not detract from the importance of studying immigrants’ relations with city government, particularly with respect to such issues as housing, law enforcement, and certain aspects of economic regulation. As indicated above, municipal governments play a significant role in regulating the activities of residents and often serve as a launching pad for political involvement among newcomer groups. It is therefore important to assess the extent to which elected city officials and municipal agencies pay attention to the concerns of immigrant residents and enact policies for cities undergoing significant demographic change as a result of immigration. 6 The Prevalence and Characteristics of Immigrant Destination Cities in California The 304 municipalities that met our criteria as immigrant destination cities represent nearly two-thirds (64%) of the 474 cities that existed in California at the time of the 2000 Census.4 These include 90 percent of the state’s central cities but also 71 percent of its suburbs and 47 percent of its rural municipalities.5 High-immigration cities constitute the majority of cities in most urbanized counties and over twothirds of the cities in the San Francisco Bay Area, the Los Angeles region, and the Central Valley. In the Central Coast, 63 percent of municipalities are immigrant destination cities, as are half of those in San Diego County. However, in the remaining, mostly rural parts of the state, only one city in ten meets our criteria. Figures 1.1a and 1.1b show patterns of immigrant settlement in the central portions of the state’s two most populous regions—the Bay Area and the greater Los Angeles region. Clearly, high-immigration cities are present throughout wide portions of both metropolitan areas. Areas of particularly high concentrations of foreign-born residents in Southern California include the city of Los Angeles itself, portions of the San Gabriel Valley, the Bell/Bell Gardens area in Los Angeles County, and the Santa Ana/ Garden Grove area in northern Orange County. In the Bay Area, highimmigration settlement is skewed toward the southeastern part of the region around San Jose, although San Francisco and neighboring Daly City also have high immigrant concentrations. It is also important to look inside immigrant destination cities to discuss their socioeconomic characteristics and to learn something about the immigrants who have decided to call these communities home. What factors, other than a high proportion of foreign-born residents, are _____________ 4Four new cities have since incorporated. 5Central cities are those identified as such by the Census Bureau as of 1999. We define suburbs as the noncentral-city municipalities that lie within the urbanized areas of metropolitan counties, again using Census delineations. All other cities are treated as rural. 7 Figure 1.1a—Percentage of Foreign-Born Residents in Cities in the San Francisco Bay Area distinctive to these cities? How similar are the characteristics of immigrant destination cities, and in what ways do they vary? Many immigrant destination cities have special needs and conditions that are related to their demographic characteristics. Some of these center on levels of socioeconomic status (SES), whereas others may be traced to language and cultural differences from other cities. Table 1.1 provides a number of demographic characteristics from the 2000 Census for three categories of communities, showing the average value of each variable for cities with less than 15 percent immigrants, 15 to 25 percent immigrants, and more than 25 percent foreign-born. Higherimmigration cities tend to have larger populations and also show lower levels of high school completion than lower-immigration cities. At the upper end of the immigration scale (25% or more), cities also tend to have significantly lower median household incomes and higher 8 Figure 1.1b—Percentage of Foreign-Born Residents in Cities in the Los Angeles Region unemployment rates than low-immigration communities. Also of interest in terms of economic opportunity, low-immigration cities are more likely to be job centers, with a higher ratio of jobs to resident workers than medium-immigration cities, although cities in the highestimmigration category also tend to have more jobs than workers within their boundaries. It is often noted that immigrants tend to live in extended-family or multigenerational households; others “double up” within housing units. First-generation Latinas also have a higher birth rate than the general population (Hill and Johnson, 2002). These observations are borne out by the data in Table 1.1, which indicate significantly larger household sizes in high-immigration cities. Overcrowded housing is an emerging issue in many immigrant destination cities, as we discuss in Chapter 3. In a related vein, cities with higher proportions of foreign-born residents also tend to have a younger age profile, with significantly higher 9 Table 1.1 Demographic Characteristics of Low- and High-Immigration Cities % of City Residents Foreign-Born 25% Number of cities Average population Median household income % of residents (age 25+) not high school graduates % unemployed Ratio of jobs to workers within city (1990) Median persons per household % of population under age 18 % of population age 65+ % of residents (age 5+) who speak English less than “very well” % of population white, non-Hispanic % of population black, non-Hispanic % of population Hispanic % of population Asian or Pacific Islander % of foreign-born residents who are naturalized citizens % of foreign-born residents who immigrated after 1990 175 24,462 $54,704 15 6 1.19 2.6 25 15 5 76 2 14 4 48 30 137 51,444* $56,657 20* 7 0.94* 2.9* 28* 11* 162 99,837* $46,607* 35* 9* 1.09 3.4* 30* 10* 13* 28* 57* 29* 4* 5* 28* 49* 8* 14* 43* 37* 34* 38* SOURCE: Calculated from the 2000 Census, except the job-worker ratio, which is calculated from the 1994 Census Transportation Planning Package. *Indicates a significant difference from low-immigration cities (p < .05, two-tailed t-test). percentages of children and lower shares of elderly in the population. Finally, English-language ability is a much greater issue in immigrant destination cities, as one would expect. In the highest-immigration category, which includes 162 cities, more than a quarter of residents reported not speaking English very well. Although immigrants come from many nations and may be of any race, cities with higher shares of foreign-born residents do have distinctive racial and ethnic profiles. As shown in Table 1.1, nonHispanic whites account for about three-quarters of the resident population in cities with less than 15 percent of an immigrant 10 population but less than a third of residents in the 162 cities where immigrants account for more than 25 percent of the population. Also, high-immigration cities tend to have higher black populations, indicating that many communities experiencing immigration have a multiethnic character, with more than two significant demographic groups in the population. Finally, even among immigrant populations themselves, circumstances are often different in high-immigration communities, which are frequently an initial way station in a chain of household relocations. A higher percentage of foreign-born residents in highimmigration communities tend to be recent arrivals to the United States—and a smaller percentage are naturalized citizens—than in lowimmigration cities. Special Needs and Issues of Immigrant Destination Cities Many issues can pose difficulties or challenges for local governments—whether for fiscal, political, technical, or other reasons. This section highlights the challenges that elected officials in our set of immigrant destination cities identified as facing their governments as well as their resident populations. We asked the mayors and councilmembers to rate nine sets of issues on a five-point scale from “not much of a challenge” to a “very serious challenge.” Figure 1.2 shows the average ratings given to these issues, aggregated to a citywide basis (that is, we average the scores provided by respondents in each city, and then weight each city equally). The figure also distinguishes the average city’s degree of challenge according to its foreign-born share of the resident population. For the most part, the challenges cited by city governments were consistent regardless of the immigrant share of the resident population. Perhaps not surprisingly, in this period of fiscal stringency and uncertainty, “ensuring a sufficient revenue base to provide public services” stood out as the most serious challenge for these city governments. Examining the other issues seen as relatively challenging, 11 Ensuring sufficient revenue for public services Improving/maintaining roads, infrastructure Managing land-use and planning issues Encouraging participation of residents in civic affairs Ensuring public safety Maintaining productive relations with state, federal governments Attracting/retaining quality city staff Managing social conflicts between groups Maintaining constructive political dialogue on council 1 35%+ 25–34% 15–24% 234 Average degree-of-challenge score 5 Figure 1.2—Challenges for Municipal Governments in Responding Cities (Citywide Average Response by Share of Foreign-Born Population) we find that “improving/maintaining city roads and infrastructure”—a challenge closely connected with the fiscal constraints noted above— ranks second. “Managing land-use and planning issues” is also seen as a significant challenge, although its importance tends to be lower in highimmigration cities. Conversely, concerns about ensuring public safety and the participation of local residents in civic affairs are slightly higher in high-immigration cities. However, these differences are not statistically significant and are no longer apparent if we control for other factors such as city size and poverty rates. “Managing social conflicts between different groups in the community” is viewed as one of the least challenging issues by elected officials in these cities (with an average citywide score of 2.7), despite what one might expect in an era of rapid demographic change. If these perceptions of low group-conflict levels are correct, this news is 12 heartening for political life and the incorporation of new groups in California civic affairs. Still, officials from 15 percent of the cities responding rated the challenge as four or higher on the five-point scale. In a multivariate analysis of the local characteristics that underlie differences in these social-conflict scores, we found some evidence that this concern was higher in cities with a greater proportion of immigrant residents who are recent arrivals to the United States.6 The results presented so far relate to officials’ assessments of the problems faced by their city government. We also asked them directly about the degree of problems various issues posed for their residents, with the mayors and councilmembers rating a list of nine issue areas. We present the results in Figure 1.3, again differentiating responses according to the share of immigrant residents in a city. None of the problems shows a dominating level of importance, although issues of housing affordability, employment, and traffic rank among the most serious problems. In some cases, the reported severity of problems differed according to the proportion of immigrants living in the city. Education was seen as a greater challenge in cities where the foreign-born share of the population exceeds 25 percent than in cities where the share is 15 to 24 percent. This is probably because immigrants are more likely than the native-born population to have school-aged children, partly owing to varying age structures and levels of fertility (Hill and Johnson, 2002). Employment was also seen as a greater challenge in high-immigration cities, as were issues of overcrowding and crime. By contrast, such issues as traffic congestion and environmental problems were ranked as less severe in cities with a high proportion of foreign-born residents. For the most part, these city-level differences are attributable to such factors as population size and poverty rates. In a few instances, however, the share _____________ 6Specifically, in an ordinary least squares (OLS) regression model explaining the average score in each city for the level of challenge of group conflicts, we controlled for the city’s population, the percentage of city residents in poverty, the Latino percentage of nonwhites, and the political leanings of voters and city councilmembers. We found that the percentage of immigrants who are post-1990 arrivals was related to the dependent variable in the positive direction at the 10 percent level of significance. A 10 percentage point increase in the recent-immigrant share is associated with an increase in the socialconflict score of about 0.1 points, on a five-point scale. See Appendix Table B.1 for results. 13 Housing supply or affordability Jobs, economic opportunity, recession Traffic, transportation problems Schooling, educational opportunities Health care problems, health insurance coverage Crowding, overpopulation Crime, drugs, gangs Financial burdens of taxes, fees Environmental problems 35%+ 25–34% 15–24% 12345 Average degree-of-challenge score Figure 1.3—Problems Faced by All Residents, According to Councilmembers and Mayors (Citywide Average Response by Share of Foreign-Born Population) of immigrant residents plays a significant role even after controlling for these other factors. Most notably, housing affordability and overcrowding are rated as more severe in high-immigration cities, whereas traffic congestion and environmental problems are mentioned less often. Finally, we asked mayors and city councilmembers to list the three issues (of the nine listed) that posed the biggest problems for immigrant residents of their city (and for minor children of immigrants). The problems that officials saw as specifically facing immigrant residents and their children in these cities were similar to those found among the overall population. However, the prominence given to housing issues was clearly higher for immigrants than for the native-born. And although traffic and transportation problems were seen as a major problem among the general population, they were not viewed as a large 14 problem for immigrant residents. Overall, basic economic needs— housing, jobs, and health care—seem to be of greater concern among immigrant residents than among the general population. These findings, in addition to our interviews of local officials and civic leaders in four communities, indicate that immigrants in California are more vulnerable than the general population to economic downturns and cuts in social services. Looking Ahead We have argued that a large influx of newcomers to America in any city’s population is likely to create new pressures and issues that will confront local elected officials and public agencies. In short, immigrant destination cities may face a distinctive set of policy challenges. We define immigrant destination cities as those where immigrants are at least a 15 percent share of the local population or account for at least 10,000 foreignborn residents, and we find that most California municipalities meet one of these criteria. These cities are not just traditional immigrant-receiving locales, such as central cities and farm towns, but appear throughout the state. Their elected officials tend to see housing and other basic economic issues as the main problems besetting local immigrants, and they view budget constraints as the major issue facing city government. The next chapter looks at the relationships and communication between immigrants and their municipal elected officials and examines the degree to which immigrants are influential or even relevant actors in local political life in these cities. Chapter 3 deals with housing challenges in immigrant destination cities, such as crowding and housing affordability, and the ways cities have responded to these challenges. A parallel analysis regarding policing and law enforcement issues of relevance to immigrants appears in Chapter 4, where we look at such issues as day laborers and police interactions with undocumented immigrants. Finally, in Chapter 5, we review this body of evidence and offer some conclusions about the successes and remaining challenges of immigrant destination cities, along with some policy considerations for improving relations between local governments and immigrant residents. 15 2. The Political Relevance of Immigrants to City Hall City governance involves learning about local conditions and populations and responding to their needs. As a consequence, communicating local needs to public officials holds an essential place in the governing process. We expect these communication processes to be more difficult and complex among immigrants than among native-born residents. Our examination of the political relevance of immigrants to City Hall also extends beyond channels of communication to questions of whether immigrant advocates are seen as influential actors and whether issues of relevance to immigrants reshape city policies and procedures. Immigrant residents usually face significant disadvantages in organizing politically at the city level compared to such groups as neighborhood associations, business groups, and municipal employees. Analyses at the statewide level have offered several explanations for the limited political influence of immigrant residents: limited English proficiency, low rates of citizenship and voting, and limited participation in mainstream civic groups (Citrin and Highton, 2002; Ramakrishnan, 2005; Ramakrishnan and Baldassare, 2004). This chapter explores the issue of political relevance at the municipal level, including questions of how elected officials learn about local immigrants and the degree to which immigrants, their organizations, and their advocates have influence in the local decisionmaking process. How City Officials Learn About Local Immigrants For local officials, learning about the needs of immigrant constituents can be difficult for several reasons: language barriers, some immigrants’ lack of legal standing, lower rates of electoral participation, and the absence of prominent or influential civic organizations in the immigrant community. It is therefore important to determine how city 17 officials learn about the needs and conditions of immigrants and immigrant communities. Our survey of elected city officials indicates that councilmembers rely most heavily on emphatically local sources of information about immigrants (Figure 2.1).1 The survey responses suggest that it is the uniquely local, contextual knowledge provided by school personnel, local media, and individual contacts that seems most useful and persuasive for these elected officials. By contrast, information from the U.S. Census, state government, or Often Sometimes Local school district Local newspapers Contacts from individual immigrants U.S. Census, federal agencies Churches, faith-based organizations State or county government Municipal departments Immigrant business leaders Advocacy groups, labor unions Universities, nonprofits, research organizations 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 Percentage relying on source Figure 2.1—Sources of Information on Local Immigrants, as Relied on by Mayors and Councilmembers _____________ 1Given that most of our elected-official respondents are councilmembers—and that most of our mayor respondents also are considered members of the city council—we sometimes, for the sake of brevity, refer to the elected official respondents as councilmembers. 18 research groups may provide information at too broad a geographic or topical level to be as useful. The greater reliance on churches than on advocacy organizations may occur because faith-based organizations with significant immigrant constituencies are more numerous at the local level than labor unions or political advocacy groups, especially in smaller cities. Advocacy groups, some interviewees mentioned, are typically oriented more toward policy issues at the state and county levels than at the municipal level. Finally, the reliance on faith-based organizations may depend less on the political ideology of city councilmembers than on labor unions and advocacy groups. Our data allow us to test some explanations for why councilmembers rely on some sources of information more frequently than others, by controlling for various factors at the individual and citywide levels. For instance, we can analyze whether self-described liberals on city councils are more likely than conservatives to receive information from certain types of groups, or whether differences in receptivity to information sources exist by gender or age of the officials. Our multivariate analysis of information sources regarding immigrants indicates some significant differences across individual councilmembers (see Appendix Table B.2, columns a through k for the full regression results). For instance, black councilmembers are more likely than other officials to receive information from advocacy groups and labor unions, and Latinos and Asians are less likely than others to rely on information from municipal departments. White councilmembers are significantly less likely than others to rely on information from research organizations, and Latino councilmembers are significantly more likely than their non-Latino counterparts to receive information on immigrant concerns from churches and faith-based organizations. There are also differences according to gender. Female councilmembers are more likely than their male counterparts to receive information about immigrant needs from local school districts, advocacy groups, research organizations, state and county government, and federal agencies such as the U.S. Census Bureau. Other individual-level factors such as age and ideology bear little relationship to where councilmembers get information about immigrants, except that conservatives rely less on information from advocacy groups, labor unions, and immigrant 19 individuals. In sum, some individual-level differences (gender, race, ideology) shape how elected city officials become informed about immigrant needs and concerns. However, these factors do not bear consistently strong relationships across outcomes. Characteristics of the city itself tend to have more consistent effects in explaining sources of information used by city officials. In particular, councilmembers serving in cities with larger populations are more likely than those in small cities to receive information on immigrant needs from most of the sources mentioned. Also, the higher the share of immigrants in the total population, the more likely councilmembers are to receive information on immigrant needs from immigrant business leaders, other immigrant individuals, local school districts, and municipal departments.2 It is likely that several factors account for these gaps in information, based on city size and the proportion of immigrants. For instance, local newspapers and community organizations are more likely to exist and to have the necessary resources to conduct research and provide information in larger cities. They are also more likely to commit resources to gathering information about immigrants in cities where the foreign-born account for a sizable portion of the resident population. The motivation of elected officials may also vary, with greater interest in immigrantrelated issues among those councilmembers representing larger cities and those with a greater proportion of immigrant residents. The motivation to learn more about immigrant needs may also help explain why individual-level factors such as gender and race/ethnicity play a role in shaping where city councilmembers get their information about immigrant residents. However, it is difficult to determine from the survey data alone whether councilmember motivations play a role in gathering information about immigrant residents and how such motivations may interact with the availability of relevant information. Our interviews with city officials in one large Bay Area suburb indicated that the assumptions, _____________ 2In an alternative model, we found that it is the percentage of recent (post-1990) immigrants, rather than established immigrants, who drive the positive relationships for immigrant businesspersons, other immigrant individuals, and advocacy groups. 20 predispositions, and experiences of the officials can shape the degree to which they actively seek information from or about immigrant residents. For instance, a high-ranking appointed official said that in many cases “it’s hard to know what the community wants,” in part because some immigrants “come from repressive regimes where it’s just not the norm to participate.” Nevertheless, other officials in the city gave much more attention to their immigrant constituents, particularly where they concluded that increasingly significant shares of registered voters in the city are immigrants or second-generation residents. One former elected official mentioned that during his campaigns and subsequent terms in office, he had learned how to say “hello” in many different languages and had spent much time working on intonations, dialects, and grammatical issues (such as which form of “you” was most appropriate when addressing younger or older Vietnamese residents). Similar patterns were present in our Orange County interviews, indicating that the proactiveness and motivation of local officials can indeed play a significant role in learning about immigrant needs and interests. Influence of Immigrant and Ethnic Organizations on City Hall Discussion of the political relevance of immigrants leads naturally to the central issue of whether the organizations representing or advocating on behalf of immigrants in a city—if they exist at all—have clout in local decisionmaking. Much of the literature on urban politics claims that business and real estate interests hold something of a privileged position in local policymaking when compared to more populist or neighborhood groups (Stone, 1980; Logan and Molotch, 1987), although such research tends to be based on large cities. In our survey of elected officials, we asked respondents to rate various groups, on a five-point scale, in terms of their influence over policy matters that come before the council and mayor—from not influential to very influential. Groups listed included business associations, real estate developers, church groups, labor unions, neighborhood associations, advocates for social equity and the poor, and organizations representing immigrants and racial/ethnic minorities. Table 2.1 presents the average citywide response, as well as the 21 Table 2.1 Influence of Various Nongovernmental Groups in City Politics, as Rated by Elected Officials (Citywide Average Responses) Neighborhood, residential associations Developers, real estate interests Public employee unions or associations Chamber of Commerce, other business associations Individual entrepreneurs or businesses Environmental/preservationist groups Clergy or church groups Taxpayer groups Advocacy groups/nonprofits on poverty and social equity issues Organizations representing ethnic or racial groups, immigrants Other labor unions Mean Score 3.38 3.01 2.89 2.80 2.79 2.73 2.52 2.40 2.40 2.36 2.27 % Ranked as Highly Influential 41 17 20 16 11 14 10 7 7 7 7 percentage of cities where a particular group received an average rating of four or above. Neighborhood and residential associations rank highest among these external groups in terms of having influence in city politics, with over 40 percent of cities rating them as highly influential.3 Developer interests and public employee unions rank second and third, respectively, with high influence ratings in about one in five cities. By contrast, groups that tend to advocate on behalf of immigrants rank low in terms of influence on City Hall. Although clergy or church groups are mentioned in the survey and case study interviews as fairly important sources of information about immigrant needs, these informants are ranked as influential in only 10 percent of immigrant destination cities. Groups advocating on behalf of the poor or immigrants and racial/ethnic _____________ 3Councilmembers and mayors were not specifically asked to rank the various groups, either from first to last or in pairwise comparisons. Still, the questions were all listed on the same page using the same scale, leading us to believe that one group’s level of influence can be ranked in relation to those of others. 22 minorities rank among the least influential groups in city politics, with only 7 percent of cities ranking such groups as highly influential. Controlling for a variety of city-level demographic and contextual factors, we find that, surprisingly, the percentage of immigrants in the local population is not itself systematically related to the perceived influence of immigrant and ethnic organizations at the citywide level (see Appendix Table B.4, column a). However, when we distinguish between the percentage of recent and established immigrants, we do find a positive association between the share of recent newcomers and the power of such organizations. This suggests that the influence of immigrant advocates may spring not as much from electoral power as from their ability to help governments manage the challenges of rapid demographic change. In addition, immigrant and ethnic organizations are seen as more influential in larger cities, cities with higher proportions of Latinos, and places with a greater proportion of registered Democrats. The advocacy groups are seen as less influential in cities with conservative city councils. Who are these immigrant advocates? In another survey question, we asked elected officials to provide the names of groups or organizations they “would be likely to turn to in order to help reach” immigrant residents, regarding salient issues or government programs in their city. Respondents could name as many as two organizations. Forty-five percent of the elected officials responding to our survey were able to name one or more such groups, with more than 200 individual organizations mentioned. Among the most common types of organizations were many specific churches or religious congregations, ethnic service organizations (e.g., Fil-Am Association, Latino Town Hall), ethnic chambers of commerce, local charitable organizations, and neighborhood organizations. The remaining 55 percent of elected officials did not name any such groups.4 _____________ 4Appendix Table B.2, column l, shows results of an individual-level model intended to estimate which characteristics help explain the ability of elected officials to name at least one such outreach group. Female and Asian officials were more likely to be able to name a group, whereas self-described conservatives were less likely to name such a group. Officials were more likely to name one or more groups if they served in large cities, cities with higher proportions of Democratic registrants, and cities where Latinos were a larger 23 In many cities, part of the problem may be traced to a lack of visible organizations involved with immigrants. In our case studies, interviewees in all four communities noted a dearth of groups specifically seen as representing immigrants. One councilmember in an Orange County city stated, “I don’t think there are any groups that advocate for immigrants. I can’t think of anyone who has come to a city council meeting and said ‘I’m from MALDEF [Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund]’ or some other group.” Community size was also seen as hindering the ability of such groups to form in smaller cities or to receive the attention of immigrant advocates in nearby large cities. According to some respondents in our Orange County suburban case studies, several organizations in nearby Santa Ana and Anaheim advocate on behalf of immigrants. However, because of resource constraints and the enormity of tasks in these larger cities, these organizations have been largely uninvolved in the politics of the two suburban communities we studied, despite awareness of some of the issues and difficulties facing immigrant residents there. In one Orange County city, councilmembers interviewed did not see the lack of advocacy as a problem. Indeed, they viewed their community as a small town where immigrants would find out about policy decisions from the local newspaper or through word of mouth—this despite the fact that the city has grown to more than 65,000. Also, despite some highly charged controversies with ethnic overtones, such as protests over the busing of primarily Latino students from one part of the city to a school outside the city limits, the councilmembers we spoke with did not consider social cleavages to be so strong as to necessitate the involvement of immigrant advocacy groups in local affairs. In some instances, social service nonprofits and religious congregations were viewed as surrogates that have sporadically been active in local political affairs. Elected officials in our Bay Area case ______________________________________________________________ share of the nonwhite population. Although the percentage of foreign-born residents is negatively associated with officials’ ability to name outreach groups, results differed somewhat when we sorted out the recentness of local immigrants. Specifically, officials in cities with larger shares of recent (post-1990) immigrants were more likely to name such a group, whereas those in cities with higher proportions of pre-1990 immigrants were less likely to do so. 24 studies were more likely than those in Orange County to mention local organizations who periodically alert them to issues concerning immigrants and other vulnerable populations. These information sources were often social service provider organizations. The executive director of one multiservice community organization noted that she sometimes attended city council meetings to advocate on behalf of particular issues affecting low-income residents but that the city would need to take more proactive steps to ensure greater participation from immigrants. Although city leaders may be waiting for Latinos to step forward, form organizations, and get involved, she considered such expectations to be unrealistic given the reluctance of undocumented immigrants to speak out in public. Perhaps with the hiring of an ombudsman, she noted, Latinos would feel more comfortable making their concerns heard. In another Bay Area city with a somewhat higher income profile, a neighborhood association that represents an ethnically mixed part of town was seen by interviewees as a particularly visible and successful way to connect diverse residents with city officials. The group has concentrated on “bridge-building” activities across racial and ethnic groups, including music in the park events, astronomy nights, and international potluck dinners. An informal community breakfast meeting is held once a month, with leaders of ethnic organizations making presentations to elected city officials in attendance. One interviewee said, “At the community breakfasts, where [city government] leaders and residents meet, there is great communication. . . . You don’t have that chance at city hall meetings.” Translation and Language Issues In examining channels of communication between immigrants and city governments, it is important to consider not only how immigrant needs are communicated to City Hall but also how local governments communicate policies and decisions back to immigrant communities. Since many immigrants lack fluency in English, communicating with foreign-born residents often entails strategies that go beyond the standard efforts of publicity and citizen outreach. In areas with substantial numbers of recent immigrants, translation services become an essential 25 aspect of communication channels between immigrants and City Hall. We examined two forms of language assistance. First, in our survey of elected city officials, we asked whether city government documents, such as council agendas or minutes, are “routinely translated” into non-English languages. Here, we present the results on a citywide basis, taking into account the various answers given by elected officials from the same city (Figure 2.2). There was a fair amount of disagreement on this issue among respondents from the same city, which leads us to assign 21 percent of cities to an “unallocated” category because of uncertainty as to the city’s actual practices. Even including these cities in our total, however, most communities (52% of the total) do not provide any translation of public documents. Approximately one-fifth (20%) provide translation “only upon request,” whereas very few immigrant destination cities (6%) routinely translate city documents into foreign languages. Spanish was overwhelmingly the language of choice for translation of documents, with officials in only a handful of communities indicating that documents were regularly prepared in languages other than English or Spanish, such as Chinese or Tagalog. Our survey also included a question on the availability of interpreters for residents lacking fluency in English. We asked the mayors and councilmembers whether “interpreters are available through the municipal government, so that residents who do not speak English can discuss issues with city staff or at public hearings.” This aspect of Translated Documents Interpreters Routinely available Only upon request None Unallocated Often Sometimes Almost never Never Figure 2.2—The Availability of Translated Documents and Interpreters 26 translation is far more common than for city documents. More than two-thirds of high-immigration cities either often (29%) or sometimes (40%) provide such interpreters, although in 20 percent of the cities such interpretation is almost never available and in 11 percent is never available. It is important to bear in mind that the wording of this question allows for informal types of translation (such as a bilingual city clerical worker helping an administrator communicate with an immigrant at City Hall) as well as more formal types of translation (such as by a paid interpreter at a public hearing). In our case-study cities, it was common to encounter informal translation, often more a matter of necessity than of explicit policy design by the city council.5 One of our cities relied for some day-to-day translation tasks on an active program that solicited and organized community volunteers to help with city needs. Interviewees saw this volunteer program as quite beneficial in improving communication. Multivariate analysis can reveal whether there are any systematic differences in the provision of translated documents and interpreter services across cities. In particular, we were interested in seeing if such demographic factors as the proportion of recent immigrants in the population, such economic factors as the poverty rate among a city’s population, and such political factors as the ideology of elected officials make any difference with respect to the availability of translation services. The multivariate results (see Appendix Table B.3, columns a and b) indicate that the availability of interpreters increases with the proportion of foreign-born residents in a city but does not bear any significant relationship to the share of immigrants who are post-1990 arrivals. Interpreters are also more widely available in larger cities, in cities with higher poverty rates, and in places where Latinos account for a larger proportion of the nonwhite population. This last characteristic may ease the task of translation, since Spanish would be the dominant foreign language. Indeed, a planner we interviewed in one community with _____________ 5Such informal translation tasks can take a toll on city staff who provide language support. As one city employee noted: “It’s convenient for them to get me out to the counter—they call me a lot. I tell them they should call AT&T [contract translation service] for better translation. It’s not an all-day job, so I don’t mind. Still, it takes extra time and effort for me to complete my other work.” 27 immigrants from numerous nations said that official city planning notices are run in the local paper solely in English. Given the large number of languages spoken in the community, he asked “where would we stop [if the material was translated]?”6 In this case, however, a note at the bottom of such advertisements does note that non-English speakers may call the city for a translator. We considered an alternative statistical model that replaces the proportion of immigrants and recent immigrants with the share of city residents having limited English proficiency—arguably, a more precise measure of the needs of the immigrant population for language assistance. With such a model, we found that the availability of interpreters is indeed higher in cities with a higher proportion of residents with English-language limitations. Browning, Marshall, and Tabb (1984), in a major study of 11 California cities, found that the ideology of city council majorities and of the electorate was a key factor in explaining the degree of black and Hispanic empowerment in local government. Our results support the notion that council ideology affects policy outcomes of interest to immigrants. Cities with a conservative council majority are considerably less likely than cities with moderate or liberal council majorities to provide translation of documents. Indeed, it appears that cities exercise much more discretion in deciding whether to translate printed documents than in providing interpreters. In addition to the dominant ideology in City Hall, the party identification of the city electorate makes a difference, with translated documents more readily available in cities where Democrats account for a larger share of registered voters. The provision of translated documents also increases with the size of the city population and with the proportion of Latinos in the population but bears no significant relationship to the proportion of immigrants or the recentness of immigrants’ entry to the country. Also, our alternative model indicates that the provision of translated documents bears no _____________ 6A local interest group leader in this multiethnic city similarly noted that there could be difficulty in knowing which translators to bring to meetings, since there are so many languages spoken, and it is often unclear which ethnic groups might be present in the audience. 28 relationship to the proportion of city residents with limited English proficiency. Together, these findings indicate that the provision of translated documents is more subject to political considerations such as council ideology, the partisan leanings of registered voters, and the proportion of Latinos and foreign-born citizens in the electorate than is the case for providing interpreters. This may be due to the greater costs associated with translating city documents, which tends to occur on a less ad hoc basis than the provision of interpreters. Cost considerations, and perhaps the public visibility of translated documents, may make translated documents more subject to the political preferences of the electorate and council than the occasional use of an interpreter.7 In 1973, the state government enacted the Dymally-Alatorre Act, which requires that state and local agencies provide language assistance where there is a substantial need for it. The act states, “Every local public agency . . . serving a substantial number of non-English speaking people, shall employ a sufficient amount of qualified bilingual persons in public contact positions or as interpreters to assist those in such positions, to ensure provision of information and services in the language of the non-English speaking person.” The act left it up to local entities to determine what constitutes a “substantial number” of non-English speakers and qualified bilingual persons, which has led to considerable variation in language assistance across California cities, even among cities with comparable language needs. This ambiguity stands in contrast with the language provisions of the federal Voting Rights Act, which mandate assistance in jurisdictions where a population with language needs accounts for more than 5 percent of the total population. Finally, it should also be noted that the Dymally-Alatorre Act was never enforced in relation to state agencies.8 In 1986, moreover, voters passed _____________ 7During the 1980s, for instance, some suburban municipalities in Southern California with a growing number of Asian businesses passed city ordinances requiring “English only” business signs (Eljera, 1996). 8In 2002, State Senator Martha Escutia (D-Norwalk) carried legislation that would introduce enforcement mechanisms and require all state agencies to provide short-term and long-term implementation plans. Although the measure passed both houses, thenGovernor Gray Davis vetoed the bill, citing budget constraints. 29 Proposition 63, a potentially conflicting measure that established English as the official language of California and allowed any resident to sue the state to enforce the action. It was later invalidated by the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals as a largely symbolic measure that was not enforceable. To sum up, then, translation policies remain largely within the purview of local governments, and language assistance is provided unevenly and often very informally. Appointments to City Boards and Commissions As noted above, city governments differ considerably in the extent to which they consider immigrant advocates to wield influence in local politics. Another avenue for immigrant influence in city politics is through appointments to boards and commissions. In many local governments, appointive positions, such as those on planning, parks, or civil service commissions, are quite important in policymaking. Furthermore, occupants of these positions may gain experience and name recognition that help them become leaders in local affairs, either by subsequently running for elective office themselves or by attaining leadership positions in civic organizations and other groups. Immigrants hold a somewhat tenuous position in some cities when it comes to service on these bodies. Such positions are often used to reward longtime community residents, and some cities have official or unofficial rules against naming non-U.S. citizens to such offices. Thus, even though immigrants may constitute large and growing shares of the population of various cities, there is likely to be a lag in terms of their representation on boards and commissions. In our survey, we did not ask elected officials directly about how well immigrants per se are represented on city boards and commissions but rather asked about the officials’ perceptions of how well Latinos, Asian Americans, and African Americans are represented. This approach was based on indications from our qualitative work that city councilmembers would turn to ethnic members (regardless of nativity) to provide information about their respective communities, and that the elected officials would not typically differentiate ethnic members on boards and commissions according to nativity. Table 2.2 indicates (according to citywide average responses) that, judging by these elected officials’ views, 30 Table 2.2 Elected Officials’ Views of How Well Various Groups Are Represented on City Boards and Commissions (Citywide Average Responses, in Percent) Latinos Asian Americans African Americans All Cities Responding Very Marginal/ Well Somewhat None 34 48 18 13 45 42 15 34 50 Cities with Ethnic Group >15% of Population Very Marginal/ Well Somewhat None 40 49 25 47 48 29 11 28 24 Latinos are far more likely than the other two groups to be very or somewhat well represented on such bodies. Of course, this may be partly because Latinos tend to account for a greater share of the population in California’s cities than Asian Americans or African Americans. However, even when we restrict the comparison to cities where the ethnic group makes up at least 15 percent of the population, Latinos are perceived to have a significantly greater level of representation on boards and commissions than African Americans, and Asian Americans are seen to have the least degree of representation. Still, it is important to note that Latinos are seen as well represented in only 40 percent of the cities where they constitute a sizable share of the population. Of course, these assessments of ethnic representation on boards and commissions are subjective evaluations of elected city officials. In the absence of any comprehensive data on appointed city officials in California, however, the reports of elected city officials remain an important indicator of the relative ability of groups to maintain channels of communication with City Hall.9 What might explain a city’s level of racial and ethnic representation? We controlled for various city-level factors and found that ethnic representation is consistently higher in cities with large populations and _____________ 9Indeed, it could be argued that the subjective evaluations of city councilmembers provide a better measure of the quality of representation of immigrant interests than raw numbers of ethnic appointees. 31 in cities where the relevant ethnic group makes up a larger share of the resident population (see Appendix Table B.4, columns b through d). The proportion of immigrants in a city, per se, is not associated with ethnic representation, after controlling for other city-level factors. Given the positive relationship between group size and representation on boards and commissions, the question naturally arises as to whether the differences in group representation would remain significant if each group accounted for an identical proportion of a city’s population. Analysis of the city survey data indicates that if Asian Americans and African Americans accounted for the same proportion of residents as Latinos, their predicted level of representation would be even higher than that found among Latinos today. Our interviews led us to conclude that a “critical mass” of ethnic members of boards and commissions can play a major role in improving the process of communication between city government and newcomers to the community. We spoke with one board member in a Bay Area city who was, at the time, the lone Latino on a city government body. He indicated a frustrating experience in trying to raise issues of diversity with his colleagues: There have been several African Americans before me who have served on the Commission. But the others have always resisted making them Chairs of the Commission. And if they did, they always made it a big issue. I remember talking to the Chair at the time about the problem. She appointed an election committee for the next round of officers. A committee with three Anglo members. This committee basically nominated itself! Instead of asking people around who is interested, they formed a committee, and they basically nominated themselves to the Chair and Vice-Chair position. Being the only minority there other than [X], I am very disgruntled. I don’t really want to go to the meeting anymore. I’m just spinning my wheels there. The meetings always make me angry. It takes me three or four days just to get over it and get the balance back in my life. I’m just one Hispanic on one little committee, and that’s the kind of treatment I get. And I know the mayor and others in the city council! The implication here is that, if a native-born Latino who has worked on political campaigns and knows several elected officials has a difficult time making his voice heard on a commission, it would be considerably more 32 challenging for a foreign-born Latino with limited political experience to get involved. In another Bay Area city, by contrast, appointive boards and commissions have been a major route to the empowerment of immigrants. A long-time former mayor and councilmember (who is white) was credited by several interviewees with working strategically to increase diversity in city leadership. During his 20 years in office in the city, he attempted to diversify boards and commissions by consistently striving to generate a larger pool of potential appointees. Another former elected official, an Asian-Pacific American, said of these appointments made beginning in the late 1980s, “Previously, [immigrants] were unaware—no one reached out and asked them to get involved.” However, after appointments were made, “minorities could see someone getting on a board, and they thought, ‘I can do this, too.’” Moreover, he noted that commission service may whet one’s appetite for higher political office: “When you get on a city commission, you get your official papers and business cards. It makes [you] feel important.” Indeed, several immigrants who first served the city on appointed commissions have subsequently run for local elective office. This former official spoke of the importance of “boundary crossers”—those who are able to “break the boundaries of their safety net and reach out to other communities.” A local activist said the city government “is progressive because the commissions are so diverse.” Immigrants and City Council Agendas The political relevance of immigrant communities in city politics can also be measured by the extent to which immigrant concerns or conditions are discussed by local elected officials. We asked mayors and councilmembers whether, over the past five years, immigrants or immigration has been “an issue debated in the local politics of your city.” Given the sizable proportions of immigrants in our survey cities and the rapid demographic changes occurring in many of them, one might expect a fair amount of city-level discussions of immigrant-related matters. However, the plurality response is that immigrants and immigration have not risen to the level of being an issue; this is the case for 43 percent of the citywide responses to our survey (Table 2.3). 33 Table 2.3 Salience of Immigration and Immigrants as Issues in City Politics, According to Elected Officials (Citywide Average Responses, in Percent) Major issue Minor issue Not an issue All Survey Cities 10 24 43 15% to 25% Foreign-Born 4 27 60 > 25% Foreign-Born 15 25 35 NOTE: Proportions do not sum to 100 percent because we are unable to allocate citywide responses to this question in some cases where there are disagreements among respondents. Responses from about one-quarter of cities (24%) maintain that these topics have been debated as a minor issue, whereas a smaller percentage (10%) view immigrant-related concerns as constituting a major city issue. Even though our analysis is confined to immigrant destination cities, there is a positive relationship between the proportion of immigrants in the community and the extent to which immigrant issues make it onto agendas of local governance. Immigrants or immigration also appear more likely to be discussed as a political issue where the flow of newcomers is more recent. The multivariate results (see Appendix Table B.4, column e) also indicate that immigrant-related issues are more likely to appear on local political agendas in immigrant destination cities with larger populations and in those places where Latinos account for a large share of the nonwhite population. Other statistical models (not shown) indicate that the appointment of Latino officials to boards and commissions is positively related to the discussion of immigrant-related issues in City Hall, but the representation of Asian Amerians and blacks does not seem to increase discussion of immigrants in city politics. Granted, it is unclear from these data whether the appointment of Latino officials bears a causal relationship to whether immigrant concerns get debated by city governments. The very appointment of such officials may well be greater in cities that have given prior consideration to immigrant-related issues. 34 However, our interviews in Orange County and the Bay Area indicated that the appointments of Latinos and Asian Americans can lead to increases in agenda-setting power as far as immigrant interests are concerned. Human Relations Commissions Finally, the political relevance of immigrants to City Hall can also be measured by whether a municipality has a human relations commission (HRC) or another similar body. HRCs focus on intergroup relations, most notably along lines of race, immigration, and ethnicity. Our survey of city councilmembers included a question on whether the city had an HRC “or other such group with the responsibility of dealing with conflicts and equity issues among members of various ethnic, racial, or other demographic groups.” According to the citywide responses, only about one-quarter of cities (24%) had such a commission, 69 percent did not, and 7 percent did not know or had contradictory responses among city councilmembers. Thus, although nonwhites accounted for more than a third of the population in 85 percent of the cities surveyed and more than half the population in nearly 60 percent of cities, the presence of HRCs was considerably lower. Multivariate analyses (see Appendix Table B.3, column c) indicate that such commissions are more common in larger cities and in places where Democrats account for a greater share of registered voters. Interestingly, however, the share of foreign-born residents in cities and the Latino share of nonwhites both actually have negative relationships to the existence of HRCs. At the same time, the proportion of immigrants who are recently arrived bears a statistically significant and positive relationship to the existence of HRCs, indicating that cities undergoing more rapid demographic change are indeed more likely to have institutions that seek to mitigate conflicts between various groups. The structure and role of mediating institutions can vary from city to city. None of our case-study cities had a commission specifically empowered to address issues of racial and ethnic tension. However, three of the four cities had a commission with the power to advise the city in its disbursement of federal community development block grants, which often led to interactions with immigrant-focused nonprofits. In 35 one city, the commission taking on this advisory role has gone even further, implementing ideas such as an expanded Neighborhood Night Out program geared toward increasing and improving interpersonal relationships among members of different racial and ethnic groups living in each neighborhood. Finally, it should be noted that some large cities have gone beyond the concept of HRCs to create institutions that are specifically tailored to the needs of immigrant residents. In San Francisco, for instance, an Immigrant Rights Commission was created in 1997 to enhance the quality of life for immigrants through political empowerment and improving access to social services. Initially, the commission served an advisory role in the provision of city services. More recently, however, it has been given some oversight authority.10 The commission was empowered to receive complaints from immigrant residents regarding the provision of services, and it works with individual departments to resolve such complaints. This commission is also more proactive than HRCs in other cities in its advocacy of immigrant interests. It has organized summits highlighting the needs of immigrant residents, conducted regular outreach to various community-based organizations, and worked with ethnic media in the city and region. Santa Clara County has a similar organization, the Immigrant Relations and Integration Services (IRIS) office, that is part of its Office of Human Relations. However, unlike its counterpart in San Francisco, which serves as an advocate in City Hall, the IRIS office collaborates with community partners to provide direct services such as assistance with citizenship applications, immigrant leadership classes, and immigrant community education. Finally, some cities do not have immigrant-specific commissions but do incorporate a significant amount of advocacy and community education into the existing framework of related commissions. Thus, for instance, the Human Services _____________ 10In 2001, the city passed an ordinance that city departments must provide services in a particular non-English language (such as translated materials, bilingual phone messages, and bilingual staff in public contact positions) when the language is spoken by 10,000 or more city residents, or 5 percent of the clients served by that department. Coverage was initially limited to Spanish and Chinese (Immigrant Rights Commission, 2002). 36 Commission in Los Angeles advocates on behalf of immigrants in discussions with local, state, and federal agencies and has a full-time policy advisor who conducts research on immigrant needs. Conclusion Overall, how well do city governments understand the needs of their immigrant residents? In our survey, we asked respondents whether they would agree or disagree with the statement that they “have a hard time finding out about the political or policy interests of local immigrants.” More than one in three councilmembers agreed with this statement, with 12 percent expressing strong agreement. Such a finding is not surprising given what else we have learned in this analysis of communication between city governments and immigrant communities. Although a majority of cities surveyed have populations where more than 10 percent of residents have limited English proficiency, only a small minority of cities provides translated documents regularly. The availability of interpreters is more widespread, but even these are provided regularly by fewer than one in three immigrant destination cities. Finally, less than one-third of city councilmembers indicate that they often receive information about immigrant needs—from sources ranging from local newspapers and school districts to state agencies and the U.S. Census Bureau. Interviews also indicated significant blockages or limitations in the process of communication between immigrants (or their surrogates) and local officials. Immigrants in California are thus largely unseen and unheard in City Hall. Even when they are heard, immigrants and immigrant organizations lack influence when compared to well-organized actors such as neighborhood associations, developers, and public employee unions. Although churches and ethnic organizations may be relied on for information about the needs of immigrant communities, they are not seen as having much influence in local politics. Little surprise, then, that immigrant concerns are seen as significant issues in local politics in only one in ten cities, and in only 15 percent of the cities where immigrants account for more than one-quarter of the resident population. In many instances, such demographic factors as the proportion of immigrants in the city, the recentness of arrival of those immigrants, and 37 the Latino share of the population play an important role in differentiating between those municipalities that have active channels of communication with immigrant communities and those that do not. Yet demography is not destiny. For example, the relevance of such factors as the ideology of city councils and the partisan makeup of the city electorate indicates that there is considerable discretion in the extent to which cities provide translated documents. There is also a considerable amount of discretion relating to where immigrant groups wield political influence. Immigrant interests are less likely to be viewed as influential in cities with conservative city councils and more likely to have influence in cities where Democrats account for a larger share of registered voters. Political appointments also make a significant difference with respect to the political relevance of immigrants to city government, with the appointment of coethnic commission members leading to greater attention to immigrant needs and concerns. Still, the evidence from our surveys and case studies suggests that councilmembers and mayors can play a significant role in shaping whether immigrant communities are seen, heard, and exercise influence in City Hall. 38 3. Housing Policy Challenges As noted in Chapter 1, local elected officials identified housing as the top concern facing immigrants in their cities. Housing is a policy issue of particular concern to immigrant destination cities for two main reasons. First, many immigrants live in household arrangements—such as multiple generations, multiple families, or unrelated individuals sharing the same household—that are nontraditional by U.S. standards and that may clash with community norms or trigger local enforcement actions (Harwood and Myers, 2002). In the immigrants’ home countries, it may be far more common for multiple generations to reside together, but in a typical California suburb, such household arrangements may lead to scrutiny from neighbors concerned about parking issues and perceived neighborhood disruptions. A related issue concerns the affordability of housing for immigrants and the suitability of the housing stock to the needs of newcomers. Although experts disagree on the extent of the California housing shortage and its distribution around the state (Johnson, Moller, and Dardia, 2004), few doubt the challenges that housing costs pose for lower-income Californians, a group in which immigrants are overrepresented. In many communities, immigrants are disproportionately housed in such irregular forms of housing as converted garages, illegally subdivided homes, or even shanty housing. In addition to raising issues of basic shelter needs, such conditions also often serve to heighten the concerns about crowding noted above. This chapter investigates housing and land-use conditions in immigrant destination cities and city policy and political responses to these issues. We draw on our survey of planning directors as well as the electedofficial survey. 39 Housing Conditions and Political Responses in Immigrant Destination Cities Why do mayors and councilmembers consider housing to be the paramount issue facing local immigrants? Survey results make it abundantly clear that there are widespread perceived problems of housing cost, affordability, and quality in our set of immigrant destination cities. Table 3.1 reports on the share of planners and the share of citywide elected-official responses indicating agreement with four statements about local housing conditions. The first two statements evoke positive views of local housing opportunities, whereas the second two indicate serious problems (homelessness or very marginal shelter) among at least a segment of the local public. The perceptions of the two groups of respondents are remarkably similar—and quite distressing. Taken together, only about one city in five is seen as having “plenty” of affordable rental units, and in fewer than four cities in ten are civil servants, such as teachers and police, seen as having a reasonable ability to purchase housing in or near the town they work in. Perhaps worse still, about one city in four has a visible homeless problem or “quite a few” residents living in garages, cars, and so on. Table 3.1 Local Housing Affordability Conditions, as Perceived by Planners and Elected Officials There are plenty of rental units in the city that are affordable to low-income residents Most of our police, teachers, and city staff are able to buy housing in or near this city Quite a few people live in garages, cars, or other informal dwellings in this city Homelessness is a visible problem in this city % Who Agree or Strongly Agree Elected Officials Planners (Citywide Average) 16 20 36 39 26 27 21 24 40 Although many immigrant destination cities may have particular difficulty with housing affordability, these challenges are not unique to cities with many immigrants. Table 3.2 relates a measure of housing “unaffordability” in cities to the percentage of foreign-born residents in the city. Across all regions, this unaffordability ratio is higher in cities with more than one-quarter of the population composed of immigrants than in cities with less than 15 percent foreign-born residents. However, both within regions and at the statewide level, the relationship between the percentage of immigrants and housing unaffordability is not an especially close one. In rural areas of California and other states, colonias are one important manifestation of the affordability challenge. Colonias are rural settlements in which the majority of residents are low-income immigrants, typically farmworkers. They have sprouted up throughout the Central Valley and along the Central Coast, and several of the highest-immigration communities in the United States are California colonias (Taylor, Martin, and Fix, 1997). Serving as virtual dormitories for laborers, they often lack much of a tax base. Some have essentially become “rural ghettos,” where economic life centers on seasonal farm work. “As new migrants continue to arrive, established residents rent out their garages and backyards” for the newcomers to sleep in (Taylor, Martin, and Fix, 1997, p. 46). Table 3.2 Housing Unaffordability in California Cities, by Immigrant Share Average City-Level Ratio of Median Home Value to Median Household Income Percentage of City Residents Foreign-Born 25 All California Cities 4.55 4.52 4.69 Southern California Region 4.39 4.19 4.67 San Francisco Bay Area 5.58 5.83 5.79 Central Valley 3.00 3.16 3.07 SOURCE: Calculated from the 2000 Census. NOTE: Southern California is defined as the six counties of the Southern California Association of Governments. 41 In general, the housing situation for migrant workers across the state became more difficult after September 11, 2001. With greater security at the borders, many seasonal workers remain in informal camps through winter so that they do not risk the chance of not making it across the border in the following year. With the length of stay of undocumented workers in the United States increasing, communities that once benefited from cheap labor without the associated problems of low-income workers have been transformed. For example, in Stockton in the San Joaquin Valley, the city’s poverty rate climbed by nearly 30 percent during the 1990s, resulting in almost a quarter of the city’s residents living below the poverty line. City schools saw an influx of Spanishspeaking students, and farmworkers lived in run-down apartments or makeshift housing. “The houses violate the city code,” said the city’s mayor. “But if we chase them out, they will only go live by the river” (quoted in Porter, 2003). Given the wide belief among local officials that many of these immigrant destination cities have critical needs for affordable housing, it is interesting to ask whether local politics gives much weight to those in favor of affordable housing development, as against those who might be expected to oppose it. We asked both the planners and elected officials whether there was a group in the community—“not including homebuilders, real estate interests, or city staff”—that “actively lobbies for increased housing opportunities or affordable housing.” Among the planners responding to this question, there was an even split—48 percent yes, 48 percent no. (The rest did not know.) The citywide responses of elected officials (that is, the predominant response in the city among mayors and councilmembers responding) were extremely similar in character: 42 percent yes, 44 percent no. (The remaining cities could not be allocated to one or another category because of either “don’t knows” or conflicting responses.) We find no pattern between the reported activism of affordable housing groups and the proportion of immigrant residents in the city, although we do find that such groups are less active in cities with high poverty rates, where they are perhaps most needed (see Appendix Table B.6, column c). 42 Crowding and Code Enforcement An issue related to affordability in many immigrant destination cities concerns household size. On average, immigrant households have more persons per dwelling unit than households of the native-born. This pattern is likely due to a combination of factors, including a cultural tradition in many Latin American and Asian societies of multiple generations living together in the same home, poverty among some immigrants that leads to doubling-up in housing units, and a higher rate of childbearing among first-generation Latinas (Moller, Johnson, and Dardia, 2002; Myers, 2001). Some have suggested that California’s housing market is mismatched to its emerging demographic needs for a number of reasons: Most housing was built decades ago for a population with different characteristics and preferences; developers have largely concentrated on serving more traditional households; and production of rental and attached housing slowed during the 1990s compared to production of single-family units (Myers, 2000). In addition, media articles have reported on numerous cases of highimmigration cities—typically the less-affluent communities in this group—experiencing controversies over overcrowded housing. In some such circumstances, long-time residents or city officials have complained about the large numbers of (sometimes unrelated) individuals living in a given housing unit, about illegal conversion of garages or other structures into dwelling units, or about neighborhood parking shortages ostensibly brought on by increases in the number of people living in a given area. These conditions have also raised fire-safety and sanitation concerns in at least a few communities. Over time, attitudes toward housing crowding and neighborhood norms may shift, relieving community conflict. In one city we visited, a minority officeholder said that overcrowding in local homes (and too many cars parked on the street) was one of the top ten issues raised by residents during a recent election campaign. But he noted that such concerns seemed to be more of a problem for “old-timer” residents—a euphemism for long-time, white, often elderly residents—rather than the immigrants themselves. Similarly, a member of a city commission said that although his commission had received complaints in the past of 43 “people living twelve to a house,” these complaints have dwindled since “there’s acceptance now that that’s the reality.” Another city commission member—an Asian American who has worked in real estate—explained that “Asians like to help each other out, so they often share houses” with other families. These joint purchases are viewed as an advantage in teaching the immigrants “how to be responsible in owning a home. But to the American way, it is unfavorable because they look at it as overcrowding.” Over time, the housing aspirations of immigrants and their children may tend to approach the U.S. middle-class norm. A community activist noted such generational differences in attitudes toward housing, saying that those who immigrated decades ago “now want space and hills,” whereas newcomer immigrants “aren’t concerned about space” but rather about building equity through property ownership. How widespread are concerns about residential crowding? Overcrowding—particularly in areas where many immigrants live—is perceived as a problem in a sizable minority, but not a majority, of California’s high-immigration cities. Responses from planners and elected officials to an equivalent set of crowding-related questions showed a fair amount of agreement, although the elected officials were slightly more inclined to see problems. Among responding mayors and councilmembers (citywide responses), in about four cities in ten— compared to about one in three among planners—there was agreement or strong agreement that overcrowded housing was a problem, that residents often complained about shortages of parking in the neighborhoods, and that overcrowding and housing code violations were mainly a problem in the sections of the city where immigrants tend to live.1 Furthermore, cities in which respondents agreed or strongly agreed that residential overcrowding was a major problem, or that complaints about parking were frequent, tended on average to have higher proportions of immigrants in the population. Figure 3.1 illustrates this pattern for the planners’ responses; the picture looks quite similar for the _____________ 1Parking shortages may occur for a number of reasons, some of which have little to do with crowded housing units. 44 % foreign-born in average city Agree Strongly agree Neutral Disagree Strongly disagree 45 Overcrowding a major problem Complaints about parking shortage 35 Problems mainly in immigrant areas 25 15 Response category Figure 3.1—Relationship Between Percentage of Immigrants in the City and Planning Directors’ Perception of Housing Problems citywide responses of elected officials. Census data also bear out the conclusion that there is a relationship between immigrant populations and housing crowding (Figure 3.2). In general, the average number of persons per household in cities grows noticeably higher as the proportion of foreign-born residents increases. How do city governments respond to these conditions? In our survey, few planners indicate that their cities issue citations to many properties for occupancy over the legal limit (Table 3.4). In California, cities are legally constrained in their discretion to set standards for residential occupancy beyond the relatively permissive standards set by the state (Harwood and Myers, 2002). On the other hand, about six in ten high-immigration cities cite property owners for illegal secondary units at least occasionally, according to the planners, and 19 percent cite this condition often.2 Of course, we do not mean to imply that these issues occur only in high-immigration communities, or that immigrants are the _____________ 2Secondary units are commonly known as in-law units or granny flats. However, it is important to understand that many secondary units are completely legal (and in some jurisdictions, encouraged by city policy as a way to produce more affordable housing). Our survey of planners asked specifically about illegal secondary units. 45 Average persons per household 5.0 4.5 4.0 3.5 3.0 2.5 2.0 1.5 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 % of residents foreign-born Figure 3.2—Relationship Between Immigrants and Household Size in California Cities Table 3.3 Enforcement of Relevant Building Codes (Percentage of Cities) Occupancy over Illegal Secondary Legal Limit Units Often cited Occasionally cited Rarely cited Condition not present Do not know 3 15 58 18 5 19 41 31 8 1 SOURCE: Planning directors’ survey. responsible parties for most code violations. However, for reasons discussed above, we do suspect that concerns over housing crowding are more prevalent in high-immigration cities. Statistical analysis helps shed further light on which types of cities are most active in such code enforcement activities.3 The level of _____________ 3In the analyses reported in this section, code enforcement is measured on a threepoint scale (rarely, occasionally, or often cited). Cities where planners say the condition 46 citations for illegal secondary units is only mildly correlated with a city’s average number of persons per household (r = .15; p < .05 in a pairwise bivariate correlation). Moreover, in multivariate analysis that controls for several relevant city characteristics, average household size is estimated to be unrelated to the level of enforcement against illegally subdivided units. Rather, it appears that cities with larger populations and those with a higher proportion of registered Democrats in the local electorate engage in more enforcement against illegal in-law units. We surmise that larger cities have more staff capacity to engage in such enforcement and that cities with more Democrats may have a greater preference for policies that regulate property owners. The percentage of immigrants or of recent immigrants in the local population appears to be unrelated in any significant manner to the level of enforcement against illegal units. Perhaps not surprisingly, the degree of code enforcement activity for overcrowded housing is more strongly correlated with a city’s average number of persons per household (r = .28; p < .01). Indeed, average household size remains a strong predictor of code enforcement against crowded units when controlling for other factors in a multivariate model. Other city characteristics that appear to increase the probability of such enforcement are having a large population size, a more Republican electorate, and a moderate or liberal (as opposed to conservative) city council majority. Again, the share of immigrants in the city population is not significantly associated with enforcement of occupancy limits. Thus, although high-immigration cities may be more prone to overcrowding as a result of having households that are larger than average, the presence of more immigrants, in and of itself, does not appear to render local governments more strict in cracking down on local housing code violations. This might be taken as heartening (albeit only suggestive) evidence that there is not a double standard for immigrants in the enforcement of building regulations. As one city planner told us regarding illegal secondary units, “We don’t look under stones. But if ______________________________________________________________ is not present, or where the planner does not know, are omitted from the analysis. This reduces the number of cities in the analysis below 200, which leads us to be somewhat tentative about the results discussed. Full results of the ordered logit models discussed in this section are in Appendix Table B.5. 47 someone complains, we’re legally and professionally obligated to investigate.” A member of a commission in the same Bay Area community agreed that city staff do code enforcement “when pushed, but the city does not volunteer” to take on crowding issues. Official Attention to Immigrant Housing Needs Given the special dimensions of the housing challenge for highimmigration cities, do the governments of these communities devote specific consideration to immigrant housing needs? In some cities, extensive attention has been given to the housing conditions facing newcomer residents. For example, the Concord city council, reacting specifically to the growth of a dilapidated area of apartments that mainly housed immigrants, passed a far-reaching approach, the Multi-Family Housing Inspection Program. The program proactively sends out inspectors to check every apartment building of four or more units. The ordinance requires that landlords repair units in a timely manner and forces delinquent landlords to bear the cost of tenant relocation if any unit is found unsafe. This aggressive approach to rehabilitating affordable housing is different from that in most cities, which respond only to specific complaints about code violations. However, advocates for low-income families in Concord worried that if renovations were to be made, about 300 families then living in 190 units would be at least temporarily displaced. According to a housing consultant hired by the city, who interviewed residents in blighted areas, there were “hundreds of stories involving evictions, high rent increases, lack of legal assistance and verbal, mental, and physical abuse from landlords” (quoted in Krishnan, 2001). As redevelopment plans continued, the city also solicited the help of nonprofits to improve existing properties. The city council and redevelopment agency loaned $2.3 million toward this effort. By 2003, the initial inspections were nearly complete. After discovering an array of problems, the city altered the incentive structure for landlords by cutting the $33 annual per-unit fee that had been levied to finance the program but only for landlords who had been providing safe housing. Are such examples of proactive policy widespread? In our survey of planning directors, we asked whether housing conditions among 48 immigrant residents have been “an issue debated by your city’s planning commission or city council.” Respondents from a large majority of cities in our survey (71%) indicated that immigrant housing conditions had not been debated by these local bodies. By contrast, 13 percent said that the topic of immigrant housing conditions had been a major issue before the council or planning commission, and 14 percent said it had been a minor issue. (The other 2 percent did not know.) Surprisingly, we found no close correlation between the percentage of immigrants in the city and its degree of debate on immigrant housing issues.4 In multivariate statistical analyses, too, there was no relationship between the proportion of immigrants and the extent to which immigrant housing issues were discussed. Indeed, the only characteristic that predicted higher debate was overall poverty rates in the city, with such factors as city size and ethnic composition playing no significant role. It appears that the appearance of debates over immigrant housing conditions in city governments is largely context-specific. One potentially important opportunity for city governments to take immigrant-related housing issues into account is when local planning documents are updated or rewritten. A city’s housing element is a staterequired portion of its general plan that discusses the community’s existing and anticipated housing needs, conditions, and policies (Lewis, 2003). Survey responses from planners indicate that housing issues specific to immigrants are equally unlikely to receive attention in local housing element preparation as in council or planning commission debates. Specifically, 80 percent of the respondents from these immigrant destination cities indicated that their city’s housing element does not specifically address immigrant housing needs or conditions, whereas 20 percent said that the local plan does discuss immigrants. We found no correlation between the relative presence of immigrants in the city and treatment of immigrant issues in the housing element. And once again, multivariate analysis did not reveal any local characteristics _____________ 4The pairwise correlation between the percentage of immigrants in the city and the degree of policy debate on immigrant housing is 0.13 (p < .10). The relationship between degree of debate and percentage recently arrived immigrants is somewhat stronger (r = 0.21, p < .01), but still not exceedingly close. 49 that provide a handle on whether a city is likely to analyze immigrants in the housing element. In general, then, immigrants’ housing issues are not treated as distinctive from the housing needs of other groups in these cities, such as low-income residents, renters, or farmworkers. Consistent with our findings on code enforcement, it appears that city officials do not approach housing issues very differently as a result of the nativity status of the city population. Depending on the context, advocacy groups that work for immigrant uplift might view this apparently agnostic approach to immigrant housing issues in a negative light (in the case of the lack of attention from local housing plans) or in a positive one (in that officials are not enforcing occupancy standards more stringently in highimmigration cities). Inclusionary Housing Policies What are some potential local policy responses to the housing affordability problems that affect immigrants (and other local residents)? One increasingly common, though somewhat controversial, approach in California and other states is the “inclusionary housing” requirement. Such a policy requires that developers of new residential projects include a proportion of units priced to be affordable to low- or moderate-income buyers or renters within their projects. We asked planners whether their city had a formal inclusionary housing requirement for at least some types of residential projects. Slightly less than half (44%) indicated that their city had such a requirement, compared to 54 percent who said that the city did not have such regulations. A multivariate analysis indicated that the adoption of inclusionary housing policies is not significantly related to the percentage of immigrants in a city (see Appendix Table B.6, column a). However, cities whose immigrant populations are more heavily weighted toward recent (post-1990) newcomers are more likely to have such a policy. Cities with conservative council majorities are much less likely to adopt such a policy—not surprisingly, as many view inclusionary housing as a significant government intervention into the housing market. Finally, 50 cities with larger populations are more likely to adopt inclusionary housing, as are lower-density cities.5 Conclusion Results from our surveys of local officials, from the 2000 Census, and from our interviews, as well as media accounts from numerous cities, all show that housing issues pose substantial challenges for many immigrant destination cities. Although the housing problem transcends high-immigration communities in California, household sizes tend to be significantly larger, and affordability often slightly worse, than in cities less affected by immigration. Nevertheless, there is little evidence that immigrant destination cities have chosen to grapple with aspects of the housing challenge that are associated with immigrants. Only a small minority of cities have specifically addressed immigrants in their housing plans or have discussed immigrant housing needs at the council or planning commission level. At the same time, there is no evidence that the presence of higher percentages of immigrants triggers stricter enforcement of housing codes regarding overcrowded or illegally subdivided buildings. In short—and with sporadic exceptions—city officials have been more reactive than proactive in regard to immigrant-related housing issues. _____________ 5Presumably the density bonuses offered to developers of inclusionary projects would have fewer spillover effects and arouse less opposition in low-density than in highdensity cities. 51 4. Policing and Law Enforcement Issues In housing policy, the role of city government is often not direct or obvious to residents. By contrast, law enforcement and public safety are municipal functions that can be quite visible and can touch the lives of immigrants and other residents in a very direct way. With their uniforms and patrol cars, police officers are probably the most obvious, and frequently encountered, representatives of municipal government in most cities. One Latino elected official told us that police are “the everyday, human face of the city government,” so it is important to strive for an “approachable” police force. Police are also quintessential “streetlevel bureaucrats” (Lipsky, 1980): Although operating under a complex set of legal rules, they have considerable discretion in applying those rules to particular incidents and situations that occur on their rounds. Thus, the organizational culture of police departments and their standard operating procedures can differ dramatically from city to city (Wilson, 1970). In immigrant destination cities, this visibility and bureaucratic discretion interact with local demographic change to make for a potentially very sensitive and challenging job for police. Some immigrants, in their home countries, dealt with law enforcement officials who were corrupt or who used force indiscriminately; others lived in fear of government authorities more generally. Moreover, cultural practices among some immigrants are distinctive and may make them “stand out” in some communities. This chapter examines approaches to policing and police/community relations in our set of high-immigration communities. We analyze results from our surveys of police chiefs (or in contract cities, commanding officers of the police bureaus that cover the city in question), along with views on some policing matters from elected officials. 53 Local Policing Conditions and Police-Community Relations Ethnic change in neighborhoods has long been associated with social conditions that can make the job of police officers more challenging. In the popular imagination and in media accounts of big-city ethnic neighborhoods, images such as youth gangs, extortion of small businesses, and fear or avoidance of the police are common. Moreover, some of the police sources we interviewed in our case-study cities indicated that reluctance to seek help from the police or to inform the police of criminal activity was a significant problem in some immigrant neighborhoods. Explanations proffered for such reluctance included language barriers, bad experiences with officials in the immigrants’ home country, and a fear of detection among undocumented immigrants. In our survey, we sought a more systematic assessment of the conditions facing police in immigrant destination cities. These results show that some, but certainly not all, high-immigration communities face special policing challenges (Table 4.1). For example, just under half of the police chiefs agreed or strongly agreed that youth gangs are a major source of crime in their city, and about three in ten reported problems in which immigrants are taken advantage of by scam artists, whereas fewer than one in ten agreed that their city has had problems with attempted extortion of immigrant business owners. Continuing a theme from our analysis of housing issues, one-fifth of police chiefs Table 4.1 Police Chiefs’ Views of Local Conditions Statement About City Youth gangs are a major source of criminal activity Immigrant residents are often reluctant to seek help from police Problems exist in which immigrants are targeted by fraud, confidence schemes, scams Police often get complaints of too many people living in a housing unit Mistrust of police by residents is a major problem Extortion attempts of immigrant-owned businesses is a problem % Who Agree or Strongly Agree 49 38 28 21 9 9 54 indicated that their departments often receive complaints about overcrowded residential units. In terms of police-community relations, however, the picture looks relatively bright, at least from the point of view of the police chiefs. Fewer than four in ten said that local immigrants are often reluctant to seek police help, and only about one in ten agreed that residents’ mistrust of police is a major problem. Although it might be argued that police chiefs may see this trust issue through rose-colored lenses, when we asked the same question in our survey of elected officials, responses were quite similar. In only 11 percent of cities did mayors and councilmembers agree or strongly agree that mistrust of police represented a major problem (according to the citywide average response). To what degree is the presence of immigrants in these cities associated with such conditions? Such problems as youth gangs or extortion of businesses can occur in cities composed entirely of nativeborn residents as well as in high-immigration cities. Bivariate analysis of the survey results indicate that each of the problems (as perceived by the police chiefs)—with the exception of immigrants’ reluctance to seek help—is more prevalent in cities with higher proportions of foreign-born residents. It is worth emphasizing that we do not attempt to unravel the tangle of causal factors that lead to local crime-related conditions (an analysis beyond the scope of this report) and thus do not argue that the presence of immigrants is itself a causal factor. Nonetheless, it does appear that cities with higher proportions of newcomers are more prone toward certain conditions that complicate policing.1 _____________ 1For example, one relatively new public safety issue that has emerged in several Southern California cities concerns “cybercafes,” which offer customers high-speed, lowcost Internet connections. According to various media reports, the primary clientele in some cities are young Asian men interested in using the high-speed connections for multiplayer fighting games. Critics have complained that cybercafes are a new hangout for gangs where fights and drugs have become an issue. Los Angeles police have reported more than 300 disturbances, including a homicide, at cybercafes. With its large Vietnamese and Korean populations, Garden Grove saw a proliferation of cybercafes in the early 2000s and created some of the strictest regulations on the business. Cybercafe owners, many of whom are also immigrants, complained of disproportionate targeting of their businesses. In 2004, an appeals court upheld some of the city’s cybercafe rules, such as a requirement for security guards during peak hours, but struck down the requirement 55 Trust of Police in Diverse Communities Because of the special importance of police-community relations in changing communities, we undertook a multivariate analysis of the issue of mistrust of police (see Appendix Table B.7, column a). The analysis controlled for city population size, poverty rate, percentage black, and Hispanic proportion of the nonwhite population. Results indicate that the percentage of foreign-born residents in the population showed a statistically significant association with mistrust of the police—in other words, an increase in the immigrant share of the local population is associated with a small increase (along the five-point scale) in the chief’s agreement to the question of whether mistrust of police is a major problem in the city.2 To what degree can police actions help set the tone for relationships of trust or distrust between immigrants and municipal governments? One Bay Area city we visited was well-known in the post–World War II period for racial exclusion, when it was tagged as one of the nation’s most racist suburbs (Self, 2003). Racial exclusion was felt primarily in housing, where residents entered into informal agreements to screen out blacks, but our interviews with local officials and community leaders indicate that it was also felt in policing. As one councilmember told us, “the police would stop people if they were different, coming out of Oakland. They would sometimes pick them up and take them back over the border.” Other respondents echoed similar sentiments, indicating that police misconduct was part of the more general problem of race relations in the city during the 1960s and 1970s. Little surprise, then, that this particular city remained largely white until the 1980s, despite having a large black population nearby in Oakland, a growing industrial base, and expanding real estate development. ______________________________________________________________ for cafes to obtain conditional use permits from the city. Further information and a list of news sources consulted are available upon request from the authors. 2The recentness of the city’s immigrant population (i.e., the percentage of immigrants who arrived after 1990) was not a significant predictor of perceived mistrust of police, however. The only other significant variable in the model was a positive association between poverty rate and perceived mistrust. When we added to the model a control for the local crime rate (measured as the average FBI Uniform Crime Rate in the city over the years 2000 through 2002), these results were unchanged. 56 Even when the racial and ethnic demographics began to change with the influx of immigrants, tensions between police and nonwhite residents remained a significant problem. However, most of our interviewees indicated that the situation had changed dramatically for the better in the past decade or so, attributable primarily to the “inclusive” and “proactive” leadership of the current police chief and his predecessor. For instance, one community leader noted that the department has hired several Latino and Asian American officers, who have been more involved in community outreach and working with families to prevent gang violence. The police chief indicated that, in addition to increasing racial/ethnic diversity in the police force, the department has provided training to all its officers in such issues as handling domestic violence cases in different communities and learning about the needs of the Muslim community after the attacks of September 11, 2001. Finally, the department also makes it a point to attend various community events and neighborhood meetings, even if doing so involves significant overtime pay. In many ways, the police department is more proactive in its outreach efforts to immigrants than are other agencies and elected officials in this city. Many of the elected and appointed officials we spoke with said that they do not know much about the immigrant community. They also bemoaned the lack of involvement by immigrants; yet meetings between elected officials and immigrant business owners or advocates are rare, and very few city documents are translated. By contrast, the police department has succeeded in learning about various immigrant communities and has gained a modicum of trust in many neighborhoods. At the same time, the police department’s interest in outreach toward immigrant communities is limited. The department enforces certain policies that make life for some immigrant communities more difficult than, say, in such large cities as Los Angeles or San Francisco. For one, it aggressively enforces some ordinances that are less likely to be tenable in areas of overcrowded housing (for example, the prohibition on fixing cars on the street even for a short period of time, or ensuring that no storage items are visible from the street). The city’s prohibition on loitering and solicitation means that day laborers often have to travel to 57 Oakland to find work, and the police department is also vigilant in cracking down on informal businesses such as street vendors and unlicensed home enterprises.3 Some may argue that these measures are based solely on concerns with public health, quality of life, and safety, and that immigrants themselves ultimately benefit from the enforcement of such laws. Yet if informal businesses and overcrowding are inevitable aspects of immigrant life in the city (especially given the present state of wages, rents, and profit margins on immigrant-run businesses), then the enforcement of such ordinances places a greater burden on immigrants than on the native-born population. The city council has not addressed the issue of whether ordinances should be altered to suit the changing dynamics of the population and the local economy. Thus, police outreach to immigrant communities is limited and structured by the department’s overall concern with “quality of life” issues. Such outreach may exceed that of the city council, but it falls far short of what one might consider to be immigrant empowerment, where communities have a say in the formulation of municipal policies. Approaches to Policing One element in establishing rapport and trust between police officers and immigrant members of the community may involve policing styles. Are police officers seen as an alien presence in immigrant-heavy neighborhoods, or are there attempts to increase the level of routine and positive interactions between officers and residents? The latter approach is encapsulated in the theory of community policing, which calls for a return to “beat cops” who get to know a particular neighborhood through their patrol routines and maintain linkages with community groups, storekeepers, schools, and social service providers. _____________ 3For instance, the police chief noted that when officers notice someone selling strawberries on the street, they shut down the operation and warn them not to do it again. They also find out who set up the operation to prevent future instances of unlicensed vending. 58 While making no judgment as to the efficacy of community policing in reducing crime or breaking down cultural barriers, we included four items in our survey intended to capture the police department’s patrol style and community interactions (Table 4.2). Nearly all police chiefs agree or strongly agree that their departments have made major efforts to implement community policing (a concept that we did not define in the questionnaire and which is certainly open to interpretation). A similarly high share say that their department’s interaction with the local school district has been “close and cordial” on issues relating to juveniles. Nearly three-quarters say that the police regularly engage in outreach and community meetings. On the other hand, fewer than four in ten say that foot or bicycle patrols are a major component of police patrols in their city. In short, although police departments in immigrant destination cities overwhelmingly subscribe to the community policing ideal, for most, the “cop on the beat” is still one riding in a patrol car.4 To further probe the relationship between immigration and policing style, we estimated multivariate models analogous to the one described in Table 4.2 Police Chiefs’ Descriptions of Local Policing Approaches Statement About City % Who Agree or Strongly Agree On issues affecting juveniles, relationship with local school district is close and cordial 93 Department has made major efforts to implement “community policing” approach 91 Police regularly hold neighborhood meetings and engage in community outreach 73 Foot or bike patrols are a major component of police patrol efforts 38 _____________ 4We asked the same questions of the elected officials, for another perspective. As might be expected, they are somewhat less sanguine than the chiefs in describing local police practices on most of these questions—but not by much. According to the citywide responses of the elected officials, 41 percent of police departments make major use of foot and bike patrols, 63 percent have regular neighborhood meetings, 84 percent work closely with the schools, and 83 percent have made major efforts to implement community policing. 59 the preceding section (see Appendix Table B.7, columns b through e).5 Only city population size was persistently related to the police chiefs’ responses to these four questions: On all questions except the one about police-school district relations, larger cities were more likely to engage in the community policing modality. However, cities with higher proportions of immigrants showed less tendency toward the use of foot or bike patrols. The immigrant “effect” is not large—a 10 percent increase in the foreign-born share is associated with about 0.2 points lower responses by the police chief on the five-point agreement scale regarding foot patrols. But it is statistically significant. Police chiefs in cities with higher Hispanic proportions of the nonwhite population are also less likely to report the use of foot or bike patrols or community meetings and outreach.6 We can only speculate as to why the presence of foreign-born residents or Latinos is associated with lower use of foot patrols, or less satisfactory interactions with the school district. Perhaps language barriers or other cultural differences make police in these communities less confident about such approaches. (The language issue is explored more closely below.) Finally, in considering approaches to policing diverse populations, it is worth moving beyond the responses of police chiefs to also include the views of local elected officials. Table 4.3 shows citywide average responses by mayors and councilmembers to survey items regarding the local police department’s cultural sensitivity, its efforts to work on behalf of vulnerable groups, and its reputation for the use of force. Elected officials in most cities clearly have positive views of their police departments on these dimensions. For instance, in only 14 percent of cities do officials say that there have often been complaints about the alleged inappropriate use of police force. This measure may indeed be an underreporting of the full extent of the problem in California’s cities, _____________ 5We added a control for cities’ population density, given the possibility that it could affect methods of policing, particularly foot and bike patrols. 6Police chiefs in cities with higher proportions of African American residents and higher poverty rates are less likely to report favorable relations with the schools, according to the results of this model. 60 Table 4.3 Elected Officials’ Views on Police/Community Interactions Statement About City Police are adequately trained to deal with persons of different cultural backgrounds Police make special efforts to combat fraud and other activities that target vulnerable groups Residents have often expressed concerns about allegedly inappropriate use of force by police % of Cities Where Average Response Is Agree or Strongly Agree 72 58 14 either because of the reluctance of undocumented immigrants to report complaints or because of limited oversight of law enforcement in particular cities. However, the generally positive view of police departments also conforms to our interviews with elected officials and community activists in our case-study cities, with many respondents noting that police departments were generally doing a good job in learning more about and reaching out to immigrant communities. Finally, results from a multivariate analysis of the survey of elected officials reveal no statistically significant connection between the immigrant share of the city population and perceived concerns about the use of force.7 Thus, police departments are generally viewed as responsive to immigrant needs, and concerns about the inappropriate use of force are not significantly greater in cities with high proportions of immigrant residents, other things being equal. Translation and Language Issues In police work, time is of the essence—either in responding to phone calls or in questioning victims and witnesses soon after a crime has occurred. How do police departments deal with victims and witnesses who have difficulty understanding or speaking English? In our _____________ 7The population size of the city, the poverty rate, and the percentage of Democrats in the electorate also are positively and significantly related to perceived concerns about excessive force (see Appendix Table B.9, column a). 61 questionnaire, we presented police chiefs with the following hypothetical scenario: If an officer in your police department responds to a call, and a victim or witness is unable to speak English, how would the officer typically proceed? (Assume the responding officer is not fluent in the victim’s language.) Please check one response [emphasis in original]. As Table 4.4 indicates, 9 percent of the respondents refused to be pinned down to one answer, with some pointing out that the response would be dictated by the circumstances (e.g., whether an officer speaking that language was on duty or whether the incident was an emergency or a routine call). However, the vast majority said that the police officer would typically ask the department to send an officer fluent in that language—an indication that departments have already recognized the need for language diversity and have recruited accordingly. The priority given to language translation is further underscored by survey responses indicating that 81 percent of departments count bilingualism in favor of job candidates during the recruitment process, and 87 percent offer additional pay to bilingual officers. And, although the survey did not include a question on the various languages supported, our case study interviews with police officials indicate that there is typically greater diversity in language support among police staff than among the staff in City Hall. In cities with no language support among police staff, departments typically rely on civilian translators, with about one in seven police chiefs Table 4.4 Typical Response of an Officer If Victim/Witness Unable to Speak English, According to Police Chiefs/Commanders Response Ask the department to send an officer who speaks the person’s language Ask a civilian family member, neighbor, etc., to translate Call on a translation service the department contracts with for this purpose Call on a translator employed by the city or county More than one of the above/it depends (volunteered) % 69 14 5 2 9 62 indicating that they would rely on the family members or neighbors of victims and witnesses. Also, a small percentage of police chiefs indicated that they would call on a translator employed by the city or county, or a live translation service such as Language Line in Monterey, California. (This service was founded in 1982 by an instructor from the Defense Language Institute at the Presidio of Monterey and a police officer from San Jose.) A multivariate analysis of the question on language response shows that large cities and those where Hispanics are a larger proportion of the nonwhite population are more likely to send bilingual officers (see Appendix Table B.8, column a). Although use of bilingual officers for this purpose is not significantly related to the percentage of foreign-born residents of the city, we do find that it is negatively related to the proportion of immigrants who arrived after 1990—even though the more recent newcomers likely have a greater need for language access related to law enforcement. This suggests a lag in staffing response among police departments, with the addition of bilingual personnel more likely in cities with more long-term immigrant populations. Interactions with Undocumented Immigrants One of the most controversial issues in recent years surrounding immigration in California concerns the question of whether foreign government identifications—particularly, the matricula consular issued by the Mexican government for Mexicans abroad—may be used as a valid form of identification for a variety of official purposes in the United States. These identification cards have been issued since 1871 by the Mexican Consulate to Mexican citizens abroad. The card, which resembles a driver’s license, includes a picture, birth date, address in the United States of the individual, a phone number of the issuing consular office, and (on cards issued since March 2002) several visible and invisible security features. Cards typically expire after five years. Proponents say that the acceptance of the cards gives Mexican citizens the opportunity to open bank accounts, use libraries, and document their identification for minor police infractions. Without identification, they say, individuals could be jailed for even reporting or witnessing a crime. The role of police departments is fiercely debated. 63 Some critics of the card believe that police officers should contact federal immigration officials on the presentation of a consular ID. However, many police and sheriff departments throughout California accept the card as a valid identification document. They note that the cards can help them to increase trust among immigrant groups in reporting crimes, and that, when “pulling someone over” or questioning them for a crime, it is better to have some form of ID than none at all (Wall, 2004). No statewide policy for the acceptance of the matricula consular is currently in effect, leaving it up to local communities and cities to make their own policies. Assembly Bill 522 (Diaz) would have required that all California cities and counties accept the cards, and was passed by both the Senate and Assembly. However, Governor Gray Davis vetoed the bill just before leaving office in 2003 and instead signed Senate Bill 60 (Cedillo), which would have allowed illegal immigrants to obtain a driver’s license. This controversial measure was repealed by the legislature in December 2003 at the urging of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. At present, the driver’s license proposal faces an uncertain future: Despite the governor’s veto of a similar measure in 2004 (AB 2895, Nuñez), a driver’s license bill was again introduced in the State Senate in 2005. Despite pressure from the Mexican government, the matricula consular is not recognized as proof of identity at the federal level in the United States. Fourteen states, with varying acceptance in some municipalities across the states, recognize the matricula consular as a valid form of identification. The state of New York has acted to officially refuse to accept the cards as proof of identity, citing security concerns regarding terrorism. By contrast, Los Angeles city officials have announced plans to accept ID cards from other countries. Mayor James Hahn, reportedly seeing the matricula consular as a model, signed an ordinance calling on city officials to develop safeguards toward accepting identification cards issued from the other 87 consulates in Los Angeles (Nash, 2004). As in some of the other questions relating to law enforcement, our survey asked both city councilmembers and police chiefs whether their departments generally accept consular IDs or other Mexican ID cards as valid forms of identification. The results showed an interesting disparity 64 in familiarity with local practices. Sixty-two percent of the chiefs and commanding officers indicated that their departments generally accept these forms of identification, whereas 29 percent said they do not. The remaining 9 percent did not know, which probably indicates that the issue has not, as of yet, formally presented itself in these communities. Lack of knowledge regarding the status of consular IDs was much greater among city councilmembers, with more than two-thirds of respondents not knowing whether their city’s police department accepts such forms of identification. A somewhat related issue that has received some attention is whether local police departments contact federal immigration authorities (now part of the Department of Homeland Security) after determining that a suspect is in the United States illegally. For instance, the U.S. House of Representatives in 2003 debated the Clear Law Enforcement for Criminal Alien Removal (CLEAR) Act, which would authorize local and state police departments to “investigate, apprehend, detain, or remove aliens” and would withhold federal incarceration assistance to those authorities who failed to do so within two years of the act’s passage. The bill was not reported out of committee in the 108th Congress (2003–04), but is expected to be reintroduced in the current term. Many local police departments and state groups such as the California Police Chiefs Association (CPCA) have resisted such measures, arguing that they should not be in the business of immigration law enforcement. CPCA President Rick Turboch stated in a letter to Attorney General John Ashcroft in 2002, “It is the strong opinion of [CPCA] that in order for local and state law enforcement organizations to be effective partners with their communities, it is imperative that they not be placed in the role of detaining and arresting individuals based solely on a change in their immigration status” (Richardson, 2002). Despite the strongly worded statement from the CPCA, some local departments in California do indeed cooperate with federal agencies on immigration-related matters. We asked the police officials whether their department would typically contact federal immigration authorities “if an individual in police custody is unable to produce a valid ID and is suspected to be an undocumented immigrant.” Just over one-quarter of respondents (27%) said that their department would likely contact 65 federal authorities, whereas 70 percent said that this was unlikely and 3 percent did not know.8 Not surprisingly, most police departments that accept Mexican consular IDs as valid forms of identification typically refrain from contacting federal authorities when a person in custody is an undocumented immigrant. However, about one-fifth of cities that accept consular IDs also indicate that they would report immigrants in custody to federal officials. These responses may seem contradictory at first blush, but our interview with one suburban police chief indicates that some departments are willing to accept consular IDs for identifying witnesses and perhaps minor infractions but are not willing to do so for more significant offenses that require detention.9 More generally, however, a multivariate analysis reveals that the acceptance of consular IDs is unrelated to our standard battery of demographic factors, except that larger cities are more likely to accept the card (see Appendix Table B.8, columns b and c). The inclination of police departments to contact federal authorities decreases with the Latino share of nonwhite residents. This relationship may be due to increased political clout of Latinos in areas where they constitute a larger share of the population. It is also possible that police departments in these cities may have adopted more permissive approaches out of a concern with establishing trust among immigrant Latinos. Day Laborers Some cities have encountered conflicts regarding so-called day laborers—individuals who gather, often outdoors, to seek manual labor jobs or other employment for the day. Without formal employment, these individuals—who may or may not have legal residency status in the _____________ 8We asked the same question of city councilmembers and, as in the case of consular IDs, more than two-thirds did not know whether federal immigration authorities would be contacted if the local police had a suspected undocumented immigrant in custody. 9Although Mexican consular officials had come to discuss the issue with the department, police were not yet convinced of its merits because of the potential for forgery and the problem of insufficient history linked to an identification card. The chief noted that the department would certainly use the card if it were the only form of photo identification available, but did not see it as a reliable way to authenticate someone’s identity. 66 United States—seek work from passersby, who often know where the laborers tend to gather. Certainly not all day laborers are immigrants, but the issue is closely associated with immigration, both legal and illegal. Although day labor has a long history in the United States and other societies, this issue has risen to a level of community controversy in some California cities, judging by numerous media reports. Concerns have been raised over a host of issues, ranging from traffic congestion, crime, or visual blight in day-labor areas, to shakedowns and unsafe working conditions on the part of employers. Local police are sometimes asked to respond to these concerns. Some city governments have made policy decisions to try to reduce day-labor activity or regulate its location. Other cities have attempted to move the activity off the streets by supporting hiring halls, often in partnership with nonprofit groups. Finally, some cities have attempted to make it illegal for day laborers to solicit work. An anti-solicitation ordinance in the city of Agoura Hills was challenged in state appellate court in 1994 but upheld, clearing the way for similar measures in other cities. In 2000, however, a federal judge ruled that a similar ordinance in Los Angeles County was unconstitutional, violating the 1st and 14th amendments. In our surveys, we asked police chiefs and city councilmembers alike whether four statements about day labor and local policy were true in their community: • “Day laborers often gather outdoors at one or more locations in our city, looking for work from passersby.” • “The city has designated an area or building at which day-labor activity is allowed.” • “The city provides funding to support a hiring center for day laborers (either locally or elsewhere in the region)”. • “The city actively enforces a policy that forbids day laborers to congregate in outdoor locations.” Because of our initial experience with the mayor/council survey, we gave police officials the additional option of indicating that day-labor issues 67 were not present in their city, and 58 percent agreed that that was the case. Figure 4.1 shows the percentage of police officials agreeing with each statement, along with the predominant response of the elected officials to these questions, at the citywide level. Although the councilmembers are more likely to agree with each statement, the overall story is consistent across the two groups: More than one-third of immigrant destination cities have “visible” day-labor markets, but relatively few have responded with specific policy measures. Specifically, about one city in ten has designated an area where such activity is permitted, 8 or 9 percent provide funding for a hiring center, and 5 to 8 percent of communities attempt a “prohibition” policy. In short, most city governments—and their police departments—do not experience this issue, but of the substantial minority that do, no policy response has gained clear popularity, except perhaps avoidance of the issue. However, multivariate analyses do reveal that in cities with day laborers, supportive city policies—which we define as either the designation of a special area for soliciting work or the funding of a hiring hall—increase in likelihood with city population size and decrease in Day laborers often gather outdoors City has designated area/building where allowed City provides funding for hiring center City enforces policy that day laborers may not gather 0 City council response Police chief response 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 % who agree with statement Figure 4.1—Day Labor Conditions and Policies 68 likelihood where there is a conservative city council majority (see Appendix Table B.9, column b). However, there is no relationship between supportive day labor policies and the proportion of Latinos or immigrants in the population, regardless of whether the immigrant population is recent or more established. As in prior analyses, these findings suggest that the capacity of the city and its political leanings shape local policy responses to immigrants. Some cities are simply pressed by circumstances into developing a policy. The city council of Thousand Oaks, which for over 15 years had fielded numerous resident complaints about the gathering of day laborers, voted in 2002 to construct a day labor hiring site on public greenbelt land, providing such simple facilities as picnic tables, bicycle racks, toilets, and driveways designated as pickup zones. The deputy city manager explained, “We can’t make the problem go away. We can’t arrest the day laborers and contractors and make them go away” (“New Hiring Site for Laborers Open,” 2002). However, emotions often run high on such approaches. One Thousand Oaks resident wrote in an editorial that because most of the laborers are illegal immigrants, “what we are truly hiding in the greenbelt area is the fact that we are publicly endorsing an illegal activity” (Fisher, 2002).10 Informal Businesses Immigrants are a select group, by virtue of their decision to uproot themselves from familiar surroundings and move to the United States. For many, economic advancement is the major goal, and many immigrants historically have engaged in entrepreneurship—running stores, services, or restaurants, for example—to advance their fortunes. However, some newcomers with few formal resources, little access to credit, and incomplete knowledge of business regulation in their new country may resort to running small businesses informally or “under the _____________ 10Informal case histories of day-labor controversies in several Northern and Southern California cities, assembled from media reports, are available from the authors. In addition, Sandoval and Tambini (2004) have made a documentary film on a community controversy over day laborers in a Long Island suburb. 69 table.” Undocumented immigrants may also engage in informal businesses in an attempt to avoid detection by authorities. Although many such businesses are fairly invisible to the outside community, in other cases—as with day laborers—conflicts have arisen with neighbors and local authorities. Home-based businesses, such as car repair shops or beauty salons, street peddlers selling food or flowers in public areas, personal services operating without a business license, and other such businesses, are tolerated in some communities but considered nuisances in others. Of course, not all informal businesses belong to immigrants, but we suspect that the issue is more likely to arise in cities with larger immigrant populations. We therefore asked police officials about the policy approach taken with respect to informal businesses and illegal peddling.11 However, we recognize that in many cities employees from other city departments—building or health inspectors, for example—might be the primary point of contact with such business operators. Therefore, these results should be considered illustrative rather than definitive. Table 4.5 indicates that—as in the case of day labor—overt policy responses to informal businesses, or aggressive enforcement against such activities, seem to be the exception rather than the rule. About 46 percent of the police chiefs indicate that such issues either are investigated only in response to specific complaints or are generally Table 4.5 Typical Police Responses to Informal Businesses, According to Chief/Commander Response % of Cities Investigate in response to specific complaints only 39 Another city department handles such issues 35 Aggressively seek out such activities and cite offenders 16 Usually try to resolve the issue informally 7 No such issues in this city 4 _____________ 11We took care to indicate that this question was not directed at “vice” businesses, such as illegal drug sales or prostitution. 70 resolved informally. About one in six chiefs indicates that the city is more aggressive in finding and citing such illegal operators. Another one-third of chiefs say that some other city department is typically responsible for responding. Only a handful indicate that such issues do not occur locally. Multivariate analysis—of those cities reporting such problems but not referring these issues to another department—indicates that the proportion of immigrants in the local population does tend to be linked to more aggressive enforcement. It is possible that the presence of more immigrants makes unlicensed businesses more prevalent and thus more of a target for enforcement (although our analysis screens out cities where these conditions are not present). Cities with higher shares of blacks and Hispanics in the population also appear to be more aggressive in citing informal businesses, according to these results, which may hint that cities with diverse populations are prone to more cultural or economic conflict over unlicensed businesses. Hate Crimes Sometimes, population change may also, unfortunately, be accompanied by a rise in hate crimes. Police in more than half of the immigrant destination cities responding to the survey (55%) indicated that their department had investigated at least one hate crime incident in the previous year. Asked whether any of the alleged hate crimes had been targeted against an immigrant or immigrants, among those departments indicating that they had investigated hate crimes, 29 percent said that immigrants were targeted, 54 percent said the targeted persons were not immigrants, and 17 percent did not know if the victims were immigrants. On the elected-officials survey, we asked whether the mayors and councilmembers felt that police in their city “aggressively investigate hate crimes or incidents of ethnic/racial harassment.” Nearly three-quarters of citywide responses either strongly agreed (28%) or agreed (46%) with this statement. Multivariate analysis of our police chiefs survey indicates that the incidence of hate crimes may actually be slightly higher in cities where immigrants are a smaller proportion of the population. A similar analysis of city council data reveals no significant relationship between the 71 proportion of immigrant residents and the reported zeal with which police departments investigate hate crimes. Ethnic and Racial Diversity of Officers Recruitment and retention of a diverse police force may be one way police departments can help ease relations with a changing community. Accordingly, some police administrators have gone to some lengths to try to create a police force that “looks like the community,” although such efforts can be complicated by hiring, testing, and promotional rules and by California’s Proposition 209, which sought to limit affirmative action. In one city we visited, for instance, the police chief has attempted to maintain a very diverse applicant pool. By continually testing (i.e., using the civil service exam) for police positions even when there are no openings, he keeps the applicant pool large. “I look at the whole hiring list . . . and select based on what they can do in this city.” The chief noted that language skills were an important consideration in hiring in this multiethnic city, and that recruitment announcements were listed in ethnic newspapers as well as in major dailies and police publications. Thus, on any given call to the police, the chief says, at least one of the responding officers is likely to be nonwhite, which “minimizes complaints from the community and increases the level of trust in interactions.” We asked the chiefs or commanders to indicate the number of sworn officers working in their city and the number of those officers who are Hispanic/Latino, African American/black, or Asian or Pacific Islander. Several respondents chose not to complete this section. For the 173 cities where respondents substantially completed this survey question, Table 4.6 shows the aggregate number of police officers in each category. About four in ten officers in these high-immigration cities are members of these minority groups, with Latino and African American officers reaching 25 percent and 9 percent of the total, respectively. However, both Latinos and Asians/Pacific Islanders are represented in police forces to a significantly lower degree than their presence in the overall population in these communities, as the table documents. The ethnic and racial makeup of police forces varies considerably across cities. For example, although the median department in this 72 Table 4.6 Ethnic/Racial Makeup of Police Force in 173 Immigrant Destination Cities % of % of Number Officers Residentsa Total sworn officers Hispanic or Latino African American or black Asian or Pacific Islander 28,475 7,186 2,442 1,874 100 25 9 7 — 36 6 11 NOTE: The racial and ethnic terms reported here are identical to those used in the survey instrument. aOf these 173 cities. group has a force in which Latino officers are 17 percent of the total, at least two small departments are more than 70 percent Latino; by contrast, in more than one-fifth of the departments, Latino officers are less than 10 percent of the total police force. These differences are due in large part, although not entirely, to differences in the racial and ethnic composition of each city. In various multivariate models we estimated, for example, the most significant predictor of the Latino proportion of the police force was the Hispanic proportion of the city population (see Appendix Table B.10). Similarly, holding other factors equal, the percentage of Asian officers is higher in cities with a higher proportion of Asians in the population. It is also higher in communities with higher proportions of Democratic registered voters. The proportion of both Asian and Latino officers tends to be lower in departments where the chief is a non-Hispanic white. However, here it is not clear what is cause and what is effect. A department with more minority officers will likely have more minority applicants for the position of chief when it becomes available. Overall, there is a very strong relationship between the percentage of immigrants in a city and the diversity of its police force.12 _____________ 12This refers to a bivariate correlation. Omitting one small outlier department that has no white officers, the correlation between percentage foreign-born in the city and percentage nonwhite among sworn officers is 0.51. 73 Police Review Boards Another potentially important issue in diverse communities, given the potential conflicts inherent in policing, is whether residents have any forum or feedback mechanism to discuss the performance or practices of the local police. One potential forum would be to contact elected officials regarding concerns about the police. However, immigrant destination cities tend to have disproportionately few elected officials from Hispanic or Asian backgrounds, compared to the overall population (see Appendix Table A.2). This might reduce the likelihood that some immigrants will contact officials because of perceived cultural or language barriers. Another forum in some communities is the police review board or citizen review commission. The police chiefs were surveyed with regard to the presence in their city of such an “officially constituted group that has the power to review complaints and allegations by residents against police officers and recommend remedies or punishments.” Fewer than one in ten responding cities (9%) has such a body. Multivariate analysis offers (somewhat weak) evidence that review boards are less common in cities with higher proportions of immigrants. Since there is no reason to suspect that immigrants have a distinctive preference against the formation of review boards, it may be the case that immigrants have fewer political skills or less political power to mobilize on behalf of the creation of such a board. We found review commissions to be more prevalent in cities with larger populations (see Appendix Table B.11, column b). Conclusion Overall, there is something of a “glass half full” quality to the relationship between police and immigrants in California’s immigrant destination cities. On the one hand, despite some of the special challenges many such cities encounter in the area of law enforcement (such as youth gangs, vulnerable populations, and a reluctance of some to contact the police), few police chiefs or elected officials feel that mistrust of the police is widespread or that complaints about the use of police force are common. However, multivariate analysis shows that perceived 74 mistrust of police tends to be more common where the percentage of foreign-born residents is higher. At the same time, police review boards tend to be less prevalent in high-immigration cities. Similarly, community policing techniques are very popular among police departments in immigrant destination cities—yet police in cities with higher immigrant proportions of the population are less likely to use foot or bike patrols or to report close relationships with local school officials. Almost by necessity—because of the frequent everyday interactions between police and local residents—police departments have felt the need to adapt to the presence of immigrants in a way that many other areas of city government have not. Most police chiefs see a need for bilingual officers, use such officers in situations requiring translation, and offer pay and recruitment incentives to get bilingual talent. In line with this approach, police forces in immigrant destination cities tend to be relatively diverse—about one-third of the total number of officers in these cities are Hispanic or Asian—much more so than the elected officials of these towns, although less so than the population as a whole. Where the foreign-born share of the population is high, police departments tend to be particularly diverse. Most police departments say they accept Mexican IDs (although there is some confusion on this point), and relatively few would contact federal immigration authorities if they suspected a resident of being an undocumented immigrant. This relatively laissez-faire approach extends to day laborers, who regularly gather in about two in five immigrant destination cities. None of the possible policy responses to day labor— restrictive or supportive—have received a very strong foothold across these communities. Similarly, informal businesses apparently are mostly left alone by the police. In short, it appears that police departments have begun to make adjustments that seem necessary to them in dealing with new situations and interactions brought about by demographic change. Police/community relations appear reasonably healthy, although perhaps somewhat more negative in cities with high proportions of foreign-born. Nevertheless, in the absence of clear direction or policy leadership from the elected officials in these communities, these departments appear to be going it alone to some degree. Although most police forces appear to be 75 retaining the trust of their increasingly diverse residents, there are real limits to the solutions they can offer in helping to integrate immigrants into mainstream community life and local politics. 76 5. Conclusions and Recommendations This report has explored various facets of the question of how immigrant needs and interests are being addressed by city governments in California. The various surveys, supplemented with interviews in four communities, have enabled us to consider important questions regarding channels of communication between city governments and immigrant communities, the political relevance of immigrants to City Hall, and variations in housing and law-enforcement policies in immigrant destination cities. We had good reasons to expect these processes to be different for immigrant residents than for the native-born. Past studies have shown that although immigrants are a sizable proportion of the resident population, they have remained relatively powerless in the political process for various reasons, including the lack of English proficiency, the relative marginality of organizations serving immigrants, and the sizable proportion of recent arrivals and undocumented immigrants among the foreign-born. Given these barriers to civic and political participation, institutional policies and practices can go a long way in ensuring that immigrant needs are considered in the decisionmaking processes of local governments. Recap of Findings In the case of communication channels between immigrants and City Hall, we have seen that interpreters are regularly available in only one in three cities. Even fewer cities regularly provide translation of documents such as council agendas and minutes—and where such translation occurs, it is typically provided only in Spanish. Provision of translated documents is more prevalent in cities with a greater proportion of residents with language needs. However, there also seems to be a considerable amount of discretion across city governments, because those 77 with conservative council majorities are less likely to provide such assistance. In addition, only 45 percent of our respondents were able to name a single organization they might rely upon to assist in outreach to and communication with local immigrants, with the mention of such organizations less likely where the elected official identifies as a conservative. There are also significant differences in elected officials’ receptivity to immigrant needs because of individual-level differences. For example, women and self-described liberals are more likely to seek information about immigrant needs and are more likely to be aware of groups serving immigrants in their city. Thus, the discretionary actions of city governments and councilmembers can play a significant role in shaping whether immigrant needs and interests are heard in City Hall. Cities in California also vary in the political relevance of immigrant communities in local politics and policymaking. Organizations representing immigrants and racial minorities are seen by councilmembers as highly influential in only 7 percent of cities, a low figure when compared to those for neighborhood associations (40%), public employee unions (20%), and real estate interests (17%). Although neighborhood associations may be a way for immigrants to have a voice in City Hall, our interviews suggest that such a pathway to influence is somewhat unusual. The more typical way for immigrant communities to have influence in local affairs is through the appointment of coethnics to city boards and commissions and the creation of special commissions dealing with issues of demographic diversity. The elected officials we surveyed indicate that Latinos are generally better represented than Asian Americans or blacks on boards and commissions. However, even Latinos are seen as being well represented in only 40 percent of the cities where they constitute more than 15 percent of the resident population. Only one of the four cities we visited fared well in terms of the political empowerment of immigrants through appointments to boards and commissions. Even in this relative success story, however, the benefits of appointing coethnics were felt mainly among the relatively affluent Asian immigrants rather than the sizable Latino immigrant community in the city. 78 Human relations commissions also hold the potential to make immigrant communities more politically influential in local government. In San Francisco and Santa Clara County, bodies exist within the local government that deal exclusively with issues relating to immigrants, whereas in most other counties, commissions deal with immigrant issues as part of a larger concern with maintaining harmony between various racial and ethnic groups. We found that such commissions are present in only 25 percent of the cities we surveyed, even though 85 percent of the cities have nonwhite populations exceeding one-third of the resident population. The biggest challenge immigrant residents face is housing, according to our elected-official respondents. Immigrant destination cities tend to have more persons per household, and slightly worse affordability than low-immigration communities, in what is already a high-cost state for housing. Yet city policy regarding immigrant housing needs and conditions might best be described as an avoidance approach. Only onefifth of immigrant destination cities mention immigrants in their housing plans, and in only about one in four cities have city councils or planning commissions given official consideration to immigrant housing. This lack of special scrutiny may sometimes work to immigrants’ advantage, as the percentage of foreign-born in these cities bears no relationship to enforcement of rules against, for example, illegal secondary units. Still, such issues as informal housing, illegally subdivided units, and code violations frequently present themselves in these cities, owing in part to the difficulty many immigrants face in finding and paying for standard housing units—as has been starkly illustrated in some cities with farmworkers or migrant laborers. Policing in immigrant destination cities tends to embrace a more proactive approach than housing policy to immigrant and ethnic communities. Some of this difference may be attributed to necessity, because police are in close daily touch with city populations and depend on cooperation and information from the public to do their jobs. Most police departments in these cities see the hiring of bilingual officers as a priority and offer recruitment and pay incentives to get such talent. Most have also arrived at policies, often informal, on the acceptance of Mexican consular IDs from undocumented immigrants and the 79 reporting of undocumented immigrants in custody to the Department of Homeland Security, even though councilmembers from the same city are often not aware of such arrangements. Finally, police departments tend to be relatively diverse. About one-third of the total officers in our survey cities are Latino or Asian—much more so than the respective shares of elected officials in these cities. At the same time, there are limitations in the extent to which police departments engage with immigrant communities. Our survey indicates that perceived mistrust of the police is more common in cities where the percentage of foreign-born residents is higher. Furthermore, police review boards tend to be less prevalent in high-immigration communities and the use of foot or bike patrols is also less common. Finally, even though police departments are engaged with immigrant communities, their role is generally limited to conflict management rather than empowerment, with the latter task mainly the province of elected city officials. What Can Be Done? What can city governments do to facilitate the incorporation of immigrant needs and concerns into deliberations and policies? The evidence in this report leads us to offer the following recommendations for policymakers. 1. Cities should consider taking a more proactive and long-term approach to decisions on the appointment of immigrants to various city boards and commissions. As noted in Chapter 2, sustained efforts to give immigrant residents experience in local governance can reap significant rewards in terms of allowing immigrant concerns to be heard in City Hall and increasing the likelihood that ethnic candidates will run for political office. Such outcomes appear to depend on having a critical mass of Latino and Asian American appointees in city government. We found this model of “political tutelage” to be particularly successful in the case of Asian immigrants in one city we visited. 80 In other cities where we conducted interviews, the presence of only one or two ethnic minority appointees or elected officials has not been sufficient to ensure that immigrant concerns are being addressed in City Hall. Indeed, in one instance, the lone Latino appointed official expressed frustration and a sense of isolation in bringing up issues of concern to immigrant residents. Results from our surveys of elected city officials reinforce the finding that immigrant issues are more likely to be discussed when a larger proportion of Latinos and Asians are appointed to boards and commissions. Finally, in multiethnic cities, the model of political tutelage needs to be extended beyond one racial or ethnic group. This may be especially challenging in cases where significant socioeconomic differences exist between particular immigrant groups and native-born residents and where politically influential groups such as the Chamber of Commerce and particular neighborhood associations are composed primarily of the native-born. In such cases, city governments need more inventive strategies for outreach to identify potential candidates for appointed office. Some of our other policy recommendations may prove helpful in this regard. 2. City officials should consider the benefits of greater outreach to residents in all neighborhoods, with interpreters available for language support. Many city councilmembers bemoan the lack of any immigrant presence in council meetings or in neighborhood associations and other civic groups. Our interviews with immigrant advocates indicate that many immigrant residents see City Hall as a distant entity. They are often reluctant to participate because of such barriers as a lack of English proficiency and insufficient economic resources to participate in dues-paying organizations. In cities that have immigrant-heavy neighborhoods, the council could hold outreach meetings in neighborhood schools or community centers to learn more about immigrant concerns and to solicit greater input into local governance. Our interviews with elected 81 officials and community leaders indicate that both sides gain significantly from interactions in neighborhood and community venues, with immigrant residents more likely to be in attendance there than in formal meetings or hearings at City Hall. In cities where immigrants are more dispersed, elected officials could work with some of the larger religious institutions serving immigrants to communicate with immigrant constituents and recruit candidates for appointed office. Our survey results indicate that city councilmembers and mayors already receive a fair amount of information about the needs of immigrant residents from leaders of religious congregations. City governments can enhance these relationships by attending meetings and encouraging congregation volunteers to get involved in local public affairs. Finally, we have found that outreach efforts are more likely to succeed if there are interpreters present. In some cases, cities have mobilized community volunteers to provide such interpreter services. This not only relieves the city of some financial burdens, but it also has the potential to inform and empower a greater number of immigrant residents who serve as volunteer interpreters. 3. Large and medium-sized cities should consider creating a staff position dedicated to immigrant-related issues. Where they exist, human relations commissions and similar bodies have a very broad mandate to consider issues affecting various segments of society including children, the elderly, the indigent, and members of different racial and ethnic groups. In our interviews of government officials and community leaders, we found that the interests of immigrant communities often get lost in the shuffle of other concerns. In some cities, the directors of large social service organizations serve as intermediaries between City Hall and immigrant communities. However, our interviews with these informal intermediaries indicate that their involvement tends to be sporadic because of competing time 82 pressures from their organizational and professional responsibilities. In medium-sized cities, the appointment of an ombudsman or outreach coordinator would help alleviate this problem by providing a more regular contact with immigrant populations who can advocate on behalf of immigrant residents in City Hall. Large cities should consider the examples of immigrant rights commissions along the lines of San Francisco and immigrant services programs along the lines of Santa Clara County as potential ways to bring together elected city officials, immigrant advocates, and community members to respond to constituent complaints and to give immigrant communities greater voice in the local policymaking process. 4. Local housing policy, including local comprehensive plans, housing elements, and other policy efforts, should address more explicitly the housing needs of immigrants. Latino and Asian immigrants are more likely to live in extended families, and many immigrants do not earn sufficient wages to afford, by themselves, apartments and homes in many California cities. Furthermore, some immigrants in California lack the legal standing to benefit from federal subsidies that relieve the burden of housing affordability among low-income residents. Cities should therefore pay greater attention to the particular needs of immigrant residents in devising plans for greater housing affordability and for a mixture of housing types and styles to suit a variety of households. Local and state policymakers should resolve which conditions related to crowded housing should be subject to local regulation and which do not rise to the level of health or safety violations. Concord’s rental housing code enforcement approach (noted in Chapter 3) could serve as a model for resolving concerns about housing decay in immigrant neighborhoods, without excessive displacement of tenants. 5. Police departments and city leaders should continue the progress already made toward enhancing communications and trust between 83 immigrants and officers. Both in our survey and city visits, we found heartening evidence of police departments finding ways to learn about and relate to immigrants. However, not all signs are positive in this area. Community policing approaches appear to be less common in cities with more immigrants, and relationships with local school districts appear to be worse in high-immigration communities. As in the case of elected officials, many police departments could benefit from enhanced trust and communication if they reach out more to ethnic associations, immigrant businesses, and church and schoolrelated groups. City governments would do well to look to the practices of successful police departments in other local governments in their region. Further, immigrant destination cities that are interviewing for new police chiefs should question candidates about their approaches to policing under circumstances of ethnic and cultural diversity. Police departments are quasi-military organizations with clear lines of command, and thus officers will tend to follow the style and direction set at the top. Finally, there appears to be a need in many cities to bridge the gap between what the police know and confront, and what elected officials are aware of, regarding such issues as Mexican consular ID cards, hate crimes, and relations with the Department of Homeland Security on undocumented immigrants. This will give elected officials a truer sense of the issues facing immigrant residents and will also enable them to facilitate solutions to problems in cities where mistrust of police is a serious issue. We have reflected primarily on the role of city officials and employees in building better relations with newcomers. Further research is necessary to better understand immigrant/city government relations from immigrants’ point of view, examining which factors promote or discourage their engagement in local politics. Nevertheless, it is apparent from this report that nongovernmental entities with an interest in facilitating immigrant adaptation—community-based nonprofits, 84 religious institutions, ethnic associations, community foundations, and advocates—have a potentially important role in helping immigrants to understand the workings of local government and to participate in local civic affairs. By their presence and engagement not only in the largest cities but in suburbs and rural towns, such intermediary groups can help make the difference between a politically invisible immigrant population and one that is taken seriously in local politics. Whatever approach city governments choose in dealing with their transitions, it is fairly certain that new issues, conditions, and challenges will continue to appear for them. California’s demographic dynamism seems to ensure that most of its local governments will be under nearly continuous pressure to accept and adapt to community change. 85 Appendix A Mail Survey Methods and Profile of Respondents Methods Mail surveys were sent to mayors and councilmembers, police chiefs, and planning directors in California’s immigrant destination cities, defined as cities where the foreign-born constitute at least 15 percent of the population or slightly below that but have at least 10,000 foreignborn residents. The elected officials survey was pretested with several local officials. We were not able to identify a planning respondent in three cities and a police respondent in seven cities.1 Nonrespondents were contacted two or three times by mail or email to encourage participation, and phone and email contacts were made with some respondents to clarify questions or responses. We achieved response rates of 32 percent for elected officials, 62 percent for police chiefs/commanders, and 69 percent for planning directors. These levels of participation are well within the range of acceptable to good response rates, judging by similar surveys conducted by various research organizations. The elected officials responded at a significantly lower rate than the police or planners, but this was expected, given the busy lives of local politicians, the part-time nature of their city positions (in most cases), and the substantially greater length of the survey questionnaire they received. The response rate of the elected city officials is also comparable to or superior to response rates of mass public _____________ 1For the police survey in cities that contract for police services, we ascertained the proper contact in the contract agency through phone calls and websites. We were thus able to identify the relevant commanding officer in all but seven cases. In our survey sent to police representatives for these contract cities (typically part of a county sheriff’s department), we specified on the cover of the survey which city we were asking about. We also specified that the our questions about the police force should pertain only to those officers patrolling the city in question. 87 opinion surveys where individuals are not compensated for their participation. Moreover, it is heartening that we received responses from one or more elected officials (mayor or councilmember) in 86 percent of the cities surveyed. For those 86 percent, we received slightly more than two responses per city, on average, for a total of 532 elected officials. In addition, 209 planners and 184 police officials responded to our survey.2 Some of the questions in the elected officials survey pertained to these officials as individuals, whereas other questions related to the experiences of their city or city government as a whole. Therefore, in reporting the results in this report, we refer either to “individual-level responses” of elected officials or to “citywide responses.” The individual responses weight each responding mayor or councilmember equally, regardless of whether there were several respondents from their city or only one. The citywide responses summarize the average or predominant response for all of the elected officials in a given city, and then weight each city equally. Averages are used for survey items using continuous scales, whereas the predominant response is used for dichotomous (yes/no) or mutually exclusive answer categories.3 In cases where there is only one respondent from a given city, we take that respondent’s answers as the citywide response. Table A.1 presents our mayor/city councilmember survey response rates by region of the state, by city population size, and by percentage foreign-born in the city. At the citywide level, the elected officials’ response rates are excellent across all categories; that is, we have at least one response from the vast majority of cities in all categories. However, individual elected official response rates are somewhat lower than average in the Central Valley, in Los Angeles County, and in cities with small _____________ 2For further detail on the mail surveys, see Lewis, Ramakrishnan, and Patel (2004). 3For example, assume that there were three respondents from City A, rating a problem on a 1 to 5 scale of seriousness. Two respondents rated the problem as a “1,” and another respondent rated the problem as a “2.” In this case, the citywide response to this question is a 1.33 rating. On the other hand, if two respondents answered “no” to a question about their city, and the third respondent answered “yes,” we report the citywide response to this question as “no” because of the preponderance of responses in that category. In cases where there was no clear-cut citywide response (e.g., one “no” and one “yes” response), we are not able to allocate a citywide response to the city for that question. 88 Table A.1 Percentage Distribution of Response Rates to Mayor/ Councilmember Surveys Response Rates (%) No. of Cities (of 304 HighImmigration Cities) Elected Officials (Citywide Responses) Elected Officials (Individual Responses) Region Los Angeles County Other Southern California San Francisco Bay Area Central Valley Rest of state Population size < 25,000 25,000–49,999 50,000–199,999 200,000+ % of immigrants 13–24 25–34 35+ 77 68 68 60 31 113 72 105 14 142 82 80 82 88 96 75 87 78 89 90 100 85 93 80 29 33 38 28 34 28 37 33 38 33 35 30 NOTES: Other Southern California refers to cities in Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego Counties. San Francisco Bay Area includes cities in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma Counties. Central Valley includes cities in Butte, Colusa, El Dorado, Fresno, Glenn, Kern, Kings, Madera, Merced, Placer, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Shasta, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Tulare, Yolo, and Yuba Counties. populations. Response rates for police officials do not differ much by region and dip below 50 percent only in cities in the 25,000 to 49,999 population category. Planner response rates are high across all categories. The variation in response rates by region and city size presents two potential challenges to the validity of our findings. First is the issue of selection bias, where systematic differences in response rates may bias the effects of some of the factors used in our analysis. The second potential issue is with varying precision in our outcome measures, depending on whether cities had one respondent or several. We have explored the issue 89 of outcome imprecision by estimating multivariate models that are weighted according to the number of respondents in each city, for the citywide models. In most cases, the effects of our explanatory variables remain consistent, with the role of city size, for example, unchanged across our models. The only instances of changes in significance are in the models regarding ethnic representation, where conservative city councils are now negatively related to the extent of black and Asian representation on boards and commissions and where a higher proportion of foreign-born residents is associated with less representation (although the positive signs associated with percentage Asian, Latino, and black remain positive and statistically significant). We also tested for possible sample selection bias for those cities where there were no respondents and also for those cities where surveys were not sent because they fell below the 15 percent threshold for the proportion of immigrant residents. We used a Heckman selection model that uses city population size, poverty rates, and proportion of foreignborn residents and found no changes in the significance of these factors on our full explanatory model. Finally, to address the issue of clustering effects in the individual respondent models (because of unmeasured citywide traits), we have used robust standard errors grouped by city for all of our citywide models. Profile of Local Officials Responding Given the ethnic and racial diversity of immigrant destination cities, an interesting question is whether the officials representing these communities are similarly diverse. Many foreign-born residents cannot vote (because they are not citizens), and even those who are naturalized citizens are often less vested and involved in local politics, because of persistent language barriers, the absence of political mobilization, or the immigrants’ continuing emphasis on securing an economic foothold in the United States before engaging in politics (Ramírez and Wong, forthcoming; Ramakrishnan, 2005). For these reasons, one would expect that the representation on local governing bodies of immigrants in particular, and of Latinos and Asians in general, may lag well behind those groups’ proportions of the local population. For nonelective positions, such as police chief and planning director, it is also an open 90 question whether public personnel have begun to reflect the diversity of these communities. It is often suggested that minorities are more likely to be named to administrative positions where there are minorities in elective office to appoint them. Table A.2 shows the racial and ethnic self-identification of the three types of public officials responding to our surveys. (The questionnaire instructed respondents to check “all that apply” among these demographic categories.) A large majority of the elected officials responding were white, although about one in six selected Hispanic/ Latino, and fewer than one in 20 selected Asian or Pacific Islander. Police chiefs showed a similar ethnic/racial distribution to the elected officials, whereas planning directors were more likely to be white and less likely to be Latino than the elected officials or police chiefs. By way of reference, the average makeup of the population among the 304 cities in our sample included 39 percent Latinos, 11 percent Asians or Pacific Islanders, and 5 percent African Americans. Given the immigrant-related subject matter of our survey, one might anticipate that Latino and Asian officials would be more likely to respond than their colleagues of other races. Although we cannot directly check for this potential response bias, information gleaned from another set of sources is encouraging, at least as regards the elected Table A.2 Percentage Distribution of the Race/Ethnicity of Respondents to Mail Surveys Group Caucasian/white Hispanic/Latino African American/black Asian Native American Pacific Islander Other Elected Officials 72 17 5 4 3 <1 3 Police Chiefs 71 15 7 2 4 2 2 Planning Directors 84 9 2 5 2 1 1 NOTE: Columns sum to more than 100 percent because some respondents identified as more than one race/ethnicity. 91 officials. Using data collected by the National Association of Latino Elected Officials (NALEO), we calculate that 16.5 percent of the mayors and councilmembers in the 304 immigrant destination cities were Latinos as of 2002. This is extremely close to the 17.1 percent of our elected-official survey respondents who identified as Latino. Similarly, in 2004, the National Asian Pacific Islander Political Almanac (NAPA) showed that 3.2 percent of the mayors and councilmembers in these communities identified themselves as Asian or Pacific Islander, relatively close to the 4.5 percent who described themselves using one of those terms in our survey.4 In short, it appears that any overrepresentation of Asians and Latinos in our survey is relatively modest, at least among the elected officials. Although there are certainly exceptions to the rule, elected officials in California’s high-immigration cities are much more likely to be male and older than the residents of their cities. Nearly two-thirds of the mayors and councilmembers (64%) were male, and more than half (55%) were age 55 or older. In fact, the median elected-official respondent was a 55-year-old male. We have no reason to suspect that this pattern is different in low-immigration communities. Turning to the appointed officials, the median police chief or commander responding to the survey was 50 years old, and 96 percent were male. Similarly, among planning directors, the median respondent was 49 years old, and 77 percent were male. The elected officials responding to the survey tended to have a fair amount of experience in office, with the median respondent having had two successful elections to municipal office and five years of service. The median police respondent had worked in local law enforcement in California for 27 years and had served as chief for three years. As for planners, the median respondent had worked in a local planning or development department in California for 20 years. _____________ 4Specifically, the NALEO database identifies 269 Hispanic mayors or councilmembers in these 304 cities in 2002, and the NAPA database identifies 52 Asians or Pacific Islanders. Our denominator of 1,634 mayor and council positions was determined using information from an earlier PPIC survey of city clerks on local government structure (Hajnal, Lewis, and Louch, 2002), supplemented with information from city websites. 92 Officially, local elective offices in California are nonpartisan. But this obviously does not mean that officials’ personal political beliefs do not play a role in their policy decisions (see Browning, Marshall, and Tabb, 1984). We therefore asked mayors and councilmembers to describe their own political ideology and that of the majority on their city council. More than half (52%) of the individual elected officials described themselves as moderates, with self-described liberals (22%) and conservatives (21%) roughly equal in number. Regarding the council majority in these cities, we constructed citywide responses to this question by taking the average of each elected official’s rating of his or her council’s majority on a liberal/conservative scale.5 We found that the council majority was seen as moderate in 56 percent of cities, conservative in 35 percent, and liberal in only 9 percent of the communities.6 It appears, then, that the individual respondents to the survey were more likely than their colleagues to be liberal, although it is impossible to answer this question definitively with the available data.7 Nevertheless, by averaging the elected-official responses for each city for many of the results presented in this study, we most likely have a more reliable basis of information regarding citywide patterns of policy and politics than if we had simply surveyed one local informant, such as the mayor or city manager. Finally, we find that there is a slight, though significant, tendency for cities with higher percentages of foreign-born residents to have liberal council majorities.8 _____________ 5Responses that the council had “equal numbers of liberals and conservatives, no real majority” were recoded as moderate. 6The same question was also asked of the planning directors, and their responses were broadly similar: 53 percent viewed their council’s majority as moderate (or as having an equal number of liberals and conservatives), 31 percent as conservative, and 13 percent as liberal. 7It is heartening that the percentage of elected officials responding was essentially the same in cities with liberal, moderate, and conservative council majorities. However, because the council-ideology measure is itself based on survey responses, we cannot know whether cities with nonliberal councils were less likely to provide any responses. 8On a three-point liberal-to-conservative scale, the correlation of council ideology to percentage immigrant residents is –0.15 (p < .05). The significant relationship between these two variables persists even if we control for the city’s region (Los Angeles region, San Francisco Bay Area, Central Valley), median income, and the education level of its population. 93 Appendix B Result of Multivariate Analyses The following tables report results of multivariate models referred to in the main body of the report. All independent variables are measured as of the year 2000 and measure city-level characteristics, except where indicated. Dependent variables are indicated by the column headings of the tables. We tested for the possibility of regional effects and found none to be consistent across any of the sets of outcomes we have considered. However, we did find a few notable regional differences: Bay Area councilmembers are more likely to rely on information from advocates than their counterparts in other regions, and the region also has less enforcement of illegal secondary housing units and overcrowded housing. Also, police departments in the San Diego/Imperial Valley region are more likely to say that they report undocumented immigrants to federal authorities—most likely because of the proximity to the Mexican border. 95 Table B.1 Elected Officials’ Assessments of the Degree of Challenge Posed by Group Conflicts Group Conflicts Are a Challenge % foreign-born % of foreign-born who immigrated after 1990 Population (log) Poverty rate % Democrat Conservative city council Latino share of nonwhites Constant Observations R-squared 0.007 [0.006] 0.013 [0.007]* 0.066 [0.044] 0.014 [0.011] 0.004 [0.005] –0.173 [0.109] 0.002 [0.003] 1.208 [0.713]* 252 0.10 NOTES: Cell entries are OLS regression coefficients. Standard errors are in brackets. *Significant at 10 percent. 96 Table B.2 Elected Officials’ Sources of Information on Immigrants and Knowledge of Outreach Organizations 97 (a) (b) (c) (d) (e) (f) (g) (h) (i) (j) (k) (l) State or County Other Mention Federal Municipal School Immigrant Immigrant Advocacy Local Research All Organization Agencies Departments Districts Churches Businesses Individuals Groups Newspapers Organizations Sources for Outreach Age of official 0.015 [0.009] 0.005 [0.008] 0.009 [0.009] 0.016 0.011 –0.002 [0.009]* [0.008] [0.008] –0.008 0.000 0.003 [0.009] [0.009] [0.008] –0.003 [0.009] 0.002 [0.003] –0.005 [0.010] Official is Latino 0.139 0.154 –0.885 0.196 0.611 0.117 0.318 0.470 –0.170 0.834 0.075 –0.060 [0.322] [0.281] [0.276]*** [0.319] [0.295]** [0.278] [0.320] [0.290] [0.279] [0.303]*** [0.086] [0.309] Official is black 0.668 0.401 –0.346 0.280 0.413 –0.284 0.534 0.894 0.489 0.622 0.162 –0.512 Official is Asian [0.552] 0.320 [0.445] 0.328 [0.402] –1.000 [0.470] [0.410] [0.539] 0.314 –0.362 –0.063 [0.387] [0.399]** [0.488] 1.250 0.776 0.991 [0.333]* [0.096]* 1.145 0.153 [0.570] 1.140 Official is female [0.411] 0.679 [0.337] 0.754 [0.580]* [0.494] [0.457] [0.358] –0.107 0.773 0.121 0.159 [0.535]** [0.504] [0.548]* 0.018 0.352 0.302 [0.461]** [0.143] 0.621 0.181 [0.575]** 0.530 [0.202]*** [0.197]*** [0.203] [0.189]*** [0.184] [0.194] [0.187] [0.191]* [0.212] [0.200]*** [0.053]*** [0.219]** Official is conservative –0.092 –0.157 0.007 –0.066 0.054 0.159 –0.264 –0.380 –0.154 –0.004 –0.055 –0.620 [0.165] [0.158] [0.157] [0.153] [0.149] [0.151] [0.153]* [0.171]** [0.151] [0.165] [0.049] [0.176]*** % Democratic voters 0.018 0.014 (of two-party registrants) [0.007]** [0.008]* 0.015 0.005 0.008 0.001 [0.009]* [0.009] [0.008] [0.008] 0.003 0.022 –0.011 [0.009] [0.009]** [0.009] –0.006 [0.009] 0.004 [0.002] 0.025 [0.010]** % foreign-born 0.003 [0.010] 0.004 [0.009] 0.023 0.018 –0.006 0.024 0.020 0.005 0.009 [0.010]** [0.011]* [0.010] [0.010]** [0.011]* [0.009] [0.011] 0.013 [0.009] 0.006 –0.025 [0.002]** [0.012]** % of foreign-born who 0.008 0.005 –0.007 0.016 0.009 0.031 0.028 0.025 0.012 –0.002 0.007 0.041 immigrated post-1990 [0.012] [0.012] [0.012] [0.012] [0.012] [0.011]*** [0.012]** [0.011]** [0.013] [0.011] [0.003]** [0.013]*** Population (log) –0.065 –0.072 0.185 –0.035 0.170 0.250 0.167 0.481 0.240 0.261 0.078 0.375 Poverty rate [0.081] –0.026 [0.075] 0.002 [0.092]** [0.090] [0.075]** [0.081]*** [0.094]* [0.074]*** [0.083]*** [0.066]*** [0.018]*** [0.089]*** 0.009 0.001 0.018 0.015 0.006 –0.028 0.007 0.006 –0.002 0.016 [0.018] [0.016] [0.020] [0.018] [0.017] [0.018] [0.018] [0.020] [0.020] [0.018] [0.005] [0.007]** Table B.2 (continued) 98 Conservative council (a) State or County 0.270 (b) Federal Agencies 0.086 (c) Municipal Departments –0.211 (d) (e) (f) (g) (h) (i) (j) (k) Other School Immigrant Immigrant Advocacy Local Research All Districts Churches Businesses Individuals Groups Newspapers Organizations Sources 0.214 –0.011 0.169 0.202 –0.221 0.127 –0.206 0.020 (l) Mention Organization for Outreach 0.189 majority Latino % of nonwhites [0.180] [0.195] 0.019 0.012 [0.181] 0.009 [0.204] [0.197] [0.199] [0.225] [0.202] 0.006 0.003 0.002 0.003 0.023 [0.210] 0.003 [0.196] [0.051] 0.009 0.004 [0.223] 0.018 [0.005]*** [0.005]*** [0.005]* [0.005] [0.005] [0.005] [0.006] [0.005]*** [0.005] [0.005]* [0.001]*** [0.006]*** Constant –0.071 –7.540 [0.349] [2.05]*** Observations 440 436 431 441 441 439 433 434 444 434 407 459 NOTES: (a) through (j) are ordered logit models; (k) is an OLS regression; and (l) is a logit regression. Cell entries are regression coefficients. Standard errors are in brackets. Robust standard errors are reported, with observations clustered by city. *Significant at 10 percent. **Significant at 5 percent. ***Significant at 1 percent. Table B.3 Measures of City Policy Responsiveness (a) (b) (c) Human Interpreter Document Relations Services Translation Commission % foreign-born % of foreign-born who immigrated after 1990 Population (log) Poverty rate % Democratic voters (of two-party registrants) Conservative council majority Latino % of nonwhites Constant Observations R-squared 0.012 –0.021 [0.006]** [0.019] 0.004 –0.022 [0.007] [0.022] 0.194 0.503 [0.042]*** [0.137]*** 0.022 0.013 [0.010]** [0.027] 0.000 0.026 [0.005] [0.015]* –0.042 –0.991 [0.103] [0.322]*** 0.008 0.040 [0.003]*** [0.010]*** –1.263 [0.680]* 249 194 0.21 0.15 –0.033 [0.019]* 0.068 [0.026]*** 1.021 [0.203]*** 0.056 [0.036] 0.033 [0.016]** –0.470 [0.356] –0.023 [0.010]** –14.089 [3.087]*** 230 0.28 NOTES: Model (a) is an OLS regression; (b) is an ordered logit; (c) is a logistic regression. Pseudo R-squared used for non-OLS regressions. Standard errors are in brackets. *Significant at 10 percent. **Significant at 5 percent. ***Significant at 1 percent. 99 Table B.4 Immigrant Concerns and Local Politics (a) Influence of Immigrant/ Ethnic Organizations (b) (c) Latinos on Asians on Boards and Boards and Commissions Commissions (d) (e) Immigrant Blacks on Issues Boards and Debated in Commissions Local Politics % foreign-born % of foreign-born who immigrated after 1990 Population (log) Poverty rate % Democratic voters, of two-party registrants Conservative council majority % Latino % Asian % black Latino % of nonwhites Constant Observations R-squared 0.003 [0.005] 0.011 [0.006]* 0.162 [0.040]*** –0.009 [0.009] 0.011 [0.004]** –0.309 [0.098]*** 0.000 [0.004] –0.006 [0.004] 0.121 [0.027]*** 0.006 [0.007] 0.000 [0.003] –0.005 [0.068] 0.015 [0.002]*** –0.006 [0.004] 0.001 [0.004] 0.115 [0.024]*** 0.002 [0.006] 0.000 [0.003] –0.083 [0.059] 0.029 [0.003]*** 0.006 [0.003]** –0.076 [0.638] 252 0.20 –0.602 [0.424] 251 0.34 –0.612 [0.376] 247 0.41 –0.003 [0.004] –0.004 [0.004] 0.108 [0.027]*** 0.003 [0.005] –0.003 [0.003] –0.110 [0.063]* 0.059 [0.006]*** –0.198 [0.417] 249 0.44 0.062 [0.017]*** 0.070 [0.021]*** 0.550 [0.135]*** –0.015 [0.027] –0.004 [0.013] –0.272 [0.288] 0.017 [0.008]** 193 0.15 NOTES: Models (a) through (d) are OLS regressions; (e) is an ordered logit. Pseudo R-squared used for (e). Standard errors are in brackets. *Significant at 10 percent. **Significant at 5 percent. ***Significant at 1 percent. 100 Table B.5 Degree of City Housing Enforcement (a) Enforcement of Illegal Secondary Units (b) Enforcement of Overcrowding Population (log) Average persons per household % foreign-born % of foreign-born who immigrated after 1990 Poverty rate % Democratic voters, of two-party registrants Conservative council majority Observations Pseudo R-squared 0.608 [0.133]*** 0.116 [0.333] 0.015 [0.018] 0.003 [0.019] 0.026 [0.024] 0.029 [0.013]** –0.49 [0.359] 180 0.11 0.366 [0.171]** 1.949 [0.598]*** –0.040 [0.027] 0.041 [0.029] 0.036 [0.031] –0.034 [0.019]* –0.937 [0.492]* 150 0.12 NOTES: Models are ordered logits. Cell entries are ordered-logit coefficients. Standard errors are in brackets. *Significant at 10 percent. **Significant at 5 percent. ***Significant at 1 percent. 101 Table B.6 Housing and City Politics (a) (b) (c) Official Inclusionary Discussions Affordable Housing on Immigrant Housing Policy Housing Lobby Population (log) Population density (log) % foreign-born % of foreign-born who immigrated after 1990 Poverty rate % Democratic voters, of two-party registrants Conservative council majority % black % of housing units recreational/seasonal % lived in same house past five years Constant Observations Pseudo R-squared 0.554 [0.179]*** –0.750 [0.298]** –0.012 [0.019] 0.102 [0.025]*** –0.029 [0.025] 0.017 [0.015] –1.359 [0.432]*** –3.217 [2.157] 188 0.19 0.255 –0.028 [0.163] [0.174] –0.200 –0.142 [0.277] [0.286] 0.005 –0.018 [0.018] [0.020] 0.023 0.018 [0.020] [0.023] 0.061 –0.067 [0.023]*** [0.026]** 0.013 0.029 [0.015] [0.016]* –0.589 –0.971 [0.415] [0.395]** 0.006 [0.031] 0.006 [0.032] –0.017 [0.031] 1.300 [3.173] 191 188 0.06 0.10 NOTES: Model (b) is an ordered logistic regression; models (a) and (c) are logits. Cell entries are logit coefficients. Standard errors are in brackets. *Significant at 10 percent. **Significant at 5 percent. ***Significant at 1 percent. 102 Table B.7 Police/Community Relations (a) (b) Mistrust Foot/Bike of Police Patrols (c) Meetings and Outreach (d) (e) Good Relations with School Community District Policing Population (log) Population density (log) Poverty rate % black % Hispanic, of nonwhite population % foreign-born % of foreign-born who immigrated after 1990 Constant Observations Adjusted R-squared 0.056 [0.054] 0.034 [0.013]*** 0.012 [0.011] –0.002 [0.004] 0.013 [0.007]* –0.009 [0.008] 0.892 [0.684] 183 0.12 0.155 0.317 [0.074]** [0.063]*** 0.064 -0.018 [0.142] [0.121] -0.005 0.001 [0.015] [0.013] 0.022 0.012 [0.013]* [0.011] 0.010 -0.007 [0.005]** [0.004]* -0.017 0.005 [0.009]* [0.008] 0.006 0.002 [0.010] [0.009] 0.387 0.848 [1.070] [0.913] 183 183 0.11 0.24 0.042 [0.047] -0.104 [0.090] -0.019 [0.010]* -0.025 [0.008]*** -0.001 [0.003] -0.009 [0.006] 0.005 [0.006] 5.474 [0.682]*** 183 0.16 0.145 [0.049]*** -0.062 [0.094] 0.001 [0.010] 0.011 [0.008] -0.003 [0.003] 0.002 [0.006] 0.007 [0.007] 3.240 [0.707]*** 183 0.10 NOTES: Cell entries are OLS regression coefficients. Standard errors are in brackets. *Significant at 10 percent. **Significant at 5 percent. ***Significant at 1 percent. 103 Table B.8 Police Practices Relevant to Immigrants (a) Send Bilingual Officer (b) (c) Accept Report Mexican Undocumented ID Immigrant Population (log) 0.837 0.257 [0.197]*** [0.142]* Poverty rate –0.038 –0.004 [0.037] [0.030] % black –0.001 –0.017 [0.029] [0.025] % Hispanic, of nonwhite population 0.031 0.004 [0.012]*** [0.009] % foreign-born 0.023 –0.011 [0.022] [0.017] % of foreign-born who immigrated after 1990 –0.055 0.026 [0.026]** [0.021] Constant –7.623 –2.673 [2.234]*** [1.792] Observations 157 160 Pseudo R-squared 0.17 0.03 –0.117 [0.132] 0.034 [0.030] 0.021 [0.024] –0.015 [0.009]* –0.026 [0.018] 0.004 [0.020] 1.201 [1.666] 176 0.04 NOTES: Cell entries are logit coefficients. Standard errors are in brackets. *Significant at 10 percent. **Significant at 5 percent. ***Significant at 1 percent. 104 Table B.9 Elected Official Reports Regarding Law Enforcement Issues (a) (b) (c) Concerns Supportive Aggressively About Use Day Labor Investigate of Force Policy Hate Crime Population (log) Poverty rate % black % Hispanic, of nonwhite population % Democratic voters, of two-party registrants Conservative council majority % foreign-born % of foreign-born who immigrated after 1990 Constant Observations Adjusted R-squared 0.104 [0.048]** 0.022 [0.011]** 0.018 [0.012] 0.004 [0.003] 0.024 [0.006]*** –0.055 [0.113] –0.002 [0.007] –0.005 [0.007] –0.722 [0.744] 253 0.26 0.422 [0.192]** –0.034 [0.051] 0.001 [0.048] 0.013 [0.013] –0.027 [0.023] –0.877 [0.447]** –0.005 [0.025] 0.040 [0.030] –4.056 [3.187] 130 0.11 0.110 [0.043]** –0.002 [0.010] –0.010 [0.011] –0.001 [0.003] –0.010 [0.005]* –0.141 [0.101] –0.007 [0.006] 0.007 [0.006] 3.667 [0.668]*** 253 0.09 NOTES: (b) is a logit model. Models (a) and (c) are OLS regressions. Standard errors are in brackets. *Significant at 10 percent. **Significant at 5 percent. ***Significant at 1 percent. 105 Table B.10 Diversity of Police Forces (a) (b) % of Officers % of Officers Hispanic Asian % black % Hispanic % Asian % foreign-born % of foreign-born who immigrated after 1990 % Democratic voters, of two-party registrants No. of officers patrolling city Chief is white, not Hispanic Constant Observations Adjusted R-squared –0.137 [0.128] 0.461 [0.071]*** 0.130 [0.124] 0.107 [0.149] –0.094 [0.106] 0.007 [0.082] 0.001 [0.001] –4.496 [1.883]** 5.907 [5.228] 166 0.59 –0.027 [0.054] –0.082 [0.030]*** 0.141 [0.053]*** 0.096 [0.065] –0.009 [0.045] 0.097 [0.034]*** 0.000 [0.000] –1.597 [0.812]* –0.859 [2.261] 152 0.43 NOTES: Models are OLS regressions. Standard errors are in brackets. City population is not included in these regressions because it is highly correlated with the number of police officers patrolling the city. *Significant at 10 percent. **Significant at 5 percent. ***Significant at 1 percent. 106 Table B.11 Informal Businesses and Police Review Boards (a) (b) Cite Informal Police Review Business Board Population (log) Poverty rate % black % Hispanic, of nonwhite population % foreign-born % of foreign-born who immigrated after 1990 % Democratic voters, of two-party registrants FBI Uniform Crime Index 2002 (log) Constant Observations Pseudo R-squared 0.077 [0.193] –0.017 [0.049] 0.099 [0.048]** 0.027 [0.015]* 0.064 [0.032]** –0.046 [0.035] –0.007 [0.026] –0.101 [0.596] –2.986 [4.821] 105 0.12 0.624 [0.230]*** 0.089 [0.056] 0.033 [0.045] –0.008 [0.020] –0.079 [0.046]* 0.055 [0.043] –0.011 [0.037] 1.007 [0.736] –17.864 [7.108]** 174 0.29 NOTES: Cell entries are logit coefficients. 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Karthick, and Mark Baldassare, The Ties That Bind: Changing Demographics and Civic Engagement in California, Public Policy Institute of California, San Francisco, California, 2004. 110 Ramírez, Ricardo, and Janelle Wong, “Nonpartisan Latino and Asian American Contactability and Voter Mobilization,” in Taeku Lee, Karthick Ramakrishnan, and Ricardo Ramirez, eds., Transforming Politics, Transforming America: The Political and Civic Incorporation of Immigrants in the United States, University of Virginia Press, Charlottesville, Virginia, forthcoming. Richardson, Stella, “California Police Chiefs Stand Up to Feds,” ACLU News, May 2002. Sandoval, Carlos, and Catherine Tambini (directors and producers), “Farmingville,” documentary film, 2004, described at www.pbs.org/ pov/pov2004/farmingville/about.html. Self, Robert, “California’s Industrial Garden: Oakland and the East Bay in the Age of Deindustrialization,” in Jefferson Cowie and Joseph Heathcott, eds., Beyond the Ruins: The Meanings of Deindustrialization, Cornell University Press, Ithaca, New York, 2003. Stone, Clarence N., “Systemic Power in Community Decision-Making,” American Political Science Review, Vol. 74, December 1980, pp. 978–990. Taylor, J. Edward, Philip L. Martin, and Michael Fix, Poverty amid Prosperity: Immigration and the Changing Face of Rural California, Urban Institute Press, Washington, D.C., 1997. Wall, Stephen, “Foreign ID Cards Cause for Debate,” Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, March 7, 2004. Wilson, James Q., Varieties of Police Behavior: The Management of Law and Order in Eight Communities, Atheneum, New York, 1970. 111 About the Authors S. KARTHICK RAMAKRISHNAN Karthick Ramakrishnan is a research fellow at PPIC. His research interests include civic voluntarism, political participation, and public opinion, with a particular focus on immigration, race, and ethnicity. His recent book from Stanford University Press, Democracy in Immigrant America, analyzes the political participation of U.S. immigrants from a cross-racial perspective. His current projects include research on the “2.5 generation” (those with one immigrant parent and one native-born parent) and on civic voluntarism among immigrants in the United States. Before joining PPIC, he was a fellow at Harvard University’s Department of Government. He holds a B.A. in international relations and political science from Brown University and a Ph.D. in politics from Princeton University. PAUL G. LEWIS Paul Lewis is a research fellow and Director of the Governance and Public Finance program at the Public Policy Institute of California. He is the author of a book, Shaping Suburbia (University of Pittsburgh Press), seven previous PPIC reports, and numerous journal articles and other publications on topics relating to local government and politics, urban development, housing, transportation, and community change. He serves on the editorial board of the State and Local Government Review. He holds a Ph.D. in politics from Princeton University. 113 Related PPIC Publications How Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration Shape the California Electorate Jack Citrin and Benjamin Highton Municipal Elections in California: Turnout, Timing, and Competition Zoltan L. Hajnal, Paul G. Lewis, and Hugh Louch In Short Supply? Cycles and Trends in California Housing Hans P. Johnson, Rosa M. Moller, and Michael Dardia California’s Housing Element Law: The Issue of Local Noncompliance Paul G. Lewis The Ties That Bind: Changing Demographics and Civic Engagement in California S. Karthick Ramakrishnan and Mark Baldassare “A State of Diversity: Demographic Trends in California’s Regions” California Counts: Population Trends and Profiles Volume 3, Number 5, May 2002 Hans P. Johnson “Second-Generation Immigrants in California” California Counts: Population Trends and Profiles Volume 6, Number 4, May 2005 S. Karthick Ramakrishnan and Hans P. 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