Reasons And Factors For The Migration
Immigration has been the major contributing force in determining the composition and size of cities in the United States. The study at hand examines the migration of the Chinese to Los Angeles and the reasons as to why they migrated. It also looks at both positive and negative consequences of the migration for the natives of the states in terms of the development and social life. The study employs secondary data from credible books, journals, and articles with the view to gathering relevant information concerning the migration of the Chinese in the period since the 1850s. The study asserts that the pushing factors for the migration were the discovery of gold in California, the construction of the transcontinental railroad, and a number of local conflicts in China, for example, the Taiping Rebellion. The consequences of the migration included increased high technologies developed by the skilled Chinese that boosted the economy of Los Angeles and intensified collaboration between China and the city in terms of investment. On the other hand, discrimination based on the race, unemployment, and inadequate housing were some of the negative consequences faced by Chinese immigrants in local Chinatown. However, since the enactment of changes brought by the Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1965, most immigrants could have gained citizenship and enjoyed all opportunities available to the Native Americans. The study provides some recommendations concerning the provision of better housing and education opportunities for immigrants with the view to improving their lives.
The process of the Chinese migration to the United States can be divided into two periods. The first phase took place between the 1850s and 1880; this year, it was forbidden by federal laws that restricted the Chinese immigration. The second phase began in the late 1970s. It lasts till now because of the normalization of relations between China and the US, as well as thanks to the changes in the migration policies of both countries (Hooper & Batalova 1). Currently, Chinese immigrants are the third largest group of foreign-born people in the United States. Indians and Mexicans immigrants comprise the other two groups; together they are accounting for over two million immigrants, which make up to 5% of the total immigrant population.
Economic pressures and the political unrest of the 1850s forced many Chinese people to leave their homes in the search for temporary work in the western territories of the United States. Those that managed to migrate employed for manual jobs and took other low-skilled opportunities in the construction, mining, manufacturing, and agriculture, for example. According to the 1890’s report from the decennial census, the population of Chinese-born residents that had moved to the US exceeded 100,000 individuals. The records precisely showed that almost 300,000 of Chinese immigrants relocated to the United States in the period from 1850 to 1889 (Hooper & Batalova 1). However, historians estimate that half of the population eventually went back home to China.
The wave of migration of the Chinese was followed by an increased ethnic discrimination and anti-Chinese attitudes; consequently, they forced the U.S. Congress to pass the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. This Act prevented the Chinese residents from gaining U.S. citizenship and banned the migration of the Chinese to the country with the view to searching for labor opportunities. However, in 1943, the law was abolished; such a change allowed few Chinese to migrate to the US. In 1965, the Immigration and Nationality Act was passed. It repaired the immigration system of the United States to expand the migration opportunities for immigrants from other parts of the world besides Europe (Hooper & Batalova 1).
With the increase in the number of immigrants, some locations received a huge number of quotas for inhabitants. California, particularly Los Angeles County, was one of them. The location is a well-known densely populated city in California. Moreover, its county is currently considered as one of the most popular immigration destinations for Chinese. Since the times of the Golden Rush, its geographical position has predetermined its close relations with China. From 2005 to 2014, the number of the Chinese representation, who has moved to Los Angeles, has reached 71,400 people, which is rated as 7.1 per 1,000 residents (Reese). Out of 12 largest Californian counties, Los Angeles is in the fourth place after San Francisco, Santa Clara and Alameda according to the number of immigrants (Reese). While in the previous decades, one could state that such situation is quite beneficial for the Chinese youth, who were in search of a better life in the highly developed Western country.
Chinatown is a peculiar neighborhood in Los Angeles in terms of nativity and demographic factors. It is well-known for Chinese immigrants and some other groups of minors, for example, the Latinos. In terms of location, Chinatown is situated in Echo Park, Lincoln, and, Downtown in Central Los Angeles, as illustrated in figure 1. The original name of Chinatown in the nineteenth century was Calle de Los Negros. Its area is currently known as Olvera Street that is positioned between Alameda Street and Main Street (Mai, and Chen 6). In the twentieth century, the settlement moved more than once from Calle de Los Negros (today, the Union Station) to an area once called Little Italy (today, Central Los Angeles.
Chinatown Geographic Location in Los Angeles
The Asian population in Chinatown had constantly been on the rise from 1960 to 2010 as exemplified in figure 2 below (Mai and Chen 6). One of the reasons for such an increase in residents of Chinatown over the years is the exclusion of the immigration barriers that previously prevented people from arriving in the United States. Other motives for such a swell in population include opportunities in the economic environment of Los Angeles. The advantage of financial support, especially in early years of the twentieth century, was highly propagated due to the Age of Industrialization in the United States.
Consequently, despite an increase in the number of immigrants of the Asian origin in the United States from the mid-twentieth century, Chinatown experienced a drop in the population instead. The decrease was reported during the 2010 Census with a recorded population of 15,907 individuals. Consequently, Los Angeles County accounts for 14% of the total Asian population while Chinatown has the share of 62% (Mai and Chen 10). The clear implication is that the neighborhood significantly isolates the major population of the Asian immigrants in Los Angeles. Therefore, Chinatown has more than half of the population of Asian inhabitants in Los Angeles but with also a considerable number of the Latinos, who make 25% of the total number of its residents (Mai and Chen 10). This figure reveals that a large population of minorities is present here.
Moreover, the element of diversity in such demographic aspects as the culture, age, and type of communities is evident; moreover, it is gradually changing in Chinatown. Also, in terms of the age distribution, a quarter of the population of the neighborhood is below 17 years of age, which makes 17% of all inhabitants, in general (Mai and Chen 12). According to the structure of the population in Chinatown, the main society ranges between the ages of 18 and 64 years old. A similar trend is true for the whole Los Angeles with 64% of its total population (Mai and Chen 12). Furthermore, there is a higher dependence ratio in Chinatown because of the significant number of the elderly population as compared with the rest of the city with 11%. In the structure of the elderly, men make 44%, and women make 56% (Mai and Chen 12).
1960-2010 Asian Population Trends
In turn, the first-generation immigrants face a considerable problem of the language barrier that is an obstacle in Chinatown in the sense that these people cannot access some of the critical life domains needed for survival, for example, healthcare services and employment opportunities. The impediment of immigrants developing proficiency in English is a burning issue because it is one of the main requirements in any job, may it be formal or informal one. The issue of insufficient opportunities in the socio-economic environment has made immigrants seek temporary jobs that were illegal with the view to sustaining their livelihoods. The trend of the impoverished environment is evident in Chinatown since being situated in Downtown Los Angeles; it is referred to as a Concentrated Poverty Neighborhood (CPN). The disadvantage that comes with the living environment of a CPN has reduced the quality of life of its residents in terms of the sanitation, housing, and healthcare services (Mai and Chen 15). A safety of their area of residence is compromised, as well. It is difficult to find a house that can be innocuous to live in due to the poor infrastructure in the area.
Moreover, the level of skills and education of those people leaving here does not enable them to secure well-paid jobs that can allow them to manage their lives, live in better houses, and afford healthcare services of adequate quality especially in the case of the working-age individuals. Also, it means that children in Chinatown are not able to satisfy their basic needs, in general, and in education, in particular. One can assert that in Chinatown, most Asian immigrants face considerable barriers in communication; moreover, the effect of the high illiteracy level impacts the society. Subsequently, because of the low literacy level, the income measure of Chinatown is smaller than the Median Income level results of 2011 as it is shown in figure 3 (Mai and Chen 11). The relationship between the Los Angeles Country and Chinatown demonstrated a critical relation in terms of economy in 2011. Four years ago, the situation was characterized by a discrete disparity between the regions, as it is demonstrated in figure 3. The difference in the economic power with insufficient social amenities is partly caused by the lack of a proportionate household, which is crucial for managing the entire population of Chinatown. The alteration may also be determined by the age differences present in Chinatown with the elderly forming almost a quarter of the population. They depend on the working individuals who are not capable of securing a substantial income.
Median Income by Household
Nowadays, the flow of immigrants to Los Angeles has become mutually beneficial to both the United States and China. Recently, the Chinese people have proved to possess higher education levels as compared to other migrants in the country. Overly, in comparison with the natives and most foreigners, the Chinese tend to demonstrate better achievements in the domain. Evidently, in 2013, 47% of immigrants of the Chinese origin of the age of 25 years old and over had bachelor’s and higher degrees as compared to 30% and 28% of the Native American population and a total population of immigrants respectively.
Even though the middle age of the Chinese immigrants is 45 years of age while natives have 36 years and foreigners 45 years, most of them considered themselves being of the working age between the 18 and 64 years old. Due to the new abilities presented to Chinese immigrants through education, now, they can manage to secure employment in business industries, science, and arts at a 51% employment rate. The figure is much higher than in the case of the natives and foreigners. Hence, the knowledge provided to the Chinese in the US assists the immigrants in sustaining their livelihood. By paying taxes in return, they benefit the U.S. economy.
Purpose of the Study
The study explores the migration of the Chinese to Los Angeles, as well as the migration trends and difficulties. It also analyzes both positive and negative consequences of the migration flow regarding the social life, economy, and overall development of citizens in the country.
Objectives of the Study
- To investigate the migration of Asians to the territory of the United States by considering the migration peculiarities throughout the history
- To analyze the tendencies and underlying reasons of the Chinese migration to Los Angeles and people’s life in
To identify the positive and negative consequences of such migration flow for the county dwellers, economy, social life, and overall development in different areas
- What territories in the United States did the Asian immigrants choose?
- Why did Chinese migrate to Los Angeles?
- What were the tendencies in the life of people in Chinatown?
- What were the positive and negative consequences of the migration flow for the society, economy, social life, and overall development of the United States in different areas?
Rationale of the Study
The research used Los Angeles as the study site because it has been under the influence of Chinese immigrants for over 150 years. Nevertheless, tense relations between Chinese and white Americans in the area still exist. It is believed that migrating to a developed country is beneficial only to the migrating people. However, in the case of the Chinese, the benefits seem to be mutual. Close relations between the US and China have contributed to the rapid development of both nations. Los Angeles, in particular, enjoys benefits that are associated with the Chinese business and its influence in terms of tourism and investments. At the same time, Chinese students acquire education in the best American universities and colleges. In the future, they use this knowledge for developing China. Tendencies associated with the flow of immigrants drive the study to define the crucial areas for Los Angeles-China cooperation and show the weak areas that need extra attention from both governments.
Scope and Limitations
The site for the study is Los Angeles; the data on its population have helped in investigating the population of Chinese immigrants since the 1850s. Data were collected from the secondary sources, mainly books, journals, and articles. The report employed a descriptive-explanatory research design in analyzing results of the study. However, the study was limited by the fact that it relied heavily on the information of over 100 years old, which could have been altered by modern authors.
The study presumed that books selected for conducting the study were enough as they offered relevant information to support the research of the Chinese migration in Los Angeles. The researcher also assumed that the figures provided by authors of the chosen sources were accurate and not biased because of any personal reasons.
This section of the paper presents the literature review on the study of the Chinese migration to Los Angeles and its consequences. The part begins with giving the account of the migration of Asians to the United States, the reasons for such a massive migration of the Chinese to Los Angeles, and life in Chinatown after the migration, as well as the positive and negative consequences of the process. The section ends with explaining the gap in the literature that the study tries to fill and then develops a general summary.
Migration of Asians to the Territory of the United States
According to Ling and Allan, (2015) Chinese are one of the oldest groups of immigrants in the United States. Nevertheless, the American experience of racism and segregation reduced the large population of the Chinese in the country. The Chinese immigration history can be divided into four phases. The first phase is the early arrival of the people in the mid-nineteenth century; the resulting segregation reduced the further entry. The second is the exclusion phase between 1882 and 1943. The third de facto covers the exclusion era: the time when the exclusionary legislation was repealed, and immigration patterns were changed in 1965. The final phase is the large-scale immigration period since 1965 up to the present days.
The early arrival of the Chinese immigrants to the United States started in the 1840s and involved few merchants that came to Los Angeles and other Californian cities in the search for business opportunities. Zesch (7) mentioned that Ah Luce and Ah Fou were among the first Chinese immigrants who moved to the United States as servants. The number reached thousands after gold was discovered in California in 1848. An estimated number of 370,000 Chinese had relocated to the west coast by 1882. These people engaged in a wide variety of occupations such as railroad construction and mining. Most were young men coming individually; they hoped to work hard and go home wealthy. Merchants that did well and had finance were able to make trips to the native country. With time, the need for more labor in California increased; thus, transport companies in Hong Kong and Guangzhou moved immigrants under the credit-ticket system. People paid the ticket cost from their wages through San Francisco brokers.
More Chinese immigrants later settled in Los Angeles; their number had reached 179 by 1870 (Zesch 7). However, the population grew gradually although not all Americans noticed the immigrant movement to their country. Therefore, in 1871, there was a cruel anti-Chinese demonstration by Americans who wanted the foreigners to go back to their country (Zesch 7). Consequently, the event became a black period in China’s history since many Chinese people were executed because of their race. In the history of the US, it marked the birth of the Chinese discrimination. Even today, discrimination still exists and is a stern social issue in some parts of the US as many individuals are discriminated at working places because of their race.
In the late 1960s, citizens of Hong Kong also began moving to the United States. Moreover, around 85,000 immigrants born in Hong Kong had already resided in the United States by 1980. Today, in ten Chinese immigrants, there is one Hong Kong immigrant. A large-scale migration of the Chinese from their mainland resumed after the Republic of China expanded its economy to the international markets and revised migration restrictions in 1978. These changes have changed the general trend in migration and doubled the number of immigrants that relocated to the United States. In 1980, the number of Chinese immigrants reached 299,000; it had increased to 536,000 by 1990 (Hooper and Batalova 1). The immigrants of the 19th century and those of post-1965 are different in terms of the people’s skills. The latter were more skilled unlike those in the first waves. This observation is evident even today; China is a homeland for many international students in the higher education institutions of the United States. Chinese form the second largest group of recipients of visas for the temporary work that are sponsored by employers.
Most Chinese immigrants moved to California (31%), although some others also settled in New York (21%). In terms of popular destinations, the Los Angeles and San Francisco Counties in California, as well as the Kings and Queens Counties in New York, account for nearly 29% of the total population of Chinese immigrants in the United States (Hooper and Batalova 1). With better laws on the migration, almost a half of the Chinese immigrants can lawfully obtain permanent homes in the US after getting a green card through the family channels. Others qualify to stay in the country through employment preferences. These job opportunities have allowed many Chinese immigrants to secure good job opportunities in the US, and living even better lives that some natives. According to the studies, if compared to other local and foreign-born populations, Chinese immigrants are more educated and have better housing as they have well-paid jobs.
Underlying Reasons for the Chinese Migration to Los Angeles
The most intensive immigration of the Chinese to the United States took place in the 20th century. Nevertheless, the earliest immigrants from China arrived in the country in the 1780s. With the discovery of gold in 1848 in California, a large wave of immigrants from China took place. Eventually, nearly 300,000 Chinese entered the United States during three decades (Ling and Allan 42). Most migrated in the search for jobs as miners in the gold mines, fishermen in the fishing towns, and farm laborers in the agricultural lands, as well as grocery and laundry operators in the urban areas in California.
One of the main factors that pushed Chinese immigrants out of their homes was natural calamities in the homeland in the period between the 1840s and 1850s. A severe drought of 1847 in the Henan province is a perfect example of such an event. There was also flooding of the Yangtze River that affected four provinces: Zhejiang, Hubei, Jiangsu, and Anhui; moreover, the rice famine of 1849 in Guangxi was also devastating (Chang 23). These events had created a population pressure; thus, families emigrated in order to survive. Between 1850 and 1864, a number of local conflicts took place. The cruel Taiping Rebellion and 1855 Red Turban Revolt that devastated agricultural lands created refugees and disrupted the country, in general, and economy, in particular (Chang 23).
Additionally, losing the Opium Wars of 1839 to 1842 to the British forced China to open treaty ports that led to western powers. The wars also forced the Chinese to leave the island of Hong Kong to England. Although some Chinese migrated to Asia and Europe, most went to the United States. The majority originated from the counties in the province of Guangdong that is situated near Hong Kong and Guangzhou. The Opium War was caused by the large outflow of silver in 1848 from the country that affected the national economy, which had already been impacted by the low exchange rate of copper to silver (Daniels 45). A disruptive consequence of the opium import on the economy was fueled by the inflow of foreign goods through the open ports. The most affected town was Canton, which had the longest international trade history and widest contact with other states. As a result, the local industries were removed from the market, and the independent agrarian economy was affected to a great extent. Such a reality forced many people to emigrate.
The discovery of California Gold was the other main reason for the Chinese to move to the United States. Chinese named California as Gam Saan, which means the Gold Mountain; thus, it attracted thousands of people seeking Gold. Most Chinese seekers of Gold, which were referred to as Gam Saan Haak or Gold Mountain guests, were men from the province of Guangdong. About 325 Chinese were among them. The number had increased to 2,716 by 1851; it reached 20,026 in 1852 (Ling and Allan 24). Following the passage of the Chinese Exclusion Act, nearly 300, 000 immigrants from China settled in North America. According to the U.S. census statistics of 1860, all Chinese in the United States relocated to California. In the mines, they were washing the sand that contained some gold in a rocker or pan to allow the heavy gold particles to settle down to the bottom.
Besides mining, the construction of the transcontinental railroad was the other reason that made many Chinese move to the United States. The construction employed many Chinese laborers, some of which were former gold miners. At the time, the government of the United States had ended the Civil War and was ready to construct a transcontinental railroad. Both the Union and Central Pacific railroads were to be constructed in cooperation with various companies such as the Big Four that belonged to Charles Crocker, C. P. Huntington, and Mark Hopkins, as well as Sacramento merchant Leland Stanford. As a result, the companies hired 50 Chinese workers in February 1865 as a part of an experiment with the view to checking their performance in tasks such as driving horses, blasting, pick and shovel, and handling rock (Ling and Allan 24). As a result, they demonstrated high reliability. Consequently, more Chinese were hired. In the peak construction time, around 12,000 Chinese represented 90% of the entire construction workforce (Ling and Allan 24).
As most Chinese immigrants dug gold and built railroads, other families were fishermen in the Monterey Bay region. With the end of the construction activities, workers joined other farmers in different counties in California. Other Chinese immigrants relocated to the east and south; they either worked in plantations of the south or prosperous cities and towns in the mid-west or east coast. The migration to Californian cities increased the population of those areas, especially in Los Angeles, in which they also founded Chinatown.
Life of People in Chinatown
Chinatown, a centrally positioned neighborhood in Los Angeles, is highly populated by the Asian community. This population increased during the 1960s when large groups of the Chinese entered the United States. According to the recent 2010 census, the area has a total of 15,907 inhabitants with Asians forming the largest group of 62% (Hooper and Batalova 1). The majority of local people are aged between 18 and 64 years, and females (56%) are more numerous than the male population.
Additionally, nearly a half of all people in Chinatown are naturalized citizens of the United States; thus, they are eligible for government benefits such as Medicare. The language is an important aspect in accessing the services. Most people speak other languages and have low proficiency in English. Thus, they cannot access quality services or obtain better jobs that can improve their living standards. However, Chinese immigrants born in the US are good English speakers; as a rule, they are very educated, have better jobs and are living better lives.
The Positive Consequences of the Migration
A comprehensive report from Ferdinando Guerra demonstrates a close cooperation and interdependency between Los Angeles and China in several areas. The author emphasizes that such domains as the education, historical ties, network creation, culture, business development, and trade investments have expanded with time because of the help of the Chinese. In such a manner, the immigration of the Chinese has created a serious background for the development of the economy of Los Angeles County, as well as of the Chinese population. A close interrelation between the city and the country has resulted in some major advantages such as the export growth, tourism development, higher investments, and new business opportunities (Guerra 4-5). Increasing indexes pointed out by the author are the employment income per capita, population number, technological development, and gross product (Guerra 10). In 2013, the University of Los Angeles educated over 10,000 Chinese students, who would eventually contribute to the cultural and economic development of both the United States and China.
Issues discussed by Guerra such as the business and technological development in the United States are the same points that Reese focused on, adding that the relation between the US and China contributed to the development of high-tech industries. The researcher asserts that Chinese immigrants are proficient workers in the high technology spheres, and their exemplary skills have helped the U.S. industries develop. Therefore, skilled Chinese workers are now in high demand; thus, they are welcomed in the nation. As a result, the era of migrating to Mexico has ended; the increasing number of Chinese workers who are high-tech oriented are strongly supported (Reese). Most of these skilled employees are true well-specialized talents that considerably contribute to the development of technologies. For this reason, many Chinese people are enrolled in massive numbers in the universities and colleges of the country, which offers a better education than China. Consequently, students will be able to utilize their talents to develop both their homeland and the US in the future.
The research work of Chan investigated the essential roles of the Chinese in expanding the transnational business and relations. Since the 1980s, China and the United States have developed mutually beneficial relationships, which contributed to the rapid establishment of the Chinese American banks (Chan 148). An increase in the Chinese immigration to the United States had also led to strengthening the trans-pacific relations because some Chinese companies in California used unique business strategies. The Chinese immigrants also contributed to the Californian Engineering and Science Association. This contribution facilitates a number of technological developments that were valuable for California (Chan 154).
Negative Consequences of the Migration
The issue of the discrimination is still present in the United States; it is a common problem in the same way as it used to be back in the 19th century. According to the evaluation of the reviews of the public opinions, about 72% of the Chinese living in the US confirmed that such behavior is a common problem in the community (Lipin). Nevertheless, a few white Americans do not agree that discrimination is a problem in the country. Stereotypes originate at the personal level and develop to cover even political and economic domains. For example, the trade between China and the US is based on their close ties. Nevertheless, there are some accusations that are characteristic of these transactions; Americans assert that Chinese exporters form unfair prices (Lipin). The Chinese import is often portrayed as evil and aggressive; in the real sense, however, the relation of the United States and China is extremely beneficial (Lipin). The negative attitude has a negative influence on the social life of Americans neither is it positive for the economy of the country. When it is considered more closely, such spheres as technology development, trade, investments, and tourism are all influenced by China. Nevertheless, they are discriminated against by people that they help economically.
Most Chinese immigrants, especially those in Chinatown, are living below the poverty line. This observation is associated with the inability of the minority to access good job opportunities due to the language barrier and low educational accomplishment (Mai and Bonnie 12). Around half of the population in Chinatown is of the working age and the number of unemployed people is high because the ratio of elderly people is considerably high, as well. Moreover, the percentage of the labor force is engaged in temporary jobs or the informal economy.
Housing is another problem that most Chinese immigrants face in Chinatown since it is unaffordable. Housing expenditure is so high that most immigrants choose poor options with gross rent of $500 to $900, which they can comfortably afford. This type of housing comes with other factors such as bad health because of living in poorly ventilated rooms, untreated water that causes the development of water and airborne diseases due to the congestion. According to Fortuny, Randy, and Jeffrey, the quality of life is determined by economic resources, family background, educational attainment, and household conditions such as crowding and ownership. In the case of immigrants in Chinatown, most people are not educated and lack economic resources; thus, they reside in poor house conditions that affect their quality of health and life.
The Gap in the Literature Review
The history of the Chinese migration to the United States has been discussed by many authors that describe events that took place in the nineteenth century as the Chinese began to move to the United States because of various underlying factors. However, this study provides comprehensive information about the migration of Chinese to the United States on the basis of a number of relevant books, journals, and articles that consider the movement of Chinese immigrants. It also describes various factors that had pushed the Chinese to leave their home country and the consequences of their relocation.
This particular part of the study describes the research design, involved analysis of variables, research area, and targeted population, as well as sample technique and size, validity, and reliability. Finally, the capturing of the data analysis and presentation with variable measurement are provided.
The research bases the development of arguments on the review of the secondary literature with the inclusion of statistical analysis. The consideration of qualitative data in the review of literature from the primary research work assisted in the estimation of the number of Chinese immigrants to Los Angeles and its territories. The research at hand used an extensively qualitative approach because it is based on the value of the gathered information (Veal 35). The qualitative data collection approach relies on the subjective acquisition of data in a particular context for the in-depth coverage. The qualitative method allows the observation of the relationships that exist between different variables in a particular research.
Moreover, qualitative methods when applied thoroughly describe economic, cultural, and environmental factors in the true light of the phenomena. The methodology is a concern with detailed data on a particular circumstance ideal in the examination of different perceptions and attitudes among relevant individuals or events. For acquiring profound information about the Asian immigrants, their locations, major reasons for migration, the numbers of inhabitants in a particular period and the consequences, secondary data were chosen. They are the most appropriate for the research at hand since a lot of reliable studies have been conducted and provided rich information. Secondary data assisted in the description of certain phenomena such as socio-economic influences of the immigration in the US with additional explanations on the reasons. The study employed books, journals, and articles, which were accessed electronically exclusively from credible sources.
The Study of Variables
Such independent variables as citizenship, age, and sex were considered in the study above the dependent variable such as social and economic factors, including the education level and housing. For immigrants to be able to attain a particular education degree or live in a certain house, they must be of acceptable identity and age in order to be educated and employed. Consequently, they will have a chance of getting financial power and afford decent living and quality healthcare services. The education level was determined in terms of the stages a person has managed to pass to attain proving certificates. In the case of housing, the physical condition of the room was a part of the discussion.
The Study Area and Target Population
The population directly considered in the study includes immigrants specifically in California, the Los Angeles County, of a total number of 3.7 million immigrants as according to the evidence from the American Community Survey (Bono 35). The estimates from the period of 2006-2014 were used in the study; acquired data related back to the nineteenth century. The research included the population that resided in the County of Los Angeles only and the inhabitants’ trends experienced by the groups.
Sample Techniques and Sample Size
The applied sampling method was non-probability design; in particular, it employed purposive and accidental sampling techniques. Non-probability technique is suitable in the case of an explanation of a discrete occurrence. Since secondary literature was the main source of information for the study, electronic evidence, including journals, articles from periodicals, and books, were employed based on the purpose of the research. The purposive sampling predominantly involved a review of the entire population that was limited to the area of the study and sub-groups involved. Consequently, it provided an exact range of required information (Castillo 56).
Moreover, accidental sampling was used because the sample of sources used were the ones accessible during the study; thus, they were relatively easy to access and use as compared to other sampling methods. The information from the sources provided a full representative scope of the relevant information. Chinatown was considered the main sample in the research as compared to the rest of the County of Los Angeles, with a population of more than 15,907 individuals as according to the 2010 census (Mai and Bonnie 12). The neighborhood is mainly known for both illegal and legal immigrants; thus, it offers one of the most vivid representations of patterns of the Asian immigrants in California, Los Angeles County, and the US at large, hence the name Chinatown.
Validity and Reliability
For the production of the same type of results when a particular measure is used again is mainly a consideration of the reliability of an employed tool. On the other hand, validity is a concern with how precisely it can measure what it is supposed to be assessed (Trochim 36). Therefore, the use of secondary sources was validated with the review of the literature with a guided procedure with the view to proving the trustworthiness of the information.
Data Analysis and Presentation
This research generated data, which were analyzed as thematic issues that were relevant to the objectives. From the sources, the researcher acquired the information that was used in examining impressions that were developed in the place of study and that represented the actual content. Hence, qualitative data were provided as the topic and questions of the study acquired all needed information from the sources. The use of a comparative approach determined the quality of the Chinese immigrant population. The main reasons for the relocation from creedal land by the Chinese people had been clear since the initial time of arrival in Los Angeles. In this way, in the socio-economic perspective, immigrants caused both benefits and complication to the host country.
Measurement of Variables
Variables to be measured include the independent ones ( age, sex, and citizenship) and dependent ones (housing conditions and education levels). The citizenship, sex, and age were correlated regarding an individual’s identity, in this case, an immigrant, and how they faced different challenges in the environment of residence. Also, the immigrants’ relationships were influenced by the effects the host area felt in terms of the social and economic relevance.
FINDINGS AND DISCUSSION
After researching information from various relevant books and articles about the migration of the Chinese people to the United States, a number of findings were developed. They are discussed below. They are presented according to the objectives, which include the migration of Asians to the U.S. territory, the reasons for the relocation, and the consequences of this movement.
Migration to the U.S Territory
According to Chang (32), many Chinese immigrants have moved to the United States since the 1850s due to pushing factors such as local conflicts and natural calamities back in their homeland. Many of them relocated to the US in the search for a better life by employing for temporary jobs in the agriculture, construction, and mining industries. The decennial census of 1890 shows that over 100,000 Chinese immigrants entered the United States in the search for greener pastures and with the view to escaping problems at home. As a result, in the period between 1850 and 1889, nearly 300,000 immigrants from China were in the US and engaged in various low-skilled jobs in farms, gold mines, and railroad construction.
According to the U.S Census Bureau, in 2006, Los Angeles had a total population of 10 million people. It is the city that houses the largest group of Asians in the United States, which comprise 1.3 million people. Moreover, other immigrants that include the Latino and Hispanic people account for 4.7 million. The population is going to increase by 200% for the Asian immigrants and 187% for the Latino and Hispanic population by 2050 (Hooper and Batalova 1).
The 2006 U.S. census also demonstrated that the foreign-born residents of Los Angeles aged from five years old and above accounted for 35.4%. Moreover, children from immigrant families living in the city accounted for 63% of the total population. Nevertheless, 87% of these kids are registered United States citizens. Also, in 2006, 56.3% of the entire Los Angeles population spoke other languages besides English (Hooper and Batalova 1).
Reasons for the Migration
Elizabeth Sinn noted that the migration of the Chinese people in the 19th century to form the diaspora in the US was caused by the discoveries of gold in California in 1848. Those that migrated used the credit ticket system, according to which they paid the cost of the ticket from their wages after being secured a job. Those that managed to migrate were hired in the gold mines to separate the gold particles from the sand with the help of pans.
According to Ling and Austin, some Chinese immigrants relocated in order to run away from severe rice famine and floods in China in 1847. They add that local conflicts such as the Taiping Rebellion of 1851-1864 forced some Chinese to move to safer places (Ling and Allan 23). Additionally, the loss of the Opium Wars to the British impacted the foreign trade and people involved in it moved in the search for other ways of earning money. Most relocated to the United States with the hope to find jobs in farms, mines, and construction industries.
According to Chang, transcontinental, railroad construction was another reason for the Chinese migration to the United States. When the mining activity declined, Chinese immigrants looked for jobs in the central, south, and north Pacific railroad construction, which employed nearly 14,000 Chinese workers. However, about 1200 Chinese workers died from falls and explosion accidents (Chang 27).
Consequences of the Migration
One of the negative consequences of the migration was the ethnic discrimination and popular anti-Chinese attitudes. Therefore, Chinese immigrants were not allowed to obtain the U.S. citizenship. However, laws were overhauled in 1965 by the enactment of the Immigration and Nationality Act, which increased migration opportunities for people from all over the world (Sinn 37). As of 2006, 65,813 immigrants out of 702,589 living in Los Angeles were naturalized citizens, who had the right to vote (Mai and Bonnie 15). Presently, 54% of the foreign-born Asians are naturalized citizens. They can be insured medically, vote, and attend any school in the US. These opportunities increase their chances to get better jobs and own better housing facilities (Sinn 37). According to the data collected in 2013, more than half of Chinese immigrants are insured by private health companies, which allow them to get a quality treatment in hospitals.
Health Coverage of Chinese Immigrants. All Immigrants, and Native–Born Individuals, 2013
Among the positive consequences of the Chinese migration, there is the development of Chinese banks in the United States. The growth in the number of immigrants had strengthened the trans-Pacific partnership through Chinese firms that existed in California and business strategies they applied. Chinese immigrants also boosted science and engineering knowledge, as well as introduced their technologies that were valuable in California (Lipin). Highly skilled Chinese immigrants contribute to the development of high technological industries. Additionally, in the future, Chinese students enrolled in American universities and colleges will be able to utilize their knowledge in the United States with the view to securing better jobs and living conditions.
Historical ties with China and the United States have led to the economic improvement through business development and trade investments in Los Angeles County. Some of the major advantages that the city gets are investments, increased export, and developed tourism due to tight collaboration with China (Lipin). The growing population due to the growing number of educated Chinese immigrants has created a skilled labor force that uses their knowledge with the view to improving different businesses in Los Angeles.
CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Credible sources provide evidence that Los Angeles County has a high number of Chinese immigrants, and Chinatown, in particular, does. the neighborhood has significantly changed since the early twentieth century with the Asian ethnic group being the majority at all times. Consequently, one of the major factors for the Asian migration, especially the Chinese one, is the search for better life opportunities. From the economic perspective, the turnout of event became obvious due to the inequality that was experienced by the Asians all over Los Angeles, even though the majority concentrated in Chinatown. Substantially, many researches that have been carried out over decades reveal that the traditional perception of the Asian minority has been made a stereotype. Most importantly, these studies have assisted in improving the livelihood of people in Chinatown and those living in similar conditions.
Subsequently, the importance of analyzing the issues facing the immigrants in Central Los Angeles is high. Even though residents of Chinatown are not a representation of Los Angeles’ entire population, a clear revelation of the issues affecting immigrants is crucial. The main problems experienced in Los Angeles, regarding the case of Chinatown, are the lack of proper jobs, public safety, and housing. The study sources reveal that the employment forms a part of the critical problems that are facing immigrants in Los Angeles today. More than a half of the immigrant population based in Chinatown comprises unskilled or semi-skilled labor in the market. Hence, the effect of the workforce depends on many factors such as the level of education, age, distance to home, and physical health.
Moreover, public safety is a vital concern; it is closely associated with the aspect of housing. In this way, immigrants are relating security to their place of residence and where the exact location of their households. Most immigrants spend more on rent for houses that in deplorable states implying that they have enough to keep them there; hence, a concern of the housing affordability is revealed. As a result, the housing status impacts the children’s education because of the associated health issues. Therefore, any current developments that aim at aiding the immigrants in managing their livelihoods should be developed appropriately since they all cause both opportunities and challenges A more comprehensive research should be carried out in line with the developmental programs with the view to ensuring sustainability in the education, housing, and sanitation in order to avoid any inequality.
Even though the Chinese immigrants have experienced different forms of discrimination from the Native American societies in the past, they still cause more positive outcomes as they thrive to cope up with the new situation in sustaining their livelihoods. Currently, the evidence is vivid in the education as Chinese immigrants perform better at school as compared to the natives and other foreigners. Considering the current relationship between China and the United States, the main advantages experienced are improved technology, in particular, because of the fact that immigrants reside due to comprehensive trade networks and tourism industries.
For a particular immigrant, one of the most crucial goals is becoming a citizen of the United States with the view to enjoying all the social benefits such as education, proper housing, health insurance, and public security freely. Regarding this issue, there has been an increase in the number of legal immigrants; therefore, an effort should be made to fully identify the inhabitants through the legal process (Koch, Tucker and Ditz 24). When one is a citizen, then he or she is able to live in the county and enjoy mutual benefits. The immigrants who are legal citizens are able to work and sustain normal living conditions and, in turn, the tax paid can help the government improve their social environment, for example, develop public schools and hospitals.
Additionally, the immigrants should make an effort to enroll in immigrant investment centers in their particular regions. The immigrants can come up with developmental projects; consequently, with the maintenance of individual companies, they may enjoy profits of the identified, qualified, and running programs. In California, it is evident that investors have been attracted by the centers and invested in their projects. In such a manner, they contribute to the economy of the region. Today, California has 155 region centers (Gillenwater 1).
These region centers provide an economic unit that has private or public involvement in the local productivity. The output involves attracting stakeholders, who have the ability of improving the region’s infrastructure in terms of the housing industry, education institutes, communication, and security facilities. Moreover, there will be an increase in the business because of the capital investment and employment opportunities for the immigrants. The whole process contributes entirely to a country’s productivity and finally its economic growth as asserted by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).