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Latin American Migrations to the U.S. HeartlandChanging Social Landscapes in Middle America$
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Linda Allegro and Andrew Grant Wood

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780252037665

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252037665.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 28 May 2022

Immigrant Integration and the Changing Public Discourse

Immigrant Integration and the Changing Public Discourse

The Case of Emporia, Kansas

(p.222) Chapter 9 Immigrant Integration and the Changing Public Discourse
Latin American Migrations to the U.S. Heartland

László J. Kulcsár

Albert Iaroi

University of Illinois Press

This chapter discusses the public discourse around the integration process of immigrant Latino workers in Emporia, Kansas. It employs aggregate statistical analysis, media-content analysis, and key-informant interviews to examine how the public discourse has changed over time. Particular attention is given to the arrival of the Somali refugee workers that subsequently altered the discourse on immigrant-worker integration. Findings show that the community perception of Latin Americans shifted significantly once a culturally and ethnically less similar group arrived in town. The discussion includes the role of local actors in immigrant integration with an emphasis on their main employer, Tyson Foods. Contrary to the general challenges of immigrant integration, revolving largely around unauthorized migrants, in this case the difficulty had to do with integrating legal immigrants who had racial and religious differences from not only the mainstream community but from the dominant minority as well.

Keywords:   immigrant Latino workers, immigrant worker integration, Somali refugee workers, Tyson Foods, legal immigrants, religious differences, racial differences

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