Inequalities and Newcomers: Barriers to Immigrant Incorporation: Title slide: Over the past 40 years there has been

strong evidence that America has become more "open" and "fair," affording opportunities to broader segments of the society and establishing legal rights and policies that are aimed at promoting a more meritocratic system. Yet, as we witnessed this past week with the passage SB1070 in Arizona, which in essence requires law enforcement to specifically targeting individuals because of their ethnic differences, in other words “looking Mexican,” we may recognize that “open” and “fair” are not uniformly applied to all. Documented and undocumented immigrant groups today face structural and social impediments that have limited their acceptance in the social, political and legal realms. Universal rights that have been the foundation of western democracies are denied to immigrants seeking work, education, healthcare, and housing in the United States. Thus, integration of many migrant groups may be restricted by the social and political context of reception in the US. Though here as refugees, asylum seekers, visiting students, or guest workers, we find that many immigrants are denied their legal rights, relegating them to the status of “second class” simply for having been born in another country. Next slide: Fareed Zakaria wrote in his book “The post-American World” that The potential for a new burst of American productivity depends not on our education system or R&D spending, but on our immigration policies. If these people are allowed and encouraged to stay, then innovation will happen here. If they leave, they'll take it with them. While we recognize the innovation and diversity that comes with liberal immigration policies, our local climate has not been inviting and encouraging migrants to live among us... Next slide: This presentation will discuss just one of the barriers that immigrants experience in trying to become incorporated into the local community. In particular, this talk will present recent, local research on inequitable access to safe, affordable, and fair housing for immigrants and other minorities.

Housing discrimination in the form of a lack of access to credit, steering, denial of access to properties, and lack of adequate transportation choices are structural impediment that lead to fewer educational opportunities for immigrant children, greater exposure to damaging environmental conditions resulting in chronic health problems, the formation of isolated ethnic enclaves, and has limited opportunities for cultural diversity in many neighborhoods throughout Greensboro. I will focus primarily on issues with rental housing for immigrants and minorities but I will touch on other housing related issues. Next slide: I will frame the talk as a universal human rights issue... anchoring it in Articles 13, 14, and 25 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Next slide: According to Article 13. (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state. (2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country. In essence this article declares that Freedom of movement is a basic human right. It is grounded in the historical evidence that for many millennia before the rise of cities, provinces, countries, and the nation-state people moved seeking better conditions of life. It does not say that this should be an unregulated right in the modern political era, but that individuals should be treated equally and fairly when exercising their choice to move either within their own country or across national political boundaries. The human right to movement should not be determined by race/ethnicity, religious doctrine, family status, political ideology, sex, gender, sexuality, or economic status. Yet, we restrict immigration to the United States on the basis of all of these characteristics with a system that offers preference to those with large sums of capital and higher education while limiting or even denying people with lower socio-economic statuses and those who are least like us in ethnicity, religion, or ideology. Next slide:

In reality, less that 3% of the world’s population, or about 300 million people, have exercised this right to movement as permanent migrants outside of their countries of origin. Of this flow, about 1.1 million legal permanent migrants make their way to the United States. Next slide: Article 14. (1) Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution. (2) This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations. Next slide: okay... So you can’t run off if you rob a bank or something and declare it is your right to escape to another country, but it is your right to seek refuge when “owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted on account of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion, is outside the country of their nationality, and is unable to or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail him/herself of the protection of that country” In simpler terms, if you are afraid of harm because of who you are as a member of a class of people, and you can get out of your own country then you have a right to protection outside your homeland. We have seen a decline in recent years of the number of refugees and asylees being allowed to seek protection from persecution in the US. Next slide: Of the global pool of 300 million migrants, 50 million of these people are classified as “forced migrants” or refugees who were not exercising a right, but fleeing war, natural disasters, and political turmoil. The USA receives only about 60 thousand of them per year now, granting Legal Permanent Residence to only about 160,000 annually. Next slide: Now… as for that great ‘grey’ area of undocumented migration, we have seen the recent numbers decline, and in some areas a reverse flow of migrants returning home. The Pew Hispanic Center notes, that “From 2000 to early 2005, the unauthorized immigrant population grew by an annual net average of about 525,000. The growth pattern started changing substantially

in 2005. From 2005 to 2008, annual growth has averaged 275,000 undocumented immigrants.” So in sum, we are talking about an annual inflow counting refugees, asylees, and all other documented and undocumented migrants of about 1.5 to 2 million into a population of 310 million in the United States. The best estimates place the total accumulated foreign born population at just under 40 million or about 13% of the population. The official estimates from the Census Bureau of the foreign born in Greensboro-High Point Metropolitan Statistical Area are at 5.7% of the total population. The most liberal estimates from the anti-immigration group ‘FAIR’ places the tally at 7.6%. This amounts to roughly 50,000 individuals born outside of the US, living in the Greensboro area. So we are talking about a small, but significant and highly visible portion of the population. Next slide: Article 25. Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family Next slide: Let’s look more closely Next slide: (1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control. Wow! This is a very broad and encompassing right. Citizens of the US have never fully experienced this right… we have had issues with 12% unemployment, food insecurity, lack of medical care, great holes in social service provision, homelessness and substandard housing. This Right will be instrumental in informing the rest of this talk. Next slide: Yes, I know I am supposed to be talking about discrimination in rental housing in Greensboro, but

Next slide: Let's talk about just a few of the mechanism driving migration from Latin America for a few moments before returning to the issues of housing and human rights... Next slide: There are a number of factors “pushing” migrants out of Mexico: lack of work, few educational opportunities, crime, poor life chances and a lack of social support from the government. In other words, these circumstances, beyond the control of any everyday individual, have lead to an inadequate standard of living for the health and well-being of families. Next slide: Moreover, it was the US that contributed greatly to these conditions… Lets take for example one agricultural commodity – corn. In 1990, about 1/4 of Mexico's residents depended on corn farming. There were between three and four million corn farmers trying to support families that include four or five children on milpas, or small corn farms. As a result of NAFTA and the US flooding the Mexican corn market, prices have fallen sharply: from an average of $5 a bushel in 1995 to $1.80 in 2000. Small family farms in Mexico were unable to compete with the US subsidized, combine farms and genetically modified super corn which produced mass surpluses that were shipped to Latin America, Eastern Europe, Africa and other developing areas. Displaced farmers and their families were forced from their lands to work first in Mexico City or move north and look for work across the border. This did not only affect the farmer, but subsequent generations who have lost family lands and livelihood. And this is but a single commodity… Next slide: One interviewee that I had said it succinctly, “I come from Mexico. Right? I had to leave my homeland, my city, and my parents. Right? I had to leave them, because my economic situation there in Mexico was a little difficult and I had to leave that place so that I could come here...Right. To leave all these things, in my case to better my living condition and to be here with my wife and children.”

In the terms of human rights he exercised Articles 13, 14, and 25 or his right of mobility to seek protection from harm across the border in order to secure an adequate standard of living for his wife and children… something most of you would do in a similar situation. Next slide: It is not just people being forced out of their lands and pushed out of a country with a dysfunctional political or social support system, but from the late 1980s to mid 2000s a demand in this country for cheap labor. This demand encouraged a constant flow of as many able-bodied migrants as possible from Mexico and further South, while simultaneously legalizing the importation high-tech and medical workers from Asia. The country gained from these low cost workers – cheaper consumer goods, cheaper housing, cheaper and more abundant produce, cheaper nurses, and even discounts on the price of engineers and scientists… Our abundance created a labor vacuum that sucked in workers at all socio-economic levels… Next slide: The country rapidly became more diverse. North Carolina experienced a boom in its Hispanic population drawn initially for farming but later for housing construction and small factories. Next slide: GREENSBORO – Like much of the South, the Greensboro-High-Point, NC, Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) has undergone rapid diversification as a result of migration.. According to the Greensboro City Planning Department (1993, 2003), the proportion of the population that is African American increased about 50 percent in the last 40 years. By comparison, the Latino population has increased 800 percent in the last fifteen years to about 7.2 percent of the population (US Census Bureau ACS 2006). The overall picture is one of a city that once experienced racial binary, a white-majority-African American-minority framework, to one that has become less white and less binary, such that Asians, Latinos, biracial and multiracial adults, and others in addition to African Americans and whites, have become a visible part of the everyday social landscape.

Next slide: Let’s recall that everyone in this multiethnic, multicultural landscape should be afforded the opportunities to an adequate standard of living, regardless of where they are from or how they got here… Next slide: Let’s move now to a discussion of fair housing and ways in which we have been testing the adherence to federal laws that protect rights to housing opportunities. Next slide: Forty years ago, the Fair Housing Act of 1968 became law, but despite some improvements, testing has revealed continuing patterns of housing discrimination against minorities. Next slide: Following are the findings from four recent studies of housing segregation and discrimination in Greensboro. These studies examine discrimination as just one of the causes of the segregation of immigrants. The first study looks at community perceptions of housing discrimination. The subsequent finds evidence of structural barriers to mortgage loans. The third presents evidence from a 2008 audit of rental properties. Finally, a recently completed study using surveys, focus groups and paired testing was conducted by FaithAction staffers. Collectively these findings illustrate the complexity of race and immigrant status, discrimination, and their relationship to housing segregation in the South. Next slide: UNCG’s Social Research Group together with colleagues at A&T conducted a study of the state of human relations in Greensboro between January and June of 2008. The purpose of the study was to provide data and recommendations to the Human Relations Department of the City of Greensboro for their Five Year Strategic Plan. The study examined discrimination, access to opportunities, and inter-group relations in the areas of employment/economics, housing, education, and law enforcement. The project used a mixed-method research design for data collection and included a review of previous research; focus groups throughout the city; indepth interviews; as well as 1168 written, face-to-face, and web-based surveys.

A recurrent theme that emerged from interviews with key informants on the issue of housing was the perception that immigrants and African Americans were “closed out” of housing opportunities In this table we see that 16% of African American and 28% of Latino surveyed reported that they had been prevented from buying or renting a property because of their ethnicity. Moreover 41% of Latinos felt that they had difficulty with neighbors because of their ethnicity and 34% had moved because of these difficulties. Next slide: The Human Relations study provided good evidence from interviewees about the perception of unfair treatment among minorities and provides some quantifiable evidence of the incidence of perceived discrimination. Other studies have corroborated these findings. Discrimination may occur at different stages in the process of buying a home. Yet, the final measure would be whether or not a house is sold or a mortgage loan is approved. It would be very difficult, not to mention costly, to conduct testing with the actual origination of a loan and purchase of a home as the final outcome. Thus, data from actual loans must be analyzed for patterns of disproportionality in approvals or denials on the basis of racial or ethnic characteristics of the borrower. This is possible as the Loan Application Register (LAR), a standard reporting form submitted by lending institutions to the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC), is readily available and reported in a public use dataset as per the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) of 1975. The LAR captures information regarding the type of loan, the type of property, the purpose of the loan, whether the property will be owner occupied, the loan amount, if pre-approval was requested, and the action taken on the loan application. A common methodology for analysis of this data is logistic regression which looks at the proportional odds of approval controlling for various characteristics of the loan seeker; Looking at 2006 data, there were 65,970 loan applications in the Greensboro - High Point MSA. Probabilities of loan acceptance were plotted and logistic regression was used to predict the odds that a loan application would be approved when holding constant the loan characteristics, property characteristics, applicant characteristics, and community factors. Minorities were found to be less likely to receive loan approval than white applicants. More than two-thirds (70.3 percent) of applications made by white primary applicants were approved. In comparison, only 54.9 percent of applications from non-white primary applicants were approved. This 15.4 percentage point difference was found to be statistically significant. Thus we can say

that when all other factors were equal non-whites were less likely to receive loans for housing purchases… Next slide: A systematic audit study was conducted pairing trained Latino, white, and African American testers and sending them into rental units to gauge disparate outcomes. Early housing discrimination studies have revealed that housing agents use steering, discouragement, evasion, misrepresentation, withholding information, delay, and differential screening and pricing, or downright refusal to do business with nonwhites. After the passage of the Fair Housing Act in 1968, local fair housing advocacy organizations began developing what is now the methodological centerpiece of housing discrimination investigation: the fair housing audit. Next slide: The testing procedure is designed to measure differences in access to the property, quoted costs on rent and deposit, differences in information, and encouragement to rent. The properties in this study were randomly selected from local advertisements. The sampling frame was limited to “affordable” properties at or below the 2007 Fair Market Rent for a two-bedroom unit at that time $705. Weekly we tested 2 to 3 percent of available two-bedroom rental units meeting this description. A total of 46 pairs of tests were conducted. Next slide: We found that whites were disproportionately favored over African Americans in access to the properties such as found in this property. In this test we clearly see how a landlord limits access by imposing impossible restrictions on the potential African American tester, but not the white tester. Measures of disparity in access to the property for the bilingual, professional Latinos showed little to no difference with whites. However rental agents asked them about family size in a more than a third of the tests (compared with 13.6 percent of whites, and 9.1 percent of African Americans), and several Latino testers noted questions about their legal status. Next slide:

White testers making inquiries of properties in historically African American communities were sometimes steered away from these neighborhoods such as we see reflected here. Next slide: In the survey conducted by FaithAction we found that immigrants felt they were treated differently than others on a daily basis. About 47% felt they were treated with less courtesy while going about their daily lives. Next slide: 40% felt that they were treated as if they were not as smart as others because of their accent or other markers of nationality Next slide: In the focus groups we found that safe and affordable housing along public transit routes was severely limited. This is significant since many immigrant households are dependent on busses to move about the city. Next slide: Lack of a credit history was problematic for even those with high socioeconomic status as many landlords charge higher rents or deposits for those with no credit score. Next slide: But the most egregious problem was outright denial of housing on the basis of ethnicity or national origin. Nearly a third of focus group participants had unfairly been prevented from moving into an apartment. Next slide: Audit test were less revealing this time. In 7 of 18 tests (39% of tests) there was some kind of discrepancy noted in the pre-visit telephone call. The property audits also produced a high number of discrepancies. For example, in 6 of 18 visits (33%), the rental price was not in agreement. Yet, no one audit case provided conclusive evidence of violations of Fair Housing laws, there were instances of unequal rental or deposit costs, dissimilar information, and differing kinds of encouragement found yet nothing as blatant as in our earlier study. Next slide: To sum it all up….

Our study of the perception of discrimination has shown that Latinos perceive a greater degree of housing-related discrimination than whites and African Americans. In our analysis of mortgage data we found immigrant and minority home buyers were less likely to be approved for home loans than white applicants when all other factors were held constant. In our tests of rental housing, we found educated, bilingual Latino apartments seekers faired better than equally matched African American renters. Yet, they were also asked more often about family size and legal status than their audit pairs. Focus groups with West African and Latino tenants indicated that they have limited housing choices, experience cultural insensitivity by management and staff, have problems with maintenance and substandard housing, and are charged excessive fees. Next slide: These conditions do not prove to be open and inviting to immigrants coming to the area. Whether arriving as economically displaced workers or refugees fleeing a war, immigrants in the US have the same universal human rights to an adequate standard of living. Next slide: More importantly our fair housing laws in this country have made it an obligation for landlords, mortgage brokers, banks, and real estate agents to provide the same level of service to all home seekers. Next slide: So, what is our next step? We have proposed a follow up audit survey using a method known as ‘accented caller telephone testing’ that will give us the opportunity to test a statistically significant number of properties. Here is an example… Next slide: Thank you very much for your time and attention, I would be happy to attempt to address any question you might have at this time.

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