The Politics of Immigrant Integration in the Chicago Metro Area
This chapter also takes up immigrant integration in the context of a strong political machine, persistent black-white cleavages, and intense neighborhood identification and competition in Chicago. These factors created an opening for white Democratic mayors to include Latino immigrants in their voting base as white ethnic voting declined—a strategy that did not prevent an insurgent Latino candidate from challenging the mayor in 2015. More broadly, the chapter suggests that the presence of Eastern European immigrants has diminished the appetite of greater Chicago's native-born white population to “racialize” the immigrant integration debate. It points to variation between different suburbs and also underscores the importance of immigrant-oriented social services at the county and state level won by immigrant social justice organizations. Finally, the chapter considers whether the presence of regionalist efforts “spill over” to a more positive frame around immigrant integration.
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