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Four Generations of Norteños: New Research from the Cradle of Mexican Migration

Wayne A. Cornelius, David Scott FitzGerald, and Scott Borger, editors
Four Generations of Norteños: New Research from the Cradle of Mexican Migration
ISBN: 978-0-9800560-1-3
ISBN: 978-0-9800560-0-6
2009/250 pages/LC: 2007050007
CCIS Anthologies, Vol. 5
Distributed for the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at the University of California, San Diego
"Each essay contains new, fascinating, unexpected nuggets of fresh data.... There is not a boring chapter or irrelevant topic raised. Essential."—Choice


Choice Outstanding Academic Book!

Drawing on decades of fieldwork in a high-emigration town in central Mexico, as well as a thousand recent interviews, the authors chart the town's evolution from a source of short-term contract laborers during World War II to a present-day exporter of undocumented and legal migrants, many of whom now settle permanently in the US and have US-born children. They investigate how people-smuggling operates, whether border enforcement affects decisions to migrate, and migration's impact on family, health, and the hometown economy. Their work sheds important new light on debates central to international migration studies.

Watch a video clip of the book as it was featured on a segment about border security on the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric.


Wayne A. Cornelius is director emeritus of the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies (CCIS), University of California, San Diego (UCSD). David Scott FitzGerald is Theodore E. Gildred Chair in US-Mexican Relations, professor of sociology at UCSD, and co-director of CCIS. Scott Borger is an economist with the US Office of Immigration Statistics.


  • The Dynamics of Migration: Who Migrates? Who Stays? Who Settles Abroad?—J. Jarvis, A. Ponce, S. Rodríguez, and L. Cajigal García.
  • Is US Border Enforcement Working?—J. Sisco and J. Hicken.
  • Coyotaje: The Structure and Functioning of the People-Smuggling Industry —J. Fuentes and O. García.
  • Jumping the Legal Hurdles: Getting Visas, Green Cards, and US Citizenship—L. Vázquez, M. Luna Gómez, E. Law, and K. Valentine.
  • Development in a Remittance Economy: What Options Are Viable?—A. Macías, P. Nichols, E. Díaz, and A. Frenkel.
  • Outsiders in Their Own Hometown? The Process of Dissimilation—J. Serrano, K. Dodge, G. Hernández, and E. Valencia.
  • Families in Transition: Migration and Gender Dynamics in Sending and Receiving Communities—L. Muse-Orlinoff, J. Córdova, L. del Carmen Angulo, M. Kanungo, and R. Rodríguez.
  • The Migrant Health Paradox Revisited—E. Oristian, P. Sweeney, V. Puentes, J. Jiménez, and M. Ruiz.
  • Appendix.