Montgomery counties, Fairfax, racial minorities, Washington D.C., Fairfax County, Montgomery County, Government Printing Office, United States, middle class, Washington Post, governments, immigrants, Thomas Jefferson, school board, population, metropolitan areas, Yale University Press, Brookings Institution, bureaucratic incorporation, Montgomery, county supervisors, American Political Science Association Meeting, immigrant clients, demographic change, incorporation, DC, underrepresented minorities, Washington DC, Arlington County School Board, Los Angeles metro area, Alexandria, Loudoun County, affirmative action program, population lives, outlying suburbs, neighborhood associations, Montgomery County, Maryland, Frederick counties, Prince George's County, political scientists, electoral representation, bureaucratic agencies, English language learning, suburban Washington DC, ethnic diversity, public charter school, American politics, Fairfax school systems, magnet high school, Jefferson High School, public school system, James Q. Wilson, elementary schools, suburbanization, Government Department, suburban politics, immigrant population, political processes, Russell Sage Foundation, bureaucracies, U.S. Census Bureau, middle school, FX County school superintendent, Bureaucratic Incorporation of Immigrants, demographic trends, Fairfax county public schools, affirmative action
The Bureaucratic Incorporation of Immigrants in Suburbia Michael Jones-Correa Contact Information: Government Department Cornell University
White Hall Ithaca, NY 14853 [email protected]
(607) 255-3170 Prepared for presentation at the conference on "Immigration to the United States: New Sources and Destinations," Russell Sage Foundation, New York; February 3-4, 2005. Draft: comments and suggestions welcome; citation with permission of the author.
2 The Bureaucratic Incorporation of Immigrants in Suburbia Introduction: The Transformation of Suburbia The politics of suburbs are easily trivialized and ignored, like the strip malls that line the sides of roads, and the housing tucked behind sound barriers along highways. Yet this is where most Americans live, and suburbs constitute the center of gravity of American politics
: the place where American politics now tips in one direction or another, bolstering or breaking the national ambitions of politicians and parties. In the past suburban politics was more easily skipped because these politics, like the suburbs themselves, seemed so homogenous. The suburbs were seen as bland places with bland politics. This may have been precisely what drew people to settle there: there were no raucous conflicts, no grand causes. Instead there was agreement about taxes, services and quality of life issues, and politics was expressed in the reassuring language of management, the management of schools and zoning, or garbage pickups and recycling, eased by the prosperity of suburbia. In the 1970s, however, even as many suburbs were just entering their prime, this vision of politics was already flawed. Suburbs were becoming more diverse, and with diversity came increasing contestation over the resources suburbs had to offer. By the 1980s, the demographic trends reflected in school attendance, home sales and business ownership clearly indicated that the diversity of suburbia was accelerating, but these trends were still relatively invisible, and so again, easily ignored. By the 1990s, though, it was clear that these new demographic trends were neither going to disappear or reverse themselves: around the United States suburbia was looking more like America. The cause of this was both the suburbanization of native-born ethnic and racial minorities, and the new immigration. Native-born minorities, like their white-ethnic counterparts a generation earlier, were increasingly seeking a better life for themselves and their children outside central cities. Immigrants settling in the US were making similar choices: where to find better schools, safer streets, more jobs? As a result, these new arrivals increasingly skipped central cities and moved directly to suburbs. In 2000, 52 percent of immigrants resided in suburbs.1 Thanks in large part to the suburbanization of immigrants, the percentages of ethnic and racial minorities in suburbs have increased dramatically as well: in 2000 33 percent of blacks, 45 percent of Latinos and 51 percent of Asian-Americans lived in suburbs.2 These figures indicate that the 1 Census 2000 Summary File 1, 100 Percent Data. Versus 48 percent in 1999; see A. Dianne Schmidley and Campbell Gibson, Profile of the Foreign Born Population in the United States. Current Population Reports, U.S. Census Bureau (U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington D.C., 1999). 2 Census 2000 Summary File 1, 100 Percent Data. Jesse McKinnon and Karen Humes, black population
in the United States, March 1999 Current Population Reports, U.S. Census Bureau (U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington D.C., 2000); Karen Humes and Jesse McKinnon, Asian and Pacific Islander Population
3 suburbanization of immigrants and minorities is approaching that of the population as a whole. These patterns of suburbanization are very uneven. In 2000 there were 102 metropolitan areas with populations greater than 500,000. These 102 metro areas had quite distinct demographic patterns: fifty of these 102 were `white-dominant' metro areas; that is, metro areas with overwhelmingly large white populations, and small populations of ethnic and racial minorities. These 50 metro areas had 51 million people, accounting for 18 percent of the total US population. Twenty-five of these largest metropolitan areas were `black/white' metro areas, with 39.8 million people, or 14 percent of the US population. These were metropolitan areas whose populations were largely native born, and overwhelmingly black or white. Finally, there were 35 melting pot metros, with 83.2 million people, representing 30 percent of the US population. In these metro areas, non-whites were the majority of the population, with non-whites drawing from a range of racial and ethnic groups
, including Asian Americans, Latinos, and African American
s. In short, much of the diversification and suburbanization of ethnic and racial minorities is occurring in a relatively small number of large metropolitan areas that are immigrant gateways. This is all to say that suburbs, like the nation as a whole, are still largely white:3 54 percent of whites live in suburbs, making up 75 percent of the suburban population.4 This is largely true even in the `melting pot' metros, which have significant non-white populations. Non-white racial and racial groups moving to suburbia are entering a context where they are, for the most part, and for the moment, clearly minorities. DC as a Case study
Table 1: Top Ten Immigrant Populations by Metropolitan Area, 2000 Census
Rank Metropolitan area
in the United States, March 1999 Current Population Reports, U.S. Census Bureau (U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington D.C. 2000); www.census.gov/populationsocdemo/hispanic/cps99/tab16-1.txt 3 Meaning `non-Hispanic' white; `black' in this paper refers to `non-Hispanic black,' and `Asian' to `non- Hispanic' Asian. 4 That 75 percent is greater than the 69 percent whites make up in the general population, meaning whites are somewhat over-represented in suburbia.
4 Metropolitan Washington D.C. is one of these thirty-five `melting pot' metropolitan areas, and indeed, the 7th largest recipient of immigrants among urban areas
in the US--a fact which comes as a surprise even to many of those living there (see Table 1). Residents of the DC area don't think of themselves as residing in an area of high immigration, even as they see its effects all around them. Like its brethren, over the last twenty years Washington D.C. has experienced rapid demographic change. Its population grew by 16 percent over the last ten years (a larger increase than any other comparable metropolitan area, outstripping growth in Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago, for instance). In 2000 the metropolitan area numbered 5.4 million people, up from 4.7 million in 1990, making it among the dozen largest in the U.S., though not nearly as large as the two behemoths of New York and Los Angeles. The D.C. metropolitan area is also overwhelmingly suburban; Washington D.C. accounts for only 10 percent of the region's population. While the population of the District of Columbia itself has continued to shrink (by 6 percent between 1990 and 2000), the Northern Virginia suburbs grew by 25 percent, and those in Maryland by 17 percent. Much of the growth of the region's population over the last decade has been due to the increase of immigrants and minorities (African-Americans, Asian-Americans and Latinos) in the greater Washington D.C. area. The D.C. metro region has ranked in the top ten immigrant recipient areas of the country since the early 1980s, and the D.C. suburbs have ranked high among the residential preferences of the nation's burgeoning black middle class. Beginning in 1970, the metro area's immigrant population has basically doubled each decade, jumping from 489,668 in 1990 to 832,016 in 2000 alone. African-Americans are the largest minority group in the metro area, making up 22 percent of the population. Asian and Latin American immigrants and their descendants make up approximately 15 percent of the population. Salvadorans are the single largest immigrant group, but only make up 10.5 percent of the total immigrant population. The top ten immigrant nationality groups (from El Salvador, Vietnam, India, China, THE Philippines
, South Korea
, Ethiopia, Iran, Pakistan and Peru) account for only half of all immigrants to the area [see chart below]. The immigrant population in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area is somewhat more diverse than that of other major metro areas, but it is not atypical of suburban immigrant populations along the eastern seaboard. The metro region is often thought of as comprised of three distinct locales: the slowgrowth `urban core' (the District of Columbia, Arlington county, and the city of Alexandria); the `inner suburbs' (Montgomery and Prince George's counties in Maryland, and Fairfax county in Virginia); and the fast-growing `outer counties' to the west (Virginia's Loudoun and Maryland's Frederick counties) (see Figure 1). Though growth is most evident on the margins of the metro area, the largest employment sectors, and hence populations, are in the inner suburbs. The Washington area's two largest `inner suburbs,' Fairfax county in Virginia, and Montgomery County in Maryland, are the setting for the analysis presented here.
5 In 1990 immigrants and ethnic/racial minorities were still largely residing in DC and it's the `urban core', suburbs like Alexandria and Arlington. These areas are still attracting significant numbers of new arrivals: in 2000, ethnic and racial minorities made up almost half of the population in Arlington and Alexandria (44 and 46 percent respectively) However by 2000 ethnic and racial minorities also made up more then 75 percent of the population in Prince George's County, 40 percent of that in neighboring Montgomery County, and 32 percent of Fairfax County in northern Virginia, indicating that these groups were moving outward into the middle ring of suburbs circling Washington DC, and increasingly into the far suburbs of Loudoun, Prince William and Frederick counties. Minority populations vary considerably by municipality, but are present in substantial numbers even in the outlying suburbs in areas like Loudoun County (whose population, by 2000, included 17 percent minorities). But why pick Washington DC as a locus of study? First, The DC metro area is largely suburban. More than 80 percent of the area's population lives outside the central city of the District of Columbia. Fairfax and Montgomery counties, the two most populous counties in the area, each have about a million residents, compared with under a half million for the District itself. Second, the DC metropolitan area has a `clean' governing structure, which simplifies comparisons among its various units. The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, the umbrella organization of the region's
governments, has only 19 members, including the governments of Washington D.C. itself and its surrounding counties. Though county governments are arguably equally important in other `melting pot' metros like New York, Los Angeles, or Miami, a comparable organization in the Los Angeles metro area would have close to a hundred member governments, while one in Miami-Ft. Lauderdale would have over sixty. Third, the area allows for comparisons of a single metro area across two quite distinct states-- Maryland and Virginia. The two states contrast political leanings (liberal vs conservative), as well as (and perhaps relatedly) their approach to delegation of powers to their localities. Virginia is a Dillon's rule state, regarding municipalities largely as creatures of the states, which Maryland delegates many powers to its localities.
Table 2 presented below is an outline of the set of salient issues by surveying news stories in which race, ethnicity and/or immigration plays a role appearing in the Metro section of the Washington Post over the past nine years (1995-2004). As the survey of news stories indicates, traditionally low-key issues in suburban politics become increasingly politicized with the arrival of new ethnic and racial minorities.
Table 2: Issue Areas and Arenas, Washington, D.C.
General Issue Specific Issue
planning commission, county supervisors
planning commission, county supervisors
Housing Discrimination county human rights
Mortgage Discrimination county human rights commissions, lenders
housing market, realtors
housing market, Fannie Mae
county supervisors, school board
Gifted & Talented
school board, federal courts
Quality of Life Overcrowding
county planning boards, neighborhood associations
county planning boards, neighborhood associations
county planning boards, neighborhood associations
county planning boards, neighborhood associations
Day Laborer Sites
Social Services Bilingual Translation courts, county/city agencies
county and school boards
county and school boards
7 My favorite example is zoning (for more on this and related issues, see Jones-Correa 2002). As ethnic and racial minorities move to suburbs, they often encounter the unpleasant reality that housing is at a premium and therefore expensive. To be able to afford living in suburbia, many of these new arrivals have to pursue a number of strategies such as taking on boarders--whether family relations or not--to help share costs. This often involves turning a single-family home into a multiple family residence. The question is where to park all those cars? Neighbors complain. Residing in suburbia has always been about keeping to a set of standards, whether imposed by deed covenants, zoning ordinances, neighborhood association by-laws or local legislation. The changing demography of suburbs in the D.C. area have begun to undermine these standards, however, as less well off minorities move into what had been largely white, middle class neighborhoods. In this situation, local officials must decide how, and if, to enforce `quality of life' ordinances. Zoning codes and regulations, for instance, set limits on how much square footage must be available per person, how many unrelated people can share space, and what rooms can be used as sleeping quarters. In Montgomery County, Maryland, zoning rules prohibit more than five unrelated adults in the same house. The county also has per-person square footage requirements and fire safety regulations relating to sleeping quarters. Homeowners can rent rooms to as many as two boarders, but only if they all share a kitchen. Separate apartments built into single-family homes are allowed only by special permit.5 Each of these regulations is meant to guarantee health and safety standards. In 2000, a bill introduced by a representative from Fairfax County passed the Virginia Senate; the bill would have banned sleeping in any room except bedrooms. In practice the effect of the law, had it passed, would have been to set limits on the use of singlefamily housing by extended families or unrelated adults. However, the bill was subsequently withdrawn after protests that it was anti-immigrant.6 Since then, though, a number of municipalities have passed other ordinances seeking similar ends. In 2002, the Fairfax City Council passed legislation restricting the extent to which homeowners could pave their front lawns, again in the name of preserving neighborhood property value
s and quality of life.7 The root of the issue lies in the fact that as suburban single-family housing has been converted into multi-family use, adults in these households have to get to work. In the suburbs, this often means owning a car. The driveways in older, smaller houses in D.C.'s suburban neighborhoods were not designed to handle two or more cars. The easiest solution is simply to pave over the front yard, turning it into parking. Arlington, Alexandria and the District of Columbia had already passed similar 5 Jo Becker, Suburban Crowding Arouses Tensions: Immigrants Jam Affordable Housing," Washington Post, May 3, 2002, p. A01. 6 Jonathan Kaufman, "Immigrant Homebuyers See Bias Against Many Relatives Sharing the Same Roof," Wall Street Journal, January 10, 2002. 7 The new Fairfax law forbids drivers to park on anything but the pavement on their property. In the case of a lot of one-third to three-quarters of an acre, no more than 25 percent of the front yard can be paved over. See: Lisa Rein and David Cho, "In Defense of the Front Lawn," Washington Post, June 4, 2002, p. A01.
8 legislation, while the Montgomery County council passed a less strict version of parking limits (applying only to businesses).8 *** Two central questions emerge from the initial list of issues reflected in the coverage by the Washington Post. The first is: What are the implications of suburbanization for immigrants, ethnic mobilization, and ethnic ID? The study of immigrant incorporation focuses on central cities; what difference does the dispersal of immigrants in a very different spatial and institutional landscape have on their mobilization and ID? Despite the fact that half of all first generation immigrants living in suburbia, there really is no study that looks at suburbs as a distinctive setting for the political and economic incorporation of immigrants. The second question is what are the implications of increasing ethnic and racial diversity for suburban politics and governments? How do county and municipal governments
respond to increasing diversity? What are the implications for suburban, and by extension, US politics? The study of suburban politics--places where more than half of all Americans live--still based on presuppositions formed in the 1960s and 70s. For instance, suburban politics is often typecast by political scientists as largely about allocative rather than about redistributive issues. How does this change with increasing diversity? For the purposes of this paper, my focus will be on the second question: the implications of diversity for thinking about politics in suburbia. Data The evidence for the analysis is drawn from a variety of sources, including local media, government and non-governmental publications and the like, but is primarily drawn from more than 100 interviews with actors in the public and private sector conducted in the Washington D.C. area in 2003-2004.9 There were four clusters of interviews: with immigrant organizations, elected representatives, and educational arena and bureaucrats in county agencies. This paper draws particularly on the clusters of interviews conducted with county bureaucrats and educational administrators. Twenty-seven of these interviews were with school administrators, school board officials, PTA leaders and other actors in the education field; another 23 were with representatives of various local bureaucracies: officials from departments of health and Human Services
or zoning, police, librarians and the like. Puzzles In Suburban Politics 8 David Plotz, "A Suburb All Grown Up and Paved Over," New York Times, June 19, 2002. 9 The author conducted these interviews, together with Lorrie Frasure of the University of Maryland and Junsik Yoon of George Washington
9 The fieldwork highlighted a number of puzzles--aspects or outcomes of politics or policy in suburban Washington DC that did not square with the way political scientists tend to think about political processes. One has to do with the discussion of ethnic diversity and magnet schools in Northern Virginia. Schooling is central to the pact between middle class homebuyers and taxpayers and suburban government. Fairfax and Montgomery counties run two of the best school districts in the country. Both have extensive use of magnet schools. Fairfax county public schools
have a large accelerated program for children in elementary, intermediate and high school, but only one magnet high school--Thomas Jefferson High School, with entry by exam. Up until 1998 Fairfax an affirmative action program for minority students--allowed under-represented minorities to fill perhaps 10% of the seats. The county's affirmative action program was scuttled in the wake of the Supreme Court
's decision in Tuttle v Arlington County School Board, which struck down the weighted lottery system used to adjust for race, immigration and other factors in the admissions process for a public charter school in the county. After affirmative action ended, the presence of underrepresented minorities in programs like Thomas Jefferson plummeted. FX County school superintendent intervened to propose a new program: instead of top test takers
in the county admitted, instead top students from each middle school
. Since middle schools tend to be relatively segregated, then this would automatically mean more immigrant and minority kids in the magnet high school. But with only a limited number of openings in the high school, this meant redistributing slots away from the high school's traditional `feeder' schools with a large upper middle class white constituency. Politically, why would the school superintendent get into the mess of trying to redistribute fixed resources? Why risk aggravating politically active middle class parents? The second puzzle center around library book purchases. Between 2000 and 2003, many counties in the United States were going through severe budgetary crises, perhaps the most severe suffered since the depression of the 1930s. Fairfax and Montgomery counties were no exception. In Fairfax County, for instance, libraries had 30 percent of their budgets cut. Foreign language books were expensive, used by only a small portion of their readership--and a politically inactive one at that. Yet, the county library system protected their foreign language acquisitions from budget cuts. These areas had no cuts, even though, for Spanish-language books, for instance, circulation per volume was a tenth that of English-language volumes (librarians keep track of how often each book circulates in any year: Spanish language volumes in the Fairfax library system, for example, circulated about 1.2 times in a year, versus 11 times a year for their Englishlanguage counterparts). Again, why risk antagonizing a politically vocal constituency to protect a constituency with little political clout to speak of? Bureaucratic Ethos The question is why these agencies--schools, libraries--acted as they did: why apparently did they act counter to their political interests to foster or protect groups who were largely political irrelevant? The key to their actions I believe is to look to these
10 agencies' `bureaucratic ethos,' the intersection of professional norms with bureaucratic tasks. My definition of `ethos' in this instance is a variant of James Q. Wilson
's definition of bureaucratic culture as a persistent, patterned way of thinking about the central tasks within an organization, which is itself a combination of professional norms, interest-group pressures and situational imperatives (Wilson 1989: 91, 93). Take, for example, the redistribution of education spending in Fairfax and Montgomery counties (for a fuller discussion of these issues see Jones-Correa 2004). By the mid1990s both the Montgomery and Fairfax school systems
had implemented responses to the demographic shifts taking place. In Montgomery County the school system's response took the form of commitments to schools in what administrators called the `red zone'--schools with the great majority of the county's racial and ethnic diversity, children receiving federally subsidized meals, and immigrant children10--providing additional funds for all day kindergarten, smaller class sizes, and teacher benefits (see map; targeted areas are the `red zone,' the rest of the county falls into the `green zone'). Similarly, in Fairfax County, the school administration went out of its way to design programs to address the needs of those schools with experiencing the greatest needs-- relative to diversity, poverty (as measured by students receiving federally funded meals), and English language learning
(schools with high numbers of English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL). Schools falling into this category became `Project Excel' schools, receiving additional funds from the school system for smaller class sizes, all-day kindergarten and more. In both cases, these programs amounted to millions of dollars in differential funding--$67 million in Montgomery County over a four-year period; $68 million in Fairfax--a not insignificant amount of the school systems' discretionary funding. These redistributive policies can't be satisfactorily explained by pointing to electoral representation, budgetary politics, the impetus of No Child Left Behind or legal action, or other combinations of interests, policies and politics alone. In both counties, school administrators' proposals to address the demographic shifts taking place in schools preceded any external pressures or outside politics. School administrators were the initiators of these policy changes. What we see in the suburban counties in the DC metropolitan area is that bureaucratic actors--in this case, actors in the educational system--have taken action to incorporate racial and ethnic minorities, well before they are under any political pressure to do so. Actors make these decisions because they believe it's the right thing to do. This, for example, is Jerry Weast, superintendent of the Montgomery County public school system: We've got to do a better job of reestablishing an egalitarian society because this is a fundamental tenant of democracy. Democracy spins from an educated electorate. Well, if most of your electorate is going to be 10 75 percent of all racial/ethnic minority children in elementary school
s (79 percent of blacks, 75 percent of Hispanics, and 48 percent of Asians), almost 85 percent of all children whose first language at home is not English (and 74 percent of kids in ESOL classes), and 81 percent of all children receiving federally subsidized school lunches.
11 growing by immigrants or children who have historically been deprived of educational opportunities, then you've got to do something about it. Variation Across Bureaucratic Entities My initial expectation on starting this research project was that any variation among local governments responding to increasing diversity would be across states--Maryland versus Virginia, conservative versus liberal, the application of Dillon's rule in Virginia versus devolution of authority to localities in Maryland. But this isn't what I found. Instead I found variation across bureaucratic agencies. That is, agencies with similar functions in Maryland and Virginia responded similarly: educational systems, policing, zoning officials, librarians. The main difference were not across counties or regions, but rather between `service bureaucracies' and `regulatory bureaucracies.' The concept of `service bureaucracies' goes back at least to Martha Derthick, who in her book Policymaking for Social Security, wrote how when the Social Security Administration was first set up, its administrators set about defining the agency's mission in terms of a `client serving ethic;' that is, it's mission would be defined by a commitment to providing services to individuals defined as `clients' (Derthick 1979: 21; see also Wilson 1989:100; Mashaw 1983: 216). Libraries, for example, are the prototypical service agency. Librarians see all book borrowers as clients or customers. As Jan Prasher, the associate director for library administration for Fairfax County put it: "Part of the daily public service [libraries] do, that all branches do, is just helping the customers who come in. So that is a kind of a given, but it's the most important thing there is about libraries: that whoever you are, when you come in, we'll help you find whatever you need." As a result, librarians treat every borrower the same, regardless of their citizenship or legal status. Seeing library users as clients also means trying to figure out what their clients are getting from the libraries, and what they want. To help do this, librarians in Fairfax and Montgomery counties (being librarians) keep track of the demographics of the service area of each library branch. Prasher showed me an one example: a thick binder filled with census information, county studies, and containing their own internal user polling for each branch library. "So essentially what it is," she indicated, "is a compilation of all the information about [each branch's] service area." As their client base changes, then librarians try to shift their collection to match their client base. The libraries in Fairfax and Montgomery counties try to have staff on hand that can interact with their clients in their own language, and have taken steps to hire staff from immigrant and minority populations (including promoting voluntary `shelving' help into staff positions, paying bonuses for knowledge of additional languages, etc). Librarians use this information to develop and deliver their services more effectively; in the case of immigrants and other newcomers this might take the form of language conversation groups, immigration and naturalization references, access to country of origin media over the internet, but most of all, as Prasher put it, to make the collection of materials at the library branches more "accessible and able to respond more nimbly to the changes in the demographics we see." This orientation toward borrowers is partly a matter of the tasks librarians have--to ensure the circulation of information--and partly a
12 matter of their professional ethos--as Wilson would put it, they see the circulation of information as more than a task, but rather as their mission (Wilson 1998: 100). Zoning as good example of a regulatory agency. Zoning inspectors have a number of tasks, but among them they enforce zoning codes in residential areas in the county. I spent a day driving with an inspector on his rounds through Fairfax County. Inspectors spend much of their day driving through neighborhoods, responding to complaints. These complaints are often immigration related: over-crowding of housing (unrelated families living in the same house), or private businesses being run out of homes. The important thing to note is that inspectors develop no relationship with those who are being regulated. Interactions with actual people are quite limited: inspectors may try to determine, for instance, if persons living in the same house are related (under county code, there are no limits on the numbers of related individuals who may live in a singlefamily home, but quite strict limitations on the numbers of unrelated people inhabiting the same home). To determine who lives in a home, inspectors will knock on the door, asking their questions in English. None of the field staff speaks any language other than English. My interviewees didn't mention any intention to hire such staff, even though, as I noted, many of the complaints zoning inspectors receive are immigrant-related. Translation services are uneven and ad hoc. The inspector I rode with in Fairfax County mentioned that there was a secretary at the county's zoning office that spoke Spanish, and if the language barrier proved insurmountable, he might call her and ask her act as an intermediary. Of course, if she wasn't there, or if the interactions were in any of the other several dozen languages spoken in homes in the county, then the possibilities for misunderstandings between the inspector and residents were high. If these limited interactions didn't resolve the issue, then the complaint would move onwards to an administrative or civil court. There is no regular or repeat contact between inspectors and residents. In short, unlike librarians, zoning inspectors work with no demographic data, have not hired any new staff to interact with recent arrivals, and have no sustained contact with county residents in the course of their jobs. As a result, despite the kinds of complaints received, the Zoning Department in Fairfax County continues to act, essentially, as if the county had undergone no demographic changes at all. Their professional norms reinforce the idea that their task is an impartial policing of rules, and their tasks don't lead them to build on-going relationships with a perceived set of `clients.' Some agencies like Policing combine elements of both service and regulatory agencies
. Derthick found that when the Social Security Administration was asked to take on administration of disability insurance (DI) and Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI), this clashed with the agency's prior bureaucratic culture (Derthick 1983: ch. 2). Rather than providing services to clients under a set of clear guidelines, the implementation of SSI and DI required the agency to adjudicate claims. In short, the SSA took on both service and regulatory tasks, creating, in Derthick's view, real tensions within the agency. Similarly, contemporary policing is partly about enforcing regulations, but in order to investigate crime, and particularly, to build relations with the community in order to prevent crime, police begin treating their contacts more like clients. Just as with Social
13 Security Administration, there are tensions between the crime investigation and enforcement side of policing and its community relations side. To implement community policing, for instance, requires a working knowledge of the communities served, the languages spoken and culture, attendance at community events, etc. As Luis Hurtado, a long-time community affairs officer in Montgomery County put it, "the most important thing I found that works in dealing with a minority, immigrant community... is trust. If you don't build trust, I don't care who you are, you cannot get to them." But police enforcement in the hundred or so square miles of Montgomery County take place by single officers patrolling in their squad cars. There are contradictions between the needs of community policing and realities of suburban policing. Officers in charge of community policing tend to develop a different perspective on the methods and goals of policing. Hurtado, for instance, who is one of only two full time community police officer
s in Montgomery County, describes the way most officers express their main concern with their jobs: "If you talk to a police officer, you'll find their number one issue is officer safety. That's correct. But if you develop a relationship with the community, if you know you're community, you can increase your own personal safety, you can increase your community's safety. But if you don't relate to that community, if they don't trust you, you don't trust them and don't work with them, the information [necessary to stop crime] is not going to flow." These contradictions in approaches to policing are highlighted in the youth gangs issue in metropolitan DC. For years the suburban counties avoided any mention of the word `gangs' like the plague: it signaled urban problems in a region that prided itself on its safe neighborhoods, excellent schools and positive business climate. Yet, according to Hurtado, by the mid-1990s "Ninety-five percent of the violent crime [in Fairfax County]--murder, robbery, rape, and aggravated assault--was being committed by gangs..." Hurtado sees the gang problem as a social problem: the recruitment of young kids into a youth culture in the context of familial fragmentation, dispersal and dislocation. His narrative is that the kids stay in the home country while the parents come seeking work; by the time the kids are brought to the US "now they have a different mother, a different father or even both. When the parents try to set some limits and some regulations and some controls, there is absolutely no connection" with their kids. Most police officers, on the other hand, see the problem as one of "enforcement, enforcement, enforcement." Nor do police agencies
necessarily try very hard to bring in new recruits who might better reflect the changing population. Again, Hurtado: with every meeting "there usually comes the question: `How many officers do you have that speak Spanish?; and I could hear the excuses, one after the other: `Oh, they don't like the police...' But Hurtado feels the DC metro police forces do little to recruit outside their usual parameters, for example, by bringing in police officers from Puerto Rico (as the DC police force itself did some years back), or by relaxing their rules on hiring only college graduates.
14 Bureaucratic Incorporation Different bureaucratic cultures lead to different outcomes for immigrant incorporation. Regulatory agencies see their tasks as the even-handed administration and enforcement of rules, have minimal relationships with the objects of their responsibility, and respond minimally to demographic changes. Service bureaucracies, for their part, may incorporate immigrants; that is, they treat immigrants, whatever their legal status, as clients, and seek to build relationships with them. In order to effectively communicate with immigrant communities, they tend, unlike their regulatory counterparts, to hire staff from among the immigrant population. Apart from sharing a language, these individuals share experiences, culture and points of view with their broader co-ethnic community, and once in place within bureaucracies, serve as advocates for immigrant concerns within bureaucracies. This advocacy can be quite effective (for example, the case of Chinese immigrants in Montgomery county, and their role in the funding and staffing of a centralized immigrant service Center Funded
by the county). If we think of the way political scientists have written about the incorporation of newcomers, their usual narrative is that incorporation takes place only as newcomers accumulate resources and are able to mobilize (or be mobilized) effectively in the political arena. Take, for example, Dahl's classic Who Governs? In this book, Dahl argues that political incorporation occurs only as newcomers shift from their corporate ethnic loyalties to partisan mobilization in which ethnicity plays at most a symbolic role (Dahl 1961). The double lesson of Who Governs? is that electoral mobilization precedes and is necessary for any substantive representation, and that political representation for newcomers comes to fruition only over time, often generations. Browning, Marshall and Tabb's work on political coalitions makes similar assumptions. In their story, the electoral sphere is the primary (and perhaps the only) arena for incorporation--while ignoring bureaucratic agencies as a possible locus of incorporation (Browning, Marshall and Tabb, 1984). Political scientists looking at incorporation issues have generally seen bureaucracies as impediments to democratic participation. For example, bureaucratic agencies are often portrayed prone to operate without democratic oversight; the problem for political scientists is often seen how to reign bureaucracies in. Other political scientists (I'm thinking here of Piven and Cloward's work (Piven and Cloward 1989) see bureaucratic agencies or government funded NGOs as politically corrosive in another way: they coopt minority activists, shifting their energies away from direct mobilization. What I want to suggest, however, is that local bureaucracies respond to increasing demographic diversity, and that this response precedes immigrant electoral representation, and even immigrant lobbying (although the presence of either or both of these accelerates the response of bureaucracies. This occurs because service agencies see immigrants as simply another set of clients, and act to provide services to them much as they would to any other clients. Given this situation, immigrant lobbying of
15 bureaucracies may in fact be an effective strategy, rather than simply focusing on electoral representation. Caveats and Conclusions I don't want to suggest that this process of bureaucratic incorporation suffers no constraints. Bureaucracies operate as part of their larger political contexts. The DC area may well be a best-case scenario for the bureaucratic incorporation of immigrants. The two metro DC counties this project focuses the most on--Fairfax on the Virginia side and Montgomery on the MD side--are both among the top ten wealthiest counties in the US. The main constraint service bureaucracies face in reaching out to immigrant clients is budgetary, and these counties and their agencies have comparatively unconstrained budgets. Bureaucratic incorporation tends to founder when agencies encounter zero-sum politics-- that is, when redistribution of resources to new arrivals leads to cutbacks in services to more politically engaged residents. The debate around allowing a greater number of underrepresented minorities into Thomas Jefferson high school is one example of the impact of zero-sum politics: school administrators were able to expand GT programs among underrepresented youth as long as access wasn't restricted for the kids of upper middle class parents who had come to see GT programs as their entitlement. This said, the fieldwork period in the DC area took place in the midst of one of the most severe budgetary recessions for many localities, and as I've noted in the case of libraries, even under these conditions, librarians protected resources devoted to new arrivals, even in the face of possible backlash from their more established native-born clientele. Nor does bureaucratic change, even in the best of circumstances, take place instantaneously. Even where there is the will and desire to address demographic shifts, bureaucracies, by their very design, tend to adapt slowly. Take for instance the example of libraries and librarians, which in some ways are the heroes of this story. Jan Prasher, the associate director for library administration in Fairfax County, notes that language acquisition is really an area where we still have work to do, both in acquiring our collection and then making it available. It's not easy, because remember we [not only have to acquire but also] catalogue our items... You also have to access things through out catalogue, so it's not as simple as just buying it--then you also have to have the staff to input it, so you can get at it. It's challenging. There are many, many languages we'd like to have. So... once again, it gets back to hiring staff who have multiple language abilities, and that's a professional staff, a professional library staff. And there are not enough students in library school who speak multiple languages. Diversity there is... it's a profession very typically dominated by white females.
16 So even in the case of agencies, such as libraries, who see it as their mission to respond to clients' needs, there are bottlenecks--real or perceived--in their capacity to respond, and change, when it takes place, always occurs at a slower pace than demographic change itself. Nonetheless, the central argument of this paper has been that there are real differences in the ways that bureaucratic agencies respond to the demands of demographic change, and these differences are systematic. Because of the way their tasks are defined, their sense of mission and their relations (or lack thereof) with residents, regulatory agencies are unlikely to respond in significant ways to the demands of new residents. Service agencies, which see themselves as providing services to clients with whom they often have on-going relationships, are much more likely to take steps to respond to demographic shifts in their client base. These changes often may precede any electoral pressures for change, so that bureaucracies themselves can become the agents or advocates for change within the political system
, pressuring for a more sustained, or concerted response to the presence of immigrants and minorities in suburbia.
17 Bibliography Browning, Rufus P. 1984. Protest is Not Enough: The Struggle of Blacks and Hispanics for Equality in Urban Politics. Berkeley: University of California
Press. Dahl, Robert. 1961. Who Governs? Democracy and Power in an American City. New Haven: Yale University Press. Derthick, Martha. 1979. Policymaking for Social Security. Washington, D.C. : Brookings Institution. ______. 1983. Agency Under Stress: The Social Security Administration and American Government (Washington DC: Brookings Institution). Jones-Correa, Michael. 2002. "Reshaping the American Dream: Immigrants and the Politics of the New Suburbs," American Political Science Association
Meeting, Boston; August 30-September 1. ______ 2004. "Racial and Ethnic Diversity and the Politics of Education in Suburbia," American Political Science Association Meeting, September 2-5. Mashaw, Jerry. 1983. Bureaucratic Justice: Managing Social Security Disability Claims. New Haven: Yale University Press. Piven, Frances Fox and Richard A. Cloward. 1979. Poor People's Movements: Why They Succeed, How They Fail. New York: Vintage Books. Wilson, James Q. 1989. Bureaucracy: What Government Agencies Do and Why They Do It. New York: Basic Books