So, I'm working on this chapter that is basically going to explore the arrival of Latino workers to the South Arkansas poultry industry and how that arrival affects black women in the workplace and at home. It also discusses the traditional black labor force’s reaction to and perceptions of these new immigrants.
And... I think I'm trying to make more of a connection between the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act and the phenomenal growth rate of Latinos in non-metropolitan areas. I feel like I have to discuss the act, but its effects on the population growth and the poultry industry are presented as kind of ambivalent in things I've read.
As far as why/how these workers came to Arkansas (and to the South in general):
1. Declining job opportunites in traditional "gateway" cities/home countries
2. Strong recruitment--by companies (esp poultry processors) and by workers themselves through kin and fictive kin networks
3. IRCA rules that intensifed INS activity in areas with large Latino populations, pushing immigrants out of those areas
That's what I'm highlighting so far. I guess I shouldn't reveal everything.
This chapter is hard for me in other ways too--I use the word "immigrant" a little too loosely (not sure that's the right adverb); I don't think I make clear distinction between native, documented, and undocumented workers in the industry (simply because I don't know the numbers of each). Oh, and I just remembered I haven't talked about why the poultry industry needed new workers in the 90s--beyond the obvious issues with turnover and exhaustion of local labor pools.
I'm probably telling way too much. But this is helping me get my ideas together. And if someone happens to stop by with some knowledge of the subject...