Against The Tide: Immigrants, Day Laborers, And Community In Jupiter, Florida

Paperback | April 15, 2013

bySandra Lazo De La Vega, Timothy J. Steigenga

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Across the United States, the issue of immigration has generated rancorous debate and divided communities. Many states and municipalities have passed restrictive legislation that erodes any sense of community. Against the Tide tells the story of Jupiter, Florida, a coastal town of approximately 50,000 that has taken a different path.
    At the beginning of the twenty-first century, Jupiter was in the throes of immigration debates. A decade earlier, this small town had experienced an influx of migrants from Mexico and Guatemala. Immigrants seeking work gathered daily on one of the city’s main streets, creating an ad-hoc, open-air labor market that generated complaints and health and human safety concerns. What began as a local debate rapidly escalated as Jupiter’s situation was thrust into the media spotlight and attracted the attention of state and national anti-immigrant groups. But then something unexpected happened: immigrants, neighborhood residents, university faculty and students, and town representatives joined together to mediate community tensions and successfully moved the informal labor market to the new El Sol Neighborhood Resource Center.
    Timothy J. Steigenga, who helped found the center, and Lazo de la Vega, who organized students in support of its mission, describe how El Sol engaged the residents of Jupiter in a two-way process of immigrant integration and helped build trust on both sides. By examining one city’s search for a positive public policy solution, Against the Tide offers valuable practical lessons for other communities confronting similar challenges.

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From the Publisher

Across the United States, the issue of immigration has generated rancorous debate and divided communities. Many states and municipalities have passed restrictive legislation that erodes any sense of community. Against the Tide tells the story of Jupiter, Florida, a coastal town of approximately 50,000 that has taken a different pat...

Sandra Lazo de la Vega is a research associate in the Program for Immigration, Religion, and Social Change at the University of Florida. Timothy J. Steigenga is professor of political science and chair of the social sciences and humanities at the Wilkes Honors College of Florida Atlantic University. He is coauthor of Living Illegal: Th...
Format:PaperbackDimensions:200 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.7 inPublished:April 15, 2013Publisher:University Of Wisconsin PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0299291049

ISBN - 13:9780299291044

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Table of Contents

1 Jupiter in the Context of New Destinations
2 From Fiesta to Mobilization
3 Backlash
4 A Positive Approach to Immigrant Integration: A Community Resource Center
5 Integration as a Two-Way Street
6 Lessons Learned: Local Solutions and Implications for the National Immigration Debate

Editorial Reviews

“The authors convey the importance of recognizing immigrants as human beings and ‘citizens’ of the local society, even if not legal residents or citizens. Against the Tide could play an important and critical role in the ongoing policy struggles over immigrants.”—Alex Stepick, coeditor of Churches and Charity in the Immigrant City