University of California, San Diego

May 12, 1999
SUBJECT: Center for Comparative Immigration Studies
We are pleased to announce the creation of a broadly interdisciplinary
research and student training program devoted to immigration studies at
UCSD. The Center for Comparative Immigration Studies (CCIS) will be the first program in this field to be established at a West Coast university. The Center will be developed initially as a unit within the Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies and may eventually seek ORU status. The Center will have two key distinguishing features: First, it will be broadly cross-regional rather than U.S.-centric. In addition to major foci on immigration to the United States and the European Union countries, the UCSD program will be the first in its field to look westward toward the Asian labor-importing and labor-exporting countries.
Second, it will stimulate and train our students to gather their own data on immigrant populations and potential emigrants in sending countries.
The Center's primary intellectual agenda will be to systematically compare the U.S. immigration experience with that of other current labor-importing countries. It will promote comparative research on the causes and consequences of international migration, the determinants and outcomes of government policies to regulate immigration and refugee flows, and relationships between labor-importing and labor-exporting countries in North America, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific region. It will involve UCSD students in field studies of international migrants in southern California, Texas, and Mexico. The Center will promote cross-disciplinary faculty research and will also host pre- and postdoctoral scholars from other institutions who seek an interdisciplinary environment for immigration studies. It will strengthen relationships between UCSD researchers and immigration specialists at other universities.
Professor Wayne Cornelius (Political Science), one of the country's leading specialists on Mexican immigration and holder of the Gildred Chair in U.S.-Mexican Relations, has agreed to serve as the Center's founding director. Professor Cornelius also founded UCSD's world-renowned Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies and directed it for 16 years. Since 1992 he has been conducting comparative research on immigration to Japan, Spain, Germany, and San Diego County. In addition to Professor Cornelius, the planning committee for CCIS includes Peter Timmer (Dean, IR/PS), Julian Betts (Economics), Lisa Catanzarite (Sociology), William Chandler (Political Science), Yen Espiritu (Ethnics Studies), David Gutierrez (History), Lisa Lowe (Literature), Lawrence Palinkas (Family and Preventive Medicine), Steven Raphael (Economics), James Rauch (Economics), and Leland Saito (Ethnic Studies).
The Center for Comparative Immigration Studies will bring important new
resources to our campus for the study of an issue of critical importance to San Diego, the state of California and the nation. Immigration is
fundamentally reshaping the social and economic environment in which UCSD
operates. Of the 30,000-35,000 new people who take up residence in San
Diego County each year, a high percentage are immigrants, both low-skilled
and high-skilled. Many of our students are themselves immigrants or the
children of immigrants. San Diego is now a prime area for studying nearly
every facet of contemporary U.S. immigration, and the new Center will take
maximum advantage of this "natural laboratory" for its research and
training activities.
We hope you will share our enthusiasm about the opportunities that the
Center for Comparative Immigration Studies will create for deepening our
understanding of the 21st Century U.S. immigration experience, by placing
it in the broader context of countries-of-immigration around the world.
The Center's broad, multidisciplinary and cross-regional approach will make
UCSD one of the most exciting places in the United States to study
international migration. Program planning for the Center is underway, and
the organizers seek campuswide participation in this effort. Please
contact Professor Cornelius (wcorneli@ucsd.edu) for further information.
Robert C. Dynes	Peter C. Timmer Chancellor	Dean, IR/PS