Houston: The Immigration Flood
August 29, 2017, 04:46 PM
Print Friendly and PDF

From the Atlas of Urban Expansion, maps of the Houston region’s surfaces impervious to rain (in purple) in 1990 and 2014 (via Emily Badger of the NYT):

Also, from the Los Angeles Times:

How Houston has become the most diverse place in America



The high school is in southwest Houston, a city whose stunning growth and high-volume immigration have turned it into the most racially and ethnically diverse major metropolis in the country, surpassing New York in 2010.

“It’s really surprising to see a place like this in the South, where you consider it to be racist and xenophobic,” said Michael Negussie, a Wisdom High School senior from Ethiopia. “Stereotypes of Texas don’t apply here.” …

The sanctuary issue has roiled Texas, which has the country’s longest border with Mexico and an estimated 1.5 million immigrants who are in the country illegally. …

The story of how his city turned from a town of oil industry roughnecks and white blue-collar workers into a major political centrifuge for immigration reform, demographic analysts say, is nothing less than the story of the American city of the future.

Houston boomed through the mid-20th century, thanks to the oil bonanza, and most of those who came to get rich were white. Large numbers of Vietnamese refugees began arriving in the 1970s, and after an oil collapse in 1982, they were followed by an influx of Latinos driven by cheap housing and employment opportunities. Whites, meanwhile, started drifting out.

The multi-ethnic boom has occurred deep in the heart of a state that has often seemed to regard conservatism, and Texas identity, as an element of religion.

… Yet demographic experts say the Houston metro area, home to the third-largest population of undocumented immigrants in the country — behind New York and Los Angeles — is a roadmap to what U.S. cities will look like in the coming decades as whites learn to live as minorities in the American heartland.

Census projections have opened a window into the America of 2050, “and it’s Houston today,” said Stephen Klineberg, a sociology professor at Rice University….

In 1970, about 62% of Houston’s population was white. By 2010, that had shrunk to 25.6%. Over the same period, the Latino population grew from 10.6% to about 44%.

Screenshot 2017-08-29 17.29.08

… From 2000 through 2013, the Houston metropolitan area’s immigrant population grew at nearly twice the national rate. …

Yet not all of the city’s changing demography, or even most of it, is a result of newcomers. Today, most of the city’s Latino growth springs from children born to immigrants who arrived two or three decades ago.

And it’s only going to become more pronounced. In Harris County, of which Houston is the county seat, 51% of all those under the age of 20 are Latinos, and 19% are African American.

What that means is a whole new dynamic, in which minorities are no longer seen as outsiders. … A “psychology of inevitability” begins to set in around immigration, he said — it’s happening, and it might not be a bad thing. … “Maybe I can make money off of this….” …

I bet you can.

Of course, eventually, a bill comes due … Yet, the people who made most money off it are likely to pay only a small part of the tab.

[Comment at Unz.com]