Transportation and Migrant Adjustment in Georgia
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- Bohon, S.A., Stamps, K. & Atiles, J.H. Popul Res Policy Rev (2008) 27: 273. doi:10.1007/s11113-008-9075-8
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Access to transportation is critical for functioning in modern American society, and minorities disproportionately lack access to transportation. Latinos in Georgia—most of whom are newcomers to this country—are considerably less likely than non-Latino whites to drive alone to and from work because they do not live in households with a car available for personal use. We propose that this factor, along with limited access to alternative modes of transportation, impedes the ability of Georgia’s newest Latino residents to adjust to their new environment. In this study, we examine the impact of limited transportation options on the adjustment experience of recent Latino migrants to Georgia. We document how lack of personal transportation lends itself to a number of social problems including inability to obtain different work or to take advantage of opportunities for advancement. For Latinos who are both recent migrants to Georgia and recent immigrants to the United States, lack of transportation creates an adjustment “bottleneck,” whereby various paths to adaptation are simultaneously impeded. We argue that improving access to driver’s licenses, pedestrian infrastructure, and, in some places, public transportation should be a policy priority for states adjusting to recent influxes of Latino migrants.