Marta Tienda

Marta Tienda is a Maurice P. During '22 Professor in Demographic Studies and Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs at Princeton University, and visiting scholar at the Rockefeller Foundation. She chaired the National Academy of Sciences Panel on Hispanics and the American Future.

Recent Articles

Don't Blame Immigrants For Poverty Wages

Our love-hate relationship with foreign-born workers has once again taken center stage in the national drama over immigration, only now it's set against a backdrop of heightened concerns over national security and an unprecedented geographic dispersal of the foreign-born. Legal as well as undocumented immigrants are widely blamed for displacing U.S. workers and driving down wages. Yet even as vigilante groups organize to patrol the U.S.Mexico border, and even as local ordinances restricting employment, housing, and services for undocumented workers proliferate, millions of unskilled foreign-born workers secure jobs in U.S. construction, hospitality and extraction industries, and miscellaneous dwelling-repair and domestic services -- jobs that American employers have a hard time filling with native-born workers. The Migration Policy Institute reports that about 14 percent of U.S. workers today are foreign-born -- a total of 20 million, of which 7 million, or 5 percent of the total...

Be Our Guest?

Immigrants are good for business. In fact, the rapid clip of U.S. economic growth might not be possible without them. Even as academics debate whether immigrants take jobs away from domestic workers, and as homegrown militias organize to patrol the nation's southern border, hundreds of thousands of immigrants -- more than half of them undocumented -- make their way to jobs in the United States every year. According to the Census Bureau, more than 80 percent of the foreign-born population, estimated at close to 34.2 million in 2004, is of prime working age versus only 60 percent of the native born. This figure includes more than 10 million undocumented migrants -- an all-time high, according to a Pew Hispanic Center report from this year. Immigrants now comprise a larger share of labor-force growth than native workers. On the heels of a jobless recovery and incontrovertible evidence that post–September 11 policies designed to seal U.S. borders have failed, however, proposals for...