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The authors argue that taken-for-granted notions of deservingness and legitimacy among local government officials affect funding allocations for organizations serving disadvantaged immigrants, even in politically progressive places. Analysis of Community Development Block Grant data in the San Francisco Bay Area reveals significant inequality in grants making to immigrant organizations across central cities and suburbs. With data from 142 interviews and documentary evidence, the authors elaborate how a history of continuous migration builds norms of inclusion and civic capacity for public-private partnerships. They also identify the phenomenon of “suburban free riding” to explain how and why suburban officials rely on central city resources to serve immigrants, but do not build and fund partnerships with immigrant organizations in their own jurisdictions. The analysis affirms the importance of distinguishing between types of immigrant destinations, but argues that scholars need to do so using a regional lens.


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© University of Chicago Press. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

Suggested Citation
de Graauw, E., Gleeson, S. & Bloemraad, I. (2013). Funding immigrant organizations: Suburban free riding and local civic presence [Electronic version]. American Journal of Sociology, 119(1), 75-130. doi: 10.1086/671168