Julie M. Weise is an expert on Latino immigration to the United States, race and identity, and global migration. She is an associate professor of History. Her book, Corazon de Dixie: Mexicanos in the U.S. South looks at the history of Mexican immigration in Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Georgia and North Carolina. Julie can also talk about immigration policy. She served as a speechwriter and researcher in Mexican President Vicente Fox’s administration.
Julie M. Weise can perform interviews in both English and Spanish.
Areas of Expertise (6)
Media Appearances (5)
How the Olympics helped lure Latinos to Atlanta
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution online
The games weren’t the only catalyst for Latino immigration, according to Julie Weise, assistant professor of history at the University of Oregon, who has studied immigration in the South.
Weise said the Atlanta economy was booming in the 1990s just as jobs were becoming scarcer in places like California and Texas, where Mexican migrants had traditionally come to work. Poultry plants, construction companies and other firms recruited Latinos to Georgia.
Federal law also played a role. In 1994, the Clinton administration increased border enforcement – something the United States had hardly done before, Weise said.
For the first time, it became difficult for migrant workers to cross into the United States, she said. But it also became difficult for them to return to their families.
“Now it becomes a choice,” Weise said. “Either you settle back in Mexico with your family or you bring your family with you to the United States.”
For many, the choice was easy. Atlanta was booming. Construction and other jobs were plentiful. And the suburbs offered good schools and affordable housing.
In short, Weise said, Latinos came to Atlanta for the same reasons everyone comes here.
Julie Weise: Blame California for Trump’s views on immigration
SF Chronicle online
One of Donald Trump's signature issues — demonizing Latino immigrants and building a wall to keep them out — places him far outside the California mainstream. A recent poll shows that less than a quarter of Californians agree with his stances on immigration, and only 16 percent support widespread deportations.
But Californians should resist the temptation to congratulate themselves on their open-mindedness. When it comes to insulting immigrants and finding ways to keep them out, California started it.
For most of U.S. history, fomenting anti-immigrant sentiment was a project of labor unions and working people who feared job competition from newcomers. In these movements, particularly those directed at Chinese people in the 19th century, California was a national leader.
Corazón De Dixie: The History of Mexican Immigration To The South
North Carolina Public Radio radio
Julie Weise, professor of history at the University of Oregon, wrote “Corazón De Dixie: Mexicanos in the U.S. South since 1910” (UNC Press/2015).
Host Frank Stasio talks with Weise about her book and research.
McCrory’s Real Legacy on Latino Immigration
The News & Observer online
The recent protest of pro-immigrant advocates at Gov. Pat McCrory’s Executive Mansion seemed to be business as usual in the Tar Heel state, where Republican politicians have united behind an agenda of immigration control and enforcement. Most recently, they have targeted so-called “sanctuary cities” with their predominantly Latino immigrant populations as well as Syrian refugee resettlement efforts.
Yet amid McCrory’s insistence that reporters use the term “illegal” rather than “undocumented” and Latino protesters’ signs asking him to “Stop the Hate,” it is easy to forget that McCrory and Latinos used to rally together. During the first decade of his mayoral term in Charlotte, McCrory himself and his allies in the business community encouraged, praised and benefited from Latino immigration to North Carolina.
A Tale of Two Immigration Politics in Maryland and Virginia
Aljazeera America online
“There’s been a much more robust anti-immigrant movement in Virginia than in Maryland,” said Julie Weise, a history professor and immigration historian at the University of Oregon.
That isn’t stopping this summer’s unaccompanied minors in Virginia from integrating into their new communities as officials unite them with guardians.
Latino migration to the US South is not a new phenomenon. Claims of a “Nuevo New South” are thus products of the scholarly and popular imaginations rather than the historical record. Indeed, the claim of a rupture with the past has the potential to obscure the fact that contemporary relationships of race and class have their roots in the dilemmas that have confronted white and black Southerners since Emancipation. If the times and places of “the New South” meant something different to African Americans than it did to white observers and boosters, what have the times and places of the “Nuevo” South meant to Latino immigrants? Do those meanings, in fact, originate in a novel globalizing moment at the turn of the twenty-first century? And how can teasing out Latino immigrants’ own narratives about the region help social scientists and historians find more appropriate ways of conceptualizing Latino immigration's meaning for the South as a whole?
The early twentieth century brought transformative Mexican migrations to places from Texas to Alaska, Michigan to California, and the South was no exception. Examining the case of Mexicans and Mexican Americans in the South from 1908 to 1939, this essay shows how international migration, in this case between the United States and Mexico, has shaped the racial ideologies of nations and societies at both ends of migration streams. It traces the arrival of Mexican immigrants to two Southern locations, New Orleans and the Mississippi Delta, and discusses their initial experiences of race and class there. It then focuses on the middle- and upper-class community surrounding Mexico’s New Orleans consulate, as well as the self-appointed leadership among poor Mexican sharecroppers in Gunnison, Mississippi, to illuminate the distinctly Mexican strategies which Mexicans of all social classes pursued in their quest to attain and retain white status in the U.S. South.
In the early twentieth century U.S. South, there were no Mexican Americans who could call upon U.S. citizenship or claims to be “Caucasian” under the law, nor organizers drawing Mexicans into class-based politics. There, Mexicans’ sole cultural and political claims took the form of Mexico-directed activism, through which the racial ideologies of both immigrants and Mexican government bureaucrats had a discernible impact upon the color line’s shape and foundations. Conversely, it was in the South that Mexican government representatives most directly confronted the black-white eugenic binary of U.S. white supremacy, and did so without the support of U.S.-based institutions or groups. This article argues that during the decade following the Mexican revolution, Mexican immigrants and bureaucrats in the South emphasized Mexico’s pre-revolutionary tradition of cultural whitening, avoiding the official post-revolutionary celebration of race-mixing, or mestizaje. In so doing, they successfully elided questions of eugenic race in their negotiation of the color line. They eventually secured Mexicans’ acceptance as white, a trajectory more closely mirroring national trends for European, rather than Mexican immigrants in the same period.