Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Secondary Migration Diaspora

A New York Times article about blackmarket cigarettes in the United States unintentionally reveals a Pittsburgh international migration anecdote:

One restaurant worker, Toiyan Auyeung, who lives in Pittsburgh and was in New York recently awaiting a bus to Maryland for a restaurant job, said, through an interpreter, that he did not want to buy illegal cigarettes and that he relied on a friend to buy him real Marlboros in Chinatown. “I can’t figure out,” he said, “which ones are real and which are fake.”

What becomes of the relatively few international migrants who do make it to Pittsburgh? For whatever reason, Mr. Auyeung is leaving Pittsburgh in order to find restaurant work in Maryland. I'm interested in why he is relocating and how he found out about the job in Maryland that I would categorize as a risky migration.

My guess is that Mr. Auyeung struggled to crack a local social network while in Pittsburgh and therefore struggled to find gainful employment. For whatever reason, he had an easier time landing a restaurant job in Maryland than in Pittsburgh. Somewhere buried in this story are the reasons why Pittsburgh struggles to attract international migrants.

Then again, he might be moving to be closer to friends and relatives.

No comments: