What Will Post-Immigrant Los Angeles Be Like?

Assessing the Future of a City That’s Becoming Increasingly Native-Born

Los Angeles is a city increasingly made up of native-born residents and fewer and fewer immigrants. Occidental College cultural critic and historian Thaddeus Russell opened a conversation on L.A.’s post-immigrant future, at an event co-presented by Occidental College, by asking the crowd at the Petersen Automotive Museum to imagine the smells, tastes, and sights of Los Angeles today. Then, he asked them to imagine these same sensations in a Los Angeles without immigrants. It seems impossible, said Russell, and yet we are heading toward a Los Angeles in which newcomers will be a distinct minority. University of Southern California demographer Dowell Myers said that in his view, the scariest thing about this new L.A. is that we’re going to “depend on these kids who are native Californians” to become homebuyers and taxpayers and workers in our economy—“and they’re going to …

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