"'Chain migration' is what demographers have called the process; it helped settle the country and now it is helping the country rearrange its demographic center of gravity, pushing it south and west." This was in a New York Times article in 1982, about families moving from Michigan to the Southwest.

Yet Sen. Chris Murphy tweeted today that this was a racist made-up term.

Maybe Murphy knows some history I don't, but it strikes me as another example of liberals falsely throwing around accusations of racism.

Here's a 1978 NYT article about Arab immigrants to Detroit:

They were followed by Yemenites, Iraqis. Syrians and others, each following in the footsteps of a brother, an uncle or a father who had gone ahead, setting up what anthropologists call “chain migration.”

Here's an article by Patricia Perez in the Journal of Hispanic Higher Education from 2008 with the subtitle "A Social Capital and Chain Migration Analysis."

Let's see if Murphy corrects himself and apologizes.


* This post originally assigned one usage of the phrase to a NYT editorial, which was really by a contributor in a NYT forum.