Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Immigration Article of the Day: (When) Race Matters: How Undocumented Immigrant Race and Place Shape Immigration Policy Attitudes by L. Jason Anastasopoulos
(When) Race Matters: How Undocumented Immigrant Race and Place Shape Immigration Policy Attitudes by L. Jason Anastasopoulos Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS); University of California, Berkeley - Center for the Study of Law and Society July 2, 2014
Abstract: Would Americans react differently to undocumented immigrants if they were a different race? Does racial threat motivate support for anti-immigration laws? I answer these questions by manipulating the race and geographical proximity to American citizens of a fictional undocumented Mexican immigrant in a national U.S.-based survey experiment. I find that when respondents are exposed to a non-Caucasian immigrant, support for anti-immigration laws increases relative to an otherwise identical Caucasian immigrant. These reactions to the immigrant's race are observed only when respondents believe that the immigrant resides in their city and state, suggesting that geographical proximity triggers racial threat. Assessments of the effect of geographical proximity and race on relevant economic, cultural and political outcomes reveals that these results are best explained by symbolic prejudice.