RESOURCES IN INTERGROUP RELATIONS
Arranged in order of publication
date with the most recent on top. Scroll down for all entries. We regret that we may not be able to repair broken links promptly.
The conclusions and recommendations of the authors are not necessarily endorsed by Diversity Dynamics and its partner
Diversity is a major
feature of modern societies. To reap the benefits of diversity and avoid unnecessary conflict, citizens must not
leave intergroup relations to chance. Governments and non-profit organizations should create opportunities for immigrants
and native-born residents to learn from each other and to work together to achieve common goals. Our leaders must
also confront the forces of hatred and bigotry that try to poison the atmosphere of social relations. And they should promote
the shared values and traditions that bind together the entire society. These studies illuminate the challenge of intergroup
relations and discuss promising practices in the area.
Systemic Racism in the U.S. Immigration Laws
Indiana law Journal, Summer 2022, 23 pp.
Murderous violence, economic boycotts, and anti-Chinese political agitation in western
states during the 1880s were manifestations of concerted efforts of white citizens to purge Chinese
residents from the United States. These campaigns culminated in the passage of the federal Chinese Exclusion
Act of 1882. The Act commenced a long period of racist immigration policies that included bars on immigration
from China and later all of Asia, as well as the discriminatory national origins quota system of
1924. While flagrant racial discrimination in immigration laws ended in 1965, the Supreme Court ruling from
1889 that upheld the Chinese Exclusion Act is still the law in the U.S. In the Chinese
Exclusion case, the Supreme Court determined that Congress had “plenary power,” or absolute authority, over
immigration matters, and that courts could not review the constitutionality of immigration laws. This report analyzes
the roots and consequences of systemic racism in U.S. immigration policy and highlights that lack of ordinary
constitutional review that enabled President Trump to implement controversial and restrictive policies
such as the Muslim ban and migrant family separations. As the nation confronts systemic racism in the criminal
justice system, it must also, according to the author of this report, reconsider the plenary power doctrine
as the first step to the elimination of systemic racism in immigration law. (Jasmina Popaja for
The Immigrant Learning Center’s Public Education Institute)
Cultivating Contact: A Guide to Building Bridges
and Meaningful Connections Between Groups,
American Immigration Council, 2022
R. Tropp & Trisha A. Dehrone
The United States faces many forms of social division, but the country
has also developed ways to communicate and collaborate across lines of division. In Cultivating Contact: A Guide
to Building Bridges and Meaningful Connections Between Groups, Dr. Linda R. Tropp and Trisha A. Dehrone,
in partnership with Welcoming America and the Intergroup Relations and Social Justice Lab at the University of Massachusetts
Amherst, describe how to create spaces for people from different backgrounds to meaningfully engage with one another.
The authors also advise on how to draw on people’s similarities and differences to help solve problems in the community. Tropp and Dehrone discuss
strategies to help people from different groups collaborate as equals, in order to share their ideas and perspectives
and successfully create new initiatives across group differences. The authors provide materials to help organizations evaluate
their contact programs’ effectiveness, while also offering advice for making cross-group interaction and collaboration
more meaningful and sustainable over time. The authors hope that the guide will provide “helpful evidence-based
recommendations on how to structure contact programs effectively, along with useful tips and best practices for implementing
and facilitating these programs.” These types of programs, the authors contend, will strengthen the social fabric of
the U.S., helping build more resilient and healthy communities for future generations. (Erika Hernandez for The Immigrant
Learning Center’s Public Education Institute)
Computational analysis of 140 years of US political
speeches reveals more positive but increasingly polarized framing of immigration,
Proceedings of the National
Academy of Sciences (119:31), July 31, 2022, 25 pp.
Authors: Sarina Chang et al
As a nation of immigrants,
the United States has a complicated history of immigration that is both celebrated and deplored. Resistance to newcomers has
been central to public discourse, but there has been a rise in pro-immigration attitudes over the past century. According
to Gallup, 77% of Americans answered that immigration was a good thing in 2019, up from the lowest point of 52% in 2002. In
the mid-1990s, 65% said that immigration should be decreased; in 2020, that number fell to just 28%. This comprehensive quantitative
analysis, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, looks at how attitudes toward immigrants
and political debates in the U.S. have changed over the last 140 years. The study analyzes 200,000 congressional speeches
and 5,000 presidential communications related to immigration since 1880. It finds that political speech about immigration
is now more positive, with a noticeable shift occurring between World War II and the passage of the Immigration and Nationality
Act in 1965. However, since the late 1970s, political parties have become increasingly polarized on the issue. Modern Republican
speeches are as negative as congressional speeches from the 1920s, and are more likely to use metaphors such as
“animals” and “cargo.” Nationality and geography also remain important factors in which immigrant
groups are considered historically desirable (European) and undesirable (Chinese and Mexican) to U.S. politicians. (The
Immigrant Learning Center’s Public Education Institute)
“Immigration Will Destroy Us” &
Other Talking Points: Uncovering the tactics of anti-immigration messaging on YouTube,
Define American, 2022, 26 pp.
This study analyzes the communication tactics of the anti-immigrant groups propagating “the Great Replacement
Theory.” The authors seek to “map the landscape of anti-immigration content on YouTube” -- considered the
most influential site for far-right radicalization on the internet -- and test the best approaches for pro-immigration counter-narratives.
The study is premised on the assumption that there is a large “moveable middle” of the American electorate, whose
views on immigration are relatively unformed and open to influence, and who constitute – according to some estimates
-- roughly 18% of the American population. The researchers analyzed a group of 23 of the most watched anti-immigrant videos
on YouTube produced during the period from 2007 to 2020. Collectively, the authors consider these videos to be the Great Replacement
Network, or the GRN. The two largest producers of these videos were PragerU (eight videos) and the Tanton Network channel
(six videos). Although PragerU is not a university, this group, like other groups on the anti-immigrant far right, portray
themselves as voices of reason who understand the facts of the situation and whose policy-recommendations are evidence-based.
Seeking to legitimize positions that might be considered racist by their opponents, such as the importance of preserving “white
culture” and “western civilization,” they accuse pro-immigrant advocates of allowing emotion, and the desire
to remain in power, interfere with their policy judgments. The authors also conducted randomized controlled trial tests with
over 5,000 people to test various approaches to truth-sharing on immigration. Oddly enough, they found that the “packaging”
of the anti-immigrant videos, e.g. use of an “educational tone” and a “semi-realistic animation style”
were the most effective techniques for persuading the target population. Another conclusion of the study was that “professional
credentials do not necessarily increase trust…both the highly qualified professor and journalist were trusted at almost
the same level as someone with no credentials.” A companion piece to this study is a toolkit for content creators.
Misperceptions about Immigration: Reviewing Their
Nature, Motivations and Determinants,
British Journal of Political
Science, May 2, 2022, 16 pp.
Authors: Phillip Lutz & Marco Bitschna
According to the authors of this
paper, misperceptions about immigration in Western democracies could undermine democracy itself. Often, polarized views, frequently
rooted in misinformation, erode the ability for people to develop informed views on immigration matters, with direct consequences
on public policy. In the review article “Misperceptions about Immigration: Reviewing Their Nature, Motivations and
Determinants,” authors Philipp Lutz and Marco Bitschnau focus on three issues concerning immigration-related
misperceptions: their nature, what motivates them, and what individual and contextual factors contribute to their spread.
The authors ground their findings in a review of the existing literature on the subject from the fields of political science,
sociology and psychology. Among the common types of misinformation are: overestimations in the number of immigrants, misrepresentations
about their origins and background, and conspiracy theories about their intent to replace native populations. Driving these
misperceptions are perceived threats to cultural values and to public/personal security, as well as worries over competition
for economic resources. Finally, the authors identify ring-wing ideology and low education levels as factors that explain
their prevalence. Through these findings, the authors hope to increase our meta-knowledge of immigration-related misperceptions,
a key first step in combating them. (Sonali Ravi for The Immigrant
Learning Center’s Public Education Institute)
Terminology Is Contested, Powerful, and Evolving,
Migration Policy Institute,
March 24, 2022, 8 pp.
Author: Rebecca Hamlin
Over the last decade, the rise in international migration
has increased focus on how to refer to people crossing borders. Should they be called "migrants…refugees”
or some other term? Research demonstrates that opinions can be swayed by variations in terminology and framing. In this Migration
Policy Institute report, Rebecca Hamlin reviews debates about migration terminology and how these discussions have played
out over the last decade. According to a 2019 Pew Research Center survey, people in multiple immigrant destination countries
are more likely to support admitting people described as “refugees” than “immigrants.” In Hamlin's
book, Crossing: How We Label and React to People on the Move, a similar experiment found that respondents in the
United States were more likely to say their country had an obligation to help people described as “vulnerable refugees”
rather than “vulnerable migrants.” Efforts to push language in a more inclusive direction have achieved success
but also triggered opposition. Migration is an issue that speaks deeply to people’s beliefs about who is deserving of
humanitarian protection, how governments should respond, and the merits of diversity. Labels, however, can only do so much
to change attitudes. Moreover, people cross borders for multiple reasons, which might change throughout their journey. Both
law and terminology can often fail to encompass these nuanced motivations. (The Immigrant Learning Center’s
Public Education Institute)
Do Anti-Immigration Voters Care More? Documenting
the Issue Importance Asymmetry of Immigration Attitudes,
British Journal of Political
Science (Forthcoming), February 2022, 15 pp.
Author: Alexander Kustov
According to 2020 Gallup polls, more
Americans said that they would prefer to see immigration increased rather than decreased; yet despite such positive public
opinion, the U.S. government has failed to enact comprehensive immigration reform. In this study, Alexander Kustov examines
why politicians and policymakers neglect to prioritize pro-immigration reforms even when public opinion towards immigration
is positive. Kustov looks at a previously overlooked explanation for this phenomenon: that anti-immigration
individuals tend to consider immigration a more important political issue than pro-immigration individuals. To assess this
relationship comprehensively and empirically between personal immigration issue importance and policy preference, Kustov uses cross-national
and longitudinal surveys from many immigrant-receiving contexts. Kustov finds that in comparison with pro-immigration
voters, anti-immigration voters feel more strongly about the issue, while also being more likely to consider immigration a
personally and nationally significant issue. He finds this phenomenon true across virtually all observed countries, survey
periods, and different survey measures of immigration preferences and their significance. These results suggest
that public opinion towards immigration demonstrates great “issue importance asymmetry.” Even though the issue
is more contextually salient, such asymmetry of immigration attitudes systematically advantages anti-immigration causes. (Erika
Hernandez for The Immigrant Learning Center’s Public Education Institute)
Does the Scale or Speed of Immigration Generate
Nativism? Evidence from a comparison of New Zealand Regions,
Journal on Migration and Human Security, December 14, 2021,
Authors: Chris Wilson et al
In this article, the authors look at differences in the prevalence of
nativism within New Zealand. Reviewing the literature, they discuss two broad explanations for nativism: concern about economic
competition, and perceptions of cultural threat. But the authors are interested in answering the question of what level of
immigration triggers anti-immigrant sentiment. They test two hypotheses: 1) Nativist sentiment is strongest in areas where
immigrants make up a high proportion of the population; and 2) Nativist sentiment is strongest in areas with high increases
in the immigrant population. Analyzing responses from a nationally-distributed survey to gauge the level of nativism, and
data from the 2013 and 2018 New Zealand censuses, the authors found a strong correlation between nativism and the rate of
growth of the immigrant population between the two censuses. Conversely, the proportion of immigrants in the population was
not a strong predictor of nativism. The authors conclude with the observation that nativism may be on the rise in areas of
New Zealand experiencing rapid demographic change, but in the long run, nativism may decline as the immigrant population grows
and becomes more distributed throughout the country. (Maurice Belanger, Maurice Belanger Associates)
The ‘Great Replacement’ Theory, Explained
Immigration Forum, December 1, 2021, 6 pp.
This report warns against the spread of the “Great Replacement
Theory,” defined as the belief that “welcoming immigration policies — particularly those impacting nonwhite
immigrants — are part of a plot designed to undermine or ‘replace’ the political power and culture of white
people living in Western countries.” The report identifies Tucker Carlson of Fox news as a leading proponent of
this theory. While the study of American history reveals clear antecedents to this kind of thinking, the report focuses
on more recent manifestations, especially the role of French nationalist authors like Renaut Camus, fringe alt-right figures,
and more mainstream channels like Fox News. The authors trace a trail of violence resulting from this form of thinking, including
the 2018 attack on a Pittsburgh synagogue that killed 11 people. The report calls attention to people and groups that are
working to counter this kind of extremism, including former President George W. Bush and the Anti-Defamation League. The report
ends with a number of recommendations including carefully studying the history of nativism and extremism in American history.
Study Reveals Shortcomings and Opportunities in
U.S. Immigration Coverage,
Internews, 2021, 6 pp.
Daniela Gerson et al
Published over the course of four years, Migratory Notes was a newsletter that
tracked shifting immigration news and policy developments. When the newsletter ceased publication in 2020, the co-founders
of the newsletter worked with an independent researcher to produce a report analyzing more than 4,500 stories selected for
inclusion in the newsletter from January 2017 to August 2020. One key finding was that there was a preponderance of reporting
on detention, enforcement, border issues, and asylum. Although these themes were related to the policy priorities of the Trump
administration, the authors see a continuation of an historical trend to focus on criminality and exclusion in immigration
coverage. The authors also see a geographic imbalance in reporting, with states like Arizona and Texas tending to dominate
news coverage to the neglect of developments elsewhere in the country. The authors conclude with a number of recommendations,
including enlisting the help of foreign language media to probe developments in local immigrant communities and focusing greater
attention on the role of immigrants in the economy, and the process of their integration into American society.
Centering Race and Structural Racism in Immigration
Urban Institute, December 2021,
Authors: Hamutal Bernstein et al
This brief from the Urban Institute spotlights the deep intersections
between the US immigration system and racism. It also calls attention to the neglect of this troubling reality in both policy
and policy research circles. The paper draws on the outcomes of a September 2021 workshop with researchers and policy advocates,
as well as a scan of recent policy research conducted at think tanks and policy-focused research institutes to assess gaps
in the policy research space. The authors focus on how race and structural racism influence the immigrant experience, which
immigrant groups have been understudied, and which policies and issues demand research attention. Noting the gaps in policy
research around the centrality of racism to immigration policy and the distinct racialized experiences of diverse segments
of the immigrant population, the brief emphasizes how overlooking immigrant racial diversity obscures the experience of key
groups and hides from policy debates the structures and systems generating racialized outcomes. Immigration policy researchers,
the authors write, have a responsibility to be intentional about highlighting racial equity issues, in particular the experience
of immigrants of color and anti-Black racism, including the overlap of the immigration enforcement and criminal justice systems
and the racial context of exclusionary immigration policies. The authors conclude with recommendations for areas where policymakers,
policy research organizations, philanthropies, and advocacy organizations can work together to address these challenges, including
addressing gaps in data sources, building capacity for multilingual data collection, elevating immigration and language concerns
in equity measures, analyzing structures in addition to individual outcomes, cultivating trained research teams, and creating
more collaborative settings to set research agendas. (Jeffrey Gross, Ph.D.)
How We Talk about Migration: The Link between Migration
Narratives, Policy, and Power,
Migration Policy Institute,
Metropolitan Group, the RAND Corporation, and the National Immigration Forum, October 2021, 46 pp.
Banulescu-Bogdan et al
This report looks at various narratives by which people view migration in five countries
that have experienced increased immigration in recent years: Columbia, Lebanon, Morocco, Sweden, and the United States. The
goal of this report—and future related research—is to try to understand how certain narratives about migration
become dominant. The authors believe it is urgent, especially in an era in which more people are on the move than ever before,
to better understand how narratives form and spread — something that cannot be done with traditional public opinion
research, which measures public attitudes, but does not provide context in which people are exposed to different messages
about migrants. After conducting a literature scan, the authors identified eight common themes. For example, both positive
and negative narratives use a moral framework tapping into values held by society—compassion, for example, in the case
of welcoming narratives, and the rule of law, in the case of restrictive narratives. The authors observe that negative narratives
are particularly “sticky” or persistent—especially when alleging threats to safety, economic security, and
cultural traditions. The report includes an appendix with a selection of the most salient migration narratives across the
five countries studied, organized by theme (For example, narratives related to competition and scarcity). The authors provide
an agenda for future research, to include field work to better understand where the public gets information, and how it decides
which messages and messengers are the most credible. (Maurice Belanger, Maurice Belanger Associates)
Building Bridges on Immigration: A Report from
Carnegie Corporation of New York,
Carnegie Corporation, October 2021, 19 pp.
William H. Woodwell, Jr.
In this report, the author reviews the efforts of the Carnegie Corporation of New York
to promote alliance-building on immigration, the history of this work, and opportunities for related work in the future. Among
the initiatives discussed in this report are the research and organizing work of New American Economy, the “Bible, Badges,
and Business” network of the National Immigration Forum, and the business mobilization efforts of the American Business
Immigration Coalition. Carnegie also supports a number of bipartisan and conservative-leaning organizations that conduct
research, polling, outreach, and advocacy based on the premise that immigration is a good thing for the U.S. economy and society.
Among these organizations are the Bipartisan Policy Center, the Niskanen Center, and the Cato Institute. The author also appeals
to philanthropy to invest in alliance building as an essential strategy toward shifting U.S. policy, politics, and culture
in the direction of advancing and protecting the rights and opportunities of U.S. immigrants. The report concludes with a
chronology dating back to 1965 of Carnegie’s work in promoting bipartisan solutions to the nation’s immigration
The Four Freedoms Fund: A Philanthropic Partnership
Helps Build A Movement
Carnegie Corporation of New York, April 2021,
Author: William H. Woodwell, Jr.
In 1941, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt gave
the Four Freedoms speech detailing fundamental freedoms all people should be able to enjoy including freedom of speech, freedom
of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear. This speech inspired the name of the Four Freedoms Fund, a public charity
and funder intermediary founded in 2003 and housed at NEO Philanthropy, which has the aim of growing and strengthening local
and state networks of immigrant rights organizations in the United States. The Carnegie Corporation of New York’s report,
“The Four Freedoms Fund: A Philanthropic Partnership Helps Build a Movement” details the Fund’s history, mission, and recent achievements. The number of participating funders has grown
from the original five foundations to some 20 today. The report notes how the Fund has several strategic priorities including:
building movement infrastructure on the state and local level, combating the criminalization of immigrants, and increasing
immigrant civic participation. The Fund also aims to support capacity-building for grantees, provide rapid response funds
to grantee organizations, and encourage strategic communication on immigration-related issues. In 2020, the Fund distributed
214 grants to 144 organizations in 30 states and the District of Columbia, as well as national support organizations, totaling
approximately $16.4 million. Through the report, Carnegie seeks to encourage more funders to join this grassroots “movement
for dignity, opportunity, and equal rights.” (Erika Hernandez for The Immigrant Learning Center’s
Public Education Institute)
Creative Placemaking & Welcoming: Tips and
Tools for Integrating Arts, Culture, and Immigration,
Welcoming America & Artplace America, 2021
John C. Arroyo
Rifts in public attitudes toward immigration policy underscore the need to understand changing
demographics as an asset, not a threat. The migration experience can teach us more about unity than differences. Bridging
Divides, Creating Communities: Arts, Culture, and Immigration is a field scan that highlights how arts and cultural strategies
are effective tools in achieving immigration-related outcomes. The author lists four immigration priorities (goals): building
welcoming and inclusive communities, empowering new Americans through relevant service provision, expanding alliances to build
collective capacity, and establishing infrastructure in immigrant destinations. Each goal is paired with an arts and culture
strategy so that artists and stakeholders can develop a shared language and mutual objectives for local communities to benefit
from cross-sector collaboration and synergies. The field scan is based on an analysis of 140 creative placemaking projects,
and semi-structured, in-depth interviews with 30 practitioners working in the immigration and/or arts and cultural sectors.
Arroyo provides detailed case studies from across the country that offer successful and replicable models regardless of whether
a locality is a traditional gateway city or new immigrant or refugee destination. (The Immigrant Learning Center’s
Public Education Institute)
E Pluribus Unum: Findings from the Cato Institute
2021 Immigration and Identity National Survey,
Cato Institute, April 27, 2021,
Authors: Emily Ekins & David Kemp
This report contains the results of a public opinion survey
conducted by the Cato Institute and YouGov, with a large sample of 2,600 U.S. adults. The survey explores how Americans think
about immigration and immigrants, as well as the beliefs and values underlying their opinions. The report separated responses
by partisan leanings, by immigration “Restrictionists” and “Expanders,” by first- and second-generation
immigrant (as well as native-born not second-generation), by liberal vs. conservative, and by other characteristics. The data
reinforces the findings of other public opinion surveys of the past decade, i.e. that there is a wide partisan divide on the
issue of immigration. Nearly two-thirds of immigration Restrictionists—those who think immigration should be decreased—
are Republicans. Immigration Restrictionists are far more concerned about losing their place in society due to immigration.
For example, 69 percent of Restrictionists worry about becoming a minority in this country, and 82 percent fear greater discrimination
against whites over time. There was also a racial element to the fears of Restrictionists—they believed, for example,
that immigrants from Africa and Latin America, as opposed to Europe and Asia, were more likely than Americans overall to collect
welfare and commit crimes. The report also plumbs some of the feelings of first- and second-generation Americans, noting that
these individuals feel they are “not seen as being American enough” by more established Americans. There is a
lot more to explore in this report. While all public opinion surveys present merely a snapshot in time, this one does provide
some insight into why people feel the way they do on immigration. (Maurice Belanger, Maurice Belanger Consulting)
What Immigration Issues Do Americans Hold Sacred?
A Psychological Journey into American Attitudes Towards Immigrants,
American Immigration Council, February 18, 2021, 45 pp.
Authors: Nichole Argo & Kate Jassin
This report examines public beliefs about immigration, going beyond
superficial public opinion polling, which merely identifies which Americans are pro- or anti-immigration. Instead, this study
examines how deeply the public holds specific views on immigration. Based on a sample of 1,370 U.S. citizens, researchers
asked respondents how they felt about 14 immigration issues, all of which were considered “sacred” to varying
degrees by a significant percentage of respondents. If an issue were classified as “sacred,” respondents were
not willing to negotiate their views on these issues, and this rigidity helps to explain why the immigration debate has become
so uncompromising. Interestingly, a greater percentage of respondents who viewed one or more issues as “sacred”
were pro-immigrant, perhaps reacting to Trump’s attacks on immigrants. Researchers found that the factor most strongly
associated with holding an immigration stance sacred was a perception that the stance was central to the respondent’s
party identification. Another strong predictor was the degree to which social and political identities were aligned (i.e.
the degree to which one’s social life was confined to those with the same political affiliation). Demographics were
least predictive of strongly held beliefs. Persons with restrictive stances tended to feel marginalized in today’s America,
and felt threatened by immigration. The report concludes by noting that a response to immigration arguments in cases where
a value is held sacred will likely backfire if the counterargument focuses on cost-benefit factors. Instead, a better approach
is to find common ground among the core values held by opposing camps, and begin the dialogue from that starting point. (Maurice
Belanger, Maurice Belanger Consulting)
Diversity and Prosocial Behavior,
Science, 369:6508, 04 September 2020, 13
Authors: Della Baldassarri & Maria Abascalz
(Full article only available to subscribers or by purchase)
Is it possible to have an ethnically diverse society that is cohesive and egalitarian? This study, published
in Science, seeks to answer this question. The authors posit
that most scholarly research on this topic has tried to determine whether diversity negatively affects trust and social capital.
However, this prior research has relied on a narrow definition of “prosociality,” or behaviors that
are intended to help others. The type of prosociality that helps heterogeneous societies function is different from the in-group
solidarity that glues homogeneous communities together. Ethnically diverse societies can only be cohesive if prosocial behavior
is extended to members outside of close-knit groups. The authors state that social differentiation and economic interdependence
can help to accomplish this goal. They also argue that the effect of diversity on a society, whether towards integration or
division, depends on the economic and social positions that its minority members occupy. (Deb D'Anastasio for The Immigrant Learning Center’s Public Education Institute)
The Extremist Campaign to Blame Immigrants for
U.S. Environmental Problems,
Center for American Progress,
February 1, 2021, 9 pp.
Authors: Jenny Rowland-Shea & Sahir Doshi
Environmentalism is generally seen
as a movement to protect ecosystems and natural resources, but within certain right-wing groups, it serves both to cloak and
fuel anti-immigrant sentiment. “The Extremist Campaign to Blame Immigrants for U.S. Environmental Problems,”
published by the Center for American Progress, examines the so-called “greening of hate” and its negative effects
on U.S. environmental and immigration policy. The article reports that certain right-wing pundits, politicians and policymakers
point to immigrants as the primary cause of environmental degradation, despite the fact that immigrants are less likely to
contribute to pollution than the U.S.-born. Identifying nine anti-immigrant groups funded, founded or supported by right-wing
extremists to which almost every formal argument that claims immigrants are the cause of environmental degradation can be
traced, the article analyzes historical and current uses of environmentalism and arguments purportedly couched in science
to “greenwash” and disguise anti-immigrant and racist rhetoric and advocacy. The authors draw on scientific studies
debunking the narrative that immigrants themselves are the cause of environmental degradation, pointing instead to reactive,
xenophobic policies like the border wall, which has deeply scarred ecosystems and fragmented wildlife migration patterns,
as true matters of environmental concern. A focus on anti-immigration measures, the article concludes, directs attention away
from meaningful conservation policies, like the regulation of industry and the defunding of fossil fuel extraction, further
harming those who already bear the brunt of environmental degradation, including Indigenous peoples, immigrants and people
of color. (Kyla Schmitt for The Immigrant Learning Center’s Public Education Institute)
Immigration after Trump: What Would Immigration
Policy That Followed American Public Opinion Look Like?
Public Religion Research Institute, January 20, 2021, 22
Authors: Robert P. Jones et al
When it comes to U.S. treatment of immigrants and refugees, the American
public favors policies closer to those of President Biden than those of former President Trump. This is the conclusion of
a large public opinion survey conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) in September 2020. The PRRI survey
breaks down results by partisanship, age, religious affiliation, race/ethnicity, education, and whether respondents obtained
their news primarily from Fox TV. Americans favor legal status for those brought to the U.S. as children, In addition, majorities
are opposed to the Muslim ban, blocking refugees from entering the U.S. and constructing the border wall; and a large majority
are opposed to family separation. Only one-third of Americans say that immigration is a “critical issue”
-- the lowest proportion since PRRI first asked the question in 2013. Three in ten Americans agree with the statement “immigrants
are invading our country and replacing our cultural and ethnic background.” In this, as with most of the questions,
there was a significant partisan divide. The one group consistently taking the harshest view of immigrants were Republicans
who trusted Fox News to provide accurate information. On the question of immigrants “invading” our
country, 67 percent of Fox viewers believed this was true. The one question in which a majority of Americans saw immigrants
as a threat was on the question of job competition. A majority (55 percent) think that immigrants “compete
with hardworking Americans for jobs.” The upshot is that President Biden can proceed with reversing Trump’s
immigration policies and know he will have the support of the majority of the public. (Maurice Belanger, Maurice Belanger
What Increases Public Support for Immigration?
Results from a New Experiment
CATO at Liberty, December 29, 2020, 7 pp.
Ekins & David Kemp
This article reports the results of an experiment measuring the impact of different messages
on support for immigration. Researchers divided subjects into three groups, and had each group read a different newspaper
clipping. When asked their opinion later, subjects who read an article emphasizing the history of immigrants adopting American
customs and culture were significantly more likely to favor an increase in immigration compared to subjects who read an article
emphasizing growing diversity and portraying diversity as an American strength. The “assimilation primed”
subjects were also more likely to favor an increase in immigration compared to a control group who read an article about gardening.
Researchers concluded that convincing people that immigration will not change the American way of life might increase their
comfort with increasing immigration. This experiment comports with a growing body of work showing that messages emphasizing
commonality between natives and immigrants may be more effective than those arguing the economic value of immigrants or of
diversity in general. (Maurice Belanger, Maurice Belanger Associates)
The Political Effects of Immigration: Culture or
Harvard Business School Working Paper, November 2020, 50
Authors: Alberto Alesina & Marco Tabellini
How do immigrants impact electoral politics in
receiving countries? While many studies have examined the economic effects of immigration, only in the last decade have researchers
focused on the cultural impact of immigration on electoral politics. After reviewing this emerging literature, the authors
of “The Political Effects of Immigration: Culture or Economics?” argue that the traditional economic
narrative, namely the claim that immigrants increase labor market competition, is not enough to explain the rise of anti-immigrant
sentiment in electoral politics, particularly because immigration has proven to be economically beneficial to receiving countries.
Instead, the study argues that cultural factors play an important role. These factors include stereotypes that native-born
people hold about immigrants and misconceptions about the size, composition and cultural values of immigrant groups. These
factors fuel narratives about immigrants as “outsiders” who pose a threat to the culture of receiving countries.
Such narratives, the authors suggest, will likely intensify in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic as backlash against globalization
grows and some fear their countries will be "infected," culturally and physically, by "outsiders." The
study also examines how these economic and cultural forces together contribute to the political, and in turn electoral, effects
of immigration, such as support for anti-immigrant parties and policies. The authors hypothesize that anti-immigrant sentiment
also fuels the political right’s emphasis on limiting the role of government in economic redistribution (which could
potentially benefit poorer immigrants) and protecting the cultural values and composition of the nation. In light of these
findings, the authors suggest that future studies should examine this connection between anti-immigrant sentiment and far-right
politics, as well as the link between the moral values of a society and the impact that immigration itself could have on these
values. (Sonali Ravi for The Immigrant Learning Center’s Public Education Institute)
The Political Economy of Populism,
Social Science Research Network,
March 19, 2020, 112 pp.
Authors: Sergei Guriev & Elias Papaioannou
This study seeks to understand the
root causes of the rise of populism around the world. The authors use a definition of populism drawn from the work of Dutch
political scientist Cas Mudde, who considered populism to be less an ideology and more a theory of society. He described populism
as a “thin-centered ideology” that considers society divided into two homogeneous and antagonist groups: “the
pure people” and “the corrupt elite.” The authors discuss the pervasiveness of populism both in the developed
and developing world and trace milestones in the rise of populism culminating in the 2016 election of Donald Trump as president
of the U.S. and the BREXIT decision in the U.K. The anti-elite thinking of populists means that they can dismiss the importance
of independent institutions such as the media, and systems of checks and balances, as these institutions are tools used by
the elite to maintain power. Science is also considered a bastion of elitism, which explains populist hostility to climate
change theory. The balance of the paper reviews research that attempts to understand the conditions that give rise to populism.
An overarching question is whether the main drivers of populism are economic or cultural, or some combination of the two.
A separate section of the paper looks at the impact of immigration on populist movements. Their review of the research on
this subject is rather inconclusive. Although immigration has a tendency to influence the populist vote, the size of the immigrant
population may be less important than the pace of demographic change in a particular community. Moreover, some research suggests
that the composition of the immigrant population, i.e. whether high-skilled or low-skilled, may also have some bearing on
the growth of populist movements.
Immigration in the Era of Trump: Jarring Social, Political, and Legal Realities,
NYU Review of Law & Social Change, May 21, 2020, 19 pp.
Author: Engy Abdelkader
This interdisciplinary essay by Rutgers University Political Science professor Engy
Abdelkader is adapted from remarks she delivered during a six-part webinar series sponsored by the American Bar Association
in 2019-2020. She argues that Trump-induced xenophobia has led to disturbing realities for Muslim, Black, Latinx, and Jewish
communities in the United States, as reflected in spikes in violence directed at these communities. These attacks, she writes,
“overlap” and are “intersectional” in nature. Moreover, “the causative relationship between
inflammatory political rhetoric and discriminatory policies to hate-motivated violence is not merely a matter of popular perception.”
Academic research also “bolsters claims that hateful speech incites lawless violence.” The balance of the paper
examines the rationale for, and the impact on the separation of powers doctrine of, the President’s declaration of a
national emergency to permit the diversion of funds for the construction of a barrier wall on the southern border. The author
suggests that it might be time for Congress to reign in the executive branch through revisions to the National Emergencies
Act, which was used to justify the president’s actions. Finally, the author looks at whether new domestic terrorism
laws, either passed on the state or federal level, might serve to protect minority communities from future acts of violence.
Public attitudes toward immigration – Determinants and unknowns,
IZA World of Labor, March 2020, 11 pp.
Author: Mohsen Javdani
This report examines public
opinion surveys across Europe and finds that concern about immigration has increased within many countries since 2005. Majorities
across these countries favor tighter immigration policies. The author takes a look at motivations behind this concern and
finds that anxiety related to the labor market and fiscal effects of immigration are less important than sociopsychological
factors. Evidence for negative labor market and fiscal impacts of immigration are weak at best, so there is little objective
reason for strong anti-immigration feelings springing from economic self-interest. Instead, perceived threats from immigrants
are at least partly fueled by the cultural, religious, and ethnic differences of immigrants from the dominant population.
In particular, the author notes, “prejudice is most prevailing when it is institutionalized by a dominant group,”
which fears losing its superiority and privilege. The primacy of sociopsychological factors in anti-immigrant prejudice explains
the limited effectiveness of policies meant to mitigate the economic impact of immigration. Policy makers interested in cooling
anti-immigrant prejudices must address the sociopsychological concerns underlying them. (Maurice Belanger, Maurice Belanger
Increasing Immigrant Inclusion: Family History, Empathy, and Immigration in the United States,
Immigration Policy Lab, Stanford University, March 18, 2020, 40 pp.
Scott Williamson et al
The United States, long considered a nation of immigrants, has in recent years experienced
heightened polarization of opinions about immigration. While emerging research suggests that exposure or connection to migrants
and their experiences increases the likelihood of positive attitudes, no study had explicitly tested whether “empathy,”
or reminding people of their shared migratory experiences (even if occurring in earlier generations), could shift attitudes
on immigration. Increasing Immigrant Inclusion: Family History, Empathy, and Immigration in the United States published
by the Immigration Policy Lab at Stanford University uses data from three separate survey experiments to show that priming
Americans on their own family immigration histories can modestly increase support for immigrants and more generous immigration
policies. Survey respondents included members of all major political parties and members of partisan subgroups generally perceived
to have negative attitudes about immigrants. The authors suggest that, despite being small and short-term, those effects could
be of value to election strategists and politicians as well as comparative studies of migration attitudes and larger-scale
intervention efforts. (Jasmina Popaja for The Immigrant
Learning Center’s Public Education Institute)
Rebuilding Community After Crisis: Striking a New Social Contract for Diverse Societies,
Transatlantic Council on Migration, January 2020, 29 pp.
Authors: Demetrios G. Papademetriou & Meghan
This essay, prepared for the 20th plenary meeting of the Council in 2019, calls for a “fundamental
rethink of what it means to live together amid diversity.” The European refugee crisis of 2015-16, the continuing migration
crisis on the southern US border, and the backlash against immigration whipped up by populist politicians, have frayed the
“social contract” of western societies and “diluted the idea of universal citizenship.” The authors
suggest that we should strive for a new understanding of immigrant integration to replace the “by-now-trite conceptualization
of integration as a two-way process…” This new understanding would produce “a new language of rights, duties,
and fairness” applicable both to immigrants and native-born citizens. Instead of using civics or citizenship courses
“to impart static information about a particular set of values, countries can use them to encourage dialogue, manage
conflict, and confront extremist views.” Integration efforts would be “community-driven,” taking advantage
of a “swell of energy and enthusiasm among new actors eager to help newcomers settle in,” including immigrants
and refugees themselves. Finally, integration would be a project that “extends beyond newcomers alone,” functioning
“as a tool to address broader social maladies, such as inequality.” This broader project may “paradoxically
outgrow the language and governance of integration itself.” (Nicholas
V. Montalto, Ph.D.)
Change is Hard: Managing Fear and Anxiety about Demographic Change and Immigration in Polarized
Welcoming America, January 2020, 22 pp.
Author: Suzette Brooks-Masters
The current great
wave of immigration to the United States and the rapid demographic change the country is experiencing have transformed the
immigration issue from one where, just a few decades ago, policy changes were left to a handful of experts and legislators
to the hotly contested culture war battleground it is today. The author reviews research on important work being done to lower
cultural tension and promote a sense of common purpose between immigrants and established residents. The paper cautions against
the “immigrant exceptionalism” approach often taken by immigrant supporters, i.e. the tendency to emphasize the
superior work ethic and entrepreneurial drive of immigrants and refugees compared to native residents. This approach can actually
alienate members of a receiving community, who may feel their own needs and contributions are not sufficiently recognized.
Instead, showing how immigrants are an integral part of the community may be a more effective approach. Research indicates
that promoting empathy to combat resentment towards immigrants and racial minorities is most effectively done in one-on-one
conversations, allowing people to feel they are being heard and respected. Such conversations are taking place in a number
of promising “deep canvasing” projects across the U.S. The author makes a series of recommendations for building
inclusion across our cultural divides, and suggests that organized philanthropy will have to shift its focus to scale up this
enormously resource-intensive work. Government and employers can and should play a role as well. Our future, the author notes,
will be determined by how well our communities and our nation manage the destabilizing reactions to demographic and other
disruptive changes we are currently experiencing. (Maurice Belanger, Maurice Belanger Consulting)
Immigration Nation: Exploring Immigrant Portrayals on Television,
Define American & USC Annenberg Norman Lear Center, October 2018, 20 pp.
on television do not accurately reflect the immigrant community in the U.S. and in fact are often depicted as undocumented,
incarcerated and criminal. ”Immigration Nation: Exploring Immigrant Portrayals on Television,” uses content analysis
of 47 television shows that aired in 2017-18 to examine how immigrants are represented in popular culture and the ways these
depictions compare with the immigrant reality. The study found that female immigrants, Asian immigrants and Black undocumented
immigrants were underrepresented on TV. For example, female immigrants comprise 52 percent of the foreign-born population
in the U.S., but only 40 percent of immigrant characters on TV. This study also found that TV portrayals overrepresented immigrants
as criminals, incarcerated and uneducated. While research has consistently shown that immigrants are less likely than U.S.-born
individuals to commit a crime or be incarcerated, 34 percent of immigrant characters were associated with a crime. The study
concludes with an analysis of widely used immigration terms in the sample of TV shows, the most common of which were “deportation”
and “ICE.” (Deb D’Anastasio for The Immigrant Learning Center’s Public Education Institute)
Research Brief: Deep Canvass, Deep Change
The California Immigrant Policy Center, March 2019, 9 pp.
A new model of political canvassing
based on holding in-depth and emotional conversations with voters is reshaping grassroots engagement on immigration and can
be replicated in other areas and with other topics. “Deep Canvass, Deep Change” is a guide that chronicles the
successful techniques of the California Immigrant Policy Center and its partner organizations, such as the Tennessee Immigrant
and refugee Rights Coalition, in using a strategy called deep canvassing. The model, which solicits an emotional response
from the interviewee to build connections between canvassers and voters, has been shown to be more effective than traditional
canvassing scripts that focus only on repeating a list of talking points. The Center used data gathered from door-to-door
canvassing teams in California and Tennessee to create a new script, which reshaped the voting decisions of eight percent
of voters approached on the issue of undocumented immigrants and healthcare. The campaign also revealed that five percent
of voters showed a measurable reduction in prejudice towards undocumented immigrants as a result of the deep canvassing conversation.
The key element that canvassers identified as crucial to the success of their conversations was to invoke the memory of a
time when the voter was shown compassion by others. The campaign found that this “real world persuasion tool”
can be replicated by a variety of organizations and even builds the leadership skills of the canvassers. (Clare Maxwell
for The ILC Public Education Institute)
Abolishing the Toxic “Tough-on-Immigration Paradigm,”
Harvard Kennedy School Journal of Hispanic Policy, May 17, 2019, 20 pp.
Author: Felipe De Jesus Hernández
In 2018, President Trump authorized the U.S. military to temporarily close sections of the U.S.-Mexico border, suspend
asylum rights and fire tear gas and rubber bullets into migrants waiting on the Mexican side. These forceful actions were
in keeping with decades of bipartisan, tough-on-immigration policy that have dominated U.S. action, particularly since the
Reagan administration. This paper critiques the sociopolitical construct of the “undeserving criminal alien,”
the basis of the tough-on-immigration paradigm, and offers an alternative “reparative justice paradigm for immigration
policy.” The author asserts that both political parties still use that paradigm to shape immigration policies. For instance,
both parties insist on maintaining the “deportation regime” in their immigration policy proposals, emphasizing
security, enforcement and criminality. The writer claims that the U.S. approach to immigration “contradicts” and
undermines the “mythical exceptional social vision” of the nation. The author, instead, proposes a new reparative
justice model to replace the deserving-undeserving immigrant binary. In working toward a new paradigm, the author recommends
that we strive for the abolition of for-profit detention, promote the ability of all workers to collectively bargain internationally,
establish humane migration pathways, and “imagine a world beyond politically and economically constructed borders.”
(Jasmina Popaja for The ILC Public Education Institute)
Social Cohesion Series,
Welcoming America, 2019-2020
Susan Downs-Karkas & Rachel Peric
This series of four short papers, released to mark the 10-year anniversary
of Welcoming America, updates the organization’s 2011 Receiving Communities Toolkit. The papers highlight innovations
in “contact building, leadership engagement, and positive communication to foster greater belonging for all. The first
paper (“Building Cohesive Communities in an Era of Migration and Change”) focuses on the political divisions and ethnic tensions that have intensified over the last decade and makes a number
of broad recommendations, including taking “whole-of-community” approaches and working across the political spectrum.
The second paper (“Innovations in Building Meaningful Contact Across Difference”) reviews the “proliferation” of contact building activities in recent years and profiles
those programs that have produced encouraging results and that show potential for replication elsewhere. Among these programs
are: The Welcome Table of the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation and the Know Your Classmates program of the
Beyond Differences organization. The third paper (“Engaging Local Leaders to Foster Welcoming Communities”) identifies the various types of leaders, e.g. faith, local government, etc., who can set the tone for welcoming and
belonging in a community and offers some recommendations to maximize their contributions. The fourth paper will be released
in early 2020.
The Language of Immigration Reporting: Normalizing vs Watchdogging in a Nativist Age,
MIT Center for Civic Media & Define American, 2019, 25 pp.
Authors: Emily B. Ndulue et al
Terms such as “illegal immigrant” and “alien” are both dehumanizing and misleading, yet such phrases
are increasingly used in media coverage of immigration. “Normalizing vs. Watchdogging in a Nativist Age” is a
collaboration between researchers from Define American, the MIT Media Lab, and Harvard University that seeks to understand
how news media have portrayed immigration during the years of the Trump administration. The authors found that, since 2014,
there has been a “significant jump” in the use of derogatory language in major newspapers such as The Washington
Post, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times and USA Today. Not only was there an increase in the use of such language
in reporting on the statements of politicians or commentators, the newspapers also used these terms in their original text
at a higher rate. Furthermore, data showed that major newspapers increased their references to extreme anti-immigrant groups
during that time frame. Over 90 percent of the time, for example, these newspapers treated the extremist Center for Immigration
Studies as a neutral and legitimate source of information. The researchers cautioned that use of derogatory terms in media
could reinforce anti-immigrant sentiment, and recommended that news agencies change their style guidelines to require more
neutral terminology. According to the authors, “mirroring the corrosive language of this administration and of extremist
groups is dehumanizing vulnerable populations and legitimizing hate speech.”
The Role of Contact and Values in Public Attitudes Towards Unauthorized Immigrants,
American Immigration Council, April 2019, 20 pp.
Authors: Diana M. Orcés & Walter A.
Most assessments of public opinion towards immigration are based on polling data. This study argues that
this approach prevents a thorough understanding of respondents’ sentiments towards unauthorized immigrants and how their
views are formed. To address this shortcoming, the American Immigration Council paired its web-based, voluntary survey of
1,280 native-born U.S. citizens with an analysis of background information for these individuals, including personal values,
political ideologies, socio-demographic variables, and opinions on social issues. Authors Diana Orcés and Walter Ewing
sought to discover if a respondent’s personal values and prior contact with immigrants correlate with their views on
unauthorized immigrants. One key finding was that positive, friendly contact with immigrants is associated with pro-immigration
sentiments. Another important finding was that respondents who value empathy tend to have pro-immigrant sentiments whereas
those who place a high value on authority have less favorable attitudes. These findings, the authors suggest, could help with
the development of more effective strategies to improve the reception of immigrants in local communities. (Monica Leon
for The Immigrant Learning Center’s Public Education Institute)
In Search of a New Equilibrium: Immigration Policymaking in the Newest Era of Nativist Populism,
Migration Policy Institute, Transatlantic Council on Migration, November 2018, 35 pp.
G. Papademetriou et al
This report from the Migration Policy Institute explores the connection between recent
populist and far-right political successes and nativist sentiment within the European Union and the United States. The authors
highlight the underlying economic insecurity in low- to middle-income groups and how their political and social grievances
have played into the hands of extremists. After reviewing the drivers of public anxiety about immigration and the implications
of seismic shifts in political systems, the report lays out a roadmap to forge more responsive policies that serve the interests
of the broader society. Policymakers must determine how to respond to the forces that have driven support for populism, including
concerns about cultural identity, rising income inequality, and pressures on limited public resources. They will also need
to figure out how to build a new consensus on immigration, restoring public confidence in the integrity of migration management
systems, including returning those without the right to stay, and redressing the uneven costs of immigration, globalization
and economic crises. To combat extremism and restore faith in democratic institutions, leaders should follow a “whole-of-government”
approach, designing “mainstreamed services capable of meeting the needs of all vulnerable groups…”
More Latinos Have Serious Concerns About Their Place in America under Trump,
Pew Research Center, October 25, 2018, 54 pp.
Authors: Mark Hugo Lopez et al
This report summarizes the key findings from a nationally representative telephone survey of 1,501 Hispanic
adults conducted from July 26 to September 9, 2018. The authors compare the results of this survey with those from a similar
survey conducted three years earlier. On just about all measures, attitudes have grown more negative. For example, half of
Latinos say their situation has worsened over the past year, up from 32 percent three years ago. While assessments of personal
finances among the general U.S. public have improved (50 percent now say “excellent” or “good”), the
percentage among Latinos has dropped from 40 percent in 2015 to 33 percent in 2018. Despite these attitudes, most Latinos
(84 percent) say that they are proud to be Americans. The report also breaks down its findings by gender, age, educational
background, and nativity, i.e. foreign-born vs. U.S.-born.
Introduction: Immigration and Changing Identities,
The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences, 4:5 (August 2018), 25 pp.
Nancy foner et al
This is the introduction to a special issue of the Journal devoted to “Immigration
and Changing Identities.” All nine articles explore how immigrants and their children view themselves in racial
and ethnic terms, how U.S.-born individuals view immigrants of various backgrounds, and how the artificial constructs of race
and ethnicity may be changing based on the increasing importance of immigration in American life. Although racial and ethnic
categories are often assumed to be fixed and unchanging, the authors observe that “the historical, sociological, and
psychological evidence convincingly document their dynamics and flexible nature.” Complicating the analysis is the tendency
of some people to shift their primary identities over the course of their lifetime, for gender to influence preferred identity,
and for the ethnic composition of a particular locality to influence changing racial and ethnic hierarchy. The article
contains separate sections exploring historical and contemporary evidence regarding the changing boundaries and status of
whites, Asians, Hispanics, and Blacks. For whites, the authors discuss the feelings of insecurity that led to the election
of Donald Trump, as well as the “downgrading” of whiteness in some communities where large numbers of educated
Asian-Americans live. For Hispanics, they discuss the “confusion and debate” over whether Hispanics should be
considered a race or and ethnic group. For blacks, they explore the impact of African and West-Indian immigrants and
their children (now 10 percent of all immigrants) on the meaning of African-American identity. The authors also explore the
implications of growing rates of intermarriage on racial categories in the United States. Rather than assuming the people
will fit into existing racial categories, we may see the emergence of new racial categories, such as a new “beige majority,”
consisting of most Hispanics and Asians, or in another formulation, a tripartite division consisting of “whites, honorary
whites, and collective blacks.” What is clear, according to the authors, is that we need more research to address the
multitude of questions regarding changing racial and ethnic identity in the U.S.
Hidden Tribes: A Study of America’s Polarized Landscape,
More in Common, 2018, 156 pp.
Authors: Stephen Hawkins et al
This report discusses the
findings of a large-scale national survey of Americans about the current state of civic life in the United States. Produced
by More in Common, a new international initiative to build societies that show resilience against the growing polarization
of modern political life, the survey reveals the “hidden architecture of beliefs, worldviews and group attachments”
that are better predictors of political opinion than demographic factors like race, gender, or income. Rather than a binary
left-right dynamic, the study identified seven groups of Americans (sometimes referred to by the authors as “tribes”)
that are differentiated by their underlying beliefs. The authors assigned respondents to these tribes based on answers to
a subset of 58 core belief and behavioral questions. Arranged from left to right on the political spectrum, the tribes are:
progressive activists, traditional liberals, passive liberals, politically disengaged, moderates, traditional conservatives,
and devoted conservatives. While the progressive activists on the left (8 percent of respondents) and the devoted conservatives
on the right (6 percent) have predictable and almost uniform views on a range of issues, including immigration, the other
tribes are much more nuanced and flexible in their views. For example, 64 percent of Americans as a whole believe that people
fleeing war and persecution should be able to take refuge in other countries, but only 27 percent of Devoted Conservatives
hold that opinion. By segmenting the American electorate in this manner and analyzing underlying value and belief systems,
the authors see the potential to generate creative solutions to the nation’s problems and to prevent political polarization
from spiraling out of control.
Out of Many, One: A Defining Moment for American Immigration,
National Immigration Forum in Partnership with More in Common, October 2018, 20 pp.
spring of 2018, the National Immigration Forum set out to engage in a series of “living room conversations” in
21 cities across the country. The purpose was to gain a greater understanding of the attitudes shaping perceptions of immigrants
and immigration in the context of the nation’s deeply polarized politics. The Forum partnered with More in Common, which
designed a discussion guide to use in these conversations. This report presents the insights gained from those conversations,
and concludes that American identity is being reshaped as perceptions related to culture, security, and economy are shifting.
These changes are not solely related to demographic change. Our changing demographics are taking place in the context of transitions
in the economy, new technologies, and changing social norms. Many Americans focus their anxiety on demographic change, and
question whether immigrants want to become part of the larger culture or whether they pose security or economic threats. On
the other hand, those who develop personal relationships with immigrants are more understanding and appreciative. The challenge
is to make the connection from the personal relationship with the immigrant next door to the perception of immigrants more
broadly. Only when we assuage people’s fears on the issues of culture, security, and economy will we be able to accomplish
long overdue policy reforms. To get there, we will need to engage specific audiences through a “diverse menu of constituency,
communications, and advocacy strategies” that are touched on in the report. In the end, the report concludes, it will
be the Americans in the “geographic and political middle of the electorate” who will decide whether “out
of many, we can remain one.” (Maurice Belanger, Maurice Belanger Consulting)
Gifts of the Immigrants, Woes of the Natives: Lessons from the Age of Mass Migration,
Harvard Business School, Working Paper 19-005, 2018, 50 pp.
Author: Marco Tabellini
Over the past decade, increases in immigration to the United States and Europe have caused severe political backlash. Anti-immigrant
sentiment is growing, and many right-wing movements have gained power by exploiting this situation. However, this is not the
first time in U.S. history that immigration has been so controversial. This paper analyzes the economic and political impact
of the so-called “age of mass migration” from 1880 to 1914, when millions of Europeans emigrated to the U.S. One
of the main fears, then and now, was that immigrants would compete for available jobs and drive down wages in particular industries.
The author’s analysis suggests that this fear was unfounded; immigrants had a significant and positive effect on native
workers’ employment. In fact, for every 10 new immigrants, two more native-born Americans found a job. Nor is there
any evidence that immigration drove down wages. However, the mere presence of large numbers of immigrants, even in geographic
areas benefitting the most from immigration, created a political backlash, suggesting to the author that “cultural fears,”
rather than economic concerns, drove the restrictionist movement. His findings are “consistent with a long-standing
idea in the literature that diversity can be economically beneficial because of gains from specialization and complementarity,
but may be politically hard to manage, resulting in lower preferences for redistribution, more limited public spending, and
higher conflict.” (Deb D’Anastasio for The Immigrant Learning Center’s Public Education Institute)
The Dreamer Divide: Aspiring for a More Inclusive Immigrants Rights Movement,
Stanford Journal of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, May 2018, 11 pp.
Author: Adrienne Pon
Since 2017, the Trump administration has advanced a series of anti-immigrant initiatives such as rescinding the Deferred
Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which had suspended deportation for about 800,000 young undocumented “Dreamers”
– immigrant youth brought to the United States as children. This report argues that countering anti-immigrant sentiment
and policies requires “inclusive strategies that avoid advancing the interests of some immigrants at the expense of
other immigrants.” The authors utilize data from governmental, academic and news sources to show the importance of an
inclusive immigrant advocacy strategy in the context of the Dreamer debate. The essay reviews past and present social movement
strategies aimed at promoting the interests of some underprivileged groups at the expense of other similarly situated groups.
For example, the majority of white women suffragists opposed the full inclusion of black women in their movement because they
feared that resulting racial tensions would hinder the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment. This example reminds us of potential
hazards in the current Dreamer debate, which involves a divide between high-achieving youth considered blameless for their
undocumented status and older undocumented immigrants whose image seems to suffer by comparison. If not bridged, legislation
designed to aid DACA recipients could potentially harm other immigrants. To advance more inclusive immigrants’ rights
strategies, the essay recommends that advocates scrutinize the impact of legislative efforts on all immigrants, stay attuned
to the needs of their communities and collaborate with a variety of immigrant communities. This approach will “chip
away at the systemic discrimination against immigrants in our society.” It might even be necessary, the author suggests,
to drop the term “dreamer” altogether. (Jasmina Popaja for The Immigrant Learning Center’s Public Education
Economic Anxiety or Racial Resentment? An Evaluation of Attitudes Toward Immigration in the
U.S. from 1992 to 2016,
Github, July 2018, 30 pp.
Author: Steven V. Miller
The 2016 U.S. presidential election intensified the academic debate over whether
anti-immigration attitudes are due to economic anxiety or racism. While many journalists suggested that it was due to economic
anxiety, statistical analysis conducted by Steven V. Miller of Clemson University found that “racial resentment”
is the main and most reliable predictor of attitudes toward immigration. In this study, Miller analyzed American National
Election Studies data from 1992 to 2016 and Voter Study Group data from 2016 to determine whether anti-immigrant attitudes
were caused by economic anxiety, i.e. a perceived or actual threat to the economic self-interest of the respondent, or racial
resentment, i.e. the belief that immigrants or other minorities are violating core values of the white population. Miller’s
findings indicate factors such as negative racial stereotypes, belief in Christianity and the English language as central
to the American identity, perceived threat of the Spanish language and resentment towards the perceived lack of assimilation
of immigrants were more likely to influence anti-immigration attitudes. In fact, Miller found no relationship between higher
unemployment and an increase in votes for right wing, anti-immigrant candidates. Miller concludes that media outlets must
be careful not to assume an economic basis for anti-immigrant attitudes. (The Immigrant Learning Center’s Public
Sources Shared on Twitter: A Case Study on Immigration,
Pew Research Center, January 29, 2018, 38 pp.
Authors: Galen Stocking et al
To investigate the
spread of immigration-related "fake news," the Pew Research Center analyzed 9.7 million tweets containing immigration-related
keywords and a link to an external website. The period of analysis was the first month of Trump's presidency. The researchers
sought to understand the different types of immigration-related information sources accessed by people on Twitter. Limiting
the analysis to 1,030 websites linked at least 750 times among 9.7 million tweets about immigration, the researchers found
that 42 percent of links were to news organizations websites, 29 percent were to websites for other information providers
(such as commentary blogs, nonprofits, or government officials), and 29 percent were to non-informational websites including
spam. Further analysis revealed that 75 percent of tweets that included a URL linked to a news organization. The report also
found that 56 percent of the tweets linked to "legacy" print- or broadcast-based news organizations, whereas only
19 percent of tweets linked to digital-native news organizations. The most frequently linked websites were The New York
Times and The Hill, which each made up seven percent of the total number of links. They were followed by CNN and The
Washington Post, which each made up four percent of links; and Fox News, which made up three percent. The findings suggest
that "fake news" sites were not a major factor in the Twitter information stream about immigration. Although verifying
the accuracy of all reporting was beyond the scope of this study, researchers found that few of the 1,030 sites carry the
attributes of sites generally identified as publishers of "made-up" political news. (Tulane University,
A Two-Way Street: How Immigration Shapes Everyday Life in Silicon Valley,
Migration Policy Institute, April 4, 2018, 11 pp.
Author: Tomás R. Jiménez
article is based on the author's research for his recently published book entitled, "The Other Side of Assimilation:
How Immigrants are Changing American Life," in which he explores the concept of "relational assimilation,"
described as a process of mutual accommodation whereby both immigrants and "established individuals" change as they
adapt to one another over time. He defines "established individuals" as U.S. born people with parents also born
in the U.S. Because of its large population of immigrants (37 percent compared to a national average of 13 percent), Silicon
Valley is a fertile place to examine these trends. The team of researchers conducted semi-structured interviews with
179 established individuals of varied socioeconomic and racial backgrounds. By living or working in close proximity to immigrants,
U.S.-born persons become more familiar with the experiences, cultural practices, and challenges of immigrants. "Proverbial
strangers are not so strange after all." In fact, "the prominence of ethnic culture generated reflections
among established individuals about their own identity and heritage." In some communities in Silicon Valley, even
the meaning of whiteness has changed, suggesting "academic mediocrity and a lackadaisical approach to school," whereas
"acting Asian" stood for the opposite. The author ends on an optimistic note, suggesting that the process
of relational assimilation, with its potential to reshape the beliefs, identities, and attitudes of established residents,
will create a "new sense of normal" that bodes well for the future of the country.
Status threat, not economic hardship, explains the 2016 presidential vote,
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, March 26, 2018, 10 pp.
Author: Diana C. Mutz
study debunks the widely-held theory that the economic hardships experienced by working-class white voters largely explain
Donald Trump's success in the 2016 presidential election. Using a nationally representative panel survey of just over 1,200
individuals (administered in both 2012 and 2016), matched with cross-sectional data supplied by the National Opinion Research
Center at the University of Chicago, the researcher found that the 2016 election was "more about dominant groups that
felt threatened by change" and a candidate who hammered away at issues likely to appeal to this demographic, e.g. immigration,
trade, and restoring America's standing in the world. "The rising sense of racial and global threat could not be more
opportune for a candidate seeking to capitalize on status threat-based issues." While it is true that non-college-educated
people voted for Trump in larger numbers, these are also the same people less likely to support international trade and more
likely to display negative attitudes towards racial and ethnic diversity. While "Trump's victory may be viewed
more admirably when it is attributed to a groundswell of support from previously ignored workers," it would be a mistake
to accept this interpretation of the election, even if the cause of displaced workers is an important one. Moreover,
as minority influence is likely to grow in the years ahead, "a sense of group threat is a much tougher opponent than
an economic downturn, because it is a psychological mindset rather than an actual event or misfortune."
The Other America: White working class views on belonging, change, identity and immigration,
Centre for Trust, Peace, and Social Relations, Coventry
University, UK, 2017, 63 pp.
Authors: Harris Beider et al
Throughout the 2016 presidential
election cycle, campaign officials and members of the media used the term "white working class" to describe the
supporters of Donald Trump. Through this qualitative study conducted during and after the election, the authors examine whether
the definition and understanding of the "white working-class" are relevant to people who identify as white and working-class.
The researchers conducted hundreds of interviews with community leaders and organized focus groups in five geographically
diverse areas of the United States. They found that the criteria used to identify and analyze the white working-class-including
education level, income and occupation-were too narrow and were adamantly rejected by individuals who self-identify as white
working-class. Instead, study participants saw their group as characterized by a set of shared values, e.g. being honest,
hardworking and providing for their families. Participants did not openly discuss "whiteness" but instead used coded
language to lament changing demographics in their communities, which they associated with negative consequences like an increase
in crime rates. They also felt that the value of "fairness" was being neglected, as some groups, they believed,
received more favorable treatment than others. Finally, the study posits that one solution to this growing divide in America
is organizing cross-racial coalitions so that white working-class and middle-class individuals can form relationships with
immigrants and members of communities of color. For such coalitions to develop, however, will require investments in organizational
capacity-building on the local level
Beyond Economics: Fears of Cultural Displacement Pushed the White Working Class to Trump,
PRRI and The Atlantic, May 9, 2017, 25 pp.
Authors: Daniel Cox, Rachel Lienesch, Robert P. Jones
white working class voted for Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton in the 2016 U.S. presidential election by a margin of roughly
two to one. To illuminate the characteristics, attitudes and experiences that were most significant in predicting white working-class
voters' support for Trump, researchers at the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) tested a variety of demographic, cultural
and economic factors before and after the election that may have influenced these voters. Findings based on analysis of data
from a national survey and focus groups were released in the joint PRRI and The Atlantic report Beyond Economics:
Fears of Cultural Displacement Pushed the White Working Class to Trump. The researchers' multivariate logistic regression
model identified four significant predictors of support for Trump among the white working class. They found that white working-class
voters who identified with the Republican Party were 11 times more likely to support Trump. In addition, fear of cultural
displacement was also a significant indicator of support for Trump, as white working-class voters who felt like "strangers
in their own land" were more than three times more likely to support Trump. Similarly, those who favored deporting immigrants
living in the country without authorization were 3.3 times more likely to express a preference for Trump. Economic concerns
were less predictive of support for Trump, as white working-class voters who reported being in fair or poor financial shape
were nearly twice as likely to support Clinton. The report also found that factors such as views on race and gender roles
as well as degrees of civic engagement were not significant independent predictors. (Sarah Purdy for The ILC Public Education
Muscular Public Relations Strategy to Paint Immigrants and Immigration as Negatives Embedded Deep Within
Trump Executive Orders,
Migration Policy Institute, Policy Beat, March 22, 2017, 6 pp.
Authors: Muzaffar Chishti, Sarah Pierce,
& Jessica Bolter
This essay calls attention to an organized effort on the part of the Trump administration
to produce and disseminate data designed to malign undocumented immigrants and to discredit those local governments providing
"sanctuary" to them. Beginning in the rhetoric of the presidential campaign, this effort took concrete form in a
series of presidential executive orders, including one requiring the Department of Homeland Security to provide weekly reports
on criminal actions by noncitizens, quarterly reports "studying the effects of victimization by criminal aliens,"
and quarterly reports on the immigration status of noncitizens in the prison population. Another order requires Immigration
and Customs Enforcement to issue a weekly "Declined Detainer Outcome Report," publicizing those states and localities
that refuse to hold undocumented prisoners after having served their sentences. According to the authors, "such collection
and use of governmental information to disparage other government entities is highly unusual, if not unprecedented."
The thrust of this entire effort is to use the "public relations machinery" of the federal government to "build
a perpetual news-generation mechanism that showcases instances where immigrants and refugees pose a threat to society or impose
costs." The essay includes a table summarizing all of the new reporting, which if implemented, will produce at least
120 reports in the first year. "What use these reports will be put to beyond shaping public opinion remains to be seen."
Making America 1920 Again? Nativism and US Immigration, Past and Present
Journal on Migration and Human Security, 5:1 (2017), 18 pp.
Author: Julia G. Young
President Trump's America is looking increasingly like the America of the 1920s. This article examines the
influence of nativism on immigration policy from the early 1870s to the present. President Trump has consistently appealed
to nativist sensibilities, from promising a border wall between Mexico and the U.S. to proposing legislation banning travel
from several Muslim-majority countries and cutting U.S. refugee admissions. The author suggests that Trump's campaign slogan
of "Make America Great Again" is reminiscent of 1920s America, when immigration was restricted based on racist conceptions
of culture. Nativism in the late nineteenth to early twentieth centuries was predicated on the idea that certain immigrant
groups were too culturally distinct to assimilate, too prone to criminality or revolutionary ideologies, or were taking job
opportunities from working class whites. Such rhetoric resulted in severe immigration restrictions and quotas on Asian, eastern
European, southern European and Slavic immigrant populations. While the nativism of 1920 is certainly similar in tone to the
nativism of today, contemporary nativism is more likely to be directed towards immigrants from Mexico, Central America, Muslims
and the undocumented than Asians or Europeans. While it may be impossible to eradicate nativism completely, the author proposes
that advocates of immigration reform discuss the social and financial costs of nativism and do more to highlight the cultural
and economic contributions of undocumented immigrants and Muslims. The author also recommends that opponents of nativism work
to overturn nativist legislation in multifaceted and sustained efforts. (Sarah Purdy for
The ILC Public Education Institute)
You are Not Welcome Here Anymore: Restoring Support for Refugee Resettlement in the Age of Trump,
Journal on Migration and Human Security, 5:2 (2017), 21 pp.
This essay analyzes one of the major forces that led to Trump's rise
to the presidency: a strong anti-immigrant-and anti-refugee- worldview, shaped in part by Samuel Huntington's Clash of Civilizations
theory. This theory posits that conflicts around the globe are caused by clashes between cultures-not ideologies or nation
states. Huntington believed that there are five major "cultural fault lines": Western Christian, Russian Orthodox,
Confucian (China), Islamic, and Latin American. This belief system, shared and promoted by Steve Bannon and many of
the President's advisors, fueled the hostility expressed during the campaign towards Muslim and Latin American immigrants
and refugees. Trump and his coterie of supporters worried that multiculturalism, would lead to the downfall of western,
Christian civilization. Huntington believed that the end of the Cold War would mark the end of ideological conflicts
and the beginning of cultural conflicts, thus setting the stage for the upsurge of xenophobia in the U.S. In the remainder
of the essay, the author discusses what can be done to firm up public support for refugee resettlement, especially in the
face of this cultural worldview. He emphasizes "the centrality of culture in the legislative process," and calls
for a rethinking of strategies for creating a more welcoming America. Traditional advocacy will probably yield limited results.
Rather, reaching out to grassroots America with a different narrative about the U.S. place in the world will be crucial. (Deb D'Anastasio for The ILC Public Education Institute)
Unfit for the Constitution: Nativism and the Constitution, From the Founding Fathers to Donald Trump,
Robert Williams University School of Law, Legal studies Research Paper No. 174, February 24, 2017, 75 pp.
Jared A. Goldstein
While many Americans take pride in the "creedal conception" of American citizenship,
i.e. the idea that devotion to the principles of the Constitution is the "glue" that holds together the nation despite
our diverse backgrounds, many others have insisted that such devotion is not shared by people from certain ethnic, racial,
and religious backgrounds. Indeed, some historians have questioned whether this idealized notion of American citizenship ever
really held sway in the United States. In this essay, Jared Goldstein explores a number of episodes in American history that
tend to support this interpretation, including the Know-Nothing Movement in the pre-Civil War years that tried to exclude
Irish immigrants on the basis of their loyalty to the pope and supposed antipathy to self-government; the anti-Chinese movement
of the late 19th century that claimed that Chinese immigrants were incapable of supporting constitutional principles;
the immigration restriction movement of the early 20th century that singled out southern and eastern Europeans
as people incapable of embracing individualistic "Nordic" values; and the contemporary movement to exclude Muslim
immigrants and to restrict Latino migration on the assumption that these groups cannot be trusted to support the Constitution.
"All of these movements invoked allegations of hostility to the Constitution as the touchstone for identifying dangerous
foreigners... To say that some people are hostile to the Constitution is simply a code for saying that they are hostile to
the United States, that they are un-American."
Welcoming America produces toolkits and other resources to build more accepting attitudes towards immigrants and refugees
in local communities:
America Needs All of US: A Toolkit for Talking about Bias, Race and Change,
Welcoming America, 2015, 13 pp.
Neighbors Together: Promising Practices to Strengthen Relations with Refugees and Muslims,
Welcoming America, 2016, 17 pp.
Author: Mahvash Hassan
Stand Together: Messaging to Support Muslims and Refugees in Challenging Times,
Welcoming America, 2016, 25 pp.
Authors: Claudette Silver & Amanda Cooper
(WA) promotes and supports a movement of more than 100 local governments striving to create more inclusive and welcoming communities.
The organization addresses the fears and concerns of established residents, emphasizes the importance of face-to-face dialogue
between people of diverse backgrounds, and publishes training materials to be used by local leaders working to build harmonious
relationships between people. WA also stresses the connection between a welcoming environment for immigrants and refugees
and the vitality of local economies. Over the last year, WA has produced a number of toolkits and resources that may
prove especially valuable as the nation transitions to a new administration in Washington that appears to be less friendly
to immigrants and refugees. America Needs All of Us: A Toolkit for Talking About bias, Race, and Change seeks to help people overcome the discomfort they may feel in talking about race and ethnicity. The target audience
is the "moveable middle...those whose minds are not yet made up about immigration and the changes they may be seeing
in their community." The toolkit suggests a number of "top-line messages" that may prove effective
in changing people's attitudes, and offers some "talking points for tough questions" that may arise during such
conversations. Neighbors Together: Promising Practices to Strengthen Relations with Refugees and Muslims focuses on communities around the country that have grappled effectively with tensions arising from demographic change
and the fear-mongering of hate groups. Funded by the Office of Refugee Resettlement (HHS), the publication is designed
to build greater community support for refugees. The report profiles projects that use strategies, such as: developing
preventative relationships; promoting better information sharing; building intercultural alliances; participating in joint
community projects; drawing on the arts as a way of connecting people; and encouraging greater civic engagement on the part
of refugee and Muslim communities. A companion piece to this toolkit is Stand Together: Messaging to Support Muslims and Refugees in Challenging Times. Drawing on public polling data from the Public Religion Research Institute and The Brookings Institution, this publication
highlights a number of "winning messages" that can help community members "break through the noise we are surrounded
by." The authors also emphasize the power of story-telling and give examples of story themes that can sway people who
Explaining Nationalist Political Views: The Case of Donald Trump,
Gallup, August 11, 2016
Author: Jonathan T. Rothwell
Based on 87,000 interviews that the Gallup
organization conducted over the last year, there is little evidence that Trump supporters have been disproportionately affected
by foreign trade or immigration, compared to those who oppose him. The results also suggest that his supporters, on
average, do not have lower incomes than other Americans, nor are they more likely to be unemployed. These conclusions seem
to fly in the face of the conventional wisdom about Trump's base of support. Although Trump supporters tend to have unfavorable
attitudes towards immigrants, "they are also the least likely to encounter an immigrant in their neighborhood...those
who view Trump favorably are more likely to be found in white enclaves - racially isolated Zip codes where the amount of diversity
is lower than in surrounding areas." However, Trump supporters do tend to live in areas of "low economic
mobility," suggesting that their children may be struggling to gain a foothold in the economy or that they themselves
may have suffered a decline in earnings, despite their relative privileged status. Trump supporters also tend to congregate
in areas with poor health outcomes. "These findings suggest a need to understand how even seemingly affluent voters may
take extreme political views when their health status and the well-being of their children fail to meet their expectations.
The results also suggest that housing and social integration can moderate extreme political beliefs, consistent with contact
How Immigration and Concerns about Cultural Change are Shaping the 2016 Election: Findings from the
2016 PRRI/Brookings Immigration Survey
Public Religion Research Institute, Brookings Institution, June 3, 2016, 60 pp. Authors: Robert
P. Jones, Daniel Cox, E.J. Dionne Jr., William A. Galston, Betsy Cooper, & Rachel Lienesch
This paper reports
on a survey of a large sample of Americans in all 50 states, conducted in the spring of 2016. The survey included questions
on the direction of the country, the economy and personal financial well-being; levels of anxiety about terrorism, crime,
and unemployment; and opinions on trade and taxation. The survey also asked Americans how they feel about immigration and
cultural change, and about the upcoming presidential election. The survey also attempts to measure orientation towards authoritarianism.
Regarding immigration and cultural change, the survey asked respondents about their level of comfort with immigrants who don't
speak English, perceptions about discrimination against whites and Christians, and attitudes about Islam. The study also asked
respondents to describe some traits of immigrants, and whether they think immigrants strengthen the U.S. or take jobs from
Americans and drive down wages. There were also a number of questions focused on immigration policy-the perception of the
number of deportations in recent years, whether undocumented immigrants should be allowed to stay (most say yes), whether
the U.S. should build a wall on the Mexican border (most say no), and whether the U.S. should ban Syrian refugees (most say
no again). Responses to this survey are broken out by race and ethnicity, party affiliation, educational attainment, and religious
affiliation, providing a rich description of the differences in attitudes that Americans hold on these important issues. (Maurice
Belanger, Maurice Belanger Consulting)
Understanding and Addressing Public Anxiety About Immigration
Transatlantic Council on Migration, Migration Policy Institute, July, 2016, 23 pp.
Authors: Demetrios Papademetriou &
The authors begin with the assumption that anxiety about immigration is not inevitable
and that governments can take action to reduce it. They note that anxiety around immigration is a complex phenomenon and that
it cannot be attributed to any single factor. For example, the authors point out that there is no consistent correlation between
the actual size of the influx of immigrants and the response of the public in the receiving nation. They suggest five contextual
factors that set the stage for public anxiety about immigration- 1) Sudden flows of immigrants that outpace the ability of
the country or local community to receive them, 2) The perception that immigrants are competing with the native population
for scare resources, 3) The feeling that immigrants do not share the values or identity of a receiving community, 4) Security
fears shaped by the media that lead to a generalized mistrust of a particular immigrant community, and 5) The perception that
the government is not equipped to handle the flow of immigration. The authors discuss each of these factors, examining how
perceptions of conditions may differ from what data suggests. However, they urge governments to not simply write off these
potential misperceptions and instead to address existing concerns by taking action, including simultaneously framing immigration
as part of the national narrative and treating concerns about immigration as legitimate. They repeatedly suggest that when
anxiety about immigration is ignored, people are more likely to gravitate to anti-immigrant parties and movements. (Erik
Jacobson, Montclair State University)
Playing the Trump Card: The Enduring Legacy of Racism in Immigration Law
Berkeley La Raza Law Journal, 26:1 (2016), 46 pp.
Authors: David B. Oppenheimer, Swati Prakash, & Rachel Marie
This article grew out of a 2011 European conference on "The ‘others' in Europe and Beyond"
and will eventually be published in revised form in a book featuring papers from the conference. Looking at the historical
experience on major immigrant communities in the U.S, including the Irish, Jews, Italians, Chinese, Japanese, and Mexicans,
the article finds that from the earliest days of the republic, "racism and xenophobia have been a driving force behind
immigration law in the United States...In every generation of American immigration, the predominant immigrant group has been
the victim of discrimination and oppression." The authors call attention to the "paradox" of a nation desperately
needing successive groups of immigrants for their labor but denying them the welcome they deserve. The article also attempts
to define the meaning of the terms assimilation (applicable, they suggest, to European immigrant groups), integration (applicable
to Chinese and Japanese), and racialized non-white others - a category with shifting boundaries, which may or may not encompass
Mexican immigrants and their descendants in the future.
When Islamophobia Turns Violent: The 2016 U.S. Presidential Election
The Bridge Initiative, Georgetown University Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, May 2, 2016, 76 pp.
The mission of Georgetown University's Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, since its founding
in 1993, has been to build stronger bridges of understanding between the Muslim world and the West. Since the late 1990s,
it has also studied the emergence and impact of Islamophobia. This report provides detailed information on violent incidents
directed at Muslim immigrants and Muslim religious institutions in the U.S. from the beginning of 2015 through March of 2016.
The authors see a clear relationship between the heated, anti-Muslim politic rhetoric of Donald Trump and other Republican
candidates for president and the increasing frequency of such incidents. Since the first candidate announced his bid for the
White House in March 2015, there have been approximately 180 reported incidents of anti-Muslim violence, including: 12 murders,
34 physical assaults, 49 verbal assaults or threats against persons and institutions, 56 acts of vandalism or destruction
of property, 9 arsons, and 8 shootings or bombings. This represents a 17 percent increase over the number of anti-Muslim
hate crimes in 2014.
Does Information Change Attitudes Towards Immigrants? Evidence from Survey Experiments,
Social Science Research Network, April 21, 2016, 55 pp.
Grigorieff, Christopher Roth, & Diego Ubfal
This research suggests that the dissemination of accurate information
about immigration can help to reduce biased attitudes and change policy preferences. The authors analyzed a representative
cross-country sample of 19,000 people, half of whom were prompted with accurate information about immigration and half of
whom were not. The probability that the "treatment group" felt that there were too many immigrants was 12 percentage
points lower than those who did not receive the information. The authors also performed a similar online experiment
with 800 participants, where half of the sample received some general information about immigration, while the other half
did not. Members of the treatment group "update(d) their beliefs about immigrants, and they donate(d) more money to a
pro-immigrant charity." Interestingly, self-described right wing or Republican participants "respond(ed) more
strongly to the information treatment, both in terms of their views on immigrants and in terms of their policy preferences."
Engaging the Anxious Middle on Immigration Reform: Evidence from the UK Debate
Transatlantic Council on Migration, Migration Policy Institute, May, 2016, 27 pp.
Authors: Sunder Katwala & Will
This research on public opinion in the UK, prepared in conjunction with the 2015 plenary meeting
of the Transatlantic Council on Migration, attempts to provide a more accurate and nuanced analysis of the various streams
of opinion on migration-related questions. "Migration rejectionists," representing approximately a quarter of the
UK population, take a uniformly hostile stance on all forms of migration, whereas "migration liberals" - also about
a quarter of the population - seem to be content with current levels of immigration. By far the largest group, however, are
the majority in the "anxious middle." They recognize the benefits of migration, but also are concerned about
the possible downside of migration, including greater use of welfare and public services on the part of some immigrants, potential
job competition, and threats to the national culture. The authors argue that policy makers need to take these concerns into
account, rather than dismissing them as irrelevant or illegitimate. They also fault the current Conservative government
for making promises it couldn't keep, e.g. cutting net migration to an annual total of 100,000, and thereby eroding public
confidence in the government's handling of immigration, and spurring the growth of the right wing, anti-immigrant UKIP party.
"The current government...has continued efforts to project a stance of tough control on immigration, despite evidence
suggesting that these promises do not reassure the anxious middle and do not deliver what the public are asking for."
Strangers as Neighbors Toolkit: One Parish One Community - A Guide for Engaging United States Catholic
Congregations in Difficult Dialogues,
Center for Faith & Public Policy, Fairfield University, 2016, 41 pp.
Jocelyn M. Boryczka & David Gudelunas
The discussion of immigration reform within a faith-based framework
can be a contentious issue because of the principle of the separation of Church and state. Researchers at Fairfield University
held focus groups at two different Catholic parishes on Long Island, NY, which revealed that tensions mount within congregations
when priests introduce political issues directly into religious services. In response to these findings, the researchers
created this Toolkit for Catholic congregations to engage in productive, faith-based discussions on immigration outside of
formal religious services. Specifically, it provides a six-stage process for facilitating discussion with detailed examples
of framing and messaging exercises, relevant Bible verses and prayers, and related Catholic social teachings. The
authors recommend using the Toolkit to allow congregation members to move from a polarizing political discourse to one based
on a shared humanity extending from the parish to the global community. The Toolkit can also be adapted to broach issues other
than immigration. (Karly Foland for The Immigrant Learning Center Public Education Institute)
Managing Religious Difference in North America and Europe in an Era of Mass Migration
Transatlantic Council on Migration, Migration Policy Institute, April, 2016, 14 pp.
Authors: Demetrios G. Papademetrious,
Richard Alba, Nancy Foner, & Natalia Banulescu-Bogdan
This paper compares and contrasts the experiences
of Muslim immigrants in Europe and North America. The authors suggest that religious differences, per se, have greater salience
in the European context because of the larger numbers of Muslim immigrants in Europe (nearly 40 percent of all non-European
immigrants in 2010), and the fear that Islamic values and practices may be incompatible with European traditions of free expression,
gender equality, and equal rights for previously stigmatized groups such as homosexuals. In the United States, on the other
hand, Muslims constitute only 8 percent of all new permanent residents between 1992 and 2012, and religious pluralism -- whether
Christian, Jewish, or Muslim -- is an established reality so that Muslims are not feared so much as a religious minority,
but more as a potential security threat. Moreover, Muslims in the U.S. come from a wide variety of ethnic backgrounds, show
greater socioeconomic success, and have a larger percentage of people born in the U.S. The rest of the paper looks at the
"macrolevel factors" that work to advance the full integration of religious minorities, including the "selectivity
of immigration policies," the support of ethnic and religious communities -- which paradoxically facilitates assimilation
into the larger society; and the removal of barriers to the economic integration of the second generation. But these factors
alone do not guarantee success. Political leaders must provide wise leadership to manage social change.
How Americans View Immigrants, and What They Want from Immigration Reform: Findings from the 2015 American
Public Religion Research Institute, March 29, 2016, 23 pp.
Authors: Robert P. Jones,
Daniel Cox, Betsy Cooper, & Richard Lienesch
The Public Religion Research Institute's 2015 American Values
Atlas is based on interviews, conducted with a random sample of 42,000 American adults. The large sample size allows for analysis
at the state and metropolitan level. This report, focusing on attitudes towards immigrants and immigration reform, shows that
a majority of the public views immigrants positively-something that is hard to discern in present day political discourse.
There are, however, important differences among groups in thinking about immigrants as strengthening American society or as
a threat to our traditional customs and values. The report details differences by age, race and ethnic group, political and
ideological affiliation, and religious affiliation. The report also details attitudes by state and region. On the question
of immigration reform, a majority of Americans (62 percent) favor a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, provided
they meet certain conditions. An additional 15 percent say that these immigrants should be allowed to stay but not become
citizens. There is majority support for a path to citizenship in every state except South Dakota, but even in that state,
only 32 percent think that undocumented immigrants should be identified and deported (Maurice Belanger, Maurice Belanger
Sanctuary Cities and Dog-Whistle Politics,
University of Denver Sturm College of Law, Legal Research Paper Series, Working Paper No. 16-08, March 16, 2016
Author: Christopher N. Lasch
This essay deals with the use of coded racial narratives to set political and
policy agendas in the "crimmigration" arena. The author focuses on the tragic death of Kathryn Steinle in San Francisco,
accidentally shot and killed by an undocumented immigrant who had been released from the custody of the San Francisco Sheriff's
Department after completing a federal prison term for illegal entry into the U.S. Donald Trump, other Republican candidates
for President, and Fox News seized upon this incident to condemn San Francisco's sanctuary policy. Donald Trump used the incident
to justify his hardline immigration policies and to support his unflattering characterization of Mexican immigrants. According
to the author, the complexity of the Steinle case got lost in the telling of the story. The author sees parallels with the
Willy Horton narrative used by the George H.W. Bush campaign in 1988 to discredit his Democratic opponent as being "soft
on crime." In both cases, the story becomes a way to mask the underlying racial message, i.e. instead of an overt
attack on Blacks and Latinos, the target becomes the alleged criminality rampant among members of both groups.
The Anti-Immigrant Lobby: The White Nationalist Roots of the Organizations Fighting Immigration Reform,
People for the American Way, 2015, 16 pp.
This report traces the origins of three organizations dominating the
immigration restriction movement in the U.S: the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), NumbersUSA, and the Center
for Immigration Studies (CIS) – all of which, according to the authors, “have ties to the dark underbelly of the
anti-immigrant movement, which smears immigrants using racial terms, plays to fears of demographic change, and caters to those
who want the U.S. to be and remain a nation run by and for a white majority.” The “architect” of all three
organizations was John Tanton, who “has made it clear that one of the major factors driving his anti-immigration activism
is his interest in the United States remaining a majority-white nation.” The report notes that the
three organizations are “heavily funded by foundations connected to a single wealthy conservative family, the Scaifes.”
In the 2013 tax year, the Colcom Foundation – one of these foundations – “provided FAIR with a little over
$4 million of the $6.3 million in grants and contributions it received that year; about $1.9 million of the $2.4 million that
CIS took in; and nearly $4 million of the $6.3 million received by Numbers USA’s educational arm.” The report
critiques the work of the Center for Immigration Studies -- the so-called “think tank” of the restrictionist movement
– which produces studies that “have been exposed as flawed or have been debunked.” Despite its suspicious
history and scholarship, the group is regularly called upon to provide testimony at congressional hearings. As political candidates
stoke the anxieties and prejudices of segments of the white electorate to gain electoral advantage, the authors of this report
fault these groups for providing a cloak of legitimacy to extremist views.
Residential Segregation: A Transatlantic Analysis
Transatlantic Council on Migration, Migration Policy Institute, September, 2014, 14 pp.
Author: John Iceland
Transatlantic Council commissioned research for this paper in connection with its 11th plenary meeting in November
of 2013. Acknowledging that immigrant residential segregation is often transitional and voluntary in nature, the authors discuss
the circumstances under which such segregation can interfere with the goal of immigrant integration. They also review and
evaluate an array of policy interventions designed to combat the ghettoization of immigrants and other minorities. Such interventions
may be broadly classified as direct and indirect. Direct interventions might include efforts to redistribute low-income housing
throughout the city or to develop mixed-use housing. Indirect interventions seek to address the underlying causes of
residential segregation, such as altering the skill mix of new immigrants (on the assumption that high-skill immigrants may
be less likely to settle in ethnic enclaves) or giving immigrants access to the language training, citizenship acquisition,
and economic opportunities necessary to succeed in society. The author concludes that the latter type of intervention, i.e.
addressing underlying causes, will "reduce the risk that (immigrants) become economically and residentially marginalized."
The paper includes a table showing "dissimilarity indexes" for immigrant communities in various cities in the EU
and the U.S. For example, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis in the U.K. are among the most segregated (over 70), whereas Turks in
Dusseldorf and Algerians in Paris are among the least (below 30). The chart shows comparable rates for Blacks and Hispanics
in the U.S.
Opening Borders: African Americans and Latinos Through the Lens of Immigration,
Harvard Latino Law Review, 17:1, 2014, 64 pp.
Author: Maritza Reyes
This essay is a plea for
honest dialogue between African Americans and Latinos on the subject of intergroup racism. Reyes contends that racism is "the
elephant in the room" when it comes to relationships between these two groups, and as they increase in size, the dynamic
between them will shape the future of the nation. Although there is abundant literature on racial dynamics between Whites
and minorities, the question of how minorities engage in "racialized politics" is a kind of "taboo subject."
One way to gauge the extent of such attitudes, she believes, is through the lens of immigration reform politics. Sometimes,
the media uses a "divide-and-conquer strategy" to exaggerate the level of tensions between the two communities,
as they did during the 2008 Democratic Primary between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. However, there are real and worrisome
examples of anti-Black sentiment within the Latino community (the author discusses the Latin American hierarchy of race),
and anti-Latino sentiment within the Black community (she references Black support for nativist movements in American history).
One of the greatest fears among Blacks "is that Latinos who assimilate into whiteness will also assimilate into some
of the privileges associated with whiteness, including racism against Blacks." For these reasons, she urges African
Americans and Latinos to engage in the arduous work of coalition-building. The ultimate success of immigration reform may
hinge on the success of these efforts.
Fostering Welcoming Communities Through Dialogue,
Welcoming America, n.d., 28 pp.
Author: Maggie Herzig
In order "to help strangers become
neighbors," Welcoming America has partnered with the Public Conversations Project to produce this publication -- part
of a toolkit of resources developed by Welcoming America to help fulfill its mission of promoting mutual respect and cooperation
between immigrants and native-born Americans. The publication provides guidance on how to initiate, manage and evaluate structured,
face-to-face communications between immigrants and native-born Americans. Welcoming America favors "dialogue," by
which it means a "conversation that is carefully designed and facilitated," over other forms of interaction.
Participants should understand each other's experiences, reflect on their own experiences, develop a curiosity about the lives
and perspectives of others and move beyond stereotypes. The publication also contains suggestions regarding communication
agreements and questions to draw out "deep sharing." For those interested in greater detail about dialogue method,
Public Conversations Project offers a 172-page guide, Fostering Dialogue across Divides: A Nuts and Bolts Guide from the Public Conversation Project. (Denzil Mohammed)
Social Cohesion Radar (Measuring Common Ground): An International Comparison of Social Cohesion
Bertelsmann Stiftung, 2013, 73 pp.
Authors: Georgi Dragolov, Zsófia
Ignácz, Jan Lorenz, Jan Delhey, Klaus Boehnke
The study seeks to address
a gap in cross-national data comparisons by measuring the quality of "social cohesion" in 34 countries, including
the U.S. The authors used 12 different data sets in their analysis and tracked changes over a 25-year period ending in 2012.
The study identifies and defines three domains of social cohesion: social relations, connectedness, and focus on the common
good. Within each of these domains, three measurable dimensions are identified, for a total of 9 dimensions. Examples of dimensions
include Social Relations 1.3 (Acceptance of Diversity), i.e. people accept individuals with other values and lifestyles as
equal members of society; Connectedness 2.3 (Perception of Fairness), i.e. people believe that society's' goods are fairly
distributed and that they are being treated fairly; and Focus on the Common Good 3.3 (Civic Participation), i.e. people participate
in society and political life and enter into public discussion. The approach taken in the study "specifically avoids
equating cohesion and homogeneity," because a model seeking to transcend differences is "outdated and fails to account
for the reality of diverse and complex societies." The results indicate that social cohesion is strongest in Denmark,
followed by Norway, Finland and Sweden. The English-speaking non-European countries of New Zealand, Australia, Canada and
the United States have the next highest rankings. Although specific policy recommendations were beyond the scope of the study,
the authors note that "there is no one-size-fits-all approach," as countries like Sweden and the U.S. achieve relatively
high scores, despite different social conditions. However, successful countries have "achieve(d) a broader kind of inclusion
aimed at increasing acceptance for immigrants and, in general, anyone with a different lifestyle."
Stronger Together: Making the Case for Shared Prosperity Through Welcoming Immigrants in Our Communities
Welcoming America, n.d., 19 pp.
This messaging "toolkit" was prepared
by Welcoming America, a national organization comprised of a network of local affiliates working to promote understanding
between foreign- and native-born Americans. For immigrant-serving and other organizations seeking to inject a positive tone
into the immigration debate, Stronger Together suggests messaging strategies that can resonate with key audiences
in their communities, including legislators, community and business leaders, and employers. Effective themes might include
"stronger together," "innovation" and "vibrant communities." The toolkit recommends partnerships
with local universities or chambers of commerce to quantify the economic impact of immigrant tax payments, buying power, and
entrepreneurship. In addition, advocates can remind both legislators and the "wide middle" of undecided citizens
of the values that are shared between the foreign- and native-born. In these ways, immigrant-serving organizations can foster
a more welcoming environment conducive to immigrant integration and community prosperity. (Denzil Mohammed)
The Role of Consular Programs in Fostering Welcoming Communities,
Welcoming America, n.d., 8 pp.
This brief argues that there is an important role for foreign consulates
to play in creating a more receptive climate for immigrants in local communities. The brief describes a partnership between
Welcoming America, a nonprofit organization dedicated to addressing the fears and concerns that native-born Americans have
regarding immigration, and the Embassy of Mexico and its consular assistance programs in three states: Kansas, Minnesota,
and Utah. Through their reputation, contacts, and resources, the consulates can help to create or strengthen local chapters
of Welcoming America and to build stronger relations between new and established residents.
Immigration and Gender: Analysis of Media Coverage and Public Opinion,
The Opportunity Agenda, December, 2012, 50 pp.
order to gain a better understanding of whether women's concerns are adequately reflected in conversations about immigration,
the authors of this report analyze how current media discourse and public opinion view women immigrants in the areas of immigration
status, family, and gender roles. The researchers examined the content of over 30 media outlets, reviewed data from 25 public
opinion surveys conducted in 2010-2012, and gleaned information from a linguistic study, excerpts of which are included in
the Appendix. The findings suggest that the American public has a distorted perception of the lives of foreign-born American
women. Women immigrants are often depicted as powerless victims whose contributions to society as family stewards
and civic leaders are overlooked. The report recommends that advocates, policymakers, journalists, and others work to better
inform public discourse and opinion and build support for policies that encourage the full integration of women immigrants
into American society. The report makes nine recommendations to correct the distorted media image of immigrant women.
Anatomy of a Modern Day Lynching: The Relationship between Hate Crimes against Latina/os and the Debate
over Immigration Reform,
University of California (Davis), Legal Studies Research Paper, October, 2012, 39 pp.
This paper argues that high levels of hate crimes against Latinos and immigrants are "an indirect result of
the volatile national debate over immigration." As a case example, it recounts the killing of Mexican immigrant Luis
Ramirez in the small town of Shenandoah, Pennsylvania in 2008. The authors argue that such violence is likely to continue
until Congress passes fundamental immigration reform. They also propose a series of measures designed to "reduce, remedy,
and deter hate violence" against Latinos and immigrants, including reforms to ensure more diverse juries, limitations
on peremptory challenges to jury selection, allowing bilingual Spanish speakers and non-citizens to serve on juries,
stepped-up federal prosecutions of hate crimes, a clearer demarcation of federal vs state power to regulate immigration, strengthening
the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, and the creation of local human rights commissions to investigate hate crimes.
Media Coverage of Migration in the Americas,
Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas and Open Society Foundations, August, 2012, 21 pp.
This report summarizes the 9th Austin Forum on Journalism in the Americas, which took place in Austin, TX, in September
2011. A gathering of some 50 journalists, specialists and NGO representatives met over two days to identify ways to improve
media coverage of international migration in the Americas. The report examines media coverage in the U.S., Central America,
South America, and the Caribbean. The consensus was that "migration is more complicated than it seems, and its coverage
is usually superficial." Participants agreed that in-depth analysis, balance and objective journalism are needed to better
understand and cover immigration issues. Among the suggestions offered in the report are more stories about immigrants
and their families, historical explanations for migration and investigations into related issues such as government policies,
health issues, economic and social factors, education and housing. In this way, participants noted, journalists would
communicate the broad and profound effects immigrants have on the lives of everyone around them, especially in their adopted
homelands. Thus, journalists can help to fashion a new narrative of immigration that is less negative, more relevant and more
constructive. The Forum also showcased examples of media projects to explore the hidden realities
of migration. (Denzil Mohammed)
Beyond FAIR: The Decline of the Established Anti-Immigrant Organizations and the Rise of Tea Party Nativism,
Institute for Research & Education on Human Rights, 2012, 51 pp.
This "special report"
discerns two important trends during the period from 2007 to 2012: first, a decline in membership and finances for the
"nativist establishment;" and second, "an increase in anti-immigrant activism by national and local Tea Party
groups, as well as a measurable number of anti-immigrant leaders who have joined the Tea Parties and consequently accelerated
the rate of anti-immigrant activism by those Tea Parties." The nativist establishment, as defined in this report, consists
of groups like the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), Americans for Immigration Control, the Minuteman, NumbersUSA,
and the Center for Immigration Studies. Financial support for seven of these groups dropped 32.8 percent from 2008 -
the apex of their finances - to 2010. While the number of Minuteman chapters declined from 115 in 2010 to 53 in 2011, 36 leaders
of Minuteman groups have become active with Tea Party groups. The authors of the report conclude that the "re-articulation
of the Nativist Establishment into the Tea Parties changes both the shape and strength of the anti-immigrant impulse
in American life." By being "mixed into the activities of multi-issue organizations...anti-immigrant activism
has a bigger immediate constituency and is likely to be stronger."
The Receiving Communities Toolkit: A Guide for Engaging Mainstream America in Immigrant Integration,
Spring Institute for Intercultural Learning and Welcoming America, October, 2011, 31 pp.
of this Toolkit, written by Susan Downs-Karkos, is to highlight successful strategies and programs that "build meaningful
connections between immigrants and the native born through contact, improved communication and leadership in order to foster
stronger and more unified communities." The content of the Toolkit is drawn from interviews with "61 stakeholders
who have successfully employed" these strategies in their work. The "Contact" section of the Toolkit describes
promising initiatives in three areas: dialogue programs, such as the Public Conversations Project of Welcoming America; joint
projects, which bring immigrants and native-born together to achieve shared goals; and projects that build alliances across
racial lines. The "Communications" section profiles innovative work in such areas as local media campaigns, film
projects, National Public Radio's Story Corps Project, and Participatory Theater. This section also features tips on
effective messaging on immigration issues. Finally, the "Leadership" section stresses the importance of identifying
local leaders, particularly those from government, faith communities, and business, willing and able to champion "Receiving
Communities" initiatives. The report concludes with the observation that Receiving Communities efforts are most effective
when they combine all three elements into a single program. The report also notes that "this is still a relatively new
field with modest resources" and that effective evaluation of current efforts will lay the groundwork for continued growth.
Quantifying Hate Speech on Commercial Talk Radio: A Pilot Study,
Chicano Studies Research Center, UCLA, November, 2011, 46 pp.
non-peer-reviewed study seeks to develop a "sound, replicable methodology for qualitative content analysis" of hate
speech targeting ethnic, racial, religious, or sexual minorities. Segments of thirty- to forty-minutes were selected
from each of three programs broadcast in the Los Angeles County radio market on July 31, 2008: The Lou Dobbs Show:
Mr. Independent, The Savage Nation, and The John & Ken Show. The analysis revealed "a significant incidence
of speech that incorporates targeted statements, unsubstantiated claims, divisive language, and indexical terms related to
political nativism." The study, however, found no instances of hate speech calling for "immediate unlawful action,"
the standard used in a 1993 Report to Congress on the role of telecommunications in the commission of hate crimes. This
study includes a lengthy appendix with excerpts from the three shows illustrative of the factors used in the analysis
All Together Now? African Americans, Immigrants and the Future of California,
Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration, University of Southern California,
September, 2011, 62 pp.
This report focuses on neighborhood-level interactions between immigrants and African
Americans in California communities. Using an analytical tool called "Black Immigrant Proximity Index," the researchers
were able to identify "87 distinct communities that ranked most highly for African-American exposure to immigrants in
the year 2000." These 87 communities were further sub-divided into four categories based on whether the Black population
was declining, stable, or growing. Although the report acknowledges some displacement of Blacks by immigrants in occupations
such as janitors, many Blacks who retained jobs in industries dominated by immigrants saw significant income growth, suggesting
a complementary effect. The authors argue for an approach to coalition-building "based not in transactions but
transformations." Rather than seeking African-American support for specific policy reforms beneficial to immigrants,
perhaps in exchange for immigrant support for a "Black issue," the authors assert that "such coalitions of
interest can be both fragile and episodic - and less sustainable than those ties based on shared values, continuing engagement,
and social movement organizing." They then proceed to give numerous examples of how this approach has been applied
successfully in specific communities.
Muslim Americans: No Signs of Growth in Alienation or Support for Extremism,
Pew Research Center, August, 2011, 127 pp
This telephone survey
of 1,033 Muslim-Americans, updating an earlier survey conducted by Pew in 2007, finds "no evidence of rising support
for Islamic extremism among Muslim Americans." Interviews were done in English, Arabic, Urdu, and Farsi. Muslim
Americans are far more satisfied with the way things are going in the U.S. (56%) than the general public (23%). More
Muslim Americans report themselves to be in "excellent or good shape financially" (46%) than the general public
(38%). Support for extremist positions is "negligible" with fully 81% saying that suicide bombing and other forms
of violence against civilians are never justified. Nonetheless, significant numbers (28%) report being looked at with suspicion
by their neighbors. Most Muslims (70%) either identify as Democrats or lean toward the Democratic Party. 72% believe that
the Mosque and community center near the World Trade Center should be built.
Empowering Local Partners to Prevent Violent Extremism in the United States,
The White House, August, 2011, 8 pp
particular attention to al-Qa'ida and its affiliates around the world, this paper outlines the federal government's strategy
for preventing radicalization and terrorism in the United States. More than a year in the making, the document contends
that "our security...is inextricably linked to our values: the protection of civil rights and civil liberties and the
promotion of an inclusive society." The paper also argues that any kind of "backlash" by the American public
against Muslim Americans "would feed al-Qa'ida's propaganda that our country is anti-Muslim and at war against Islam,
handing our enemies a strategic victory by turning our communities against one another" and creating a breeding ground
for terrorist recruitment in the U.S. The paper envisions the federal government's role as that of "facilitator,
convener, and source of information." Rather than creating a new architecture of institutions and funding, the
paper advocates the ramped-up use of successful models, such as community policing and community engagement in problem-solving
on all levels, not just those pertaining to the terrorist threat.
Attitudes toward Highly Skilled and Low-skilled Immigration: Evidence from a Survey Experiment,
American Political Science Review, February, 2010, 24 pp.
on a survey sample of 2,285 American citizens, conducted in late 2007 and early 2008, this article questions the common assumption
that concerns about labor market competition and immigrant utilization of public services motivate anti-immigrant sentiment
in the United States. Instead, the researchers found a strong preference for highly skilled immigrants, even among highly-skilled
native-born people, who might find themselves competing with such immigrants. This is one of the first empirical studies to
analyze American public attitudes towards different types of immigrants. As such, it lends support to explanations "emphasizing
noneconomic concerns associated with ethnocentrism or sociotropic considerations."
Climate of Fear: Latino Immigrants in Suffolk County, N.Y.,
Southern Poverty Law
Center (SPLC), September, 2009, 28 pp
This report provides a detailed account of the development of anti-immigrant
sentiment and violence in Suffolk County, NY, from 1999 to 2009, placing particular emphasis on the "angry demagoguery"
of local politicians, the activity of anti-immigrant groups such as Sachem Quality of Life, and the shortcomings of the Suffolk
County Police Department. The SPLC, best known for its battles against the Ku Klux Klan in the 1970s, tracks the activities
of hate groups in the United States. The report is based on interviews with more than 70 Latino immigrants and scores of local
While hate crimes in recent years have declined or leveled off for most groups,
crimes against Hispanic immigrants and gays have increased. This report lays the blame for this rise on the "toxic environment"
created by anti-immigrant talk radio hosts such as Michael Savage and cable TV personalities such as CNN's Lou Dobbs and gives
examples of inflammatory speech from their programs. The report also faults three "seemingly legitimate" restrictionist
organizations: the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), and
NumbersUSA -- "part of a network of restrictionist organizations conceived and created by John Tanton, the 'puppeteer'
of the nativist movement." According to the report, these organizations have "inflamed the immigration debate
by invoking the dehumanizing, racist stereotypes and bigotry of hate groups." Yet, they are often given a platform by
members of Congress to testify at hearings and cited as authoritative sources by the media. The report also notes a proliferation
of hate groups since 2000, operating with increasing sophistication and making ample use of new social media to advance their
cause. The report makes several recommendations to combat the threat of hate crimes, including passage of a strengthened
federal hate crime law.
Under Siege: Life for Low-Income Latinos in the South
Southern Poverty Law Center, April, 2009, 64 pp.
Based on a survey of 500 Latino immigrants
in Charlotte, Nashville, New Orleans, rural south Georgia, and several towns in northern Alabama, this report was designed
to "take the pulse of the Latino community in the South." Among the key findings are the following: 41% of respondents
have experienced wage theft, and 80% lack any knowledge of government agencies able to help out in these situations; more
than 50% "lack confidence in the police;" 47% know someone treated unfairly by the police, with police checkpoints
an especially common complaint; and 77% of Latino women have experienced sexual harassment on the job, often perpetrated by
employers threatening to report women to ICE if they refuse their advances. The report concludes with a series of policy recommendations
to the federal government to combat the growing menace of "racial profiling" aimed at Latinos.
Creating a Diverse and Inclusive Community (No longer available online),
Diversity Dialogue Task Force Report, Arlington County, Virginia, January, 2009,
During 2008, Arlington County conducted a series of three
"diversity dialogues" attracting nearly 500 community members. Using the "World Café" approach
and with help from staff at George Mason University's Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, the dialogues explored
topics such as race relations and immigration. Participants developed a series of recommendations designed to create a more
inclusive community. The County also set up a website about the program.
Neighbourhood Task Forces: A Tool for Dealing with Conflict in Communities,
The Young Foundation (London, UK), October, 2008, 40 pp.
The Young Foundation
is an important catalyst for social entrepreneurship and "open" community development in the United Kingdom and
internationally. In this report and "toolkit," the Foundation details its task force model for addressing community
tensions in two London neighborhoods experiencing demographic change caused by immigration and internal migration. The Foundation
considers the model a "relatively cheap and simple" approach to the challenge of "build(ing) the capacity of
local people to work together on their own solutions" to community problems.
Immigrants Targeted: Extremist Rhetoric Moves into the Mainstream,
Anti-Defamation League, 2007, 12 pp.
This report documents the use of stereotypes and outright
bigotry by "groups that have positioned themselves as legitimate, mainstream advocates against illegal immigration in
America." Seven groups, along with leading media figures and politicians, are profiled in the report.
Integration and Cohesion Case Studies,
Commission on Integration and Cohesion, Department of Communities and Local Government
(United Kingdom), 2007, 226 pp.
In the aftermath of the July 7, 2007, London public transportation bombings,
a Commission on Integration and Social Cohesion was set up to "consider how local areas can make the most of diversity
while being able to respond to the tensions it may cause." In addition to its final report, the Commission produced this
compendium of best practices throughout the United Kingdom. More than 100 different projects are profiled in this document.
Thinking Past Integration and Community Cohesion (No longer available online),
Ash Amin, Paper presented at the 2007 COMPAS Annual Conference, Oxford University, July 5-6, 2007, 8 pp.
this creative and thought-provoking piece, a leading English economic geographer argues the importance of "recovering
the commons" as the physical space where "cultural and civic formation" takes place in our multicultural world.
Places like parks, markets, squares, gardens can promote an image of the city as "plural, for the many, for the idiosyncratic
and ill-conforming, but always in the spirit of revealing the ties that bind."
E Pluribus Unum: Diversity and Community in the Twenty-first Century,
Robert D. Putnam, Scandinavian Political Studies, June 15, 2007, 37 pp.
This controversial essay,
written by Harvard professor Robert D. Putnam, author of Bowling Alone and other books and essays on civic engagement
in America, examines the connections between immigration and civic participation. This is how Putnam abstracts the essay:
"Ethnic diversity is increasing in most advanced countries, driven mostly by sharp increases in immigration. In
the long run immigration and diversity are likely to have important cultural, economic, fiscal, and developmental benefits.
In the short run, however, immigration and ethnic diversity tend to reduce social solidarity and social capital. New evidence
from the US suggests that in ethnically diverse neighbourhoods residents of all races tend to 'hunker down'. Trust (even of
one's own race) is lower, altruism and community cooperation rarer, friends fewer. In the long run, however, successful immigrant
societies have overcome such fragmentation by creating new, cross-cutting forms of social solidarity and more encompassing
identities. Illustrations of becoming comfortable with diversity are drawn from the US military, religious institutions, and
earlier waves of American immigration."
Foundations/Intergroup Relations Program,
Association for the Study and Development of Community, July, 2002,
17 pp, September, 2000, 7 pp.
These two reports discuss a major initiative to support intergroup relationship
building among immigrants and established residents in six areas of the United States. The Charlest Stewart Mott
Foundation and the Ford Foundation partnered with six community foundations to invest $5.1 million to develop innovative neighborhood
and community projects "to improve race and ethnic relations between recent immigrants and long-time residents."
The first report provides guidance to community foundations in setting up intergroup initiatives.
The second report discusses general principles for designing effective intergroup relations programs, provides an analytical tool for
assessing the quality of existing intergroup relations, and gives some examples of successful projects.
Initiative to Strengthen Neighborhood Inter-Group Assets: Summary of Accomplishments
and Lessons Learned, 1998-2000,
Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation, February, 2001, 12 pp.
This report discusses a major intergroup
initiative in the Washington, D.C., and northern Virginia which distributed over $800,000 in funding to 46 inter-group projects.
The initiative promoted the development of learning community consisting of grantees, funders, and consultants who met on
a regular basis to share experiences and review results. The report gives examples of specific projects and summarizes lessons
Together in our Differences: How Newcomers and Established Residents
are Rebuilding America's Communities, Findings from the Community Innovations Project,
(No longer available
National Immigration Forum, January, 1995, 95 pp.
This report spotlights community programs
in Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and New York City that eased tensions between immigrant groups and established
residents by engaging them to solve problems of mutual concern. Among the 16 projects discussed in the report are: the
creation of a community credit union, a tenant organizing project, and the formation of a coalition to promote adult education.
Changing Relations: Newcomers and Established Residents in U.S. Communities
(No longer available online),
Ford Foundation, 1993, 79 pp.
This report presents the results of a study conducted by a multidisciplinary team of researchers investigating the
relationships and everyday interactions among recent immigrants and longer-term residents in six U.S. communities. The sites
include big-city neighborhoods in Chicago, Houston, Miami, and Philadelphia as well as suburban Monterey Park, California,
and rural Garden City, Kansas. The study applied ethnographic research methods to an analysis of the ways long-time residents
and newcomers of widely different cultures and backgrounds relate to each other. The studies' goal was to provide a detailed
description of the full range of relations between immigrants and established residents including interactions producing conflict
or accommodation. The researchers conclude by stressing the importance of economic restructuring, class and gender, geographic
settlement, language barriers, racial stratification, and the role of community control in interactions between newcomers
and established residents.