This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors. We thank Tuğçe Kurtiş and Alex Horwitz for assistance with data collection, and Heidi Welsch for entering the data. We also thank members of the Culture and Psychology Research Group at the University of Kansas, who provided valuable suggestions for the research.
National Identity and Immigration Policy: Concern for Legality or Ethnocentric Exclusion?
Version of Record online: 7 JUL 2011
© 2011 The Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues
Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy
Volume 12, Issue 1, pages 21–32, December 2012
How to Cite
Mukherjee, S., Molina, L. E. and Adams, G. (2012), National Identity and Immigration Policy: Concern for Legality or Ethnocentric Exclusion?. Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy, 12: 21–32. doi: 10.1111/j.1530-2415.2011.01257.x
- Issue online: 18 DEC 2012
- Version of Record online: 7 JUL 2011
Does support for tough policies against undocumented immigration reflect anti-immigrant sentiments or a neutral concern about upholding laws? This study addresses the question by examining the relationship between different expressions of national identification and ethnocentric enforcement bias—that is, support for punishment of law-breaking immigrants but not law-breaking American employers who knowingly hire undocumented immigrants. Results revealed an association of this enforcement bias with nationalism (an ethnocentric engagement with national identity) but not with patriotism (a more critical engagement with national identity). A moderation analysis indicated that the relationship between nationalism and ethnocentric enforcement bias was most evident among participants who endorsed a “culture”-based construction of American identity in terms of American citizenship and ability to speak English. Discussion focuses on policy developments that reflect a symbolic threat to culture-based constructions of American identity and on the implications for fair and just enforcement of immigration policy.