*Direct correspondence to Professor James C. Garand, Emogine Pliner Distinguished Professor, Department of Political Science, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803-5433 〈firstname.lastname@example.org〉. The corresponding author will provide all data and coding information to those wishing to replicate this study. An appendix reporting descriptive statistics and principal components analysis results discussed in the article is available for interested readers by writing the corresponding author. The authors are grateful to the Pew Hispanic Center for making its data available, and particularly appreciate the efforts of Dulce C. Benavides for her assistance with the data used in this study. The Pew Hispanic Center and the Kaiser Family Foundation bear no responsibility for the interpretations offered or conclusions made based on analysis of the Pew Hispanic Center/Kaiser Family Foundation 2004 National Survey of Latinos, Politics and Civic Engagement data.
Divided Loyalties? Understanding Variation in Latino Attitudes Toward Immigration*
Version of Record online: 15 JUL 2010
© 2010 by the Southwestern Social Science Association
Social Science Quarterly
Volume 91, Issue 3, pages 856–882, September 2010
How to Cite
Rouse, S. M., Wilkinson, B. C. and Garand, J. C. (2010), Divided Loyalties? Understanding Variation in Latino Attitudes Toward Immigration. Social Science Quarterly, 91: 856–882. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-6237.2010.00723.x
- Issue online: 15 JUL 2010
- Version of Record online: 15 JUL 2010
Objective. In this article, we develop and test a model of competing theoretical explanations of Latino attitudes toward immigration; specifically examining their policy preferences on legal immigration, illegal immigration, and a proposed policy for dealing with illegal immigrants. We also consider whether Latino attitudes toward legal and illegal immigration are related and comprise a single coherent structure.
Method. Using data from a 2004 national survey of Latinos, we perform regression, logit, and ordered logit analyses to examine the determinants of Latino attitudes toward immigration.
Results. We highlight three important findings. First, our results demonstrate “within-group” differences in immigration attitudes among Latinos, based on both national origin and generational status; we find that Mexicans are more pro-immigration than Latinos from other countries and that foreign-born Latinos have much more positive attitudes about immigration than second-generation and third-generation Latinos. Second, we find that Latino support for various aspects of immigration is primarily a function of ethnic and linguistic identity and attachment to American culture, with self-interest, contextual variables, and political and demographic attributes playing a smaller, more specialized role. Finally, we demonstrate that Latino attitudes toward legal and illegal immigration are highly interrelated.
Conclusion. There is a coherent structure underlying Latino attitudes toward legal immigration, illegal immigration, and a policy option for dealing with illegal immigrants. Our tests of competing theoretical approaches reveal the importance of national origin and ethnic attachment and acculturation in explaining differences among Latinos on their attitudes toward immigration.