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Objectives. There is disagreement in the literature on immigration attitudes regarding the relative importance of ethnic stereotypes and more general cultural and economic concerns about increasing immigration in the formation of those attitudes. We argue that the impact of stereotypes relative to these other factors may have been underestimated for a variety of reasons.

Methods. We test the impact of stereotypes on immigration preferences in data from the Multi-Ethnic Module of the 2000 General Social Survey. Because the dependent variables analyzed herein are ordinal, we estimate ordered logistic regressions that correct for diagnosed hetereoskedacticity.

Results. Statistical analyses confirm that negative stereotypes are a significantly larger predictor of ethnicity-specific immigration preferences relative to general attitudes about immigration. Intervening variables analyses also suggest that the impact of stereotypes has been underestimated relative to cultural and economic anxieties because these variables significantly mediate its observed impact.

Conclusions. The results suggest that ethnic stereotypes are significantly more important in determining immigration preferences among Americans than has been reported in previous research.