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Ethnic Context and Immigration Policy Preferences Among Latinos and Anglos


  • *Direct correspondence to Rene R. Rocha, Department of Political Science, University of Iowa, 341 Schaeffer Hall, Iowa City, IA 52242 〈〉. Data and coding information used in this analysis are available for replication purposes from Rene R. Rocha. The authors thank the anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments.


Objective. We examine how the immigration policy preferences of Anglos and Latinos vary according to ethnic context. Specifically, we hypothesize that immigration policy attitudes are a product of both Latino immigrant and Latino native born group size. In contrast to previous work, which found that Latinos and Anglos react to contextual forces in an identical manner, we argue that Latino group size produces opposite reactions for Anglos and Latinos.

Methods. These hypotheses are tested using an original state-wide survey of Anglos and Latinos in Texas conducted during 2006, which is supplemented with data from the 2000 Census.

Results. Our findings show that residing in a heavily Latino area produces more liberal immigration attitudes among Latinos and more conservative attitudes among Anglos. However, this result is driven not by the size of the foreign-born Latino population, but by the size of the native-born Latino population.

Conclusion. Anti-immigrant sentiments among Anglos appear to result, at least in part, from ethnic concerns.

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