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Abstract

This article uses interview and questionnaire data to examine how adult English as a second language (ESL) providers in rural Pennsylvania perceive community receptivity toward immigrants and the factors they believe foster or hinder receptivity and immigrants' integration. ESL providers' depictions of local responses to immigrants ranged from welcoming to hostile. They identified four constellations of factors that influenced receptivity: national and local politics, the labor market and immigrant occupations, immigrants' ability to look or act like native-born residents, and community institutions. This study reveals how differing contexts of reception are believed to influence immigrants' incorporation into rural communities. It also highlights the role of educators and educational institutions in creating a welcoming atmosphere that supports immigrants' socioeconomic well-being.