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Keywords:

  • discrimination;
  • bias;
  • immigration;
  • Latinos

The current field experiment investigated if and how Latinos versus Anglos experience biased treatment in a setting where documentation is relevant. In an audit experiment, Latino customers were treated differently than a matched team of Anglo customers when making $10 check payments at retail stores. Specifically, Latinos were asked to present an identification card (ID) more frequently than Anglo customers, were quoted a higher minimum-dollar amount for purchasing a gift certificate, and received more negative affect from salespersons. Among those who were asked for identification, a municipal-issued ID card was declined at equal rates from Latinos and Anglos, while an unofficial ID card was declined more from Anglos than Latinos. The association of Latino identity with foreignness and undocumented immigration, and the potential of municipal-ID card programs to serve undocumented immigrants are discussed.