All Immigrants

Kevin Lewis

July 04, 2022

Do sanctuary policies increase crime? Contrary evidence from a county-level investigation in the United States
Marta Ascherio
Social Science Research, forthcoming

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has rolled out a series of programs that leverage local and state resources to detain and deport undocumented immigrants. There is little understanding, however, about the public safety consequences of mobilizing local police to enforce immigration law. I use ICE administrative records, Uniform Crime Reports, and American Community Survey population estimates to investigate whether and under what circumstances local immigration enforcement is associated with property crime and violent crime. Results show that crime trends in sanctuary and non-sanctuary counties were not significantly different in the first decade of the 2000s. However, after the proliferation of sanctuary practices around 2014, both property crime and violent crime decreased more in sanctuary counties than non-sanctuary counties, net of other predictors of crime. Further, a pooled cross-sectional analysis of 2013–2016 data shows that sanctuary practices strengthen the inverse relationship between proportion foreign-born Latino and property crime, and reverse the positive relationship between proportion native-born Latino and property crime. I theorize that this occurs because sanctuary practices encourage immigrant political integration, have positive spillover effects to non-immigrant Latinx communities, and increase social harmony.

Prejudiced When Climbing Up or When Falling Down? Why Some People of Color Express Anti-Black Racism
Efrén Pérez, Crystal Robertson & Bianca Vicuña
American Political Science Review, forthcoming

We contend that some people of color express anti-Black prejudice to cope with their own marginalization. Individuals stationed along an in-group’s periphery are often motivated to exclude others to bolster their own belonging in a community. Yet this process is sometimes triggered when individuals feel they are losing their marginal position. We examine these dynamics in the context of Latino prejudice toward Black individuals, with American as the in-group. Study 1 shows stronger American identity among Latinos is associated with anti-Black racism, which then correlates with weaker support for Black-centered policies. Studies 2 and 3 induce Latinos to feel more American, which sometimes increases anti-Black prejudice and decreases support for pro-Black policies. Study 4 causes Latinos to feel less American, which powerfully heightens anti-Black racism and drastically undercuts support for Black-centered policies. These patterns are generally conditioned by ideology, with liberal Latinos exhibiting more sensitivity to their rank as American.

Put on ICE? Effects of Immigration Raids in the Animal Slaughtering and Processing Industry
Pia Orrenius & Madeline Zavodny
AEA Papers and Proceedings, May 2022, Pages 386-390

The animal slaughtering and processing industry was the epicenter of work site immigration raids from 2006 to 2008 that were aimed at rooting out unauthorized immigrant workers in the United States. This study examines whether the industry shifted toward legal workers in the wake of the raids and whether wages, worker turnover, and other labor market outcomes changed as well. We find that the industry initially shifted toward legal foreign-born workers, particularly refugees, but the change faded over time. We also find a substantial increase in industry worker turnover, but not in average wages, at the national level.

From Anti-China Rhetoric to Anti-Asian Behavior: The Social and Economic Cost of 'Kung-Flu'
Justin Huang et al.
University of Michigan Working Paper, May 2022

Discrimination and violence directed towards Asian Americans in the United States increased dramatically following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this paper, we examine consumer discrimination against businesses associated with Asian Americans. Leveraging the pandemic as an exogenous shock to Americans' level of anti-Chinese sentiment, we utilize a series of analyses combining survey data, online search trends, and consumer cellular device mobility data to measure the effects of this shock on consumer discrimination against Chinese and other Asian restaurants. Survey and search data show that attitudes towards Chinese and non-Chinese Asian food declined precipitously during the pandemic, and this change in attitudes was driven by a mix of assigning blame for COVID-19 spread to Asians and experiencing fear of Chinese food. Analysis of cellular phone mobility data shows Asian restaurants suffered a 18.4% drop (95% C.I.: -15.9% to -20.8%) in traffic relative to non-Asian restaurants in the pandemic period. We explore heterogeneity in these effects by political affiliation and find strong correlation between support of former President Trump and avoidance of Asian restaurants. The results are consistent with the role of out-group homogeneity and ethnic misidentification as drivers of spillover effects of anti-Chinese sentiment on non-Chinese Asian restaurant traffic. This work documents some of the unique economic challenges faced by Asian Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic and has substantial implications for the study of consumer discrimination and stigmatization in public health communications.

Scapegoating during Crises
Leonardo Bursztyn et al.
AEA Papers and Proceedings, May 2022, Pages 151-155

Economic crises are often accompanied by waves of antiminority behavior. We build on the framework developed in Bursztyn et al. (2022) to propose that crises, in addition to shifting people's attitudes toward minorities, can provide intolerant people with a plausible rationale for expressing their preexisting prejudice. The availability of such a rationale thus increases antiminority behavior by reducing the associated social sanctions. In an experiment examining how economic crises affect social inference about the motives underlying xenophobic behavior, we find that crises lead respondents to ascribe antiminority behavior to economic concerns rather than to innate xenophobia.

By all means necessary: Closed mindedness, ingroup morality and weapon ownership
Daniela Di Santo et al.
European Journal of Social Psychology, forthcoming

This research investigated the motivational underpinnings of attitudes toward weapon ownership. We propose that people who have a strong need for closure (NFC) would be more likely to approve of weapon ownership, but that this relationship would be serially mediated by the endorsement of binding moral foundations and fear of immigrants. Specifically, heightened NFC would promote moral concerns for the safety of one's group (i.e., the binding foundations) that, in turn, would trigger fear of immigrants, or the belief that immigrants threaten their society. In turn, fear of immigrants would generate the approval of defensive means (i.e., weapons). We tested this serial mediation model in three studies with Italian and US samples, where NFC was both measured (Studies 1 and 3; N = 286 and N = 278) and experimentally induced (Study 2; N = 290). The results supported the proposed model. These findings suggest that a high NFC might explain individuals’ approval of weapon ownership through their moral priorities, which heighten their prejudice toward immigrants. 

Immigration Shocks and Marriage Market Sorting
Katherine Eriksson, Addison Lake & Gregory Niemesh
AEA Papers and Proceedings, May 2022, Pages 214-218

Recent work shows a puzzle in the early twentieth century United States: as intergenerational mobility decreased, assortative mating increased. We argue that these two facts are causally related by using a shock to intergenerational mobility caused by falling immigration with the Quota Acts of 1921 and 1924, which essentially closed the borders to European immigration. We find that lower immigration caused lower intergenerational mobility, causing assortative mating to increase. We also look at the choice of nativity of spouse, finding that socioeconomic status gradients increase for every outcome as immigration decreases.


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