Kevin Lewis

July 05, 2019

Estimating the Effect of Asking About Citizenship on the US Census: Results from a Randomized Controlled Trial
Matthew Baum et al.
Harvard Working Paper, April 2019

The 2020 U.S. Census will, for the first time since 1950, ask about residents' citizenship status. The effect of doing so on census completion across different racial/ethnic groups is, however, unknown. We introduce the notion of contextual sensitivity to explain how seemingly innocuous questions can become costly to answer in certain political environments. Using this concept and a large survey experiment (n = 9,035 respondents), designed to mirror the appearance and substance of the 2020 Census, we find that asking about citizenship status significantly increases the percent of questions skipped, with particularly strong effects among Hispanics, and makes respondents less likely to report having members of their household who are of Hispanic ethnicity. When extrapolated to the general population, our results imply that asking about citizenship will reduce the number of Hispanics reported in the 2010 Census by approximately 6.07 million, or around 12.03 percent of the 2010 Hispanic population.

An Empirical Study of Political Control Over Immigration Adjudication
Catherine Kim & Amy Semet
Georgetown Law Journal, forthcoming

Immigration reform plays a central role in the Trump Administration's political agenda. This Article presents the first comprehensive empirical assessment of the extent to which Immigration Judges (IJs), the administrative officials charged with adjudicating whether a given noncitizen will be deported from the country, decide cases on the basis of an Administration's political preferences rather than an independent assessment of the legal merits of a given case. We constructed an original dataset of over 800,000 removal proceedings decided between January 2001 and November 2018. First, we found that every Administration - not just the current one - disproportionately appoints IJs with backgrounds in the former Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), or the Department of Justice (DOJ), agencies with responsibilities in prosecuting noncitizens. Second, using logistical regression to control for over a dozen variables that might impact a decision to remove, we found that the identity of the Administration that appointed an IJ was not a statistically significant predictor of the likelihood of ordering removal. That is, after controlling for other variables, Trump appointees were no more likely to order removal than Obama or Bush appointees. Finally, using logistical regression and controlling for other variables, we found that the Administration in control at the time of decision is a statistically significant predictor of removal rates. For example, Bush appointees who served during the Bush, Obama, and Trump Eras were far more likely to order removal during the Trump Era. Specifically, when all other variables are held constant, they were 14% less likely to order removal during the Obama Era than during the current Era, and 12% less likely to order removal during the Bush Era than during the Trump Era. These results suggest that the current Executive-in-Chief exercises a profound influence over removal decisions, undermining the assumption of independence among administrative adjudicators.

From a Distance: Geographic Proximity, Partisanship, and Public Attitudes toward the U.S.-Mexico Border Wall
Jeronimo Cortina
Political Research Quarterly, forthcoming

The wall along the U.S.-Mexico border has become one of the most controversial issues in the immigration debate. Although the American public is often aligned with partisan predispositions, often ignored is the role that geographic distance to the border plays in forming attitudes. This paper explores the role of proximity, partisanship, and their interaction as determinants of public attitudes toward the border wall. This paper argues that geographic distance has two effects on public attitudes: as a catalyst for direct contact and as a dynamic filter that shapes how people process information and understand a particular place or policy. Using geocoded survey data from 2017, this paper shows that as the distance to the U.S.-Mexico border increases, Republicans are more likely to support building a wall along the entire border with Mexico due to a lack of direct contact, supplanting direct information with partisan beliefs.

Opinion Shift and Stability: The Information Environment and Long-Lasting Opposition to Trump's Muslim Ban
Kassra Oskooii, Nazita Lajevardi & Loren Collingwood
Political Behavior, forthcoming

On January 27, 2017, President Trump signed executive order 13769, which denied citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries entry into the United States. Opposition to what was termed the "Muslim ban" quickly amassed, producing sudden shifts to the information environment and to individual-level preferences. The present study examines whether within-subject shifts against the ban lasted over an extended period of time. Evidence from a three-wave panel study indicates that individual-level opinions, once they shifted against the ban, remained fairly stable one year later. Analysis of a large corpus of cable broadcast transcripts and newspaper articles further demonstrates that coverage of the ban from February 2017 to January 2018 did not dissipate, remained largely critical, and lacked any significant counter-narratives to potentially alter citizens' preferences once again. Our study underscores the potential of capturing the dynamics of rapid attitudinal shifts with timely panel data, and of assessing the durability of such changes over time. It also highlights how mass movements and political communication may alter and stabilize citizens' policy preferences, even those that target stigmatized groups.

Immigrants in Their Parental Homeland: Half a Million U.S.-born Minors Settle Throughout Mexico
Claudia Masferrer, Erin Hamilton & Nicole Denier
Demography, forthcoming

In the past 10 years, a historical change occurred in migration flows within North America: specifically, Mexico-U.S. migration reached zero net migration. Alongside Mexican adults returning to their homeland was an unprecedented number of U.S.-born minors. Little is known about this massive migration of U.S. citizen children. We analyze Mexican census data from 2000 to 2015 to estimate the size and characteristics of the population of U.S.-born minors residing in Mexico. Between 2000 and 2010, the population of U.S.-born minors doubled to more than half a million. The population stabilized, aged, and became longer-term Mexican residents thereafter. The large majority of U.S.-born minors are primary school-aged. Although concentrated in the northern border and traditional migrant-sending regions, U.S.-born minors are distributed throughout Mexico. The majority of U.S.-born minors live in Mexico with two Mexican-born parents, but one-third are separated from one or both parents, and most of those separated from parents reside with grandparents. We interpret these trends in reference to the determinants of Mexico-U.S. migration, transnational and mixed-status families, and the future spatial and social mobility of U.S.-born minors living in Mexico.

Measuring Racial Bias in International Migration Flows
Andrew Rosenberg
International Studies Quarterly, forthcoming

Are international migration flows racially biased? Despite widespread consensus that racism and xenophobia affect migration processes, no measure exists to provide systematic evidence on this score. In this research note, I construct such a measure - the migration deviation. Migration deviations are the difference between the observed migration between states, and the flow that we would predict based on a racially blind model that includes a wide variety of political and economic factors. Using this measure, I conduct a descriptive analysis and provide evidence that migrants from majority black states migrate far less than we would expect under a racially blind model. These results pave a new way for scholars to study international racial inequality.

Immigration and Preferences for Greater Law Enforcement Spending in Rich Democracies
Joshua Fink & David Brady
Social Forces, forthcoming

Immigration to rich democracies grew substantially in the 1990s and 2000s. We investigate whether the rise of immigration influenced the novel and salient outcome of preferences for greater law enforcement spending. We propose that these preferences are consequential for policymaking, reflect popular demand for punitive social control, and represent micro-level preferences underlying the politics of criminal justice. Motivated by literatures on criminal justice politics, minority threat, and the fear of crime, we examine whether stocks and flows of immigration influence individual-level preferences for greater law enforcement spending. Using International Social Survey Programme (ISSP) data, we analyze between-country variation with multi-level models of 25 countries in 2006, and within-country variation with differences-in-differences (DD) models of 16 countries with available data in both 1996 and 2006. Both multilevel and DD models show that flows of immigration increase preferences for greater law enforcement spending. Indeed, the coefficients for immigration flows are larger than or comparable in magnitude to the coefficients for any other variable, and are robust net of homicide rates and police officers per 100,000. By contrast, the stock of immigrants is not robustly associated with preferences. The results demonstrate that rising immigration contributed to increasing public support for greater law enforcement spending.

Primary Resources, Secondary Labor: Natural Resources and Immigration Policy
Adrian Shin
International Studies Quarterly, forthcoming

This article argues that substantial natural resource wealth leads to more restrictive low-skill immigration policy in advanced democracies. High-value natural resource production often crowds out labor-intensive firms that produce tradable goods. When these proimmigration business interests disappear due to deindustrialization, also known as the Dutch Disease, the proimmigration coalition weakens in domestic politics. Without strong business pressure for increased immigration, policy-makers close their doors to immigrants to accommodate anti-immigrant interests. Using a newly expanded dataset on immigration policy across twenty-four wealthy democracies, I find that oil-rich democracies are more likely to restrict low-skill immigration, especially when their economies are exposed to foreign competition in international trade. The results supplement the voter-based theories of immigration policy and contribute to an emerging literature on the political economy of natural resources and international migration.

Hating and Mating: Fears over Mate Competition and Violent Hate Crime against Refugees
Rafaela Dancygier et al.
Princeton Working Paper, March 2019

As the number of refugees rises across the world, anti-refugee violence has become a pressing concern. What explains the incidence and support of such hate crime? We argue that fears among native men that refugees pose a threat in the competition for female partners is a critical but understudied factor driving hate crime. Employing a comprehensive dataset on the incidence of hate crime across Germany, we first demonstrate that hate crime rises where men face disadvantages in local mating markets. Next, we deploy an original four-wave panel survey to confirm that support for hate crime increases when men fear that the inflow of refugees makes it more difficult to find female partners. Mate competition concerns remain a robust predictor even when controlling for anti-refugee views, perceived job competition, general frustration, and aggressiveness. We conclude that a more complete understanding of hate crime must incorporate mating markets and mate competition.

High-skilled immigration and native task specialization in U.S. cities
Gary Lin
Regional Science and Urban Economics, July 2019, Pages 289-305

This study examines the effect of high-skilled immigration on the occupational structure of native-born workers in U.S. cities. Results indicate that increases in foreign college workers in STEM occupations, where they hold a comparative advantage over native-born workers, increase the specialization of college natives in social-intensive tasks. Consistent with the productivity effect of task specialization, I find no evidence of displacement effects but do find evidence of positive wage effects of foreign STEM flows on college natives, particularly for those in high-social occupations. Identification strategy relies on an instrumental variable approach standard in the immigration literature.

Vanished Classmates: The Effects of Local Immigration Enforcement on School Enrollment
Thomas Dee & Mark Murphy
American Educational Research Journal, forthcoming

For over a decade, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has formed partnerships allowing local police to enforce immigration law by identifying and arresting undocumented residents. Prior studies, using survey data with self-reported immigrant and citizenship status, provide mixed evidence on their demographic impact. This study presents new evidence based on Hispanic public school enrollment. We find local ICE partnerships reduce the number of Hispanic students by 10% within 2 years. We estimate partnerships enacted before 2012 displaced more than 300,000 Hispanic students. These effects are concentrated among elementary school students. We find no corresponding effects on the enrollment of non-Hispanic students and no evidence that ICE partnerships reduced pupil-teacher ratios or the percentage of students eligible for the National School Lunch Program.

Thanks Dad: New Evidence on Son Preference among Immigrant Households in the U.S.
Huiqiong Duan & Daniel Hicks
University of Oklahoma Working Paper, May 2019

This paper provides new evidence on the acquisition and persistence of child gender preference among immigrant populations in the United States using Census and ACS data. We first confirm existing evidence of son preference among immigrant populations from South East Asia documented across multiple studies and samples. We then demonstrate several new empirical findings. First, Japanese immigrants exhibit daughter preference. Second, assortative matching between immigrant parents is associated with stronger gender preferences. Third, comparing male and female migrants who marry natives provides suggestive evidence that paternal preferences could be more to blame for son preference than maternal. Fourth, child gender preferences are strongest for migrants who arrive after childhood but do not appear to diminish with duration of residence in the U.S. Finally, while higher order generations exhibit weaker son preference, there is a high degree of heterogeneity across groups most second and higher order generation immigrants assimilate more rapidly to U.S. norms except Indian immigrant populations which exhibit strong son preference among higher-order generations.

Humans adapt to social diversity over time
Miguel Ramos et al.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 18 June 2019, Pages 12244-12249

Humans have evolved cognitive processes favoring homogeneity, stability, and structure. These processes are, however, incompatible with a socially diverse world, raising wide academic and political concern about the future of modern societies. With data comprising 22 y of religious diversity worldwide, we show across multiple surveys that humans are inclined to react negatively to threats to homogeneity (i.e., changes in diversity are associated with lower self-reported quality of life, explained by a decrease in trust in others) in the short term. However, these negative outcomes are compensated in the long term by the beneficial influence of intergroup contact, which alleviates initial negative influences. This research advances knowledge that can foster peaceful coexistence in a new era defined by globalization and a socially diverse future.


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