Americans are greatly divided over immigration reform. Public opinion literature provides multiple explanations for these attitudinal differences. One contention in the literature is that the amount of ethnic diversity in one’s neighborhood affects mass attitudes towards immigration reform. Within this literature, some scholars argue that ethnic diversity triggers more negative attitudes towards immigration. Others posit that ethnic diversity is associated with positive attitudes towards immigration. In this paper, I seek to contribute to this debate by exploring the role of ethnic diversity in one’s neighborhood in shaping public attitudes toward immigration reform. This study is based upon semi-structured interviews with thirteen human subjects conducted in November 2010. The results reveal that individuals residing in ethnically homogenous towns are more likely to support a more liberal immigration reform. These results advance our understanding of how exposure to ethnic diversity influences attitudes towards immigration. These findings provide policymakers with some insights into how to build public support for immigration reform in various neighborhoods.
Makhoul, Noelle FCRH '12
"Attitudes towards Immigration Reform in the United States: The Importance of Neighborhoods,"
Fordham Undergraduate Research Journal:
1, Article 2.
Available at: http://fordham.bepress.com/furj/vol1/iss1/2