Living in the Shadow of Deportation: How Deportation Threat Forestalls Political Assimilation Among Immigrants and Their Co-Ethnics

Prior research demonstrates acculturated co-ethnics of immigrant groups adopt restrictive immigration policy preferences akin to that of host country dominant groups.

However, a puzzle remains where acculturated Latinxs in the United States still maintain relatively liberal immigration policy preferences despite their distance from the canonical immigrant archetype (e.g. Spanish-speaking, immigrant).

To answer the puzzle, I draw on sociological perspectives and theorize that the increased societal integration of undocumented immigrants in tandem with an expanding interior immigration enforcement apparatus generates a sense of rebuff against Anglo norms among acculturated Latinxs. 

Using 6 nationally representative Latinx surveys, I corroborate my theory and find perceptibly threatening immigration enforcement contexts forestall the adoption of restrictive immigration policy preferences via acculturation. 

Absent deportation threat, acculturated Latinxs adopt the immigration preferences of white Anglos. This paper suggests political assimilation is not preordained due to the unique circumstances Latinx immigrants and their acculturated co-ethnics face.


Interested in Latinx Politics? Check out Marcel Roman’s work on immigration enforcement and political assimilation among Latinxs. #fyp #politicalscience #politics

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