Unfit for the Constitution: Nativism and the Constitution, From the Founding Fathers to Donald Trump,
Robert Williams University School of Law, Legal studies Research Paper No. 174, February 24, 2017, 75 pp.
Jared A. Goldstein
While many Americans take pride in the "creedal conception" of American citizenship,
i.e. the idea that devotion to the principles of the Constitution is the "glue" that holds together the nation despite
our diverse backgrounds, many others have insisted that such devotion is not shared by people from certain ethnic, racial,
and religious backgrounds. Indeed, some historians have questioned whether this idealized notion of American citizenship ever
really held sway in the United States. In this essay, Jared Goldstein explores a number of episodes in American history that
tend to support this interpretation, including the Know-Nothing Movement in the pre-Civil War years that tried to exclude
Irish immigrants on the basis of their loyalty to the pope and supposed antipathy to self-government; the anti-Chinese movement
of the late 19th century that claimed that Chinese immigrants were incapable of supporting constitutional principles;
the immigration restriction movement of the early 20th century that singled out southern and eastern Europeans
as people incapable of embracing individualistic "Nordic" values; and the contemporary movement to exclude Muslim
immigrants and to restrict Latino migration on the assumption that these groups cannot be trusted to support the Constitution.
"All of these movements invoked allegations of hostility to the Constitution as the touchstone for identifying dangerous
foreigners... To say that some people are hostile to the Constitution is simply a code for saying that they are hostile to
the United States, that they are un-American."
Welcoming America produces toolkits and other resources to build more accepting attitudes towards immigrants and refugees
in local communities:
America Needs All of US: A Toolkit for Talking about Bias, Race and Change,
Welcoming America, 2015, 13 pp.
Neighbors Together: Promising Practices to Strengthen Relations with Refugees and Muslims,
Welcoming America, 2016, 17 pp.
Author: Mahvash Hassan
Stand Together: Messaging to Support Muslims and Refugees in Challenging Times,
Welcoming America, 2016, 25 pp.
Authors: Claudette Silver & Amanda Cooper
(WA) promotes and supports a movement of more than 100 local governments striving to create more inclusive and welcoming communities.
The organization addresses the fears and concerns of established residents, emphasizes the importance of face-to-face dialogue
between people of diverse backgrounds, and publishes training materials to be used by local leaders working to build harmonious
relationships between people. WA also stresses the connection between a welcoming environment for immigrants and refugees
and the vitality of local economies. Over the last year, WA has produced a number of toolkits and resources that may
prove especially valuable as the nation transitions to a new administration in Washington that appears to be less friendly
to immigrants and refugees. America Needs All of Us: A Toolkit for Talking About bias, Race, and Change seeks to help people overcome the discomfort they may feel in talking about race and ethnicity. The target audience
is the "moveable middle...those whose minds are not yet made up about immigration and the changes they may be seeing
in their community." The toolkit suggests a number of "top-line messages" that may prove effective
in changing people's attitudes, and offers some "talking points for tough questions" that may arise during such
conversations. Neighbors Together: Promising Practices to Strengthen Relations with Refugees and Muslims focuses on communities around the country that have grappled effectively with tensions arising from demographic change
and the fear-mongering of hate groups. Funded by the Office of Refugee Resettlement (HHS), the publication is designed
to build greater community support for refugees. The report profiles projects that use strategies, such as: developing
preventative relationships; promoting better information sharing; building intercultural alliances; participating in joint
community projects; drawing on the arts as a way of connecting people; and encouraging greater civic engagement on the part
of refugee and Muslim communities. A companion piece to this toolkit is Stand Together: Messaging to Support Muslims and Refugees in Challenging Times. Drawing on public polling data from the Public Religion Research Institute and The Brookings Institution, this publication
highlights a number of "winning messages" that can help community members "break through the noise we are surrounded
by." The authors also emphasize the power of story-telling and give examples of story themes that can sway people who
Explaining Nationalist Political Views: The Case of Donald Trump,
Gallup, August 11, 2016
Author: Jonathan T. Rothwell
Based on 87,000 interviews that the Gallup
organization conducted over the last year, there is little evidence that Trump supporters have been disproportionately affected
by foreign trade or immigration, compared to those who oppose him. The results also suggest that his supporters, on
average, do not have lower incomes than other Americans, nor are they more likely to be unemployed. These conclusions seem
to fly in the face of the conventional wisdom about Trump's base of support. Although Trump supporters tend to have unfavorable
attitudes towards immigrants, "they are also the least likely to encounter an immigrant in their neighborhood...those
who view Trump favorably are more likely to be found in white enclaves - racially isolated Zip codes where the amount of diversity
is lower than in surrounding areas." However, Trump supporters do tend to live in areas of "low economic
mobility," suggesting that their children may be struggling to gain a foothold in the economy or that they themselves
may have suffered a decline in earnings, despite their relative privileged status. Trump supporters also tend to congregate
in areas with poor health outcomes. "These findings suggest a need to understand how even seemingly affluent voters may
take extreme political views when their health status and the well-being of their children fail to meet their expectations.
The results also suggest that housing and social integration can moderate extreme political beliefs, consistent with contact
How Immigration and Concerns about Cultural Change are Shaping the 2016 Election: Findings from the
2016 PRRI/Brookings Immigration Survey
Public Religion Research Institute, Brookings Institution, June 3, 2016, 60 pp. Authors: Robert
P. Jones, Daniel Cox, E.J. Dionne Jr., William A. Galston, Betsy Cooper, & Rachel Lienesch
This paper reports
on a survey of a large sample of Americans in all 50 states, conducted in the spring of 2016. The survey included questions
on the direction of the country, the economy and personal financial well-being; levels of anxiety about terrorism, crime,
and unemployment; and opinions on trade and taxation. The survey also asked Americans how they feel about immigration and
cultural change, and about the upcoming presidential election. The survey also attempts to measure orientation towards authoritarianism.
Regarding immigration and cultural change, the survey asked respondents about their level of comfort with immigrants who don't
speak English, perceptions about discrimination against whites and Christians, and attitudes about Islam. The study also asked
respondents to describe some traits of immigrants, and whether they think immigrants strengthen the U.S. or take jobs from
Americans and drive down wages. There were also a number of questions focused on immigration policy-the perception of the
number of deportations in recent years, whether undocumented immigrants should be allowed to stay (most say yes), whether
the U.S. should build a wall on the Mexican border (most say no), and whether the U.S. should ban Syrian refugees (most say
no again). Responses to this survey are broken out by race and ethnicity, party affiliation, educational attainment, and religious
affiliation, providing a rich description of the differences in attitudes that Americans hold on these important issues. (Maurice
Belanger, Maurice Belanger Consulting)
Understanding and Addressing Public Anxiety About Immigration
Transatlantic Council on Migration, Migration Policy Institute, July, 2016, 23 pp.
Authors: Demetrios Papademetriou &
The authors begin with the assumption that anxiety about immigration is not inevitable
and that governments can take action to reduce it. They note that anxiety around immigration is a complex phenomenon and that
it cannot be attributed to any single factor. For example, the authors point out that there is no consistent correlation between
the actual size of the influx of immigrants and the response of the public in the receiving nation. They suggest five contextual
factors that set the stage for public anxiety about immigration- 1) Sudden flows of immigrants that outpace the ability of
the country or local community to receive them, 2) The perception that immigrants are competing with the native population
for scare resources, 3) The feeling that immigrants do not share the values or identity of a receiving community, 4) Security
fears shaped by the media that lead to a generalized mistrust of a particular immigrant community, and 5) The perception that
the government is not equipped to handle the flow of immigration. The authors discuss each of these factors, examining how
perceptions of conditions may differ from what data suggests. However, they urge governments to not simply write off these
potential misperceptions and instead to address existing concerns by taking action, including simultaneously framing immigration
as part of the national narrative and treating concerns about immigration as legitimate. They repeatedly suggest that when
anxiety about immigration is ignored, people are more likely to gravitate to anti-immigrant parties and movements. (Erik
Jacobson, Montclair State University)
Playing the Trump Card: The Enduring Legacy of Racism in Immigration Law
Berkeley La Raza Law Journal, 26:1 (2016), 46 pp.
Authors: David B. Oppenheimer, Swati Prakash,
& Rachel Marie Burns
This article grew out of a 2011 European conference on "The
‘others' in Europe and Beyond" and will eventually be published in revised form in a book featuring papers from
the conference. Looking at the historical experience on major immigrant communities in the U.S, including the Irish,
Jews, Italians, Chinese, Japanese, and Mexicans, the article finds that from the earliest days of the republic, "racism
and xenophobia have been a driving force behind immigration law in the United States...In every generation of American immigration,
the predominant immigrant group has been the victim of discrimination and oppression." The authors call attention to
the "paradox" of a nation desperately needing successive groups of immigrants for their labor but denying them the
welcome they deserve. The article also attempts to define the meaning of the terms assimilation (applicable, they suggest,
to European immigrant groups), integration (applicable to Chinese and Japanese), and racialized non-white others - a category
with shifting boundaries, which may or may not encompass Mexican immigrants and their descendants in the future.
When Islamophobia Turns Violent: The 2016 U.S. Presidential Election
The Bridge Initiative, Georgetown University Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, May 2, 2016, 76 pp.
Author: Engy Abdelkader
The mission of Georgetown University's Center for Muslim-Christian
Understanding, since its founding in 1993, has been to build stronger bridges of understanding between the Muslim world and
the West. Since the late 1990s, it has also studied the emergence and impact of Islamophobia. This report provides detailed
information on violent incidents directed at Muslim immigrants and Muslim religious institutions in the U.S. from the beginning
of 2015 through March of 2016. The authors see a clear relationship between the heated, anti-Muslim politic rhetoric
of Donald Trump and other Republican candidates for president and the increasing frequency of such incidents. Since the first
candidate announced his bid for the White House in March 2015, there have been approximately 180 reported incidents of anti-Muslim
violence, including: 12 murders, 34 physical assaults, 49 verbal assaults or threats against persons and institutions, 56
acts of vandalism or destruction of property, 9 arsons, and 8 shootings or bombings. This represents a 17 percent increase
over the number of anti-Muslim hate crimes in 2014.
Does Information Change Attitudes Towards Immigrants? Evidence from Survey Experiments,
Social Science Research Network, April 21, 2016, 55 pp.
Alexis Grigorieff, Christopher Roth, & Diego Ubfal
This research suggests that the
dissemination of accurate information about immigration can help to reduce biased attitudes and change policy preferences.
The authors analyzed a representative cross-country sample of 19,000 people, half of whom were prompted with accurate information
about immigration and half of whom were not. The probability that the "treatment group" felt that there were too
many immigrants was 12 percentage points lower than those who did not receive the information. The authors also performed
a similar online experiment with 800 participants, where half of the sample received some general information about immigration,
while the other half did not. Members of the treatment group "update(d) their beliefs about immigrants, and they donate(d)
more money to a pro-immigrant charity." Interestingly, self-described right wing or Republican participants "respond(ed)
more strongly to the information treatment, both in terms of their views on immigrants and in terms of their policy preferences."
Engaging the Anxious Middle on Immigration Reform: Evidence from the UK Debate
Transatlantic Council on Migration, Migration Policy Institute, May, 2016, 27 pp.
Authors: Sunder Katwala
& Will Somerville
This research on public opinion in the UK, prepared in conjunction
with the 2015 plenary meeting of the Transatlantic Council on Migration, attempts to provide a more accurate and nuanced analysis
of the various streams of opinion on migration-related questions. "Migration rejectionists," representing approximately
a quarter of the UK population, take a uniformly hostile stance on all forms of migration, whereas "migration liberals"
- also about a quarter of the population - seem to be content with current levels of immigration. By far the largest group,
however, are the majority in the "anxious middle." They recognize the benefits of migration, but also are
concerned about the possible downside of migration, including greater use of welfare and public services on the part of some
immigrants, potential job competition, and threats to the national culture. The authors argue that policy makers need to take
these concerns into account, rather than dismissing them as irrelevant or illegitimate. They also fault the current
Conservative government for making promises it couldn't keep, e.g. cutting net migration to an annual total of 100,000, and
thereby eroding public confidence in the government's handling of immigration, and spurring the growth of the right wing,
anti-immigrant UKIP party. "The current government...has continued efforts to project a stance of tough control on immigration,
despite evidence suggesting that these promises do not reassure the anxious middle and do not deliver what the public are
Strangers as Neighbors Toolkit: One Parish One Community - A Guide for Engaging United States
Catholic Congregations in Difficult Dialogues,
Center for Faith & Public Policy, Fairfield University, 2016, 41 pp.
Authors: Jocelyn M. Boryczka & David Gudelunas
The discussion of immigration reform
within a faith-based framework can be a contentious issue because of the principle of the separation of Church and state. Researchers
at Fairfield University held focus groups at two different Catholic parishes on Long Island, NY, which revealed that tensions
mount within congregations when priests introduce political issues directly into religious services. In response to these
findings, the researchers created this Toolkit for Catholic congregations to engage in productive, faith-based discussions
on immigration outside of formal religious services. Specifically, it provides a six-stage process for facilitating discussion
with detailed examples of framing and messaging exercises, relevant Bible verses and prayers, and related Catholic
social teachings. The authors recommend using the Toolkit to allow congregation members to move from a polarizing political
discourse to one based on a shared humanity extending from the parish to the global community. The Toolkit can also be adapted
to broach issues other than immigration. (Karly Foland for The Immigrant Learning Center Public Education Institute)
Managing Religious Difference in North America and Europe in an Era of Mass Migration
Transatlantic Council on Migration, Migration Policy Institute, April, 2016, 14 pp.
G. Papademetrious, Richard Alba, Nancy Foner, & Natalia Banulescu-Bogdan
compares and contrasts the experiences of Muslim immigrants in Europe and North America. The authors suggest that religious
differences, per se, have greater salience in the European context because of the larger numbers of Muslim immigrants in Europe
(nearly 40 percent of all non-European immigrants in 2010), and the fear that Islamic values and practices may be incompatible
with European traditions of free expression, gender equality, and equal rights for previously stigmatized groups such as homosexuals.
In the United States, on the other hand, Muslims constitute only 8 percent of all new permanent residents between 1992 and
2012, and religious pluralism -- whether Christian, Jewish, or Muslim -- is an established reality so that Muslims are not
feared so much as a religious minority, but more as a potential security threat. Moreover, Muslims in the U.S. come from a
wide variety of ethnic backgrounds, show greater socioeconomic success, and have a larger percentage of people born in the
U.S. The rest of the paper looks at the "macrolevel factors" that work to advance the full integration of religious
minorities, including the "selectivity of immigration policies," the support of ethnic and religious communities
-- which paradoxically facilitates assimilation into the larger society; and the removal of barriers to the economic integration
of the second generation. But these factors alone do not guarantee success. Political leaders must provide wise leadership
to manage social change.
How Americans View Immigrants, and What They Want from Immigration Reform: Findings from the
2015 American Values Atlas,
Public Religion Research Institute, March 29, 2016, 23 pp.
Robert P. Jones, Daniel Cox, Betsy Cooper, & Richard Lienesch
The Public Religion
Research Institute's 2015 American Values Atlas is based on interviews, conducted with a random sample of 42,000 American
adults. The large sample size allows for analysis at the state and metropolitan level. This report, focusing on attitudes
towards immigrants and immigration reform, shows that a majority of the public views immigrants positively-something that
is hard to discern in present day political discourse. There are, however, important differences among groups in thinking
about immigrants as strengthening American society or as a threat to our traditional customs and values. The report details
differences by age, race and ethnic group, political and ideological affiliation, and religious affiliation. The report also
details attitudes by state and region. On the question of immigration reform, a majority of Americans (62 percent) favor a
path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, provided they meet certain conditions. An additional 15 percent say that
these immigrants should be allowed to stay but not become citizens. There is majority support for a path to citizenship in
every state except South Dakota, but even in that state, only 32 percent think that undocumented immigrants should be identified
and deported (Maurice Belanger, Maurice Belanger Associates).
Sanctuary Cities and Dog-Whistle Politics,
University of Denver Sturm College of Law, Legal Research Paper Series, Working Paper No. 16-08, March
Author: Christopher N. Lasch
This essay deals with the use of coded racial
narratives to set political and policy agendas in the "crimmigration" arena. The author focuses on the tragic death
of Kathryn Steinle in San Francisco, accidentally shot and killed by an undocumented immigrant who had been released from
the custody of the San Francisco Sheriff's Department after completing a federal prison term for illegal entry into the U.S.
Donald Trump, other Republican candidates for President, and Fox News seized upon this incident to condemn San Francisco's
sanctuary policy. Donald Trump used the incident to justify his hardline immigration policies and to support his unflattering
characterization of Mexican immigrants. According to the author, the complexity of the Steinle case got lost in the telling
of the story. The author sees parallels with the Willy Horton narrative used by the George H.W. Bush campaign in 1988 to discredit
his Democratic opponent as being "soft on crime." In both cases, the story becomes a way to mask the underlying
racial message, i.e. instead of an overt attack on Blacks and Latinos, the target becomes the alleged criminality rampant
among members of both groups.
The Anti-Immigrant Lobby: The White Nationalist Roots of the Organizations Fighting Immigration
People for the American Way, 2015, 16 pp.
This report traces the
origins of three organizations dominating the immigration restriction movement in the U.S: the Federation for American
Immigration Reform (FAIR), NumbersUSA, and the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) – all of which, according to the
authors, “have ties to the dark underbelly of the anti-immigrant movement, which smears immigrants using racial terms,
plays to fears of demographic change, and caters to those who want the U.S. to be and remain a nation run by and for a white
majority.” The “architect” of all three organizations was John Tanton, who “has made it clear that
one of the major factors driving his anti-immigration activism is his interest in the United States remaining a majority-white
nation.” The report notes that the three organizations are “heavily funded by foundations connected
to a single wealthy conservative family, the Scaifes.” In the 2013 tax year, the Colcom Foundation – one of these
foundations – “provided FAIR with a little over $4 million of the $6.3 million in grants and contributions it
received that year; about $1.9 million of the $2.4 million that CIS took in; and nearly $4 million of the $6.3 million received
by Numbers USA’s educational arm.” The report critiques the work of the Center for Immigration Studies -- the
so-called “think tank” of the restrictionist movement – which produces studies that “have been exposed
as flawed or have been debunked.” Despite its suspicious history and scholarship, the group is regularly called upon
to provide testimony at congressional hearings. As political candidates stoke the anxieties and prejudices of segments of
the white electorate to gain electoral advantage, the authors of this report fault these groups for providing a cloak of legitimacy
to extremist views.
Residential Segregation: A Transatlantic Analysis
Transatlantic Council on Migration, Migration Policy Institute, September, 2014, 14 pp.
Author: John Iceland
The Transatlantic Council commissioned research for this paper in connection with its 11th
plenary meeting in November of 2013. Acknowledging that immigrant residential segregation is often transitional and voluntary
in nature, the authors discuss the circumstances under which such segregation can interfere with the goal of immigrant integration.
They also review and evaluate an array of policy interventions designed to combat the ghettoization of immigrants and other
minorities. Such interventions may be broadly classified as direct and indirect. Direct interventions might include efforts
to redistribute low-income housing throughout the city or to develop mixed-use housing. Indirect interventions seek
to address the underlying causes of residential segregation, such as altering the skill mix of new immigrants (on the assumption
that high-skill immigrants may be less likely to settle in ethnic enclaves) or giving immigrants access to the language training,
citizenship acquisition, and economic opportunities necessary to succeed in society. The author concludes that the latter
type of intervention, i.e. addressing underlying causes, will "reduce the risk that (immigrants) become economically
and residentially marginalized." The paper includes a table showing "dissimilarity indexes" for immigrant
communities in various cities in the EU and the U.S. For example, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis in the U.K. are among the most
segregated (over 70), whereas Turks in Dusseldorf and Algerians in Paris are among the least (below 30). The chart shows comparable
rates for Blacks and Hispanics in the U.S.
Opening Borders: African Americans and Latinos Through the
Lens of Immigration,
Harvard Latino Law Review, 17:1, 2014, 64 pp.
Author: Maritza Reyes
This essay is a plea for honest dialogue between African Americans and Latinos on the subject of intergroup racism.
Reyes contends that racism is "the elephant in the room" when it comes to relationships between these two groups,
and as they increase in size, the dynamic between them will shape the future of the nation. Although there is abundant literature
on racial dynamics between Whites and minorities, the question of how minorities engage in "racialized politics"
is a kind of "taboo subject." One way to gauge the extent of such attitudes, she believes, is through the lens of
immigration reform politics. Sometimes, the media uses a "divide-and-conquer strategy" to exaggerate the level of
tensions between the two communities, as they did during the 2008 Democratic Primary between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.
However, there are real and worrisome examples of anti-Black sentiment within the Latino community (the author discusses the
Latin American hierarchy of race), and anti-Latino sentiment within the Black community (she references Black support for
nativist movements in American history). One of the greatest fears among Blacks "is that Latinos who assimilate
into whiteness will also assimilate into some of the privileges associated with whiteness, including racism against Blacks."
For these reasons, she urges African Americans and Latinos to engage in the arduous work of coalition-building. The ultimate
success of immigration reform may hinge on the success of these efforts.
Fostering Welcoming Communities Through Dialogue,
Welcoming America, n.d., 28 pp.
Author: Maggie Herzig
order "to help strangers become neighbors," Welcoming America has partnered with the Public Conversations Project
to produce this publication -- part of a toolkit of resources developed by Welcoming America to help fulfill its mission of
promoting mutual respect and cooperation between immigrants and native-born Americans. The publication provides guidance on
how to initiate, manage and evaluate structured, face-to-face communications between immigrants and native-born Americans.
Welcoming America favors "dialogue," by which it means a "conversation that is carefully designed and facilitated,"
over other forms of interaction. Participants should understand each other's experiences, reflect on their own experiences,
develop a curiosity about the lives and perspectives of others and move beyond stereotypes. The publication also contains
suggestions regarding communication agreements and questions to draw out "deep sharing." For those interested in
greater detail about dialogue method, Public Conversations Project offers a 172-page guide, Fostering Dialogue across Divides: A Nuts and Bolts Guide from the Public Conversation Project. (Denzil Mohammed)
Social Cohesion Radar (Measuring Common Ground): An International Comparison of Social Cohesion
Bertelsmann Stiftung, 2013, 73 pp.
Authors: Georgi Dragolov, Zsófia Ignácz, Jan Lorenz,
Jan Delhey, Klaus Boehnke
The study seeks to address a gap in cross-national data comparisons
by measuring the quality of "social cohesion" in 34 countries, including the U.S. The authors used 12 different
data sets in their analysis and tracked changes over a 25-year period ending in 2012. The study identifies and defines three
domains of social cohesion: social relations, connectedness, and focus on the common good. Within each of these domains, three
measurable dimensions are identified, for a total of 9 dimensions. Examples of dimensions include Social Relations 1.3 (Acceptance
of Diversity), i.e. people accept individuals with other values and lifestyles as equal members of society; Connectedness
2.3 (Perception of Fairness), i.e. people believe that society's' goods are fairly distributed and that they are being treated
fairly; and Focus on the Common Good 3.3 (Civic Participation), i.e. people participate in society and political life and
enter into public discussion. The approach taken in the study "specifically avoids equating cohesion and homogeneity,"
because a model seeking to transcend differences is "outdated and fails to account for the reality of diverse and complex
societies." The results indicate that social cohesion is strongest in Denmark, followed by Norway, Finland and
Sweden. The English-speaking non-European countries of New Zealand, Australia, Canada and the United States have the next
highest rankings. Although specific policy recommendations were beyond the scope of the study, the authors note that "there
is no one-size-fits-all approach," as countries like Sweden and the U.S. achieve relatively high scores, despite different
social conditions. However, successful countries have "achieve(d) a broader kind of inclusion aimed at increasing acceptance
for immigrants and, in general, anyone with a different lifestyle."
Stronger Together: Making the Case for Shared Prosperity
Through Welcoming Immigrants in Our Communities
Welcoming America, n.d., 19 pp.
This messaging "toolkit" was prepared by Welcoming America, a national
organization comprised of a network of local affiliates working to promote understanding between foreign- and native-born
Americans. For immigrant-serving and other organizations seeking to inject a positive tone into the immigration debate, Stronger
Together suggests messaging strategies that can resonate with key audiences in their communities, including legislators,
community and business leaders, and employers. Effective themes might include "stronger together," "innovation"
and "vibrant communities." The toolkit recommends partnerships with local universities or chambers of commerce to
quantify the economic impact of immigrant tax payments, buying power, and entrepreneurship. In addition, advocates can remind
both legislators and the "wide middle" of undecided citizens of the values that are shared between the foreign-
and native-born. In these ways, immigrant-serving organizations can foster a more welcoming environment conducive to immigrant
integration and community prosperity. (Denzil Mohammed)
The Role of Consular Programs in Fostering Welcoming Communities,
Welcoming America, n.d., 8 pp.
This brief argues that there is an important role for foreign consulates to play in creating a more receptive climate
for immigrants in local communities. The brief describes a partnership between Welcoming America, a nonprofit organization
dedicated to addressing the fears and concerns that native-born Americans have regarding immigration, and the Embassy of Mexico
and its consular assistance programs in three states: Kansas, Minnesota, and Utah. Through their reputation, contacts, and
resources, the consulates can help to create or strengthen local chapters of Welcoming America and to build stronger relations
between new and established residents.
Immigration and Gender: Analysis of Media Coverage and Public Opinion,
The Opportunity Agenda, December, 2012, 50 pp.
In order to gain
a better understanding of whether women's concerns are adequately reflected in conversations about immigration, the
authors of this report analyze how current media discourse and public opinion view women immigrants in the areas of immigration
status, family, and gender roles. The researchers examined the content of over 30 media outlets, reviewed data from 25 public
opinion surveys conducted in 2010-2012, and gleaned information from a linguistic study, excerpts of which are included in
the Appendix. The findings suggest that the American public has a distorted perception of the lives of foreign-born American
women. Women immigrants are often depicted as powerless victims whose contributions to society as family stewards
and civic leaders are overlooked. The report recommends that advocates, policymakers, journalists, and others work to better
inform public discourse and opinion and build support for policies that encourage the full integration of women immigrants
into American society. The report makes nine recommendations to correct the distorted media image of immigrant women.
Anatomy of a Modern Day Lynching: The Relationship between Hate Crimes against Latina/os and
the Debate over Immigration Reform,
University of California (Davis), Legal Studies Research Paper, October,
2012, 39 pp.
This paper argues that high levels of hate crimes against Latinos and immigrants
are "an indirect result of the volatile national debate over immigration." As a case example, it recounts the killing
of Mexican immigrant Luis Ramirez in the small town of Shenandoah, Pennsylvania in 2008. The authors argue that such violence
is likely to continue until Congress passes fundamental immigration reform. They also propose a series of measures designed
to "reduce, remedy, and deter hate violence" against Latinos and immigrants, including reforms to ensure more
diverse juries, limitations on peremptory challenges to jury selection, allowing bilingual Spanish speakers and non-citizens
to serve on juries, stepped-up federal prosecutions of hate crimes, a clearer demarcation of federal vs state power to regulate
immigration, strengthening the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, and the creation of local human rights commissions to investigate
Media Coverage of Migration in the Americas,
Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas and Open Society Foundations, August, 2012, 21 pp.
This report summarizes the 9th Austin Forum on Journalism in the Americas,
which took place in Austin, TX, in September 2011. A gathering of some 50 journalists, specialists and NGO representatives
met over two days to identify ways to improve media coverage of international migration in the Americas. The report examines
media coverage in the U.S., Central America, South America, and the Caribbean. The consensus was that "migration is more
complicated than it seems, and its coverage is usually superficial." Participants agreed that in-depth analysis, balance
and objective journalism are needed to better understand and cover immigration issues. Among the suggestions offered
in the report are more stories about immigrants and their families, historical explanations for migration and investigations
into related issues such as government policies, health issues, economic and social factors, education and housing.
In this way, participants noted, journalists would communicate the broad and profound effects immigrants have on the lives
of everyone around them, especially in their adopted homelands. Thus, journalists can help to fashion a new narrative of immigration
that is less negative, more relevant and more constructive. The Forum also showcased examples of
media projects to explore the hidden realities of migration. (Denzil Mohammed)
Beyond FAIR: The Decline of the Established Anti-Immigrant Organizations and the Rise of Tea
Institute for Research & Education on Human Rights, 2012, 51 pp.
"special report" discerns two important trends during the period from 2007 to 2012: first, a decline in membership
and finances for the "nativist establishment;" and second, "an increase in anti-immigrant activism by national
and local Tea Party groups, as well as a measurable number of anti-immigrant leaders who have joined the Tea Parties and consequently
accelerated the rate of anti-immigrant activism by those Tea Parties." The nativist establishment, as defined in this
report, consists of groups like the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), Americans for Immigration Control,
the Minuteman, NumbersUSA, and the Center for Immigration Studies. Financial support for seven of these groups dropped
32.8 percent from 2008 - the apex of their finances - to 2010. While the number of Minuteman chapters declined from 115 in
2010 to 53 in 2011, 36 leaders of Minuteman groups have become active with Tea Party groups. The authors of the report conclude
that the "re-articulation of the Nativist Establishment into the Tea Parties changes both the shape and strength
of the anti-immigrant impulse in American life." By being "mixed into the activities of multi-issue organizations...anti-immigrant
activism has a bigger immediate constituency and is likely to be stronger."
The Receiving Communities Toolkit: A Guide for Engaging Mainstream America in Immigrant Integration,
Spring Institute for Intercultural Learning and Welcoming America, October, 2011, 31 pp.
The purpose of this Toolkit, written by Susan Downs-Karkos, is to highlight successful strategies and programs
that "build meaningful connections between immigrants and the native born through contact, improved communication and
leadership in order to foster stronger and more unified communities." The content of the Toolkit is drawn from
interviews with "61 stakeholders who have successfully employed" these strategies in their work. The "Contact"
section of the Toolkit describes promising initiatives in three areas: dialogue programs, such as the Public Conversations
Project of Welcoming America; joint projects, which bring immigrants and native-born together to achieve shared goals; and
projects that build alliances across racial lines. The "Communications" section profiles innovative work in such
areas as local media campaigns, film projects, National Public Radio's Story Corps Project, and Participatory Theater. This
section also features tips on effective messaging on immigration issues. Finally, the "Leadership" section
stresses the importance of identifying local leaders, particularly those from government, faith communities, and business,
willing and able to champion "Receiving Communities" initiatives. The report concludes with the observation that
Receiving Communities efforts are most effective when they combine all three elements into a single program. The report also
notes that "this is still a relatively new field with modest resources" and that effective evaluation of current
efforts will lay the groundwork for continued growth.
Quantifying Hate Speech on Commercial Talk Radio: A Pilot Study,
Chicano Studies Research Center, UCLA, November, 2011, 46 pp.
study seeks to develop a "sound, replicable methodology for qualitative content analysis" of hate speech targeting
ethnic, racial, religious, or sexual minorities. Segments of thirty- to forty-minutes were selected from each of three
programs broadcast in the Los Angeles County radio market on July 31, 2008: The Lou Dobbs Show: Mr. Independent,
The Savage Nation, and The John & Ken Show. The analysis revealed "a significant incidence of speech
that incorporates targeted statements, unsubstantiated claims, divisive language, and indexical terms related to political
nativism." The study, however, found no instances of hate speech calling for "immediate unlawful action," the
standard used in a 1993 Report to Congress on the role of telecommunications in the commission of hate crimes. This
study includes a lengthy appendix with excerpts from the three shows illustrative of the factors used in the analysis
All Together Now? African Americans, Immigrants and the Future of California,
Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration, University of Southern California, September,
2011, 62 pp.
This report focuses on neighborhood-level interactions between immigrants and African Americans
in California communities. Using an analytical tool called "Black Immigrant Proximity Index," the researchers were
able to identify "87 distinct communities that ranked most highly for African-American exposure to immigrants in the
year 2000." These 87 communities were further sub-divided into four categories based on whether the Black population
was declining, stable, or growing. Although the report acknowledges some displacement of Blacks by immigrants in occupations
such as janitors, many Blacks who retained jobs in industries dominated by immigrants saw significant income growth, suggesting
a complementary effect. The authors argue for an approach to coalition-building "based not in transactions but
transformations." Rather than seeking African-American support for specific policy reforms beneficial to immigrants,
perhaps in exchange for immigrant support for a "Black issue," the authors assert that "such coalitions of
interest can be both fragile and episodic - and less sustainable than those ties based on shared values, continuing engagement,
and social movement organizing." They then proceed to give numerous examples of how this approach has been applied
successfully in specific communities.
Muslim Americans: No Signs of Growth in Alienation or Support for Extremism,
Pew Research Center, August, 2011, 127 pp
This telephone survey of 1,033 Muslim-Americans,
updating an earlier survey conducted by Pew in 2007, finds "no evidence of rising support for Islamic extremism among
Muslim Americans." Interviews were done in English, Arabic, Urdu, and Farsi. Muslim Americans are far more
satisfied with the way things are going in the U.S. (56%) than the general public (23%). More Muslim Americans report
themselves to be in "excellent or good shape financially" (46%) than the general public (38%). Support for extremist
positions is "negligible" with fully 81% saying that suicide bombing and other forms of violence against civilians
are never justified. Nonetheless, significant numbers (28%) report being looked at with suspicion by their neighbors. Most
Muslims (70%) either identify as Democrats or lean toward the Democratic Party. 72% believe that the Mosque and community
center near the World Trade Center should be built.
Empowering Local Partners to Prevent Violent Extremism in the United States,
The White House, August, 2011, 8 pp
With particular attention
to al-Qa'ida and its affiliates around the world, this paper outlines the federal government's strategy for preventing radicalization
and terrorism in the United States. More than a year in the making, the document contends that "our security...is
inextricably linked to our values: the protection of civil rights and civil liberties and the promotion of an inclusive society."
The paper also argues that any kind of "backlash" by the American public against Muslim Americans "would feed
al-Qa'ida's propaganda that our country is anti-Muslim and at war against Islam, handing our enemies a strategic victory by
turning our communities against one another" and creating a breeding ground for terrorist recruitment in the U.S.
The paper envisions the federal government's role as that of "facilitator, convener, and source of information."
Rather than creating a new architecture of institutions and funding, the paper advocates the ramped-up use of successful models,
such as community policing and community engagement in problem-solving on all levels, not just those pertaining to the terrorist
Attitudes toward Highly Skilled and Low-skilled Immigration: Evidence from a Survey Experiment,
American Political Science Review, February, 2010, 24 pp.
Based on a survey sample of 2,285 American citizens, conducted in late 2007 and early 2008, this article questions
the common assumption that concerns about labor market competition and immigrant utilization of public services motivate anti-immigrant
sentiment in the United States. Instead, the researchers found a strong preference for highly skilled immigrants, even among
highly-skilled native-born people, who might find themselves competing with such immigrants. This is one of the first empirical
studies to analyze American public attitudes towards different types of immigrants. As such, it lends support to explanations
"emphasizing noneconomic concerns associated with ethnocentrism or sociotropic considerations."
Climate of Fear: Latino Immigrants in Suffolk County, N.Y.,
Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), September, 2009, 28 pp
This report provides a detailed
account of the development of anti-immigrant sentiment and violence in Suffolk County, NY, from 1999 to 2009, placing particular
emphasis on the "angry demagoguery" of local politicians, the activity of anti-immigrant groups such as Sachem Quality
of Life, and the shortcomings of the Suffolk County Police Department. The SPLC, best known for its battles against the Ku
Klux Klan in the 1970s, tracks the activities of hate groups in the United States. The report is based on interviews with
more than 70 Latino immigrants and scores of local community leaders.
While hate crimes in recent years have declined or leveled off for most groups, crimes against Hispanic
immigrants and gays have increased. This report lays the blame for this rise on the "toxic environment" created
by anti-immigrant talk radio hosts such as Michael Savage and cable TV personalities such as CNN's Lou Dobbs and gives examples
of inflammatory speech from their programs. The report also faults three "seemingly legitimate" restrictionist
organizations: the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), and
NumbersUSA -- "part of a network of restrictionist organizations conceived and created by John Tanton, the 'puppeteer'
of the nativist movement." According to the report, these organizations have "inflamed the immigration debate
by invoking the dehumanizing, racist stereotypes and bigotry of hate groups." Yet, they are often given a platform by
members of Congress to testify at hearings and cited as authoritative sources by the media. The report also notes a proliferation
of hate groups since 2000, operating with increasing sophistication and making ample use of new social media to advance their
cause. The report makes several recommendations to combat the threat of hate crimes, including passage of a strengthened
federal hate crime law.
Under Siege: Life for Low-Income Latinos in the South
Southern Poverty Law Center, April, 2009, 64 pp.
Based on a survey of 500
Latino immigrants in Charlotte, Nashville, New Orleans, rural south Georgia, and several towns in northern Alabama, this report
was designed to "take the pulse of the Latino community in the South." Among the key findings are the following:
41% of respondents have experienced wage theft, and 80% lack any knowledge of government agencies able to help out in these
situations; more than 50% "lack confidence in the police;" 47% know someone treated unfairly by the
police, with police checkpoints an especially common complaint; and 77% of Latino women have experienced sexual harassment
on the job, often perpetrated by employers threatening to report women to ICE if they refuse their advances. The report concludes
with a series of policy recommendations to the federal government to combat the growing menace of "racial profiling"
aimed at Latinos.
Creating a Diverse and Inclusive Community (No longer available online),
Diversity Dialogue Task Force Report, Arlington County, Virginia, January,
2009, 8 pp.
During 2008, Arlington County conducted
a series of three "diversity dialogues" attracting nearly 500 community members. Using the "World Café"
approach and with help from staff at George Mason University's Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, the dialogues
explored topics such as race relations and immigration. Participants developed a series of recommendations designed to create
a more inclusive community. The County also set up a website about the program.
Neighbourhood Task Forces: A Tool for Dealing with Conflict in Communities,
The Young Foundation (London, UK), October, 2008, 40 pp.
The Young Foundation is an important catalyst for social entrepreneurship
and "open" community development in the United Kingdom and internationally. In this report and "toolkit,"
the Foundation details its task force model for addressing community tensions in two London neighborhoods experiencing demographic
change caused by immigration and internal migration. The Foundation considers the model a "relatively cheap and simple"
approach to the challenge of "build(ing) the capacity of local people to work together on their own solutions" to
Immigrants Targeted: Extremist Rhetoric Moves into
Anti-Defamation League, 2007, 12 pp.
This report documents the use of stereotypes and outright bigotry by "groups that have positioned themselves
as legitimate, mainstream advocates against illegal immigration in America." Seven groups, along with leading media figures
and politicians, are profiled in the report.
Integration and Cohesion Case Studies,
Commission on Integration and Cohesion, Department of Communities
and Local Government (United Kingdom), 2007, 226 pp.
the aftermath of the July 7, 2007, London public transportation bombings, a Commission on Integration and Social Cohesion
was set up to "consider how local areas can make the most of diversity while being able to respond to the tensions it
may cause." In addition to its final report, the Commission produced this compendium of best practices throughout the
United Kingdom. More than 100 different projects are profiled in this document.
Thinking Past Integration and Community Cohesion (No longer available online),
Ash Amin, Paper presented at the 2007 COMPAS Annual Conference, Oxford
University, July 5-6, 2007, 8 pp.
In this creative and
thought-provoking piece, a leading English economic geographer argues the importance of "recovering the commons"
as the physical space where "cultural and civic formation" takes place in our multicultural world. Places like parks,
markets, squares, gardens can promote an image of the city as "plural, for the many, for the idiosyncratic and ill-conforming,
but always in the spirit of revealing the ties that bind."
E Pluribus Unum: Diversity and Community in the Twenty-first
Robert D. Putnam, Scandinavian Political Studies, June 15, 2007,
This controversial essay, written by Harvard
professor Robert D. Putnam, author of Bowling Alone and other books and essays on civic engagement in America, examines
the connections between immigration and civic participation. This is how Putnam abstracts the essay: "Ethnic
diversity is increasing in most advanced countries, driven mostly by sharp increases in immigration. In the long run immigration
and diversity are likely to have important cultural, economic, fiscal, and developmental benefits. In the short run, however,
immigration and ethnic diversity tend to reduce social solidarity and social capital. New evidence from the US suggests that
in ethnically diverse neighbourhoods residents of all races tend to 'hunker down'. Trust (even of one's own race) is lower,
altruism and community cooperation rarer, friends fewer. In the long run, however, successful immigrant societies have overcome
such fragmentation by creating new, cross-cutting forms of social solidarity and more encompassing identities. Illustrations
of becoming comfortable with diversity are drawn from the US military, religious institutions, and earlier waves of American
Foundations/Intergroup Relations Program,
Association for the Study and Development of Community, July, 2002,
17 pp, September, 2000, 7 pp.
These two reports discuss a major initiative to support intergroup relationship
building among immigrants and established residents in six areas of the United States. The Charlest Stewart Mott
Foundation and the Ford Foundation partnered with six community foundations to invest $5.1 million to develop innovative neighborhood
and community projects "to improve race and ethnic relations between recent immigrants and long-time residents."
The first report provides guidance to community foundations in setting up intergroup initiatives.
The second report discusses general principles for designing effective intergroup relations
programs, provides an analytical tool for assessing the quality of existing intergroup relations, and gives some examples
of successful projects.
Initiative to Strengthen Neighborhood Inter-Group Assets: Summary
of Accomplishments and Lessons Learned, 1998-2000,
Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation, February, 2001, 12 pp.
This report discusses a major intergroup initiative in the Washington, D.C., and northern Virginia which distributed
over $800,000 in funding to 46 inter-group projects. The initiative promoted the development of learning community consisting
of grantees, funders, and consultants who met on a regular basis to share experiences and review results. The report gives
examples of specific projects and summarizes lessons learned.
Together in our Differences: How Newcomers and Established Residents are Rebuilding America's Communities,
Findings from the Community Innovations Project,
(No longer available online)
National Immigration Forum,
January, 1995, 95 pp.
This report spotlights
community programs in Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and New York City that eased tensions between immigrant groups
and established residents by engaging them to solve problems of mutual concern. Among the 16 projects discussed in the
report are: the creation of a community credit union, a tenant organizing project, and the formation of a coalition to
promote adult education.
Changing Relations: Newcomers and Established Residents
in U.S. Communities
(No longer available online),
Ford Foundation, 1993, 79 pp.
This report presents
the results of a study conducted by a multidisciplinary team of researchers investigating the relationships and everyday interactions
among recent immigrants and longer-term residents in six U.S. communities. The sites include big-city neighborhoods in Chicago,
Houston, Miami, and Philadelphia as well as suburban Monterey Park, California, and rural Garden City, Kansas. The study applied
ethnographic research methods to an analysis of the ways long-time residents and newcomers of widely different cultures and
backgrounds relate to each other. The studies' goal was to provide a detailed description of the full range of relations between
immigrants and established residents including interactions producing conflict or accommodation. The researchers conclude
by stressing the importance of economic restructuring, class and gender, geographic settlement, language barriers, racial
stratification, and the role of community control in interactions between newcomers and established residents.
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