What Motivates Local Leaders to Restrict Immigration? Political and Demographic Electoral Pressures in County-Level Immigration Enforcement Policymaking Public Deposited

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  • March 20, 2019
  • Kuhn, Eroll
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Political Science
  • Using a novel dataset on county-level immigration enforcement policies in the US, I explore the role of demography and political geography in local immigration enforcement policymaking. I find evidence that local immigration enforcement policy becomes more restrictive where Hispanic populations are large and visible, and that this restrictive effect disappears when Hispanic populations are large enough. I also find that local political dynamics are far stronger predictors of immigration enforcement policies. My results indicate that expansionary policy outcomes seem especially probable in safe democratic districts, where local liberal elites are least likely to bear costs from illiberal publics. Competitive counties, rather than starkly Republican ones, are marked by the most restrictive policy environments. In a finer-grained analysis I explore mechanisms, and discover that Hispanic community mobilization can oppose restriction where populations are sufficiently large, but only the absence of electoral pressures for restriction can lead to truly expansionary policies
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  • In Copyright
  • Marks, Gary
  • Clark, Christopher
  • Maxwell, Rahsaan
  • Master of Arts
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2017

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