16 August 2014

The data on white anxiety over Hispanic immigration

The data on white anxiety over Hispanic immigration (Washington Post, 14 August 2014)

Immigration crises, erupting like long-dormant volcanoes every few years, have redefined what ‘immigrant’ means to us. These crises cause us to react in deeply personal ways, forging our opinions on what laws we want and whether we will fight for them. The latest round hit Americans like a tidal wave, with tens of thousands of Central American children surging past the U.S.-Mexico border, looking for food, shelter and family. News coverage spiked and sparked scores of protests across the country. Politicians were panned and polls show support fell for more lenient immigration laws. What drives these reactions is not all pretty, according to research studying how we process immigration news. What immigrants look like – and where they come from – changes how we see the issue.