The Role of Contact and Values in Public Attitudes Toward Unauthorized Immigrants

By: 
Diana Orcés, Ph.D. and Walter Ewing, Ph.D.
April 30, 2019

When it comes to understanding public attitudes toward immigrants, policy analyses and news stories frequently rely on public opinion polls that are narrow in scope. Analyses of such polls often focus on whether the public (or certain subgroups of the public) supports more or less immigration and how certain groups of people feel about immigrants. These types of analyses rarely dig deeper into why the respondents feel the way they do; in other words, where those feelings are coming from.

This report and the pilot survey upon which it is based seek to overcome this limitation by analyzing the reasons why people are likely to hold particular attitudes about immigrants. Just as with any other public issue, attitudes about immigrants are wrapped up not only with individuals’ personal characteristics, life experiences, and beliefs about a wide range of other issues, but also some of their personal values and the type of contact that they have with immigrants. 

To this end, we surveyed 1,280 native-born U.S. citizens in October 2018 and assessed their views on unauthorized immigrants. We also measured their socio-demographic characteristics, the values they perceive as important, their political beliefs, and their perceptions about a host of social issues. We then used statistical techniques to determine how views on unauthorized immigrants are related to these factors. 

The primary aim of this analysis was to determine the degree to which contact with immigrants and personal values are associated with views about unauthorized immigrants. The analysis yielded the following principal conclusions: 

  1. Positive contact with immigrants is associated with attitudes toward unauthorized immigrants. The native-born hold more positive views about unauthorized immigrants—or “pro-immigrant sentiments”—if they have friendly interactions with immigrants. The key here is not frequency of contact, but the nature of contact. Negative encounters will not necessarily foster pro-immigrant sentiments. But positive encounters likely will.
  2. The values of empathy and authority are associated with attitudes toward unauthorized immigrants. Native-born individuals who place a high value on empathy hold more pro-immigrant sentiments, while those who highly value authority hold less favorable attitudes.

These conclusions remain even when accounting for other factors. Specifically, both of these findings hold although differences exist among the native-born in sociodemographic characteristics (e.g., race/ethnicity, gender, and age); perceptions about how the U.S. economy and culture are changing; identification with the Democratic or Republican party; liberal or conservative political ideologies; degree of nationalism or patriotism; and frequency of religious service attendance.

The findings of this report are buttressed by a significant amount of previous research, which points to the role of sustained and positive contact in tempering concerns over immigrants and immigration. There is extensive literature on the role of contact in shaping the attitudes which members of one group (such as the native-born or whites) hold toward members of another group (such as immigrants or people of color). There is also more limited literature on the role of certain values and attitudes of the native-born toward immigrants. Although not definitive, the goal of this report is to provide a snapshot of factors that are associated with attitudes toward unauthorized immigrants and suggest clear avenues for further research. 

The two main hypotheses that guided our analysis are as follows (1) the frequency and nature of social interactions (contact) with immigrants are associated with attitudes toward unauthorized immigrants; and (2) a series of core personal values are associated with how positively or negatively native-born Americans perceive unauthorized immigrants

Prior research has shown that contact facilitates the formation of pro-immigrant or pro-minority attitudes among the native-born or members of dominant social groups. And, while numerous studies have shown how individuals’ opinions about various social issues are tied to particular attitudes toward immigrants, in this report we focus on six personal values: empathy, authority, fairness, loyalty, liberty, and faith.

The Importance of Positive Interaction

There is a large body of literature on “contact theory,” which addresses the role of positive interactions in shaping someone’s views about immigrants or groups that are dissimilar in some other way. Initially proposed in 1954, contact theory holds that, under the right conditions, “ingroups” which come into contact with “outgroups” are less likely to be prejudiced against members of the outgroup than would be the case if there were no interaction at all.

However, interaction—or lack of interaction—is one of a number of factors that shape prejudice. For example,  members of ingroups who perceive members of outgroups as a threat—economically, culturally, or socially—are more likely to exhibit prejudice toward these outgroups regardless of how much interaction is taking place.  Moreover, it is possible that some ingroup members who are more prejudiced avoid contact altogether with outgroup members. 

These contradictions are apparent in relations between the native-born and immigrants.  For instance, if the native-born perceive growing numbers of immigrants as a threat to their economic and cultural well-being, regardless of whether or not this perception is based in reality, it is more likely that they will express anti-immigrant sentiments.  In turn, political leaders and the mass media can easily manipulate this dynamic to advance anti-immigrant ideologies. However, if the native-born have direct or indirect contact with immigrants, it is likely that these interactions will lead to a reduction in prejudice against immigrants.  These processes can occur simultaneously and are not mutually exclusive. It is clear, though, that in the absence of positive interaction, it is easier for political leaders and the media to portray immigrants as threats.

Some studies show that the nature of the interaction between the native-born and immigrants is crucial. Although some researchers find that negative interactions are more powerful than positive interactions,  positive interactions are more prevalent  and can mitigate the effects of subsequent negative interactions.  In general, greater frequency of contact is a good predictor of greater tendencies to welcome, and feel welcomed by, other groups regardless of nativity and race.  These effects are more powerful when respondents rate the quality of their contact as “friendly.” Moreover, some studies indicate that positive contact can motivate the native-born to oppose unfriendly immigration policies.   

Based on this literature, our hypothesis is that the more frequent and positive the interactions that occur between immigrants and the native-born, the more likely that the native-born will express favorable views toward unauthorized immigrants.   

The Importance of Values

Previous research shows that individual differences in value priorities play a fundamental role in shaping attitudes toward immigrants. The literature on these relationships is limited, however. According to some studies, “liberal values” like universalism and benevolence (which are related to expressions of equality, tolerance, and equal opportunity) are positively correlated with acceptance of immigrants. Conversely, “conservative values” (security, conformity, and tradition) are associated with negative attitudes toward immigrants. Similarly, if the native-born express high support for democratic values (such as political tolerance) and “openness to change,” they tend to have warmer feelings toward immigrants and more positive attitudes toward diversity in general. But those who score high on authoritarian attitudes tend to have negative feelings about immigrants and diversity, although those feelings can be mitigated if the person perceives the larger society as relatively accepting of immigrants. 

According to social psychologist Jonathan Haidt, a pioneering researcher on the psychological underpinnings of morality, moral judgements arise not necessarily from reason, but from intuitive, emotional reactions rooted in what an individual values most. Specifically, there are six principles, or values, which guide moral attitudes and behaviors. It is these values that we measure in our survey: 

  1. Care—referred to in this report as “empathy”—relates to the ability to feel the pain of others and stresses the virtues of kindness, gentleness, and nurturance. In terms of attitudes toward immigrants, our hypothesis is that individuals who value empathy highly will likely show more sympathetic feelings toward unauthorized immigrants than those for whom empathy is not an important value.
  2. Fairness relates to ideas of proportionality and equality. Proportional fairness is the view that someone should be rewarded in proportion to what he or she contributes to society, even if there are unequal outcomes. This way of looking at fairness is more prevalent among conservatives. Equality, on the other hand, places a high value on everyone being equal in terms of status, rights, and opportunities. This view is more common among liberals. In either case, we hypothesize that individuals who value fairness highly are likely to show more sympathetic views toward unauthorized immigrants if immigrants are viewed as contributing members of society or as deserving of the same opportunities as everyone else.
  3. Loyalty involves ideas of self-sacrifice for the group with which one identifies. If individuals value loyalty highly, we hypothesize that they will view unauthorized immigrants as outsiders and express less sympathetic views toward them.
  4. Authority places a premium on leadership and hierarchy, including deference to authority and respect for traditions. We hypothesize that individuals who value authority highly will be less inclined to welcome unauthorized immigrants.
  5. Sanctity—referred to in this report as “faith”—relates to religious beliefs and emphasizes moral principles such as honesty, respect, and kindness. We hypothesize that individuals who place a high value on faith are likely to express more sympathetic views toward unauthorized immigrants because of the moral imperative to respect and be kind to others, no matter their background.
  6. Liberty highlights feelings of dislike toward those who oppress others. As a result, liberty brings people together in solidarity to oppose oppressors. We hypothesize that individuals who value liberty highly are likely to have friendly views toward unauthorized immigrants if they are perceived as being treated unfairly.

In October 2018, we collected data on U.S.-born citizens aged 18 or older through Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk)—a web-based survey platform run by Amazon. Respondents volunteered to take our pilot survey, resulting in a non-random convenience sample of 1,280 participants.  To assess attitudes toward unauthorized immigrants, we constructed a composite measure (a measure that summarizes multiple indicators) of pro-immigrant sentiment using the average responses to each of the following questions: 

To what extent do you agree or disagree with these statements?

  • Unauthorized immigrants should be prohibited from using public schools.
  • Unauthorized immigrants should be prohibited from using emergency hospital care.
  • Unauthorized immigrants drive wages down for American workers.
  • There should be immigration raids in workplaces. 

On average, the respondents in our sample scored 66 on a scale of 0-100 measuring positive sentiment toward unauthorized immigrants. In order to understand why respondents feel the way they do, we evaluated how the frequency and nature of their contact with immigrants, as well as their values, are associated with their attitudes toward unauthorized immigrants. We also considered how a range of other variables—such as political ideology, party affiliation, perceptions of economic conditions, perceptions of cultural change, and sociodemographic characteristics—are linked to attitudes toward unauthorized immigrants. To that end, the survey included questions about the following topics (see Appendix Table 1): 

  • Frequency of contact with immigrants. The survey asked respondents how often they interacted with immigrants in three scenarios: at work, around their home or neighborhood, and outside of their neighborhood (i.e., in restaurants, stores, and malls).  Based on average responses to each scenario, we created a composite measure for frequency of contact. 
  • Nature of contact with immigrants. The survey asked respondents about the nature of contact in each of the same three scenarios: “when you interact with immigrants at […], does the contact with them generally feel: very friendly, somewhat friendly, neither friendly nor unfriendly, somewhat unfriendly, very unfriendly?” Based on average responses to each scenario, we created a composite measure for the nature of contact. 
  • Values. The survey asked respondents to rank the importance they attached to empathy, fairness, liberty, loyalty, authority, and faith. 
  • Perceptions of economic conditions. The survey asked respondents about their perceptions of the country’s current economic situation, their own personal economic situation, their income, and their family’s income. 
  • Perceptions of cultural change. We created a composite measure from responses to questions about how respondents felt about: hearing languages other than English being spoken in their neighborhood; seeing ethnically diverse restaurants in the area; seeing immigrant-owned businesses; and coming into contact with immigrants who do not speak English.    
  • Religious service attendance. The survey asked how often the respondent attended religious services. Religious participation has been found to minimize concerns about immigration among the native-born. 
  • Nationalism and patriotism. We estimated the nationalism and patriotism of respondents by assessing the extent to which they agreed or disagreed with the following statements: “The world would be better if more people from other countries were like Americans” (an indicator of nationalism) and “America is a better country than most others” (an indicator of patriotism). The distinction between these terms is somewhat complex. Nationalism is wrapped up in support for hierarchy and homogeneity within a society and unquestioning obedience to authority, while patriotism places a high value on equality and the right of citizens to protest against government when in disagreement over public policy.   
  • Political party and ideology. The survey asked for respondents’ party affiliation and asked them to rank themselves politically on a scale from very conservative to very liberal. 
  • Sociodemographic characteristics. The survey asked respondents about their gender, age, ethnicity, level of education, and the size of the place where they lived (city, suburban, or rural).

Of all the variables assessed in the pilot survey, a handful proved to be significantly associated with pro-immigrant sentiments (meaning that the relationship between the variables was caused by something other than chance). The variables that impacted respondents’ sentiments toward unauthorized immigrants are: the frequency and nature of contact with immigrants; a high value placed on empathy or authority; fear that immigrants pose a cultural threat; nationalism; political party or ideology; race or ethnicity; and place of residence (see Appendix Tables 1, 2, and 3).

Figure 1: What factors are associated with attitudes toward unauthorized immigrants? 

Analyses from our pilot survey suggest that respondents who have more friendly interactions with immigrants hold more favorable views toward unauthorized immigrants than those who have relatively unfriendly interactions. More precisely, even after taking into account every other socioeconomic variable included in the survey, respondents who have very friendly contact with immigrants in general score higher on the scale of pro-immigrant sentiment than those who have very unfriendly contact with immigrants.

In short, as the level of contact with immigrants becomes friendlier, the higher the levels of pro-immigrant sentiments held by individuals in our sample. These results highlight the significant role that the nature of contact plays in pro-immigrant sentiments and add further evidence to the growing literature on the importance of contact in reducing prejudice. It is worth noting that high frequency of contact by itself is not necessarily associated with pro-immigrant sentiment since we do not know from this measure if the contact was positive or negative overall.

Values Associated with Attitudes Toward Unauthorized Immigrants: Empathy and Authority

Highly Valuing Empathy Is Associated with Pro-Immigrant Sentiment

Respondents for whom empathy is an important value hold more positive views of unauthorized immigrants, even if the respondent is relatively conservative in other respects. After accounting for the effects of all the other variables, respondents who place a high value on empathy score higher on the scale of pro-immigrant sentiment than those who place a low value on empathy.

It is not surprising that empathy is linked to more pro-immigrant sentiments. Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another and generally fosters care, understanding, and cooperation.  As a result, if people are able to adopt immigrants’ perspectives, they are less likely to support anti-immigrant policies.

Highly Valuing Authority Is Associated with Low Levels of Pro-Immigrant Sentiment

In contrast, respondents in our pilot survey for whom authority is an important value hold less favorable views of unauthorized immigrants, even if the respondent is relatively liberal in other respects. After taking into account the effects of all the variables described above, respondents who place a high value on authority score lower in terms of favorable views toward immigrants than those who place less value on authority. 

These findings are not surprising. Placing a high value on authority emphasizes an individual’s position within social hierarchies. Acts of obedience, respect, or submission to authority enforce tradition and stability. In contrast, individuals who value authority less are more likely to support acts of disobedience, disrespect, or even rebellion against authorities, thereby subverting tradition. 

Perceptions of Cultural Change Matter More than Perceptions of Economic Conditions 

The results from the pilot survey also indicate that perceptions of economic conditions matter relatively little compared to perceptions of cultural change. That is, respondents who perceive immigrants or diversity as changing U.S. culture for the worse—reacting negatively to hearing languages other than English being spoken, seeing ethnically diverse restaurants, seeing immigrant-owned businesses, and coming into contact with immigrants who do not speak English—exhibit lower levels of pro-immigrant sentiment. This remains the case even after accounting for differences in respondents’ perceptions of the country’s current economic situation, their own personal economic situation, their income level, and their family’s income. 

These results add empirical support to the body of research showing that cultural considerations are more influential than economic considerations when the native-born think about the impact of immigrants on U.S. society.   

Nationalism Is Associated with Low Levels of Pro-Immigrant Sentiment 

Predictably, we found that respondents who are highly nationalistic—that is, who believe that people from other countries should be like Americans—have lower pro-immigrant sentiments. Conversely, patriotism—that is, the belief that America is a better country than most others—has no significant effect on attitudes toward unauthorized immigrants. This is consistent with the existing literature, which suggests that individuals who express high levels of nationalism are likely to exalt members of the dominant group, while belittling minorities. Patriotic citizens, on the other hand, are likely to be more respectful of minorities’ rights and policies that benefit minorities. 

Liberals and Democrats Are More Pro-Immigrant 

As expected, self-identified liberals tend to be more pro-immigrant than self-identified conservatives, and Democrats are more pro-immigrant than Republicans.  But this distinction is hardly set in stone and intersects with other characteristics of the respondents. For instance, a self-identified Democrat who lives in a rural area and who values authority highly could harbor less pro-immigrant sentiments than a Republican who lives in a suburban area and places a low value on authority. 

Ethnicity and Place of Residence Are Associated with Attitudes Toward Unauthorized Immigrants 

The results from the pilot survey show that only two sociodemographic variables reach statistical significance in their association with pro-immigrant sentiment: the respondents’ ethnicity or race and size of their place of residence. Specifically, African Americans express lower pro-immigrant sentiments than whites, and individuals who live in suburban areas are more pro-immigrant than those who live in rural areas. 

Previous research has yielded mixed results on the role of race. Some studies have found that African Americans are more likely to show pro-immigrant sentiments, others  have shown a tendency for more anti-immigrant opinions, while others have found no significant relationship.  Moreover, when evaluating the role of race, proximity, and contact, research has shown that living in a metropolitan area with ethnically segregated neighborhoods is associated with greater racial animosity, but living in integrated neighborhoods is related to less racial resentment because it involves closer and more frequent contact.  

There are two principal findings that flow from the analysis contained in this report. First, positive interactions with immigrants are associated with favorable views toward unauthorized immigrants. Second, values matter, but in distinct ways.  Empathy plays a positive role, defining a more open and accepting perspective on unauthorized immigrants. Conversely, the degree to which people value authority correlates with less favorable views toward unauthorized immigrants.

These findings are not simply useful in explaining current attitudes toward unauthorized immigrants; they have practical significance as well. Taking contact and values into consideration could prove useful in devising strategies to improve the reception of immigrants in receiving communities. Our analysis suggests that understanding and connecting to personal values, coupled with facilitating friendly interactions between immigrants and the native-born, could shift public attitudes toward immigrants. It should be possible to appeal to native-born Americans at the level of either empathy or authority, for instance, as long as different kinds of messages are used in each case—especially if spaces are created for positive contact between immigrants and the native-born. 

Among native-born Americans who place a high value on empathy, fostering an understanding of the ways in which their own lives and personal histories are similar to those of immigrants could encourage greater pro-immigrant sentiment (particularly when coupled with positive contact). For instance, many native-born individuals could relate to the stories of immigrants who left the place of their birth to build the best possible lives for themselves and their families, who sacrificed and worked hard to provide for those families, and who over time became enmeshed in local communities that they now regard as “home.” Personal stories of this nature could humanize immigrants in the eyes of those native-born individuals who know very little about the lives that immigrants actually lead.

Among native-born Americans who respond more to authority, it might prove effective to highlight the ways in which immigrants comply with authority, such as the fact that the majority are law-abiding, tax-paying, contributing members of society who respect the U.S. model of government and place a high value on U.S. citizenship. In other words, it might be effective to emphasize that most immigrants are seeking to play by the rules. 

The relationship between values and attitudes toward immigrants is complex, and our survey only scratches the surface. All in all, the findings presented in this report signal the need for further research aimed at better understanding the multiple ways in which specific notions of authority and empathy shape, and can be utilized to change, the public discourse about immigration.

Appendix Table 1: Survey Questions

Pro-Immigrant Sentiments

(index 1-100)

Below are some statements about immigrants. Please describe to what extent you agree or disagree with each statement, using a scale from 1-7 where 1 is strongly DISAGREE and 7 is strongly AGREE. Choose an intermediate number if your opinion is between strongly disagree and strongly agree.

  • To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Unauthorized immigrants drive wages down for American workers. 
  • To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Unauthorized immigrants should be prohibited from using emergency hospital care.
  • To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Unauthorized immigrants should be prohibited from using public schools. 
  • To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement? There should be immigration raids in workplaces.

Role of Contact 

Frequency of Contact with Immigrants (index 1-4)

  • How often do you interact with immigrants at work?    (1) A lot      (2) Some       (3) Very little    (4) None at all    
  • How often do you interact with immigrants around your home or in your neighborhood? (1) A lot         (2) Some       (3) Very little      (4) None at all    
  • How often do you interact with immigrants outside of your neighborhood, such as at restaurants, stores, and malls?   (1) A lot         (2) Some       (3) Very little      (4) None at all  

Nature of Contact with Immigrants (index 1-5)

  • When you interact with immigrants at work, does the contact with them generally feel: (1) Very friendly        (2) Somewhat friendly       (3) Neither friendly nor unfriendly       (4) Somewhat unfriendly      (5) Very unfriendly   
  • When you interact with immigrants around your home or in your neighborhood, does the contact with them generally feel:  (1) Very friendly        (2) Somewhat friendly       (3) Neither friendly nor unfriendly       (4) Somewhat unfriendly      (5) Very unfriendly  
  • When you interact with immigrants outside of your neighborhood, such as at restaurants, stores, and malls, does the contact with them generally feel:  (1) Very friendly        (2)Somewhat friendly       (3) Neither friendly nor unfriendly       (4) Somewhat unfriendly      (5) Very unfriendly  

Importance of Values

(Low, Medium, High)

Please tell us how important each value is to you. Using a scale from 1-10, from NOT AT ALL important (1) to EXTREMELY important (10), how would you rate:

Empathy          Not at all  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   Extremely

                        important                                                      important

Fairness           Not at all  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   Extremely

                        important                                                      important

Liberty            Not at all  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   Extremely

                        important                                                      important

Loyalty           Not at all  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   Extremely

                        important                                                      important

Authority        Not at all  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   Extremely

                        important                                                      important

Faith                Not at all  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   Extremely

                        important                                                      important

Perceptions of Economic Conditions

Perception of Country’s Current Economic Situation

Do you think that the country’s current economic situation is better than, the same as, or worse than it was 12 months ago? (1) Better      (2) Same  (3)  Worse

Perception of Current Personal Economic

Do you think that your current economic situation is better than, the same as, or worse than it was 12 months ago? (1) Better       (2) Same  (3)  Worse  

Family Income Perception

The salary that you receive, and your total family income is:

(1) Good enough for you and you can save from it                                               

(2) Just enough for you, so that you do not have major problems                                   

(3) Not enough for you and you are stretched                       

(4) Not enough for you and you are having a hard time 

Income

What is the total annual income of your household? Please select the range that best reflects the combined gross annual income of all working adults and children. (Gross annual income represents the amount of money your household earns in one year from all sources before taxes).

(00) No income

(01) Less than $10,000

(02) $10,000 to $14,999

(03) $15,000 to $24,999

(04) $25,000 to $34,999

(05) $35,000 to $49,999

(06) $50,000 to $74,999

(07) $75,000 to $99,999

(08) $100,000 to $149,999

(09) $150,000 to $199,999

(10) $200,000 or more

Perceptions of Cultural Change (index 1-10)           

Now using a 1-7 scale, where 1 means generally NEGATIVE and 10 means generally POSITIVE, how do you generally feel:

  • When you hear languages other than English being spoken in your neighborhood or community?
  • When you see ethnically diverse restaurants in your community?
  • When you see stores or businesses in your community that are owned by immigrants? 
  • When you come into contact with immigrants who don’t speak English?

Religious Services Attendance

How often do you attend religious services?

(1) More than once per week 

(2) Once per week 

(3) Once a month   

(4) Once or twice a year  

(5) Never or almost never   

Nationalism

Below are some statements about views on America. Please describe your reaction to the following statements, using the 1-7 scale where 1 is strongly DISAGREE and 7 is strongly AGREE.

To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statement? The world would be better if more people from other countries were like Americans.

Patriotism

To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statement? America is a better country than most others.

Party Identification

Generally speaking, do you think of yourself as a Republican, a Democrat, an Independent, or something else?

(1) Democrat 

(2) Republican 

(3) Independent 

Political Ideology

In general, how would you describe your own political viewpoint? 

(1) Very Liberal

(2) Liberal

(3) Moderate

(4) Conservative

(5) Very Conservative

Sociodemographic Variables

Gender

What is your gender?

(1) Male 

(2) Female

Year of birth (Age) 

In what year were you born?

Ethnic Identification  

Which racial or ethnic group best describes you?

(1) White  

(2) Black or African American   

(3) Hispanic or Latino 

(4) Asian or Asian American   

(5) Other  

Levels of Education

 

What is the highest level of school you completed or the highest degree you have received?

(1) Primary school

(2) Some high school, but no diploma

(3) High school diploma (or GED)

(4) Some college, but no degree

(5) 2-year college degree (associate’s degree)

(6) 4-year college degree (bachelor’s degree)

(7) Postgraduate or professional degree (includes master’s, doctorate, medical, law, or other postgraduate degree)

Size of Place of Residency

Which of the following best describes where you live?

(1) In a city (population more than 250,000)

(2) In a suburb surrounding a city (within 25 miles of a city)

(3) In a small town or rural/farm area (at least 25 miles away from a city) 

Appendix Table 2. Descriptive Statistics

 

Obs

Percent.

 

Mean

Std. Dev.

Min

Max

Contact

Index of Frequency of Contact with Immigrants (None at All – A lot)

 

1,233

 

2.40

0.73

1

4

Index Nature of Contact with Immigrants (Very Unfriendly – Very Friendly)

1,158

 

3.96

0.84

1

5

Values

Empathy  =Low

1,279

5.1

 

 

 

 

                =Neutral

1,279

24.6

 

 

 

 

                =High

1,279

70.3

 

 

 

 

Fairness  =Low

1,278

2.1

 

 

 

 

                =Neutral

1,278

13.8

 

 

 

 

                =High

1,278

84.1

 

 

 

 

Liberty    =Low

1,278

3.3

 

 

 

 

                =Neutral

1,278

20.0

 

 

 

 

                =High

1,278

76.7

 

 

 

 

Loyalty   =Low

1,275

9.7

 

 

 

 

                =Neutral

1,275

31.0

 

 

 

 

                =High

1,275

59.3

 

 

 

 

Authority=Low

1,280

34.2

 

 

 

 

                =Neutral

1,280

41.6

 

 

 

 

                =High

1,280

24.2

 

 

 

 

Faith        =Low

1,278

45.5

 

 

 

 

                =Neutral

1,278

19.7

 

 

 

 

                =High

1,278

34.8

 

 

 

 

Perceptions of Economic Conditions

 

Perception Country’s Current Economic Situation  =Worse

1,231

20.3

 

 

 

 

                 =Same

1,231

45.1

 

 

 

 

                 =Better

1,231

34.6

 

 

 

 

Perception of Current Personal Economic Situation  =Worse

1,269

19.1

 

 

 

 

                 =Same

1,269

53.5

 

 

 

 

                 =Better

1,269

27.3

 

 

 

 

Family Income Perception

                 =Not enough, having a hard time

1,277

9.6

 

 

 

 

                 =Not enough and stretched

1,277

21.1

 

 

 

 

                 =Just enough, doesn’t have major

                   problems         

1,277

40.8

 

 

 

 

 

                 =Good enough, can save from it

1,277

28.5

 

 

 

 

Income

1,272

 

5.35

1.90

1

10

Perceptions of Cultural Change

Index of Cultural Threat

1,280

 

4.33

2.01

1

10

Other Control Variables

 

 

 

 

 

 

Religious Service Attendance

1,269

 

1.87

1.23

1

5

Nationalism

1,280

 

3.69

1.74

1

7

Patriotism

1,280

 

4.82

1.76

1

7

Party Identification   =Republican

1,256

23.2

 

 

 

 

                                  =Independent

1,256

30.7

 

 

 

 

                                  =Democrat

1,256

46.1

 

 

 

 

Political ideology      =Very Conservative

1,276

6.7

 

 

 

 

                                  =Conservative

1,276

18.7

 

 

 

 

                                  =Moderate

1,276

25.5

 

 

 

 

                                  =Liberal

1,276

32.1

 

 

 

 

                                  =Very Liberal

1,276

17.0

 

 

 

 

Sociodemographic Characteristics

Female

1,275

45.8

 

 

 

 

                                 =Male

1,275

54.2

 

 

 

 

Age 

1,280

 

39.0

11.79

19

82

Ethnic Identification=White

1,280

82.1

 

 

 

 

                                 =Hispanic/Latino

1,280

3.8

 

 

 

 

                                 =Black/African American

1,280

6.4

 

 

 

 

                                 =Asian/Asian American

1,280

3.8

 

 

 

 

                                 =Other

1,280

3.9

 

 

 

 

Levels of Education =High School/GED

1,280

13.0

 

 

 

 

                                 =Some College/

                                   Associate’s degree                     

1,280

32.5

 

 

 

 

 

                                 =Bachelor’s degree

1,280

42.4

 

 

 

 

                                 =Graduate/Professional

                                   degree

1,280

12.1

 

 

 

 

 

Area of Residency   =Rural

1,269

23.2

 

 

 

 

                                 =Suburbs

1,269

47.5

 

 

 

 

                                 =City

1,269

29.3

 

 

 

 

 

Appendix Table 3: Determinants of Pro-Immigrant Sentiment

The Role of Contact

Index of Frequency of Contact with Immigrants

(None at All – A lot)

-2.440*

(0.999)

Index Nature of Contact with Immigrants

(Very Unfriendly – Very Friendly)

6.478***

(0.961)

The Role of Values

Empathy (=Low)

 

 

    Neutral

4.553

(3.283)

    High

7.899*

(3.284)

Fairness (=Low)

 

 

    Neutral

-1.468

(4.733)

    High

2.139

(4.555)

Liberty (=Low)

 

 

    Neutral

-2.656

(3.801)

    High

-3.161

(3.673)

Loyalty (=Low)

 

 

    Neutral

-1.585

(2.367)

    High

-1.890

(2.344)

Authority (=Low)

 

 

    Neutral

-4.640**

(1.579)

    High

-13.013***

(1.987)

Faith (=Low)

 

 

    Neutral

2.015

(1.842)

    High

-0.065

(1.927)

Perceptions of Economic Conditions

Perception of Country’s Current Economic Situation (=Worse)

 

 

    Same

-0.361

(1.724)

    Better

-3.303

(2.060)

Perception of Current Personal Economic Situation (=Worse)

 

 

    Same

-0.266

(1.814)

    Better

-1.928

(2.147)

Family Income Perception (=Not enough, having a hard time)

 

 

    Not enough and stretched

-2.048

(2.447)

    Just enough, does not have major problems

-1.949

(2.424)

    Good enough and can save from it

-3.149

(2.706)

Income

0.687

(0.403)

Perceptions of Cultural Change

Index of Cultural Threat

(Not Concerned - Very Concerned)

-3.855***

(0.428)

Other Control Variables 

How often do you attend religious services?

(Never or almost never – More than once per week)

-0.960

(0.658)

Nationalism

-3.052***

(0.502)

Patriotism

-0.094

(0.505)

Party Identification (=Republican)

 

 

    Independent

2.444

(2.119)

    Democrat

7.722***

(2.277)

Political ideology (=Very Conservative)

 

 

    Conservative

0.632

(2.765)

    Moderate

3.858

(3.087)

    Liberal

9.001**

(3.258)

    Very Liberal

6.216

(3.533)

Sociodemographic Variables 

Female (=Male)

1.561

(1.299)

Age 

-0.420

(0.340)

Age * Age 

0.004

(0.004)

Ethnic Identification (=White)

 

 

    Hispanic or Latino

4.515

(3.045)

    Black or African American

-7.679**

(2.556)

    Asian or Asian American

0.867

(3.074)

    Other

-5.167

(3.207)

Levels of Education (=High School/GED)

 

 

    Some College or Associate’s degree

0.686

(2.058)

    Bachelor’s degree

-2.182

(2.071)

    Graduate or Professional degree

-0.324

(2.633)

Size of Place of Residency (=Rural)

 

 

    Suburbs

3.995*

(1.585)

    City

3.006

(1.816)

Constant

75.660***

(10.822)

R2

0.60

Note: OLS. Cells contain unstandardized parameter estimates with standard errors in parentheses. = 1,040

p<0.05; ** p<0.01; *** p<0.001

 

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