“Immigration Threat Amplifiers and
Whites’ Immigration Attitudes in the Age of Trump.”

2022

The US public’s immigration attitudes have become more favourable in recent years, yet the Trump administration (2017-2021) was the most restrictionist on immigration of any modern US presidency. What key sociopolitical factors were associated with holding more exclusionary immigration attitudes and policy preferences among US whites, the ethnoracial group most likely to support Trump, at the beginning of his administration? Analyses of two waves of nationally representative US panel survey data for whites demonstrate that voting for Trump, consuming conservative news, being evangelical, and having a stronger white racial identity were linked with more exclusionary abstract immigration attitudes and/or support for one more Trump-era policies: the US-Mexico wall, the Travel Ban targeting majority-Muslim countries, and deportations of unauthorised immigrants. Together, our results emphasise the value of attending to multiple aspects of the national sociopolitical context, considering diverse potential sources that amplify immigration threat, and jointly examining abstract immigration attitudes and specific policy preferences of varying salience.

 

“Between Demographic
Optimism and Pessimism? Exploring “Neither Good Nor Bad” Responses about Future Ethnoracial Diversification among U.S. Whites.”

2022

The U.S. Census Bureau projects that by 2060, Latinx, African Americans, Asians, and other “minority” groups will together comprise the majority of the country’s population. Past research
has found that non-Hispanic Whites, hereafter Whites, find such projections disquieting or threatening. Yet, recent surveys reveal that when given more than binary good/bad choices, most Whites opt for the middle-point response that this development will be “neither good nor bad for the
country.” How can we account for this seemingly ambiguous evaluation of projected ethnoracial demographic futures? Using eight waves of nationally representative U.S. survey data collected between 2015 and 2018, this article begins to unpack the “neither” response among Whites,
exploring what it might mean and what factors are associated with it, relative to seemingly optimistic and pessimistic stances. Multinomial Logistic Regression analyses and additional descriptive analyses indicate that “neither good nor bad” in this context is a substantive response: White “Neithers” are socio-demographically and attitudinally distinct from their counterparts. Our study demonstrates the value of moving beyond an exclusive focus on expressions of demographic threat and pessimism.
Moreover, it invites further investigation into factors that inform and shape how Whites and other ethnoracial populations in the U.S. understand and assess projected population shifts.

 

“‘It Could be 3 million, It Could be 30 Million’: Quantitative Misperceptions about Undocumented Immigration and Immigration Attitudes in the Trump Era.”

2022

Recent changes in the sociopolitical US landscape calls for the examination of the level of quantitative misperception about undocumented immigration and its connection
with immigration attitudes. Nationally representative survey data are used
to analyze whether being misinformed about the proportion of US immigrants that are undocumented in 2015 is linked with abstract immigration attitudes and four immigration policy options in 2016. The results reveal that people who overestimated undocumented immigration—a common misperception—are more likely to report that all immigrants present symbolic threats to the country than are their accurately informed peers. Consistent with the especially high salience of the US–Mexico wall in this period, overestimators also place more importance on building the wall but not on other policy options. These findings have important theoretical
and real-world implications, given the current social and political context and spillover effects on Latinx and other racialized communities.

 

"We’ve Come a Long Way, But We Could be Doing Better: Gendered Commentary in U.S. Media Coverage of the 1999 and 2019 Women’s World Cup"

2022

In 2019, the U.S. Women’s National Team earned its fourth FIFA Women’s World Cup. Has gendered commentary in media coverage about the U.S. Women’s National Team changed since winning their first World Cup 20 years ago? Drawing on 188 newspaper articles published in three U.S. newspapers in 2019, the analyses contrast media representations of the 2019 team with a previous study focused on coverage of the 1999 team. Our analysis shows important shifts in the coverage over time. The 1999
team was popular because of their contradictory femininity in which they were “strong-yet-soft.” By 2019, the team’s popularity was rooted in their talent, hard work, success, and refusal to be silent about persisting gender-based disparities in sport and the
larger society.

 

“Vulnerable and Resilient:
Legal Status, Family Routines and Maternal Knowledge in Mexican and Central American-origin Families in Los Angeles

2020

How do unauthorized immigrant parents promote family functioning to navigate challenging conditions and contexts in the United States? This article offers the first quantitative analyses contrasting the family organization and maternal knowledge of Mexican and Central-American immigrant mothers by legal status. Using Los Angeles Family and Neighborhood Survey data with a sample of mothers of school aged
children, the analyses investigate whether mothers’ documentation status, origin country/region, and access to social and instrumental support are associated with the frequency of family dinners, the consistency of family routines, and the knowledge of their child’s associations and friendships. Relative to their US-born and documented Mexican immigrant counterparts, undocumented Mexican immigrant mothers have as many or more frequent family dinners, more predictable family routines, and the same level of knowledge about whom their child is with when not at home. Whom mothers can rely on for emergency childcare and financial support also is linked with both family organization and levels of maternal knowledge about their child. More quantitative research is needed about how undocumented immigrant parents actively employ different family functioning strategies to promote strengths and resiliency in their lives in the midst of challenging contexts driven by lack of legal status.