Measuring In Absentia Removal in Immigration Court

Ingrid Eagly, Esq. and Steven Shafer, Esq.
Date of Publication: 
January, 2021
Source Organization: 
Migration Policy Institute

How do immigrants impact electoral politics in receiving countries? While many studies have examined the economic effects of immigration, only in the last decade have researchers focused on the cultural impact of immigration on electoral politics. After reviewing this emerging literature, the authors of “The Political Effects of Immigration: Culture or Economics?” argue that the traditional economic narrative, namely the claim that immigrants increase labor market competition, is not enough to explain the rise of anti-immigrant sentiment in electoral politics, particularly because immigration has proven to be economically beneficial to receiving countries. Instead, the study argues that cultural factors play an important role. These factors include stereotypes that native-born people hold about immigrants and misconceptions about the size, composition and cultural values of immigrant groups. These factors fuel narratives about immigrants as “outsiders” who pose a threat to the culture of receiving countries. Such narratives, the authors suggest, will likely intensify in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic as backlash against globalization grows and some fear their countries will be "infected," culturally and physically, by "outsiders." The study also examines how these economic and cultural forces together contribute to the political, and in turn electoral, effects of immigration, such as support for anti-immigrant parties and policies. The authors hypothesize that anti-immigrant sentiment also fuels the political right’s emphasis on limiting the role of government in economic redistribution (which could potentially benefit poorer immigrants) and protecting the cultural values and composition of the nation. In light of these findings, the authors suggest that future studies should examine this connection between anti-immigrant sentiment and far-right politics, as well as the link between the moral values of a society and the impact that immigration itself could have on these values. (Sonali Ravi for The Immigrant Learning Center’s Public Education Institute)

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Eagly, I. & Shafer, S. (2021, January). Measuring In Absentia Removal in Immigration Court. Migration Policy Institute.