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Welcoming New Americans?Local Governments and Immigrant Incorporation$
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Abigail Fisher Williamson

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780226572512

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226572796.001.0001

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Federal Policies, National Politics, and Local Understanding of Immigrants

Federal Policies, National Politics, and Local Understanding of Immigrants

(p.85) Chapter Four Federal Policies, National Politics, and Local Understanding of Immigrants
Welcoming New Americans?

Abigail Fisher Williamson

University of Chicago Press

This chapter investigates the factors that explain municipal inaction, accommodation, and restriction in response to immigrants. Local capacity and immigrant visibility influence whether local governments take action to respond to immigrants. State and federal policies and national political rhetoric shape officials’ framing of immigrants, thereby influencing how municipalities respond. Towns where positive frames of immigrants are accessible and resonant–especially places exposed to accommodating state and federal policies–are more likely to accommodate, while towns where negative frames of immigrants are more prevalent–including places with a greater proportion of Republican voters–are less likely to accommodate and more likely to restrict. Some have argued that ethnic demographic change precipitates restrictive responses, but this chapter demonstrates that factors associated with ethnic threat do not drive municipal responses.

Keywords:   immigrant, local government, municipal, framing, Republican, federal, ethnic threat

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