4.9 Americans are racialized as Asians and Hispanics

4.9 Americans are racialized as Asians and Hispanics
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Fueled by political rhetoric that evokes dangerous criminal immigrants, many white Americans believe that low-status immigrants from Mexico, El Salvador, Syria, Somalia and other countries President Donald Trump has labeled “shitholes” have no legal right to be in the United States, new research shows. in the magazine American Sociological Review offers

In the eyes of many white Americans, just knowing an immigrant’s national origin is enough to assume they are probably undocumented. Ariel Schachterstudy co-author and Associate Professor of Sociology Arts and Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis.

“Our research shows that the white American public has these common, often factually incorrect, stereotypes about who undocumented immigrants are,” Schachter said. “And this is dangerous because individuals who fit this ‘profile’ are likely to face additional ill-treatment and discrimination due to suspicions of their illegality, regardless of their actual documentation.”

The findings suggest that the mere perception of illegal status may be enough to put legal immigrants and even US citizens at greater risk of housing and rental discrimination, criminal profiling and arrest by law enforcement, and public harassment and hate crimes. the communities they now call home. “When people are under the impression of what they believe to be ‘illegal’, they often do not have access to the actual documents of the individuals. In fact, there have been a number of recent incidents of legal immigrants and even US-born Americans confronting immigration authorities about their status. So these judgments seem to be based on social stereotypes. Our goal was to systematically reveal them,” said the co-author of the study Rene D. FloresNeubauer is an associate professor of family sociology at the University of Chicago.

From a broader sociological perspective, Schachter and Flores argue that the actual status of an immigrant in American society is shaped not only by legal documentation, but also by social perception.

“These findings reveal a new source of ethnic inequality—’social illegitimacy’—that has the potential to increase law enforcement scrutiny and influence the hiring decisions of managers, owners, teachers, and other members of society,” the researchers say.

in 2017 conducted an experimental survey in November that asked a representative sample of 1,500 non-Hispanic white Americans to guess, based on a brief biographical sketch, whether a hypothetical immigrant was in the country illegally and possibly a reportable threat.

By systematically varying the immigrant’s nation of origin, education level, language skills, police record, gender, age, race, and other variables, the researchers created a pool of nearly 7 million unique sketches of immigrants that tap into many stereotypes. Each respondent was randomly assigned to view 10 of these unique sketches during the survey.

Using sophisticated statistical analysis, the researchers assessed the extent to which each of these individual immigrant traits and stereotypes influenced the assumptions of white Americans from a variety of demographic backgrounds, geographic regions, and self-identified political views.

Surprisingly, the study found that white Republicans and white Democrats make many of the same conclusions about the legal status of hypothetical immigrants, except when it comes to receiving government benefits.

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