Immigration Policy in an Anti-Immigrant Era

University of Kentucky

The conference is free and open to the public, but seating is limited so please RSVP to Ramesh Sharma if you plan to attend.

This conference is sponsored by the Quantitative Institute for Social and Policy Research, based in the College of Arts and Sciences, as well as the UK Center for Poverty Research, with additional sponsors. 


Schedule of Events


March 10, Thursday, President's Room, Singletary Center (at the corner of Rose Street and Euclid Avenue, 405 Rose Street 40506-0241)

Catering: we will serve a continental breakfast and a light, buffet lunch during the conference.


8:30-9:00:  Sign-in and continental breakfast.

9:00-9:10:  Welcome and Introduction:  Mark Peffley


Morning Session:  Attitudes toward Immigrants Using Survey Experiments


9:10-9:50:   Daniel Hopkins (Political Scientist, Georgetown), "The Upside of Accents: The Spanish Language and Attitudes toward Immigration."

Professor Hopkins will report the results of two survey experiments that investigate how Americans’ support for immigration changes after watching a news clip of immigrants of varying skin tone or English fluency.  Unexpectedly, in the first survey experiment of 2,063 nationally representative Americans, an immigrant speaking English with a strong accent elicited more support for a pathway to citizenship than an individual speaking fluent Spanish or fluent English. A second survey experiment of 1,137 reinforces the original findings. By speaking with a pronounced accent, immigrants may be perceived as signaling a willingness to assimilate. Immigration attitudes parallel racial attitudes more in the types of mechanisms through which they operate than in the specific cues which influence them.


9:50-10:20:  Discussion:  Christia Brown (UK, Psychology); Richard Fording (UK, Political Science)


10:20-10:30:  Break


10:30-11:10:  Paul Sniderman (Political Scientist, Stanford), “The Covenant: The Politics of Immigrants and the Welfare State.” 

On behalf of his colleagues, Professor Sniderman presents evidence from an array of survey experiments in Denmark carried out at the height of the Cartoon Crisis that explore the conditions under which immigrants are discriminated against.  The results shed light on what Sniderman and his coauthors call a theory of the Covenant Paradox.  In their view, the moral premises of the welfare state simultaneously provide a foundation for equal treatment of immigrants and a platform for discrimination against them. The objective of their paper is to set out a theory of discrimination that accounts for this paradox. 


11:10-11:40:  Discussion:  Patricia Ehrkamp (UK, Geography); Mark Peffley (UK, Political Science)


11:40-12:30:  Lunch buffet  


Afternoon Session: Immigration Policy in the U.S.


12:30-1:10:   Michael Jones Correa (Political Scientist, Cornell), "Immigration Enforcement and Its Effects on Latino Lives"

                              Professor Jones-Correa will present evidence from focus groups and surveys of largely undocumented Latino immigrants in North Carolina to examine how the knowledge of raids carried out by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency and the fear of deportation restricts immigrants’ daily routines and seriously delays their incorporation. These first-hand accounts are supplemented by in-depth interviews with local officials and community leaders. Professor Jones-Correa shifts the study of immigrant incorporation from purely behavioral studies to one that takes into account the institutional context in states and localities with evidence based on information provided by immigrants themselves.


1:10-1:40:  Discussion:   Sophia Wallace (UK, Political Science), Patricia Ahmed (UK, Sociology)


1:40-2:00:  Break


2:00-2:40:   Douglas Massey (Sociologist, Princeton), “Causes and Consequences of America’s War on Immigrants.”  Two articles are linked here: “Battlefield El Paso” & “Understanding.Immigration.Crisis

                              Professor Massey will present evidence showing that the current immigration crisis and the spread of immigration to new destinations such as Kentucky it didn’t just happen.  They were a direct result of U.S. immigration and border policies implemented in recent decades.  This lecture will describe how poorly conceived U.S. enforcement policies transformed what had been a circular flow of male Mexican workers going to three states into a vastly larger population of families settled in 50 states.  After describing how American got into the present political and humanitarian mess, the lecture offers a set of simple, practical policies to get us out and restore a peaceful equilibrium in North America.


2:40-3:10: Discussion:     Thomas Janoski (UK, Sociology), Michael Samers (UK, Geography)


March 11, Friday, 230 New Student Center (note different room location)


9:45-10:00:  Sign-in and Continental breakfast


Roundtable: Immigration Policy in the US – The Real and the Ideal


10:00-11:00:  Roundtable Discussion

                Moderator:  (needed)

                - Hispanic citizenship, assimilation and integration

                - Birthright Citizenship, Anti-Immigrant legislation such as AZ S.B. 170

                - Nativist recognition or opposition

                - Critical issues for cutting edge research

What kind of research would you have to do to convince a politician of

your recommendations?


11:00-11:15:  Break


Roundtable: Immigration Policy in Europe  The Real and the Ideal


11:15-12:15:  Roundtable Discussion

                Moderator:  Patricia Ehrkamp (UK, Geography)

                - Muslim citizenship, assimilation and integration

                - Nativist recognition or opposition

                - Critical issues for cutting edge research

What kind of research would you have to do to convince a politician of

your recommendations?


12:15-1:15:  Lunch buffet, discussion and conclusion of the conference


Conference Presenters


Daniel Hopkins, is a Political Scientist at Georgetown University who has published numerous articles on how the rapid shift in ethnic and racial differences at the local level combine with national news frames to create ethic and racial divisions in the U.S. and Europe.  His theory of theory of politicized change argues that the impact of ethnic and racial diversity is shaped by national politics. Even seemingly local debates have national origins. In this work he uses an automated content analysis program that he developed with Gary King, a Political Scientist at Harvard University. 


Paul Sniderman is Fairleigh S. Dickinson Jr. Professor of Public Policy in the Department of Political Science at Stanford University.  His research focuses on racial attitudes and attitudes toward immigrants in the U.S. and Europe, and he has pioneered the use of survey experiments in Political Science.  He is coauthor of Reaching Beyond Race and his most recent work includes a book in progress on Danish attitudes toward immigrants (Cross Winds: Liberal Democracy Under Pressure) and a forthcoming book on democratic politics in the U.S. (The Reputation premium: A Theory of Party Identification and Spatial Reasoning).  


Michael Jones Correa, is Professor of Government at Cornell University.  He is the co-author of Latino Lives in America: Making It Home, the author of Between Two Nations: The Political Predicament of Latinos in New York City, and the editor of Governing American Cities: Interethnic Coalitions, Competition, and Conflict.  He was a principal investigator of the 2006 Latino National Survey and a coauthor of studies of immigrant-receiving areas in the U.S.


Douglas Massey , is Henry G. Bryant Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs in the Department of Sociology at Princeton University.  His research explores why residential segregation is so harmful and why international immigration is increasing.  He is coauthor of American Apartheid: Segregation and the Making of the Underclass, Beyond Smoke and Mirrors: Mexican Immigration in an Age of Economic Integration, and most recently, Brokered Boundaries: Creating Immigrant Identity in Anti-Immigrant Times.