American Immigrant Policy Portal
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In This Issue

Research to Inform Policy and Practice   
on Migration-Related Issues
Policy-related reports, studies, and information about the challenge and promise of immigrant integration. Materials organized by collection topic.
Click on headlines for abstracts and links.

FeatureResearchFeatured Research

Report casts doubt on the salience of economic factors  in predicting support for Trump among white working class voters

PRRI and The Atlantic, May 9, 2017, 25 pp.
Authors: Daniel Cox, Rachel Lienesch, Robert P. Jones

The white working class voted for Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton in the 2016 U.S. presidential election by a margin of roughly two to one. To illuminate the characteristics, attitudes and experiences that were most significant in predicting white working-class voters' support for Trump, researchers at the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) tested a variety of demographic, cultural and economic factors before and after the election that may have influenced these voters. Findings based on analysis of data from a national survey and focus groups were released in this joint PRRI and
Atlantic report.
 The researchers' multivariate logistic regression model identified four significant predictors of support for Trump among the white working class. They found that white working-class voters who identified with the Republican Party were 11 times more likely to support Trump. In addition, fear of cultural displacement was also a significant indicator of support for Trump, as white working-class voters who felt like "strangers in their own land" were more than three times more likely to support Trump. Similarly, those who favored deporting immigrants living in the country without authorization were 3.3 times more likely to express a preference for Trump. Economic concerns were less predictive of support for Trump, as white working-class voters who reported being in fair or poor financial shape were nearly twice as likely to support Clinton. The report also found that factors such as views on race and gender roles as well as degrees of civic engagement were not significant independent predictors.
(Sarah Purdy for The ILC Public Education Institute)  

Providing driver's licenses to unauthorized immigrants in California improves traffic safety, according to National Academy of Sciences report

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 114:6 (2017), 5 pp.
Authors: Hans Lueders, Jens Hainmueller & Duncan Lawrence 

This paper presents an analysis of the impact of a law passed in California (AB60) providing driver's licenses to unauthorized immigrants. In addition to other concerns, opponents of the law suggested that providing these individuals with driver's licenses would increase the number of car accidents generally, and hit-and-run accidents in particular.  The study's authors conducted a statistical analysis of accidents in 2015 (the first year AB60 was implemented) at the county-by-county level, which allowed them to account for regional differences in the number of AB60 licenses being issued.  Their analysis found that the implementation of AB60 had no impact on the overall number of accidents, but was seen to be correlated with a reduction of hit-and-run accidents. They calculate that 4,000 fewer of these accidents occurred because of AB60.  The paper provides an explanation of the multiple regression models they used and potential explanations for the changes (e.g., having a driver's license and insurance reduces the chances an unauthorized immigrant driver will feel compelled to flee the scene of a hit-and-run accident to avoid deportation).  The authors conclude that accident-based concerns about the impact of providing authorized immigrants with driver's licenses are not supported by the data, and that the law might have saved not-at-fault drivers in hit-and-run accidents about $3,500,000.  They caution that the study only looked at one year and that the long-term impact can not be extrapolated from this study.   (Erik Jacobson, Montclair State University)

NewResearchNew Public Policy Research and Reports

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Article Subheading

Researchers involved in the preparation of the 2016 National Academies of Science study on the economic and fiscal consequences of immigration discuss their findings.

lcLatest Commentary
A selection of recent OpEds from immigration researchers and major opinion leaders

June 21, 2017
How the Democrats Lost Their Way on Immigration,
Peter Beinart, The Atlantic

June 16, 2017
Only Mass Deportations Can Save America
Bret Stephens, The New York Times

June 13, 2017
Immigration reality: visa 'overstays' are a big hole in border security net, which wall wouldn't address
Editorial, Houston Chronicle

June 8, 2017
Crackdown on Undocumented Immigrants Poses Broad Health Risks
Luis Garcia, M.D., American Academy of Family Physicians
Read More

June 7, 2017
How U.S. Immigration Law Enables Modern Slavery
Christopher Lapinig, The Atlantic
Read More

May 31, 2017
Harsh U.S. immigration policies causing mental, social harm to American children
Reps. Lucille Roybal-Allard, Grace Napolitano, & Pramila Jaypal, The Hill
Read More

May 24, 2017
Immigration And Isolationism - We've Been Here Before
Andrew Tisch & Mary Skafidas, Forbes
Read More

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The Portal is a project of Diversity Dynamics, LLC, in association with the Center for International Social Work, School of Social Work, Rutgers University, and the Immigrant Learning Center, Inc., Public Education Institute, Malden, MA. Please send content suggestions for the Portal, including events of interest, to: No endorsements implied for research, opinions, resources or events featured on the Portal.