Photo: Perceptions of Latin American Immigrants
A new study led by the University of Cincinnati examines stereotypes of immigrants from four global regions and measures opinions of the impact of immigration on U.S. society.
The researchers say their findings provide the most solid evidence yet that perceptions of the characteristics of Latin American immigrants in particular are strongly linked to beliefs about the impact of immigration, especially on unemployment, schools, and crime.
Respondents were randomly assigned a group of immigrants—either from Latin America, the Middle East, Asia, or Europe—and asked to evaluate that group on commonly used racial and ethnic stereotypes.
Without mention of any particular group of immigrants, respondents were also asked questions about the likelihood of five outcomes resulting from immigration:
• Higher levels of unemployment
• Lower quality schools
• Difficulty in keeping the country united
• Higher levels of crime
• A terrorist attack in the U.S.
The researchers report that Ohioans do not strongly link their beliefs about the traits of Asian, Middle Eastern, or European immigrants to views of the impact of immigration.
In contrast, according to the researchers, effects of stereotypes of Latin American immigrants are “large and robust, especially regarding attitudes about the impact of immigration on unemployment, school quality, and crime.”