A case of legality or racialization? Immigration policy in the U.S.
University of Kansas
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The current research draws upon a liberation psychological (LP) perspective to examine the extent to which support for strict policies against undocumented immigration does not reflect neutral concern for law and order, but instead reflects Euro/Anglo-centric values and promotes interests of the White majority. Drawing upon an LP analysis, the present work considers the possibility that concern for legalities operate as a smokescreen not only for anti-immigrant sentiments, but also for anti-Mexican sentiments. Results from study 1 indicate an association between nationalism (an ethnocentric engagement with national identity) and ethnocentric enforcement bias--that is, support for punishment of law-breaking immigrants over law-breaking U.S. employers who knowingly employ undocumented immigrants. Further, this relationship is most evident for those who endorse a `culture' based construction of national identity, in terms of the ability to speak English. Study 2 expands upon the results of study 1 and indicates that rather than punish all undocumented immigrants equally, there is a preference for punishing Mexican immigrants over Canadian immigrants and perceiving this form of treatment as fair and legitimate. Once again, this relationship is most evident for those who endorse `culture' based constructions of national identity. Discussion focuses on the socially constructed nature of the legal framework and its role in promoting and re-producing systems of domination and oppression.
- Psychology Dissertations and Theses 
- Theses 
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