Political Behavior

, Volume 38, Issue 2, pp 355–382 | Cite as

When Threat Mobilizes: Immigration Enforcement and Latino Voter Turnout

Original Paper

Abstract

Immigration enforcement, and deportation in particular, has been shown to have social and psychological effects on the non-deported as well, but its political effects have gone largely unexamined. I use the staggered implementation of Secure Communities, an information-sharing program between the federal government and local law enforcement, to estimate the short-term effects of stricter immigration enforcement on Latino voter turnout. A difference-in-differences analysis indicates that enrollment in Secure Communities led to an increase in county-level Latino voter turnout of 2–3 percentage points. This relatively large effect appears due to greater Latino activism in the wake of program implementation, rather than individuals responding to particular police interactions. These results extend the existing literature on mobilization in response to threat, demonstrate that policies can have far-reaching and unexpected political implications, and suggest that the current immigration debate may have major consequences for the future makeup of the American electorate.

Keywords

Mobilization Threat Latino Turnout Immigration 

References

  1. Abadie, A., Diamond, A., & Hainmueller, J. (2010). Synthetic control methods for comparative case studies: Estimating the effect of California’s tobacco control program. Journal of the American Statistical Association, 105(490), 493–505.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Abadie, A., Diamond, A., & Hainmueller, J. (2011). Synth: An R Package for synthetic control methods in comparative case studies. Journal of Statistical Software, 42, 1–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Armenta, B. E., & Hunt, J. S. (2009). Responding to societal devaluation: Effects of perceived personal and group discrimination on the ethnic group identification and personal self-esteem of Latino/Latina adolescents. Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, 12(1), 23–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Barreto, M. A., & Woods, N. (2005). Latino voting in an anti-Latino context. In M. S. Gary & B. Shaun (Eds.), Diversity in democracy: Minority representation in the United States (pp. 148–169). Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press.Google Scholar
  5. Barreto, M. A., & Nuno, S. A. (2009). The effectiveness of coethnic contact on Latino political recruitment. Political Research Quarterly, 64(2), 448–459.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bedolla, L. G., & Michelson, M. R. (2012). Mobilizing inclusion: Transforming the electorate through get-out-the-vote campaigns. New Haven: Yale University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bertrand, M., Esther, D., & Sendhil, M. (2004). How much should we trust differences-in-differences estimates? The Quarterly Journal of Economics (October).Google Scholar
  8. Bowler, S., Nicholson, S. P., & Segura, G. M. (2006). Earthquakes and aftershocks: Race, direct democracy, and partisan change. American Journal of Political Science, 50(1), 146–159.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Branton, R. (2007). Latino attitudes toward various areas of public policy: The importance of acculturation. Political Research Quarterly, 60(2), 293–303.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Branton, R., Martinez-Ebers, V., Carey, T. E., & Matsubayashi, T. (2015). Social protest and policy attitudes: The case of the 2006 immigrant rallies. American Journal of Political Science, 59(2), 390–402.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Bruch, S. K., Ferree, M. M., & Soss, J. (2010). From policy to polity: Democracy, paternalism, and the incorporation of disadvantaged citizens. American Sociological Review, 75(2), 205–226.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Burch, T. (2013). Trading democracy for justice: Criminal convictions and the decline of neighborhood political participation. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Capps, R. (2011). Delegation and divergence: A study of 287 (g) state and local immigration enforcement. Technical report Migration Policy Institute.Google Scholar
  14. Cassel, C. A. (2002). Hispanic turnout: Estimates from validated voting data. Political Research Quarterly, 55(2), 391–408.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Cho, W. K. T., Gimpel, J. G., & Wu, T. (2006). Clarifying the role of SES in political participation: Policy threat and Arab American mobilization. Journal of Politics, 68, 977–991.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Cordero-Guzman, H., Martin, N., Quiroz-Becerra, V., & Theodore, N. (2008). Voting With their feet: Nonprofit organizations and immigrant mobilization. American Behavioral Scientist, 52(4), 598–617.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Cronin, T. J., Levin, S., Branscombe, N. R., van Laar, C., & Tropp, L. R. (2012). Ethnic identification in response to perceived discrimination protects well-being and promotes activism: A longitudinal study of Latino college students. Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, 15(3), 393–407.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Fraga, Bernard L. N. D. (Forthcoming). Candidates or districts? Reevaluating the role of race in voter turnout. American Journal of Political Science. http://doi.wiley.com/10.1111/ajps.12172.
  19. Fraga, L. R., Hero, R. E., Garcia, J. A., Jones-Correa, M., Martinez-Ebers, V., & Segura, G. M. (2012). Latinos in the new Millennium: An almanac of opinion, behavior, and policy preferences. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  20. Frymer, P. (1999). Uneasy alliances. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  21. Gerber, A. S., & Green, D. P. (2000). The effects of canvassing, telephone calls, and direct mail on voter turnout: A field experiment. American Political Science Review, 94(3), 653–663.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Green, D. P., & Vavreck, L. (2007). Analysis of cluster-randomized experiments: A comparison of alternative estimation approaches. Political Analysis, 16(2), 138–152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Hagan, J. M., Rodriguez, N., & Castro, B. (2011). Social effects of mass deportations by the United States government, 2000–2010. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 34(8), 1374–1391.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Hall, A. B. (2013). Systemic effects of campaign spending. Working Paper. pp. 1–33.Google Scholar
  25. Hampton, W. (2012). Secure communities activated jurisdictions. Technical report. www.ice.gov/doclib/secure-communities/pdf/sc-activated.pdf.
  26. Klandermans, B. (1997). The social psychology of protest. London: Blackwell Publishing Ltd.Google Scholar
  27. Kohli, A., Peter, L. M. & Lisa, C. (2011). Secure communities by the numbers: An analysis of demographics and due process. The Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute on Law and Social Policy, pp. 1–20. http://ranid.mc.yu.edu/uploadedFiles/Cardozo/Profiles/immigrationlaw-741/Warren Institute Secure. Communities by the Numbers.pdf.
  28. Lopez, M. H., Gonzalez-Barrera, A., & Motel, S. (2011). As deportations rise to record levels, most Latinos oppose Obama’s policy. http://www.pewhispanic.org/files/2011/12/Deportations-and-Latinos.pdf.
  29. Pantoja, A. D., Ramirez, R., & Segura, G. M. (2001). Citizens by choice, voters by necessity: Patterns in political mobilization by naturalized latinos. Political Research Quarterly, 54(4), 729–750.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Pérez, E. (2015a). Ricochet: How elite discourse politicizes racial and ethnic identities. Political Behavior, 37, 155–180.Google Scholar
  31. Pérez, E. (2015b). Xenophobic rhetoric and its political effects on immigrants and their co-ethnics. American Journal of Political Science, 59(3), 549–564.Google Scholar
  32. Ramakrishnan, S. K. (2005). Democracy in immigrant America: Changing demographics and political participation. Palo Alto: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  33. Ramirez, R. (2007). Segmented mobilization: Latino nonpartisan get-out-the-vote efforts in the 2000 general election. American Politics Research, 35(2), 155–175.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Shaw, D., de la Garza, R. O., & Lee, J. (2000). Examining Latino turnout in 1996: A three-state, validated survey approach. American Journal of Political Science, 44(2), 338–346.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Smith, M. A. (2001). The contingent effects of ballot initiatives and candidate races on turnout. American Journal of Political Science, 45(3), 700–706.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Soss, J. (1999). Lessons of welfare: Policy design, political learning, and political action. American Political Science Review, 93(2), 363–380.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Stokes, A. K. (2003). Latino group consciousness and political participation. American Politics Research, 31, 361–378.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Strunk, C., & Leitner, H. (2013). Resisting federal-local immigration enforcement partnerships: Redefining “Secure Communities” and public safety. Territory, Politics, Governance, 1(1), 62–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. US. Department of Homeland Security, Office of the Inspector General. (2012). 2011 yearbook of immigration statistics. Technical report US Department of Homeland Security, Office of Immigration Statistics Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  40. Wals, S. C. (2011). Does what happens in Los Mochis stay in Los Mochis? Explaining postmigration political behavior. Political Research Quarterly, 64(3), 600–611.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Wals, S. C. (2013). Made in the USA? Immigrants’ imported ideology andpolitical engagement. Electoral Studies, 32(4), 756–767.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Waters, M. C., & Simes, J. T. (2013). The Politics of Immigration and Crime. Crime and Immigration: In The Oxford Handbook on Ethnicity.Google Scholar
  43. Weaver, V. M., & Amy, E. L. (2014). Arresting citizenship: The democratic consequences of American crime control. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  44. Zepeda-Millan, C. (2014). Weapons of the (not so) weak: Immigrant mass mobilization in the US south. Critical Sociology.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GovernmentHarvard UniversityCambridgeUSA

Personalised recommendations