The Effect of Immigration Policy on Middle Class Latino/a Immigrants

Awarded Scholars:
Natalie Delia Deckard, University of Windsor
Project Date:
Feb 2020
Award Amount:
$36,218

Sociologists Irene Browne and Natalie Deckard will examine how middle class Mexican and Dominican authorized immigrants are navigating opportunities and barriers generated by President Trump’s immigration policies and rhetoric. Through re-interviews with 30 respondents (15 Mexicans and 15 Dominicans) first interviewed between 2009 and 2015 as part of a National Science Foundation study of immigrants in Atlanta, Browne and Deckard will investigate the degree to which legal status and professional credentials may lead middle class Latino immigrants to distance themselves from their working-class co-ethnics, or, conversely, how stigmatized ethnic identity may bind Latino immigrants, regardless of class status or legal position. They will examine strategies middle-class, authorized Dominican and Mexican immigrants employ to protect and maintain their status and how their encounters with native-born Atlantans influence these strategies, as well as how their experiences and strategies have changed since Trump’s election. The study will also include questions about mobility strategies – decisions about jobs, schooling, and organizations – and social interaction strategies through which individuals signal their “in-group” and “out-group” status and preferences.

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