Category: Assignment 3 (page 1 of 4)

Assignment 3: AZ-4 Public Opinion

Slide One

In this assignment, I study whether or not public opinion in Arizona-4 actually differs from the rest of Arizona in the way that the literature would predict. My prediction is that public opinion data will reveal that AZ-4 residents have more restrictive immigration policy preferences than other residents in Arizona. There are several factors that lead to this prediction. First, the district is less Hispanic than the state of Arizona overall (19.2% in AZ-4 vs. 31% in AZ). Wong (2014) predicts that this leads to people being in favor of more restrictive immigration policies. Next, the district has fewer foreign-born individuals than the state as a whole which Wong (2017) identifies as a predictor of restrictive immigration policy. Next, the district is more republican than the state as a whole. The state of Arizona does lean right, but AZ-4 is more Republican by a much wider margin. Furthermore, the district’s representative is Republican and highly conservative, whereas one of Arizona’s senators is a Democrat. Based on Casellas and Leas’s 2013 study, this should predict more votes for restrictive immigration policy at the national level. Ramakrishnan and Wong (2010) also find that this leads to more support for restrictive immigration policy at the local level. Finally, while the Pew Research Center finds that Hispanic population is growing in Arizona as a whole, it also identifies that the rate of growth is among the fastest in AZ-4 in recent years, with Maricopa County having the 2nd largest increase of Hispanic population of any county in the US in 2016. Multiple studies predict that such demographic shifts in a Republican district leads to public support for restrictive immigration policies.  I articulate these predictions as four hypotheses.

Slide 2

This slide provides details about the data used in this project. I used provided data from the CCES 2016 to study public opinion in Arizona’s fourth congressional district versus the rest of the state.  The data is from a consortium of universities using the YouGov Survey to study questions of interest on research on “Congress, Representation, and Elections”. The survey asks hundreds of questions, surveying 64,600 individuals nationwide. The sample size for the state of Arizona is 1507 people and for my district it is 187 people. I am attempting to see if the district has an impact on attitudes on immigration expressed by individuals. I focus on particular questions from the survey that are related to attitudes on immigration. This includes questions that measure support for a pathway to citizenship, support for border patrol, support for DACA, and support for deportations. The exact wording of these questions are detailed on the slide.

Slide 3:

This slide provides the results of my research in the form of descriptive statistics. I analyzed what percentage of people answered “yes” for the four specified research questions in the CCES survey. I use this percentage to measure the level of support for various policies both of people in the district and people in the state as a whole. I find that the district has lower levels of support for the pathway to citizenship, lower levels of support for DACA, higher levels of support for increased border control, and higher levels of support for deportation than the state of Arizona as a whole. These four findings provide evidence for my four hypotheses. This illustrates that public opinion in AZ4 is more in favor of restrictive immigration policy than Arizona as a whole. The exact percentages are written on the respective slide.

Slide 4:

In this slide, I provide some overall conclusions and limitations of the project. Overall, the descriptive statistics revealed in this project illustrate that in line with the literature on partisanship, latino born populations, foreign populations, and demographic shifts, Arizona-4 has more restrictive views on immigration that the state of Arizona as a whole. This confirms the prediction I articulated, which I confirm through four hypotheses. While this project provides interesting evidence in favor of my prediction, it does not illustrate through which causal mechanism the relationship between the district and public opinion is shaped, though I have theoretically identified four possible pathways. Future research could address this through regressions or other forms of statistical analysis. Another limitation is the survey data itself as it systematically underrepresented the Latino population, which may skew the results. Future research could use other survey data to correct for this issue.

TX-27: a Study on Local Media’s Treatment of Immigrants

Slide 1:


To perform a media analysis around immigration, it is imperative to understand the effects of the media’s framing of immigrants. First, it has been proven that framing the news with a perspective influences the audience’s perception of immigrants (Adidas, Lo, and Platas 2018). Second, a study of the NYT shows that not only has the volume of immigration coverage increased dramatically in the past few decades, but immigrants are mostly perceived badly (Abrajano & Singh, 2015). This only worsens once it is considered that the district has seen an increase of 2.5pp in the Latino population, which should encourage anti-immigrant sentiment (Hopkins 2010; Enos 2014). Finally, proximity to the border influences how salient immigration is, with border state residents considering it a major issue (Dunaway, Brandon, & Abrajano, 2010). Considering these conclusions from previous research, it is likely that TX-27 will have local news that focus on incidents around immigration, adding a negative bias towards immigrants.

As well, it is important to take the district’s basic electoral and demographic compositions. Electorally, Republican Michael Cloud represents the solidly Republican district. Demographically, Latinos make just over 50% of the district, with most of the remaining population comprising of non-Hispanic Whites (39%). As mentioned earlier, the district’s composition is changing. This change is mostly accentuated in Victoria, Representative Cloud’s hometown, which saw a 4.6pp change in the Latino population between 2012-2017. Otherwise, the district’s largest city, Corpus Christi, has an increase in Latino population closer with the district’s average at 2.3pp.

Slide 2:

To test whether the research holds true, this assignment covers two local sources from district TX27’s biggest cities: Corpus Christi’s KRISTV and Victoria’ Victoria Advocate. This study will check the number of articles published between the beginning of the government shutdown (12/11/2018) to a week after the shutdown was over (01/31/2018). To search the articles, I used the keywords “immigration” and “border”.

To test the two predictions, I measured the articles’ political scope and immigrant framing. First, I analyzed the Scope, or specifically the scope of the issue the article is covering. Scope can range from a national bill to a minor, local incident with immigrants. Second, I analyzed the Immigrant Framing; that is, whether individual immigrants were framed negatively, positively, or neutrally. Since these are subjective, I chose specific characteristics for each category:

  • For positive framing, there should be either an empathetic framing of immigrants, or an analysis of the benefits of immigration.
  • Neutral framing usually focuses on policy while maintaining distance from immigrants. Otherwise, neutral news articles will only include cold, factual news stories.
  • Negative framing will include a version of a threat narrative, or call for support for restrictive policies. Even worse, it could attempt to dehumanize immigrants through different methods.

Slide 3:

After doing some research, the Victoria Advocate proved to consider immigration a much more salient issue than KRISTV, publishing 22 articles about the topic within the time frame studied against the latter’s mere 4. Even more important, Representative Cloud wrote a column in the Victoria Advocate a week after the shutdown was over.

Otherwise, most articles, over half of the total articles studied (14/26) covered national news, with all of KRISTV’s articles covering national news. Seven articles covered local news, and five covered state news. Then, most articles had a neutral framing of immigrants, usually pointing facts or focusing on the conflict between Democrats and Republicans to end the shutdown, with all 4 articles from KRISTV maintaining this neutral reporting. Otherwise, news from the Victoria Advocate covered immigrants negatively more often than positively, introducing both cases of dehumanizing and elements of a threat narrative.

Slide 4:

The research on this articles hold up to the two main predictions that took place in the beginning of the research project:

  1. While a significant portion of articles cover local news, national news are covered more frequently. Interestingly, the issue of immigration seems a lot more salient in Victoria than it is in Corpus Christi, as predicted because of Victoria’s more significant demographic changes.
  2. Research suggested that the news would be a lot harsher on immigrants than they truly were. Most articles ended up following neutral tones, while they tend to be frame immigrants negatively. It is possible that the high Latino population of the two cities would not allow immigrants to be framed too negatively.

However, this study sets up further research to answer different questions:

  • Representative Cloud’s article is a call for further research. Thus study labeled his column as neutral because he took elements from the threat narrative while trying to empathize with immigrants. He appeals to national security. However, he is careful not to blame these threats to all immigrants. Instead, he blames Mexican drug cartels for creating a humanitarian crisis for illegal immigrants. This way, he manages to empathize with immigrants while calling for restrictive policies.
  • Although right now the only suggestion that immigration does not seem salient in Corpus Christi is that the change of population is not significant, the high Latino population suggests there should be more research.

How Race Impacts Immigration News Coverage in MD-1 vs MD-4

Slide 1:

In this research, I am examining the news coverage in Districts one and four of Maryland, and I am comparing them. I am doing so to examine the effect of race on media coverage of immigration. The racial make-up of the two districts are very different, the first district is a primarily white district, with a very low Hispanic and immigrant population. Whereas the fourth district is a primarily black district with a medium sized Hispanic and immigrant population. I predict that district 4 will have more media coverage because of it higher immigrant population due to Dunway et al. And using Abrajano and Hajnal’s scholarly work that states whites feel threatened by Hispanics and therefore they are seen as negatively on news outlets, I believe that this district 4 will also have a more positive outlook on immigration in their news sources. However, I am unsure as to how a high black population in district 4 will nuance all of these predictions as the only literature comes from McDermott 2013 and states that Blacks and Hispanics compete economically.

Slide 2:

For my methods, I basically went to two different news sources. The first being the Capital Gazette, a newspaper that writes in Annapolis. This is on the edge of district 1, however is the only big news source in the district. The second is The Sentinel, which is a prominent news source in PG County. PG county is for the most part in district 4 of Maryland. I then used a key word search using the terms: Immigrant, Immigration, Wall, Border, Government Shutdown, and Security in order to find articles having to do with immigration and immigration policy. I then specified the dates from 12/1/18 – 1/31/19. I then examined the articles to make sure that they had to do with immigration and I separated these articles into three categories. Positive, Neutral, and Negative. Positive – Showed sympathy for immigrants, harshly criticized anti-immigrant sentiments, and/or was supportive of permissive immigration policies. Neutral – No specific attitudes, article was generally unbiased. Negative – Presented immigrants as a threat or in a negative light, supportive of restrictive policies, and/or had anti-immigrant sentiments. This was the hardest part of the data compiling process. I used the titles of the article and the main arguments to categorize them.


Slide 3:

The results were two-fold and pretty simple. First, The Capital Gazette search returned 57 different articles, while the Sentinel returned only 32 different articles. This is almost twice as many articles. The second part of the results showed that while both sources showed about a 50% rate of the articles having a neutral tone, 12% more of the articles done by The Sentinel had a positive tone in regard to immigration and immigration policy. And 10% more of the articles done by the Capital Gazette had a negative outlook on immigration and immigration policy.

Slide 4:


The frequency of the articles is interesting, although places with more immigrants and a higher Hispanic population would tend to have more articles on immigration and immigrants, this is not the case here. There are a few potential reasons for this. Perhaps, it is because the Gazette is a slightly more prominent newspaper. It could also be because there is less than 20% Hispanic population in both districts, so maybe because the immigrant population is not significant, neither news source is writing many articles on the topic. Finally, because blacks and Hispanics compete economically, it could be the fact that immigration policy is not important or interesting to a community that is majority black to read, therefore the news sources in areas like this do not write about them as often. This would be an interesting hypothesis to test further.

The Tone of the media coverage held to be consistent with my prediction. Although The Sentinel did not have as many articles as the Gazette, it was much more sympathetic to the immigrant population and the policy regarding immigration. This stays in line with Abrajano and Hajnal’s literature in 2015.

Finally, the limitations of my work were as such. Because the news sources don’t necessarily represent a specific congressional district, more or less a town or city, it is hard to pin point these results as causal. Basically, these newspapers maybe only appeal to a certain area of that district. Also 57 results were probably enough for the Gazette, however 32 was not as many as I would have liked to come up for the Sentinel. Also, there are other factors that I was unable to control for such as socio-economic status. Although the districts are not too far apart, they are not the exact same.


Pennsylvania District 11: Public Opinion Polling Analysis

Slide 1


My research discusses the impact of demographic change on views on immigration, and particularly looks at views on immigration in PA-11 (PA-16 during the time period I am investigating) and factors that might cause more negative immigration policy preferences. Slide 1 outlines the theories I am using and the predictions I am making. While the foreign-born population has only increased by 1.76pp, the Hispanic/Latino population has increased by 10.70pp. Since the Hispanic/Latino population has increased and the white only population has decreased by almost the same amount, due to theories that establish a relationship between demographic change and exclusionary attitudes by the white population, I argue that areas with more white residents will hold more exclusionary attitudes, and have more negative immigration policy preferences. In contrast, Hispanics, immigrants, and first generation citizens will have more positive views and policy preferences.


Slide 2

In order to measure public opinion, I am using the Cooperative Congressional Election Survey from 2016, which measures public opinion both pre- and post- 2016 election. One of the limitations of this resource is the relatively small number of people surveyed in PA-16 at the time. A series of questions on the CCES survey asks about views on immigration, asking, “what do you think the US government should do about immigration?” It utilizes both positive question, such as regularizing undocumented migrants who are without a criminal record and who have paid taxes and lived in the US for 3 years, as well as negative questions, such as asking if we should identify and deport undocumented migrants. I will compare the survey results in PA-16 and Pennsylvania. I will then look at various independent variables including race, immigration status, fear caused by people of other races, and party identification to identify any trends in the data. Because there is such a small number of samples in PA-16, I will not utilize a regression, but simply identify trends.

Slide 3


I first analyzed the percentages of people who showed support for the various policy preferences asked on the survey and compared them between PA-16 and Pennsylvania. I also compared the views of white residents and Hispanic + first generation residents, but there were only 3 results for Hispanic, immigrant citizen, or first-generation immigrants combined, so these results are very tenuous. For the first comparison, I found that generally, PA-16 is less exclusionary than Pennsylvania as a whole. This can particularly seen in the answers to two questions – while only 42% of participants in Pennsylvania as a whole said that they would legalize US high school graduates who arrived illegally as children, 60% of participants from PA-16 supported this policy. In addition, while almost 50% of participants in Pennsylvania said they would deport undocumented migrants, only 42% of participants in PA-16 supported this policy. In terms of the second comparison, there were again only three respondents who identified as Hispanic, immigrant, or first generation. However, the one result I declared initially interesting is that while 71% of white respondents said they would fine US businesses that hire illegal immigrants, 33% of Hispanic, immigrant, or first-generation respondents (so 1 out of 3) said they would fine businesses. This is not a conclusive result, but it is something to explore in a further research project.

Slide 4


In this slide, I show the percentages in Pennsylvania and PA-16 of respondents in each identifier of my independent variables. While the sample in PA-16 was too small to run a logistical regression and get reliable results, I showed how Pennsylvania and PA-16 differ in each variable. Pennsylvania had more white respondents, less Hispanic and immigrant respondents, and the respondents expressed less disagreement with the statement, “ I often find myself fearful of people of other races.” Although future research is needed to isolate these variables, it is clear that more respondents in Pennsylvania held favorable views of negative immigration policies like deporting undocumented migrants. This supports my hypothesis – Pennsylvania, with a higher proportion of white respondents, supported negative immigration policy more heavily. I cannot show support for my second hypothesis because of the sample size.

MI District 8 – Media Content Analysis

Note: my research plan changed from Assignment 2 to Assignment 3, with Professor Valenzuela’s permission.

Existing research on the relationship between media coverage and immigration attitudes, and by extension support for candidates that support restrictive policies, is extensive. Scholarship suggests higher % immigrant and Latino populations correlates to more accepting policies supported, but that if the Latino population is rising in a Republican district it will provoke a white “backlash” and increase support for Republican candidates with restrictive policies–especially when political rhetoric and/or national media frames increasing immigration as a Latino threat (Wong 2014, Enos 2014, Aptekar 2008, Hopkins 2010m Abrajano & Hajnal 2015, Newman et. al 2018). National media coverage of immigration has been shown to often frame immigration as a Latino threat, with a negative tone (Abrajano & Hajnal 2015). Scholarship has demonstrated that states close to the Southern border are most likely to have media that frames the issue as a Latino threat, or cover immigration with a negative tone, than states farther away (Branton & Dunway 2009).

Since District 8 is Republican-leaning with a growing foreign-born population, the literature would predict that media frames immigration as a Latino threat with a negative tone. However, since Michigan is far from the Southern border, literature doesn’t necessarily concretely predict how salient the issue will be and how frequent coverage is. Furthermore, it does not predict what kind of threat the Latino immigration is framed as. Finally, existing literature has not explored how county-level coverage might differ in a segregated, politically polarized district.

Michigan’s District 8 is far from the Southern border and political polarized, with overall demographics are 8.4% foreign born–but the district is highly segregated. In 2017, Livingston county was 97% white; Oakland was 75% white, and Ingham county was 75% (but the city within it, Lansing, was 55% white with an increasing foreign born population around 13%). From this emerges two research questions:

  1. What is the focus, framing, and tone of local media coverage in District 8 from December 11 2018 to January 31 2019 on immigration and the government shutdown?
  2. Are there significant differences in the focus, framing, and tone of local media coverage in the three different counties?

In order to address these questions we did a media content analysis of local news coverage of the January 2019 federal government shutdown and surrounding debate, focusing on framing and tone of coverage. This analysis compares online coverage by the Lansing State Journal (Ingham), the Livingston Daily (Livingston), and The Oakland Press (Oakland).  This analysis will consider three metrics: salience, focus, and tone. Salience will be measured the number of articles related to the shutdown, border security, or immigration even tangentially. These articles will be those that respond to a keyword search of phrases including “immigration,” “immigrant,” “undocumented,” “border,” “shutdown,” “security,” and “Latinos.”  Focus will be measured by the number of articles that frame immigration in different ways (ex. A Latino influx, a broader influx, a matter of border security, an economic issue, or as a side issue of the government shutdown). Tone will be measured by considering the framing of the article and pejorative adjectives used. Articles focusing on immigration as a “crisis,” or articles focusing on negative consequences of the immigration debate (like the shutdown) will be considered “negative” in tone. Those focusing on the contributions of immigrants to their communities will be considered “positive.” Articles humanizing Latino immigrants and describing the obstacles they face crossing the Southern border does not fall clearly into either category, especially if their arrival is still described as a threat.

We hypothesize that overall coverage in the district will be moderate, and that the coverage will primarily frame immigration as an economic issue–whether negatively, as an issue that precipitated the government shutdown; or positively, as something that is necessary for the district’s agricultural sector. We hypothesize that coverage by the Lansing State Journal will more often frame immigration as a human rights issue and with a positive tone, compared to The Livingston Daily and the The Oakland Press. 

Out of 58 total articles across all three papers that touched on immigration or the government shutdown, 53 focused primarily on the shutdown itself rather than immigration policy.  Patterns of coverage also varied wildly between the three papers. The Lansing State Journal, despite frequent coverage of immigrants in the past (framing immigrants as contributors to society with a positive tone), did not have any articles on immigrants or immigrant policy during this period. All 11 pieces on the government shutdown focused on its negative economic impacts for the community; only 1 even mentioned immigration (“Michigan federal workers feel like hostages in border wall fight while work goes undone”) but the contents of the article framed immigration as largely irrelevant to the district. Instead, the issue was framed as a purely partisan conflict. The Livingston Daily had even lower coverage of the issues, with only 4 articles even remotely related to either issue during this period. ¾ were actually collected letters to the editor, about a paragraph long, sent anonymously and framing immigration as both beneficial and a Latino threat.

The Oakland Press had the highest attention to the issue, with 43 articles connected to the shutdown or immigration. 5 of these articles were not related to the shutdown at all, but framed immigration as a Latino threat to both health (opioids) and safety (due to their criminality) with a highly negative tone. For example, one article on a hit and run began with the sentence: “Friends and family members of a Wixom teen who died last June after a hit-and-run near his home filled an Oakland County courtroom Thursday to hear the fate of the illegal immigrant who killed him.” Like the Lansing State Journal, 8 articles on the shutdown purely covered the political contest–but 30 explicitly linked the shutdown to the fight over Trump’s border wall and immigration policy. Although 6 of these were op-eds framing immigration as beneficial and framing Trump as cruel and uninformed, the majority of the non-editorial articles at least implicitly framed immigration as an economic threat because immigration was shown to be in some way causing the devastating shutdown. 6 articles made this “Latino threat narrative” explicit, using racist language to frame Latinos as a “crisis” of “illegals” that are “inching towards” the border. These articles used extremely positive adjectives to describe Trump’s approach.  Roughly 10 articles were also “neutral” in tone, serving to fact-check Trump’s assessments about the so-called Latino threat and in one case simply describe a court ruling–but one could also argue these fact-checks frame Trump’s policies as racist by simply checking the facts.

Before evaluating how these results hold up against the hypothesis, it is important to caveat these findings. First, the three papers have different operating procedures–in particular, the Oakland Press re-publishes outside contributions by their reporters, meaning they “publish” a larger volume of articles than the other two papers in general. Second, no quantitative scraping of the websites was done to find out exactly how many articles each paper published during the time, so it’s difficult to say that immigration was “salient” or “not salient” without having another topic to compare it to.  Finally, this analysis revealed the power of qualitative analysis and close reading that complicates our ability to draw the line between “framing” and “tone,” since often multiple frames are operating within the same article (ie the shutdown is framed as Trump’s failure; but immigration is still framed as a “crisis”), complicating a simple binary between a pro-immigrant and anti-immigrant article with clear implications for the reader’s understanding.

When compared to our hypothesis, our findings complicated the hypotheses. Our hypothesis that, overall, media would give limited coverage to immigration but frame it as a Latino threat with a negative tone was confirmed. More articles considered it a threat than did not–however, it was by no means all articles Our hypothesis that media would portray immigration as an economic issue was somewhat confirmed. On the one hand, many articles linked immigration to the shutdown–implicitly linking it to economic threat even if the article itself did not frame individual immigrants as threatening. However, no articles framed immigration as beneficial to the economy. Our hypothesis that the different county papers would cover immigration and the shutdown differently was confirmed. Lansing (the lowest population of whites) had the most positive framing and tone; Livingston (the highest population of whites) had the least coverage at all. Oakland (in the middle) had the most coverage, the greatest variety of framing and tone, and the most negative framing and tone. Why should be the subject of further research–it is possible that changing demographics surrounding Oakland, which borders other districts, plays a role.


Interviews with Immigration Stakeholders – TX-07

Rep. Lizzie Fletcher of TX-07


Slide 1:

In terms of the predictions, I adapted claims I previously made in the A2 before I conducted my interviews. Throughout each assignment, I have consistently been reminded of the possibility of Houston being a unique outlier, and even more so when examining TX-07 in particular. Prior to the interview, I felt that existing scholarly research might not be supported by the reality of TX-07, and that was the core motive for conducting this research. Using studies by Enos as well as work from Abrajano and Hajnal, I hypothesized that despite large and growing immigrant populations in TX-07, overall attitudes would not be negative and a move to more restrictive and generally Republican policymaking would not take place. I think this did not occur for two reasons. First, I attempt to argue that Houston has seen consistent growth of the immigrant population to a point that it has become a core part of the city’s identity: diversity and immigration have contributed to Houston becoming a welcoming environment. Second, I think backlash to Pres. Trump and his brand of politics overpowered the power of voters’ views on immigration only. In essence, 2016 proved to be a hard year to incorporate in a 10-year analysis of demographic and political changes in a district.


Slide 2:

For my research, I conducted two interviews I conducted 2 interviews in order to test my predictions: one with Christopher Harvey, the Legislative Assistant on Immigration for Rep. Fletcher, and the other with Gislaine Williams, the Community Relations Director at The Alliance. As one of two Legislative Assistants, Harvey, a Houston native, covers a portfolio of issues including immigration, education, social security, and small business, to name a few. When she’s in D.C., he regularly meets with Rep. Fletcher to discuss these areas he covers. Gislaine Williams’ job is to make sure the organization is visible to the community, to engage in community outreach, to forge partnerships with other community organizations, and to advocate for issues with policymakers. To secure these interviews, I simply emailed a general concern email address for each group and awaited a reply. As I’ve mentioned before, I choose to work with The Alliance because they are a notably nonprofit in Houston and because I’ve interned with them in the past.


Slide 3:

The interviews were fascinating and informative on levels outside the guidelines of the project. From Harvey, I gathered that Rep. Fletcher firmly understands the large role immigrants and minorities play in TX-07 and the growing nature of that demographic. However, Harvey did also stress the polarity in the district and strictly moderate views, citing an equal number of calls he’s received in support and against the border wall, for example. He described it as “almost even spread.” He believes much of this polarity derives from Pres. Trump’s national rhetoric and mentioned the importance of “civility” as well as listening to others outside of our “comfort zones.” I questioned both Harvey and Williams about their views on how Houston fits into the scholarly conversation, in terms of work by Enos and Abrajano and Hajnal. They both disagreed with the sentiment that an increase in the Latino population, which they both believed to exist, has led to exclusionary attitudes, more restrictive policymaking, or movement towards the Republican party. They both cited the diversity and welcoming nature of the city of Houston and the interconnectedness of the immigrant community. As Williams said, “immigrants become homeowners, become our local business leaders, and in Houston, we do see that some of the most prominent business leaders in the city are immigrants. More and more prominent elected officials are immigrants.” Harvey mentioned the “polarity when it comes to how immigrants are received” in TX-07 more, though. Harvey did not believe the Latino population has increased suddenly, which supports one of my predictions. Williams thought the Latino population had increased, specifically from Central America, given recent political events in countries like Venezuela for example, but was addressing the refugee population more specifically.


Slide 4:

I think Houston is a very unique city that is deserving of more research as a case-study on its own. I am also fortunate to have grown up in such a uniquely political and cultural district that I researched this semester. As a whole, I do not believe white backlash is a huge component in TX-07. I do believe the 2016 election was far more instrumental in influencing political action and voting patterns than immigration attitudes. I believe my research supports this idea. Something that also became very evident throughout the interview was that realistically, Rep. Fletcher seems to be keeping immigration as a relatively low priority, all things considered. In addition to social media analysis I’ve done in the past in A1, this interview complemented a similar tone of not having immigration be an issue of foremost importance. As Harvey said, “the two top issues that she ran on, was one, dealing with flooding related issues, flooding infrastructure, as well as healthcare.” Finally, Harvey brought up an interesting point that I hope scholars soon begin to investigate more and that is the influence of fake news on deciding immigration attitudes. In each interview, both Harvey and Williams answered a question about the role of the media and the huge role it has in determining attitudes about immigration (Williams also talked about how their nonprofit is trying to use that to their advantage). As such, I am curious as to how powerful that entity is when combined with false information in determining the way people think about immigration.

Opinion on Immigration Policies in MD-01

Assignment 3

Paragraph 1

I predict that the residents of MD-01 will support more restrictive immigration politics than the residents of Maryland as a whole. To test these predictions, I will measure support for the border wall and DACA in MD and MD-01. I use data from the Cooperative Congressional Election Survey. I predict that residents of MD-01 will be more likely to support the border wall and less likely to support DACA than the residents of MD as a whole. I draw mostly from Wong (2017 and 2014) and Casellas and Leal (2013) in these predictions, as MD-01 is less Latino, less foreign-born, and more Republican than Maryland as a whole.


Paragraph 2

Data comes from the 2018 Cooperative Congressional Election Survey, conducted by YouGov and 50 research universities. 1041 Marylanders and 126 residents of MD-01 responded to the survey. The survey asks hundreds of questions, including on respondents’ support for the border wall and DACA. The question on the wall asks respondents if they support or oppose a government effort to “Increase spending on border security by $25 billion, including building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico.” The question on DACA asks respondents if they would support or oppose a government effort to “Provide legal status to children of immigrants who are already in the United States and were brought to the United States by their parents. Provide these children the option of citizenship in 10 years if they meet citizenship requirements and commit no crimes. (DACA).”


Paragraph 3

The results indicate that 76% of Marylanders surveyed and 70% of MD-01 residents support DACA. 38% of Marylanders and 48% of MD-01 residents support the border wall. While these results nominally support my hypotheses, the magnitude is small. I will further discuss this in slide 4.


Paragraph 4

The difference between MD and MD-01 in support for DACA and the border wall were only 6 pp and 10 pp, respectively. While both support my hypothesis in direction, it is unclear whether they do in magnitude. It is entirely possible that DACA is simply a popular program, and the border wall is unpopular. Significant majorities of both MD and MD-01 support DACA, and majorities of both oppose the border wall. The demographic factors underlying my theory may contribute slightly, but cannot outweigh the respective popularity of each program. Future research should use different sample to conduct similar research and conduct regression analysis to isolate causal mechanisms. This study may also be limited by the fact that only 4% of Maryland survey respondents were Latino, while 9% of Marylanders are Latino. 

FL-9 Local Media Content Analysis


Existing research shows that most immigration media coverage is disproportionally about Latinos and show them in a negative light, and this “threat narrative” is largely accepted by whites (Abrajano and Hajnal 2015). However, local Spanish media outlets are more likely to present pro-immigration news, and local news sources are more likely to pay greater attention to Latino-related immigration issues the larger the Latino population is (Branton and Dunaway 2009; Abrajano and Singh 2009; Dunaway et al 2010). Thus, I predict that because the percentage of Latinos in Florida’s 9th Congressional district is greater than the national percentage of Latinos (42.0% and 18.1% in 2017, respectively), local media coverage will likely portray more pro-immigration sentiments, and there is likely a greater focus on Latino-related immigration issues in local news sources than national news sources. Additionally, I predict that local Spanish news sources will likely shed a positive light on immigration news more than local English news sources.

To test my predictions, I conducted an analysis of local news media content. I chose the local media sources WFTV, a local English news source, and El Osceola Star, a local Spanish news source. To collect data on the focus and tone of immigration-related news, I looked at news articles from December 11, 2018 to January 31, 2019 on the subjects of the January 2019 federal government shutdown and the border security and wall funding debate in Washington D.C. To conduct my search of articles, I used the keywords “immigration,” “immigrant,” “border,” “wall,” “undocumented,” “shutdown,” and “security.”

I created coding rules that divided articles into six categories based on the main focus of the articles: security/border wall, humanitarian, partisanship/Trump-specific, crime, economy, and district-specific, and within those categories, I grouped articles based on their tone: pro-immigration, anti-immigration, and neutral. I also recorded the number of articles that specifically mentioned Latino immigrants.

I collected data from 55 WFTV articles and 24 El Osceola Star articles. The most prominent tone on immigration in WFTV articles was neutral, with WFTV having 30 neutral, 21 pro-immigration, and 4 anti-immigration articles. On the other hand, El Osceola had primarily pro-immigration articles, with 20 pro-immigration, 0 anti-immigration, and 4 neutral articles. Overall, there was greater focus in the articles on security and the border wall, humanitarian news, partisanship and Trump-specific news, and district-specific news, but the main focus in the two media sources were different, as WFTV had more articles on security and the border wall and partisanship and Trump-specific news while El Osceola Star had the most articles on district-specific news. As for mentions of Latino immigrants, WFTV specifically mentioned Latino immigrants in 13 out of 55 articles while El Osceola Star mentioned Latino immigrants in 12 out of 24 articles.

The focus of the two news sources were different, as WFTV had a greater focus on national immigration news, such as security and the border wall and partisanship and Trump-specific news, while El Osceola Star had a more local lens, having more articles on district-specific news. While the tone for both news sources did have a pro-immigration leaning over anti-immigrant portrayals, almost half of WFTV news articles were neutral, while 83.3% of El Osceola Star news articles were pro-immigrant. Additionally, El Osceola Star news focused more on Latino immigrants, with 50% of news articles mentioning Latino immigrants, while WFTV news maintained a more general perspective on immigration.

The results mostly support my predictions on the portrayal of immigration news by local media sources. My hypothesis predicting that Spanish news sources specifically would have a greater pro-immigration tone and Latino immigration focus was supported, as El Osceola Star, a Spanish news media source, had significantly more pro-immigrant articles and news that focused more on Latino-related immigration stories. While my hypothesis that local media coverage would shed a more positive light on immigration issues was not fully supported by my findings related to WFTV articles, overall, there were more pro-immigrant sentiments portrayed in the news articles.

Media Analysis Results of TX-23

Slide 1: Predicted Results

This slide shows predicted results of how different factors influence immigration coverage by the media based on previous research. Branton and Dunaway’s “Spatial Proximity to the US-Mexico Border and Newspaper Coverage of Immigration Issues” say that closer proximity to the US-Mexico border increases negative immigration coverage. This would apply more to local levels of media. Since TX-23 shares a large portion of the border with Mexico, it is more likely that coverage of immigration will be primarily negative. This article also states that high Latino populations increase negative media. TX-23 is 70% Latino. This will increase negative coverage as well. Hopkins’ piece “Explaining Where and When Immigrants Provoke Local Opposition” argues that a higher salience of immigration in the news. Based on this, it can be predicted, whether on a local or national level, that if there is a greater quantity of immigration coverage, it is more likely to be negative. Abrajano and Hajnal suggest in White Backlash that there are significant correlations between the Republican Party and higher levels of negative immigration media. TX-23 is about 48% Republican, so some local coverage on immigration will be negative, but not all of it. It will most likely correlate with the party identification of the district. These predictions, however, may not be entirely accurate. TX-23 is known as being a swing district with a moderate representative who does not focus on immigration, so all predictions may not be accurate.

Slide 2: Data Used to Test Predictions     


The two news sources I compared were The Alpine Avalanche and Fox News. The Alpine Avalanche is one of the largest local newspapers in TX-23. Fox News is a prominent national news source that is known for being very conservative. The articles tracked were from December 11, 2018 to January 31, 2019 during the government shutdown over border wall funding debates. The code words used to narrow down these articles were “Border,” “wall,” “immigrant,” “undocumented,” “immigration,” “shutdown,” “Latino,” “Hispanic,” “Mexico,” “illegal immigrant,” and “illegal immigration.” These factors helped narrow down the search results to determine what portions of the articles involved immigration discussion. By comparing a local news source and a national news source, it will help test if the previous predictors are applicable to local media, national media, or both.

Slide 3: Results


This slide depicts two graphs which show the results of tested code words, one for The Alpine Avalanche and the other for Fox News. The graphs show which code word was searched, how many articles that code word appeared in, and what percentage this represented of the total numbers of articles. There were 73 articles published by The Alpine Avalanche between December 11, 2018 and January 31, 2019. Out of these articles, very few of them involved immigration-related topics. Many of the code words overlapped in the same few articles. The articles which did appear with these code words were very neutral and objective. Some were right-leaning or made a point of referencing immigration related to drugs in a negative way, but it was overwhelmingly neutral. The highest percentage of immigration-related articles was with the word “border” at 5.5%. Between these dates, Fox News published a total of 11,133 articles. In comparison to The Alpine Avalanche, Fox News had a much higher concentration of immigration-related stories, all of which were negative towards the subject. Similarly to The Alpine Avalanche, Fox News’s most popular code word was also “border” which represented 19.8% of the total articles. They are very different levels of news coverage, so these numbers do have to be interpreted differently because of the great difference of numbers in the total articles published. Regardless, Fox News, at a national level, had a much higher level of code words used in comparison to a newspaper at a local level.

Slide 4: Conclusions


One of the major differences between the articles in The Alpine Avalanche and Fox News were the way immigration-related topics and border wall issues were presented. The Alpine Avalanche presented neutral articles which showed both sides of the debated issues. Fox News showed these topics in a very negative light. Based on the results, not all of the previous predictions were accurate when applied to a national news sources and a local news source in TX-23. Proximity to the border and Latino populations were not an accurate predictor here. TX-23’s close proximity to the border did not increase negative immigration coverage because The Alpine Avalanche’s articles were not negative. Since Fox News is a national news outlet, the idea of proximity is not applicable. The high Latino populations in TX-23 also did not increase negative media as predicted. However, predictions of salience and Republican Party connections were accurate. Local media had little immigration coverage, so articles were not negative. Fox News, on the other hand, had a high salience of immigration-related coverage, and it was, as predicted, negative. In addition, TX-23 consists of about 48% Republican voters. Articles were not immensely negative, though some did lean right depending on the code word. Fox News’ readers and viewers are almost entirely Republican, so nearly all related articles were anti-immigrant. The fact that only half of these predictors were accurate shows the differences between local and national media coverage. These differences may be, as mentioned in slide 1, because TX-23 is a unique district itself. So, even though predictions based on prior research may be accurate most of the time, it is possible that TX-23’s unique characteristics, as well as the polarized state of 2019 has shifted the expected results.

Public Opinion Analysis of NJ-10 Demographic Data

For my analysis of public survey data for Congressional District NJ-10, I expect to find that due to the recent slight growth in foreign-born and Hispanic/Latino populations, specifically of 3.6 percentage points and 1.3 percentage points respectively, native-born groups in NJ-10 will demonstrate a harsher reception towards immigrant groups and a greater perceived threat of economic competition from African Americans (McDermott, 2013). Due to increasing racial salience in the social context of an increasing immigrant population size, whites and blacks may strengthen their racial identities to set social distinctions between different immigrant groups and native-born groups (McDermott, 2013). As a result, my hypothesis predicts that examining CCES 2018 Data of public survey questions would find more immigration-restrictive responses to the immigrant-related survey questions. In addition, I will examine the possible implications of family income as an indicator of more or less support for restrictive immigration policy, predicting that those of lower class and in poverty would have less support for more restrictive policies than those of higher class.

In examining CCES 2018 polling data, I will observe the responses of NJ-10 participants towards three specific immigration questions, which will be my independent variables: CC18_322a, which involves increasing spending on border security by $25 billion, including building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico; CC18_322c, which would withhold federal funds from any local police department that does not report to the federal government anyone they identify as an illegal immigrant; and CC18_322f, which would send to prison any person who has been deported from the United States and reenters the United States. For my dependent variables, I will observe the implications of race between white and non-white residents of NJ-10, and also the possible implications of family income more broadly from the state of NJ.

For my analysis, I performed linear regression on my variables of choice using R. I created 2 tables that illustrate the relationship between race and immigration survey responses to CC18_322a, CC18_322c, and CC18_322f in NJ-10 and the relationship between family income level and immigration survey to CC18_322c in NJ as a whole. Table 1 demonstrates that for all 3 immigration survey questions related to border spending and illegal immigration, whites are slightly more likely to carry more restrictive attitudes than non-whites. Table 2 demonstrates that for immigration survey question CC18_322c, which would withhold federal funds from any local police department that does not report to the federal government anyone they identify as an illegal immigrant, NJ residents of poverty and low-income are less likely to support more restrictive illegal immigration policies than NJ residents of middle class and higher income.

For my additional analysis, I compared the p-values reported from the regression analysis in Tables 1 and 2. From both tables, only one statistic was significant, as the variable for race and immigration response to CC18_322a was statistically significant with a p-value of 0.0575. Other variables demonstrated to be statistically insignificant, so it’s possible that the correlation of family income level and restrictive immigration policies wasn’t as accurate.

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