This NYTimes article, written on February 14th, 2019, reminded me of the lecture from Monday, where Professor Jones presented compelling research on status misattribution and immigrant innumeracy. He and his colleague found through a panel data survey that American whites significantly overstate the size of the unauthorized Latino population, and in turn, Latinos pick up the signal about status innumeracy and believe white judgment is even worse than it actually is. In this news article, two women are detained by a border patrol agent in Montana for speaking Spanish, even though they were both born in the States. The ACLU has brought their case before the court, and accused the border agent who claimed that the women’s accents were “very strong” and he stopped them, not because they were Latina, but because they were “speaking Spanish in the store in a state where it is predominantly English speaking.” The women’s citizenship statuses were brought into question purely due to their language and the border agent’s white perception.
Discussion Question: How might white and Latino experiences of status misattribution affect their perceptions of legitimacy and citizenship, particularly in their voting behavior?