Immigrants Assimilate into the Political Mainstream

Report Author: 
Alex Nowrasteh and Sam Wilson
Original Date of Publication: 
2017 Jan

Immigrants Assimilate into the Political Mainstream

Using data from the biennial General Social Survey conducted by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, CATO researchers find that immigrant political opinion, especially for naturalized immigrants and later generations of immigrants, does not differ substantially from native political opinion, both in terms of political party affiliation and views on contemporary political and social issues, such as government spending on welfare or views on marijuana legalization. The one area of major difference pertains to views on immigration policy, and the authors speculate that a relaxation of Republican views on this subject would "attract many of the Republican-identifying immigrants who frequently vote for the Democratic Party." The article concludes with a discussion of possible reasons why naturalization seems to produce "politically and ideologically well assimilated" immigrants.

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Nowrasteh, A. and Sam Wilson (2017). Immigrants Assimilate into the Political Mainstream. Washington, D.C.: CATO Institute .Available at: 

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