Irene Bloemraad (University of California, Berkeley)
Making Claims on Behalf of Noncitizens: National Values, Rights and the Dynamics of Inclusion
You can learn more about Professor Bloemraad here.
Where and When: Friday, March 26, 2020 at 3pm on Zoom.
Zoom link available soon.
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Abstract: How can individuals and groups advocate effectively on behalf of noncitizens? Contemporary populism, in the United States or elsewhere, appears to pit appeals to national values against the entry or inclusion of immigrants. In response, immigration advocates frequently call on rights language. Some appeal to human rights, contending that no human is illegal. Others, especially in the United States, call on the history and resonance of civil rights. But are these competing frames persuasive? This talk draws on survey experiment data drawn from registered voters in California to examine whether frames couched in the language of civil rights, human rights, or national values affect support for undocumented immigrants and citizens in need. Overall, respondents are much less supportive of government action for undocumented immigrants than citizens. Rights-based appeals do not mitigate this categorical inequality based on legal status. While people express high support for the idea of human or civil rights, in the abstract, such language falls short when applied to specific scenarios of workplace discrimination, hunger, and medical need. Perhaps surprisingly, appeals to national values appear, in some cases, to make people more generous and willing to be inclusive, even to undocumented migrants. An open question is whether rights language works better in other countries, including Canada, the subject of some very recent work I hope to share.
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This series is sponsored by the Centre for the Study of Democratic Citizenship, which is funded by the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Société et culture (FRQSC).