Black Political Interests on Immigrant Rights: Evidence from Black Newspapers, 2000–2013

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Journal of African American Studies

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African American -- Elite (Social sciences) -- Political activity -- United States, African Americans -- Legal status, laws, etc., African American politicians, Recessions -- 2008-2013, Emigration & immigration


Historically, black leaders and institutions generally opposed immigration for economic reasons. Today, however, they largely support immigrant rights for reasons of principle and strategy. This article establishes and explores that change over time, using a content analysis of 1413 articles from black newspapers (2000–2013) to evaluate contemporary trends. The results indicate that a shift toward greater support for immigrant rights in the black press culminated in the years after 2007, despite the Great Recession that began in 2008, in which blacks suffered deep losses. This study highlights political factors, as opposed to the conventional economic explanations, as key determinants of the changing public discussion of immigration in black newspapers. It makes a case for further attention to the relationship between Republican resistance to immigrant rights and black support for those rights.



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