Skip to main content
Article
On Normative Effects of Immigration Law.pdf
Stanford Journal of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (2017)
  • Emily Ryo
Abstract
Can laws shape and mold our attitudes, values, and social norms, and if so, how do immigration laws affect our attitudes or views toward minority groups?  I explore these questions through a randomized laboratory experiment that examines whether and to what extent short-term exposures to anti-immigration and pro-immigration laws affect people’s implicit and explicit attitudes toward Latinos.  My analysis shows that exposure to an anti-immigration law is associated with increased perceptions among study participants that Latinos are unintelligent and law-breaking.  In contrast, I find no evidence that exposure to pro-immigration laws promoted positive attitudes toward Latinos.  Taken together, these results suggest that exposure to anti-immigration laws can easily trigger negative racial attitudes, but fostering positive racial attitudes through pro-immigration laws might be substantially more difficult.  I argue that a fuller appreciation of the impacts of immigration laws requires an understanding of their normative effects.  I conclude by discussing the directions for future research on law, racial attitudes, and intergroup relations, and the policy implications of my findings.
Keywords
  • immigration law,
  • racial attitudes,
  • implicit bias,
  • explicit bias,
  • expressive theory of law
Publication Date
Winter 2017
Citation Information
Emily Ryo. "On Normative Effects of Immigration Law.pdf" Stanford Journal of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Vol. forthcoming (2017)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/eryo/12/