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Donald Trump’s surprising level of support among U.S. Latina/o voters in 2016 and his improved performance in the 2020 election posed a puzzle for Latina/o politics scholars given his stridently anti-immigrant agenda. Although scholars have acknowledged the political gender gap between Latinas and Latino men, few studies have outlined the theoretical basis or explored the empirical existence of gender differences in Latina/o immigration enforcement attitudes. Building on the Latina politics literature documenting Latinas’ greater engagement in solidarity work with immigrants and their greater desire for cultural transmission and the maintenance of pan-ethnic identity, I test two hypotheses. The first (the Latina/o gender hypothesis) postulates that Latinas will exhibit more liberal attitudes on matters of immigration enforcement relative to Latino men. The second (the immigrant identity hypothesis) postulates that Latinas are more likely to rely on their sense of commonality with immigrants in the formation of their immigration enforcement attitudes. Bivariate and multivariate analyses of the 2020 Collaborative Multiracial Postelection Survey support both hypotheses, which suggests not only that immigration attitudes among Latinas and Latino men are meaningfully distinct, but also that there are important structural differences underlying Latina/o beliefs in this policy area.


© The Author(s), 2023. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of the Women, Gender, and Politics Research Section of the American Political Science Association

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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Politics & Gender





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