Political Science Faculty Publications and Presentations

Deportation threat and political engagement among latinos in the Rio Grande Valley

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How does the threat of deportation affect Latinos’ political engagement and participation? Little scholarship systematically analyzes deportation effects upon Latino political engagement. This article explores how the threat of deportation raised under the Trump administration affects cognitive and electoral behaviour in politics among Latinos in the Rio Grande Valley (RGV). By utilizing original data from an RGV public opinion survey conducted in 2018, we examine how deportation threat, measured as knowing a deportee or detainee as well as worrying about deportability affects democratic engagement and political activism of Latinos in the RGV. We find the fear of being deported depresses the level of attention to politics, but increases the frequency of discussion. Also, it discourages voting. Our findings identify a potential hurdle of political behaviour among Latinos in the U.S.-Mexico border region which has been directly affected by immigration policy threat under the Trump administration.


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Ethnic and Racial Studies