Immigration Policies and Group Identity: How Immigrant Laws Affect Linked Fate among U.S. Latino Populations

Edward D. Vargas, Gabriel R. Sanchez, Juan A. Valdez

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Immigrant sentiment, measured by the number of state laws enacted to curb the flow of undocumented immigration or expand rights to immigrants, have been on a steady incline since September 11, 2001. Despite the increased attention to unauthorized immigration, little research has examined how immigrant policies are affecting group identity (i.e., linked fate). Linked fate is a form of collective group identity that develops when a group of people experience discrimination and marginalization. Using a unique database that merges the 2012 Collaborative Multiracial Post-Election Survey (n = 934 Latinos) with the sum of state-level immigration policies enacted from 2005 to 2012, this study is the first to examine the direct relationship between immigrant climate and linked fate. Results from our multinomial logistic regressions indicate that the linked fate among Latinos increases as the number of punitive immigration laws in a state increases, controlling for a vector of control variables. Consistent with our theory regarding differential impact, our findings also suggest that immigration laws have a more pronounced influence on the linked fate of foreign-born Latinos.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-62
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Race, Ethnicity and Politics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Group Identity
  • Immigration Policy
  • Latino Populations
  • Linked Fate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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