A fundamental transformation in American attitudes towards migration

By May 16, 2019 General Studies

In recent years, however, vitriolic characterizations of immigrants and draconian plans for their exclusion have been floated by political candidates to a surprisingly receptive public. While the U.S. extended refugee status to 3 million persons since 1975, only about 28 percent of the American public currently endorses the continued admission of Syrian refugees. Only 1,854 Syrian refugees—mostly single mothers and their children — have been granted entry between 2012 and September 2015. Recent expressions of hostility towards immigrants and refugees and the adoption of an anti-immigrant platform by the Republican Party are regarded by editorial writers and other pundits as evidence of a fundamental transformation in American attitudes towards migration.

Is anti-immigrant sentiment a recent phenomenon? If so, what is the source of this dramatic transformation?

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