Journal Article
The New Immigration Contestation: Social Movements and Local Immigration Policy Making in the United States, 2000–2011

Analyzing oppositional social movements in the context of municipal immigration ordinances, the authors examine whether the explanatory power of resource mobilization, political process, and strain theories of social movements’ impact on policy outcomes differs when considering proactive as opposed to reactive movements. The adoption of pro-immigrant (proactive) ordinances was facilitated by the presence of immigrant community organizations and of sympathetic local political allies. The adoption of anti-immigrant (reactive) ordinances was influenced by structural social changes, such as rapid increases in the local Latino population, that were framed as threats. The study also finds that pro-immigrant protest events can influence policy in two ways, contributing both to the passage of pro-immigrant ordinances in the locality where protests occur and also inhibiting the passage of anti-immigrant ordinances in neighboring cities.

Title
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsSteil J
Secondary AuthorsVasi IBogdan
JournalAJS
Volume119
Issue4
Date Published01/2014
Abstract

Analyzing oppositional social movements in the context of municipal immigration ordinances, the authors examine whether the explanatory power of resource mobilization, political process, and strain theories of social movements’ impact on policy outcomes differs when considering proactive as opposed to reactive movements. The adoption of pro-immigrant (proactive) ordinances was facilitated by the presence of immigrant community organizations and of sympathetic local political allies. The adoption of anti-immigrant (reactive) ordinances was influenced by structural social changes, such as rapid increases in the local Latino population, that were framed as threats. The study also finds that pro-immigrant protest events can influence policy in two ways, contributing both to the passage of pro-immigrant ordinances in the locality where protests occur and also inhibiting the passage of anti-immigrant ordinances in neighboring cities.