Economic Development Bulletin No. 27

Immigrants Assimilate into the Political Mainstream

Immigrants could shift public policy if their opinions differ from those of other Americans.1 Our earlier research found that immigrants and native-born Americans have ideological, political, and public policy opinions that differ to a statistically insignificant extent.2 In this report we further separate immigrant political and policy opinions by citizenship status. Noncitizen immigrants cannot vote but their political opinions are mostly similar to those of natives. However, naturalized citizen-immigrants who can vote have political opinions even closer to those of natives and are near-fully assimilated into the political mainstream.

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Alex Nowrasteh is an immigration policy analyst at the Cato Institute’s Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity. Sam Wilson is a PhD student in economics at George Mason University.