In This Review

States of Belonging: Immigration Policies, Attitudes, and Inclusion
States of Belonging: Immigration Policies, Attitudes, and Inclusion
By Tomás R. Jiménez, Deborah J. Schildkraut, Yuen J. Huo, and John F. Dovidio
Russell Sage Foundation, 2021, 280 pp.

Through extensive surveys and in-depth interviews, the authors contrast the pro-immigration policies of New Mexico with the more hostile policies of neighboring Arizona. Not surprisingly, Latinos feel more welcome in New Mexico. Their degree of comfort and belonging in the state affords them greater material, as well as valuable psychological, benefits. Interestingly, many white people—mostly liberal Democrats—also gain psychologically from New Mexico’s immigration-friendly climate, which validates their liberal values. Not everybody agrees, of course: white Republicans in New Mexico report a decreased sense of social belonging. In Arizona, anti-immigration policies alienate not only Latinos but also liberal white people, who, according to surveys, feel less attached to the state as a result. Encouragingly, the authors find broad bipartisan sympathy in these two states and across the country for a legal pathway to citizenship for worthy immigrants, even if meaningful immigration reform at the federal level remains elusive. Instead, the authors place their hope in state-level reforms. California, which in the 1990s adopted several anti-immigration measures, is now the most pro-immigration state in the country because of its growing Latino population, grassroots organizing, and the general leftward shift among California Democrats. Arizona, the authors suggest, may eventually follow suit.