White Americans disliked undocumented immigrants long before Trump

Ariela Schachter, assistant professor of sociology, Arts & Sciences


Liberals and conservatives alike have condemned the Trump administration’s practice of separating and detaining families at the border. Calls for recognizing our shared humanity with immigrant families cover newsfeeds — including my own — and opinion pages.

Many have tried to put themselves in these immigrants’ shoes, proclaiming that they cannot imagine what they would do were their own children being ripped from their arms. And this isn’t merely a border issue; it’s pertinent to Missouri, Illinois and the Midwest. The Pew Research Center estimates that 25,000 undocumented individuals live in the St. Louis region. These individuals are our neighbors, friends and co-workers; many are parents, and some are separated from their families.

But are these calls for shared humanity likely to be heard — and shared — by white America? My own and other research suggest that the answer is no.

Read the full piece in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

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