Publication Date

Summer 8-23-2017


The historic and primarily Latino 2006 immigrant rights protest wave occurred in response to proposed federal anti-immigrant legislation (H.R. 4437). Research on the unprecedented series of demonstrations suggests that the draconian and racialized nature of the bill helps explain why it incited large-scale collective action. Utilizing a new survey with a considerable oversample of Latino respondents, the 2016 Collaborative Multiracial Post-Election Survey (CMPS), this paper investigates contemporary Latino support for immigrant rights activism. We examine several factors that influence support such as linked fate, knowing undocumented people, perceptions of anti-immigrant sentiments, concerns about immigration enforcement policies, political party identification, and past participation in protests. The results of our analysis indicate that some of the same factors that influenced Latino engagement in the 2006 mobilizations, such as identity, threat, concerns over enforcement, and racialization, continue to impact Latino support for contentious politics on behalf of the foreign-born. We also find evidence that political party, past protest activity, and the composition of one’s social network also play a significant role in explaining levels of support for activism. Our results have important implications for understanding how anti-immigrant policies and racialized nativism influence Latino support for contentious politics.

Document Type



Latino attitudes, immigrant rights


American Politics | Civic and Community Engagement | Politics and Social Change | Public Policy | Race and Ethnicity


SMU Tower Center and Latino Center for Leadership and Development