Revisiting the threat hypothesis
Pollard, James W.
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The growth of the Latino population in the U.S. raises a series of issues regarding the political implications of Latino presence in the U.S. Among these are considerations of the disenfranchised nature of a large component of the Latino voting age population and the potential economic and political “threat” Latino growth poses to the majority population. I consider the impact of Latino presence on the legislative action of members of the U.S. House, testing for the possibility that there exists a potential “threat relationship,” similar to that found by V.O. Key in the pre-Voting Rights Act South, between Latino context and action on immigration issues.This study tests whether larger proportions of Latinos in a House district may be positively related to increased legislative hostility on the part of representation from that district. Through polynomial and linear regression analysis, our results indicate that district Latino context does not encourage restrictionism. However, other semblances of a threat relationship may persist.