The book focuses on three case studies: the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany. The volume includes chapters analyzing public opinion and media coverage of immigration issues in each country. Additional chapters propose strategies for unblocking opposition to thoughtful, effective immigration-related reforms.
Mexico's efforts to help its migrants succeed in the U.S. offer a new example of an immigrant-sending country looking to improve its emigrants' lives and connect with its diaspora. This report examines Mexico's approach to its migrants and details the activities of the government's attempt to map the expanding range of its educational, health care, financial, and civic programs.
Voters’ brains connect words, phrases, images, values, and emotions, and these connections — known as networks of association — influence their receptiveness to political messages, often far more strongly than facts and rational arguments. This report shows that to reach those who have not yet made up their mind on a particular issue, advocates and leaders need to understand the associations a term such as “immigrant” spark in the mind of the electorate and strengthen positive associations while weakening negative ones.
What politicians say about a crisis — and the venues they choose tocommunicate with their constituents — have a disproportionate effect on the public‘s perception of that crisis. In the Netherlands, the rhetoric used by right-wing populist politicians is often more effective than that of moderates because their rhetoric conveys passion and emotion, and is more readily picked up by modern media who favor crisis and controversy.
German media has helped reinforce the image of immigrants as “aliens” — sometimes even in exaggerated terms — since the first guest workers came to Germany in the 1950s. By focusing primarily on the problems associated with migration in Germany, the report shows that media have helped contribute to an atmosphere of polarization among the German public.
The print and broadcast media in the United Kingdom cover only a very narrow range of migration stories, primarily focusing on asylum seekers, refugees, illegal immigrants, and migrant workers. This report discusses the media's reliance on "templates" to frame migration stories, which is often set from the government's agenda on migration.
Since 1999, concern about immigration in Britain has reached levels never seen before in the history of public opinion research, and surveys show strong support for tougher immigration laws. But opinions vary: younger, better-educated people and those who tend to live in areas with a longer history of immigration are more tolerant than older, less-educated people in more settled communities with low levels of immigration.
U.S. media coverage of immigration has hindered effective policy reform for years, a trend which has been exacerbated by the recent transformation in the ways Americans get their news. This has conditioned and even distorted public perceptions by portraying a largely gradual, orderly, and legal phenomenon as chaotic, criminal, and controversial.