This research is meant to give a better understanding about how immigrant sentiments affect the way Latinos are also perceived in the United States. The new wave of immigration since 1965 has brought with it many people of Latino/ Hispanic origin. A large segment of the U.S. population has expressed opposition to increasing levels of immigration. This is due in part to the media’s use of a nativist anti-immigrant narrative. Often, the public is made to believe an image of immigrants that is contradictory to the reality. Consequently, negative images have been most associated with Latinos and the threat they have become to the American citizens. The literature review was used to further expand on the history of nativism in the United States. The first portion of this study explores the basis of the contribution narrative and is comprised of the story behind the Los Gatos, Canyon crash in 1948 in which 28 Mexican deportees perished. This resulted in the creation of “Deportees” by Woody Guthrie, a folk singer during the 40s. In which he describes the tragedy of the accident and the poor working conditions braceros had to endure. The second portion of this research study uses a survey experiment to test the effect of two narratives about immigration the nativist frame and the contribution narrative. The results demonstrated that both the nativist and contribution narrative treatments had a negative effect on participants’ openness to increasing levels of immigration, but these effects were dependent upon the racial background of the immigrant group in question. The major contribution of this work is to show that the framing of the issue of immigration has important consequences for the treatment of immigrants in society.


Corral, Alvaro

Second Advisor

Cope, Brian


Political Science; Spanish


Social and Behavioral Sciences


Immigration, Latinos

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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