g McLaren 2003 Quillian 1995 Semyonov et al 2004 Even in the US context few

G mclaren 2003 quillian 1995 semyonov et al 2004 even

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context (e.g., McLaren, 2003; Quillian, 1995; Semyonov et al., 2004). Even in the U.S. context, few have distinguished between documented and un- documented immigrants (Butcher and Piehl, 1998a; Decker, 2010; Mears, 2001). However, undocumented immigrants are different from documented immigrants in several aspects. For example, undocumented immigrants are disproportionately poorly educated and low-skilled (Passel and Fix, 1994: 159). Given these differences, the perceptions of undocumented immigrants may significantly differ from the perceptions of documented immigrants. HYPOTHESES By building on prior theory and research, this article develops a se- ries of hypotheses about the effects of community context on perceived criminal threat from undocumented immigrants. In particular, the first two
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750 WANG hypotheses investigate the main effects of objective and perceptual mea- sures of community context on perceived criminal threat, respectively. Hypothesis 1: Perceived criminal threat from undocumented immi- grants will be positively associated with immigrant population size and economic conditions. Hypothesis 2: Perceived criminal threat from undocumented immi- grants will be positively related to the perceived size of the undoc- umented immigrant population. The next two hypotheses assess whether the effects of objective and perceptual measures of community context are conditioned by the respon- dent’s immigration status. Because the minority threat perspective suggests that perceived threat is particularly salient for majority group members, in this case, native respondents, the effect of immigrant population size and economic conditions may be contingent on the respondent’s immigration status. Such a conditional effect has emerged in other minority threat work. For example, several studies have indicated that the relationship between racial or ethnic composition and fear of crime (or minority threat) exists for White respondents only or is greater for Whites (Chiricos, Hogan, and Gertz, 1997; Chiricos, McEntire, and Gertz, 2001; Quillian and Pager, 2001). The next two hypotheses anticipate such an effect. Hypothesis 3: The effects of immigrant population size and economic conditions on perceptions of undocumented immigrants as a criminal threat will be more pronounced for native respondents. Hypothesis 4: The perceived size of the undocumented immigrant population will be more strongly associated with perceptions of un- documented immigrants as a criminal threat for native respondents. The final hypothesis examines the relationship between objective mea- sures of community context and the perceived size of the undocumented immigrant population, and it assesses whether objective measures affect perceived size, which in turn affects perceptions of undocumented immi- grants as a criminal threat. As Alba, Rumbaut, and Marotz (2005: 911) have argued, perceptions of group sizes are a function of the community contexts in which respondents are situated. Thus, community context, such as im- migrant population size and economic conditions, may affect respondents’ perceptions of the size of the undocumented immigrant population. Fur-
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