Places with the fewest immigrants push back hardest against immigration


(CNN) (Aug. 22, 2017) As President Donald Trump's trip to Arizona is certain to demonstrate, immigration remains one of the most polarizing issues in American politics. But the central political fault line around the dispute follows a surprising path.

The paradox of this emotional debate is that generally the states and communities with the fewest immigrants are pushing to reduce immigration over the objections of the places with the most immigrants.Even as Republicans from President Trump to leading legislators in the House and Senate are driving to reduce both undocumented and legal immigration, the core of the GOP's electoral strength in both presidential and Congressional contests are the places with the smallest share of immigrants, US Census data show.Likewise, apart from Texas, the coalition of states threatening litigation next month to overturn President Obama's legal protections for children brought to the US illegally by their parents is composed entirely of states with only very small numbers of the so-called "dreamers."Up and down the ballot, this disparity is partly explained by the Democratic advantages among minority voters, whether native-born or naturalized citizens born abroad. But the consistency of this contrast also suggests that suspicion about immigration among the native-born population is generally more intense in places with little exposure to immigrants than in communities where such exposure is more common.
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