White Backlash: Immigration, Race, and American Politics by Marisa Abrajano & Zoltan L Hajnal - review by Eric Kaufmann

Eric Kaufmann

Dividing Lines

White Backlash: Immigration, Race, and American Politics


Princeton University Press 241pp £19.95

‘When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending the best,’ Donald Trump said during the speech announcing his presidential candidacy in June 2015. Most agree that Trump’s stunning poll numbers in the Republican primary owe a great deal to his domination of the immigration issue. While most of the Tea Party’s agenda – guns, god and fear of government – strikes an alien note among Europeans, its opposition to immigration translates very well across the Pond.

Immigration ranks first among the concerns of British voters and features near the top of the list in most West European countries, but it is only recently that this issue has risen to prominence in American politics. Europeans often entertain the misconception that the US is merely a nation of

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