Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 5-1-2024

Faculty Advisor(s)

Dr. Ann Gordon


Annually, the U.S. aspires to extend its liberality by opening its border to more than ten thousand refugees. In this paper, I examine how political party identification, census region, and internet usage influence U.S. adults' fear of illegal immigration. Relying on the 2023 Chapman Survey of American Fears, a representative national sample of U.S. adults, I find that political party has remained a consistent predictor for an American’s fear of illegal immigration, with people who align themselves with the Republican Party in 2022 being more afraid of illegal immigration compared to other political parties, such as the Democrat Party. In addition, contrary to previous research findings, Xenophobia no longer significantly drives American fears of illegal immigration. Instead, the level of incorporation of immigration has become a leading determinant for Americans’ fear of immigration, with the West having the highest incorporation of immigration being the least afraid of illegal immigration, and other regions, such as the North-East, being more afraid of illegal immigration. In addition, Americans’ exposure to the news and internet sources also significantly impacts their fear of illegal immigrants, specifically with individuals who are less likely to use the internet being more afraid of illegal immigration. The exposure to immigration and immigrants, albeit in-person or online, can draw significant differences in American’s fear of illegal immigration. Differences in culture, ethnicity, and norms can drive fear and discrimination against immigration; however, increased exposure and distribution of knowledge can effectively mend American fears and promote harmonious co-existence.


Presented at the Spring 2024 Student Scholar Symposium at Chapman University.