CATHOLICS AND IMMIGRATION: CHURCH LEADERSHIP PERSPECTIVES AND THE VIEWS OF A DIVERSE LAITY
Keywords:Catholics, immigration, ethnicity, race, partisanship, USCCB
This article examines the viewpoints and policy perspectives of leaders of the Catholic Church in the United States concerning immigration. We find that over time they tend to hold moderate to liberal views and recommend policies that tend to mimic those of the Democratic Party rather than those of the Republican Party. We contrast these views with those of Catholic laity and find that there is a disconnect. In particular, White Catholics tend to hold more conservative views than church leaders and differ widely in their views from the perspectives of Latino, Asian, and African-American Catholics. Perhaps partly because of the disparate cues emanating from Catholic leadership (e.g., liberal on immigration, conservative on abortion) it appears that the Catholic laity turn to political cues to develop their views on immigration. Political forces like partisanship, ideology, attitudes toward Donald Trump, and viewing Fox News are the strongest predictors of Catholics’ immigration attitudes.
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