Does a Hostile Context Dampen Migration? Arab Migration to the US 2000-2017.

Louise Cainkar, Marquette University

Framed by the sociological notion of "Context of Reception" (Portes and Rumbaut) this paper discusses some of the main features of the US national context as it relates specifically to Arabs and Muslims since 2000. These include: aggressive post 9/11 national security policies, rising levels of Islamophobia since 2008, the open hostility to Muslims that characterized the Trump campaign leading to increased hate crimes, and eventually codified in the "Muslim ban." Informed by events occurring in the Arab region (e.g., war, uprisings, occupation) it examines quantitative data reported by the Department of Homeland Security on Arab migration to the US between 2000 and 2017 and explores whether any significant impacts of this negative context can be observed on volume of family and refugee migration. The paper's conclusions should have much to say about internal and external factors that drive and discourage migration. A preliminary, cursory review of the data reveals significant changes only with regard to Yemenis, and only between 2015-2017, when migration skyrocketed and then dropped substantially, likely indicating the significant impact of President Trump's Executive Order (known as the "Muslim ban") on Yemeni migration.

No extended abstract or paper available

 Presented in Session 189. Immigrants Then and Now