Research on attitudes towards immigrants devotes much attention to the relative effects of economic and social-psychological factors for understanding sentiment towards immigrants, conceived in general terms. In this article, we advance this work by arguing that the context framing immigration concerns leads publics to associate different types of immigrants with different threats. An issue context that diminishes support for one type can boost it for another. Evidence from an original survey experiment in Britain supports this claim. Security fears affect attitudes towards Muslim immigrants but economic concerns bear on views towards Eastern Europeans. While concern about crime adversely affects sentiment for East Europeans but casts Muslims more positively, cultural threats have the opposite effect.
Timothy Hellwig and Abdulkader Sinno. 2017. "Different Groups, Different Threats: Public Attitudes toward Immigrants". Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 43(3): 339-358.