Immigrant assimilation to political values and beliefs

See also home country policy replication.

Some opponents of open borders worry that immigrants will not share or assimilate to the political values of their new country. This could have long-term effects on the political, economic, and social outcomes of the country, especially if it is democratic. A similar concern to this specifically related to democratic outcomes is political externalities (which refers in particular to immigrants voting for politicians or parties whose views resemble those of the “failed” countries they may come from). Also related is the concern about emotional assimilation and patriotism — that immigrants will not think of themselves as emotionally belonging to their new country.

The Migration Advisory Committee of the UK government’s Home Office conducted a study of political attitudes amongst Britons to gauge how well immigrants share native Britons’ political values, and whether immigrants assimilate to those values over time. The Impacts of Migration on Social Cohesion and Integration was published in January 2012. It found:

Our analysis of integration shows that recent and established migrants score very well on three indicators—trust in institutions, belonging to Britain and values. Recent and established migrants express higher levels of trust in British political institutions than native Britons, a tendency which is also found among the children of migrants. Although recent migrants are less likely to say they belong to Britain, this dissipates once migrants have been living longer in the country, and all established migrant groups express high levels of belonging to Britain. Migrants share many values with the native-born British, and the main differences which we identify come on issues which are particularly salient in the lives of migrant communities–the desire to maintain distinct cultural traditions, the need for equal treatment regardless of ethnic background and concerns about the negative impact of offensive speech.

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