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Latin American Migrations to the U.S. HeartlandChanging Social Landscapes in Middle America$
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Linda Allegro and Andrew Grant Wood

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780252037665

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252037665.001.0001

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“They Cling to Guns or Religion”

“They Cling to Guns or Religion”

Pennsylvania Towns Put Faith in Anti-immigrant Ordinances”

(p.249) Chapter 10 “They Cling to Guns or Religion”
Latin American Migrations to the U.S. Heartland

Jane Juffer

University of Illinois Press

This chapter discusses how migration has become a central issue for the U.S. religious Right, which has joined forces with city councils, paramilitary border vigilante groups, and conservative politicians to proclaim that Latino migrants represent a threat to family values, the “law,” and the so-called Anglo-Saxon, Protestant roots of the nation. This coalition has been particularly influential in areas of the country where there have previously been few Latino residents, such as small-town Pennsylvania. In addition to Altoona and Hazleton in this state, more than a hundred cities across the country have passed laws that make it illegal for employers to hire and landlords to rent to undocumented peoples. Though purportedly local in their ambitions, the ordinances are underwritten by national organizations with connections to the Christian Right and white supremacist groups; together, they have rallied people around an antiglobalization populism that claims the federal government is not doing its job policing the borders and maintaining national economic sovereignty.

Keywords:   religious Right, Latin migrants, antiglobalization populism, Christian Right

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