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Basic Variable 5.18: Immigration
Added as a new party issue after 1960

Immigration policy might be thought of as being dependent upon the economic fortunes of a country. However, it is often tied to many preconceptions of the potential impact immigrants have on a country both economically and culturally. From an economic standpoint, immigration might be seen as enriching the skills and diversity of the work force, or contributing to increased levels of unemployment and the bidding down of wages. From a cultural perspective, immigration policy might be viewed as symbolizing the level of tolerance extended toward culturally diverse groups and who do not possess citizenship. In this way, the variable parallels the issues of "Variable 5.12: Protection of civil Rights" because it concerns itself not only with entry into a country, but the treatment received once there.

The variable will attempt measurement on two levels. The first level is a party's policy concerning entry. This may range from free entry for any individual to no permitted entry for new applicants and deportation for immigrants already present in the country. The second level is the treatment of immigrants after arrival. This ranges from the full extension of rights and privileges to immigrants including special social services for their needs to legislated discriminatory practices against immigrants.

Operational Definition. The issue orientation scoring matrix is used with "weak," "moderate," and "strong" positions on both sides of the issue as defined below and scored assuming no conflict between program and practice.


Favors free entry for all applying to emigrate to the country. Advocates full rights to immigrants including all social services and benefits. Favors extending additional social services to meet special needs of new arrivals.


Favors entry of workers (and families) with special skills for targeted industries and political refugees. Extends some social services to immigrants and full civil rights.


Favors entry for immediate family of workers already present in country as well as political refugees. Favors extending social services only for basic needs to immigrants. Civil rights granted in principle but not strictly enforced.


Includes ambiguous or contradictory positions.


Advocates very restrictive policies for entry, limited primarily to political refugees. Favors special services to be focused on the assimilation process. Advocates that rights extended provide only for equality of opportunity.


Favors the discontinuation of further immigration. opposes the extension of any rights or services to non-citizens.


Favors the discontinuation of all immigration and assists in the deportation of immigrants residing in the country. Favors discriminatory legislation directed towards non-citizen groups.

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