Major findings include the following:
• There are many similarities between the nativism of the 1870-1930 period and today, particularly the focus on the purported inability of specific immigrant groups to assimilate, the misconception that they may therefore be dangerous to the native-born population, and fear that immigration threatens American workers.
• Mexican migrants in particular have been consistent targets of nativism, immigration restrictions, and deportations.
• There are also key differences between these two eras, most apparently in the targets of nativism, which today are undocumented and Muslim immigrants, and in President Trump’s consistent, highly public, and widely disseminated appeals to nativist sentiment.
• Historical studies of nativism suggest that nativism does not disappear completely, but rather subsides. Furthermore, immigrants themselves can and do adopt nativist attitudes, as well as their descendants.
• Politicians, government officials, civic leaders, scholars and journalists must do more to reach sectors of society that feel most threatened by immigration.
• While eradicating nativism may be impossible, a focus on avoiding or overturning nativist immigration legislation may prove more successful.