ABSTRACT

This chapter systematically compares popular opinions about immigrants to research-derived descriptions of immigrants. Specifically examined are the widely held beliefs of natives concerning the heightened criminal propensities of immigrants, their tendency to overly rely upon welfare benefits, their deleterious impact upon both high- and low-skill employment of natives in host nations, and the ways in which they presumably have adverse effects upon the communities in which they settle. These beliefs are juxtaposed with the results of empirical research. Correcting factual misperceptions is shown not necessarily to change xenophobic attitudes, but foreign athletes who are successful may be effective local change agents.