Date of Completion

Spring 5-10-2022

Thesis Advisor(s)

Shareen Hertel, Matthew M. Singer

Honors Major

Political Science


American Politics | Caribbean Languages and Societies | Ethnic Studies | Immigration Law | Law | Political Science | Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration | Public Policy | Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies | Social History | Social Justice


Scholarly work and media coverage both point to the negative effect that the rhetoric and policy of former US President Donald Trump had on the lived experience and wellbeing of immigrant groups explicitly targeted by it (i.e., the “Trump effect”). Typically, the focus has been on Muslim and Latino immigrants as well as those less-explicitly targeted but still affected by Trump-era policies, such as temporary workers. This thesis explores whether Black immigrants from the English-speaking Caribbean, a group notably missing from the literature of “Trump effects” on immigrant experiences, experienced similar attitudinal or practical effects as a result of contemporary US immigration policies, rhetoric or national attitudes. My second research goal is to measure Black Caribbean immigrant attitudes towards immigration policy by adapting a survey instrument used with Asian-American immigrant respondents regarding Trump-era immigration policies. Drawing on original qualitative data gathered through interviews with members of the English-speaking Black Caribbean community in Connecticut, this thesis analyzes variation in their immigrant experiences as a result of Trump-era immigration policies and rhetoric. Additionally, I explore attitudes regarding linked fate, group consciousness, acculturation and contextual factors in order to discern their potential influence on the self-identification of English-speaking Afro-Caribbean immigrants, their attitudes toward Trump-era immigration rhetoric and policies, and potential effects on their lived experience.