Antti Kaihovaara and Then Im suggest there are two different ways of framing opposition to immigration: economic, such as job market or wage pressure associated with immigration and thus opposition, and cultural, where immigration is seen as a challenge to identity and custom.
Using the example of automation, the authors show how economic vulnerability produced a backlash against migrants as a target for much broader grievances. They find automation risk exerts a far more significant effect on attitudes to migration than the risk of offshoring.
Jobs characterised by a higher degree of task routineness are more threatened by automation and thus more substitutable, whereas nonroutine tasks are more secure. Workers most vulnerable to automation tend to support political parties offering a return to a ‘better’ past. These parties are often part of the ‘radical right’ and have anti-immigration policies.
Politics and perceptions of automation risk