Do security concerns lead to more restrictive immigration policies? In this article, we contend that transnational influences can shape legislative output on immigration at home. Terrorist attacks in a neighboring country affect the salience of security concerns in the focal state, the policy solutions for addressing them, and the political will to implement these changes. In proximity of countries targeted by terrorism, politicians have specific incentives to manipulate immigration regulations following pressure from public opinion, for political opportunism or in anticipation of their neighbors’ policy choices. Using data on 33 OECD countries, we find that proximity to targeted countries leads to the implementation of a more restrictive migration policy regime. The public’s common perception of a linkage between migration and terrorism thus has important policy consequences.
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