Narratives and the Policy Process: Applications of the Narrative Policy Framework. Chapter 7: Sanctuary Cities, Focusing Events, and the Solidarity Shift: A Standard Measurement of the Prevalence of Victims for the Narrative Policy Framework
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Numerous state and local jurisdictions across the United States have adopted policies limiting their cooperation with federal deportation efforts carried out by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Sometimes referred to as “sanctuary cities,” these jurisdictions interpret federalism in a way that resists active participation in federal immigration enforcement. Employing the Narrative Policy Framework (NPF), we analyze 164 public consumption documents to examine policy narratives disseminated by interest groups engaged in the policy debate surrounding sanctuary cities between 2010 and 2017. Using data derived from a content analysis of these documents, we develop a new measure, the solidarity shift, to capture the prevalence of victims in policy narratives; we find there are significant differences in the narrative strategies employed by advocates and opponents of sanctuary jurisdictions, with opponents’ narratives demonstrating more active responses to external events and a higher proportion of victims, relative to other characters. We also find that the killing of Kathryn Steinle in San Francisco can be seen as a focusing event because of the narrative actions of anti-sanctuary city advocates and their reliance on the solidarity shift, which resulted in significant changes to anti-sanctuary city narrative strategies.
Narratives and the Policy Process: Applications of the Narrative Policy Framework by Aaron Smith-Walter; Emily Fritz; and Shannon O’Doherty is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.
Smith-Walter, Aaron, Emily Fritz, and Shannon O’Doherty. 2022. “Sanctuary Cities, Focusing Events, and the Solidarity Shift: A Standard Measurement of the Prevalence of Victims in the Narrative Policy Framework”, in Narratives and the Policy Process: Applications of the Narrative Policy Framework, Michael D. Jones, Mark K. McBeth, and Elizabeth A. Shanahan(eds.), Montana State University Library, 166-196. doi.org/10.15788/npf7