But I have always wondered if the larger issue about illegal European immigration, which is common in any regions which have large Eastern European populations, might be a problem. Tom Geoghegan mused in his book The Secret Lives of Citizens that one of the main reasons Chicago (which also has one of the largest Hispanic immigrant populations in the country) has far less anti-immigrant sentiment than many other places possibly because it also has a very large illegal European immigrant population. Maybe there’s more sympathy to the situation or maybe they are just afraid of rocking the boat. Either way, when people talk about “illegal immigrants” it’s almost always about Latinos and it’s about some kind of cultural change.

It wouldn’t surprise me, although the fact that Chicago is more generally well represented within its power structure by ethnic groups with a current or recent history of immigration, explains a lot. Also, it’s really segregated, and if you don’t see as much of other races, you’re less likely to resent them.