Poilical and Civic Dimensions of Immigrant Integration
Thursday, November 12, 2015 : 10:35 AM
Stanford (Hyatt Regency Miami)
*Names in bold indicate Presenter
The integration of immigrants and their children also plays out in the civic and political life of the country. Becoming a U.S. citizen, voting, participating in a parent-teacher association or volunteering at a local food bank can all be seen as markers of integration. Such activities also serve as way-stations to further integration and engagement in U.S. society and politics. Although naturalization is necessary for casting a ballot in almost all parts of the United States, acquiring citizenship does not guarantee political participation. Conversely, non-citizens can be engaged in their communities, for example, by participating in a parent-teacher association. Civic and political integration can occur together, or in distinct steps. Naturalization might spur new Americans to join a local town hall meeting, while an immigrant’s prior participation in a religious faith community may provide the encouragement and assistance necessary to acquire U.S. citizenship or register to vote.