Panel Paper: A Policy Approach to Overcome Pre-Immigration Barriers to Participation in the Latino Immigrant Community

Friday, March 9, 2018
Burkle 12 (Burkle Family Building at Claremont Graduate University)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Javier Rodriguez1, Rafael A. Jimeno2 and Carlos Alberto Echeverria-Estrada1, (1)Claremont Graduate University, (2)Educators for Excellence

Policy initiatives to bolster socio-political participation in the Latino immigrant community have relied heavily on research asserting the primacy of assimilation processes resulting from immigrants’ exposure to the United States political system alone. This approach overlooks the potential layers of complexity fostered by pre-immigration factors. We address this gap by relying on the 2006 Latino National Survey and previous research on the impact of pre-immigration experiences on immigrants’ political incorporation. Though we find that low levels of socio-political participation among many Latino immigrants in the United States strongly correlate with low levels of pre-immigration socio-political participation, for the exceptional cases we ask what factors contribute to becoming active participants once in the United States. We implement a multinomial logit analysis to identify the factors that can both activate participation and be simultaneously influenced by institutions and policymakers. Results demonstrate the need for political parties and organizations to make a long-term investment in young immigrants.