We do not, however, expect all those with immigrant linked fate to be politicized, so we also rely on a measure of interest in politics and interest in the election, which we combine into a scale of 2 to 8.
To isolate those with a politicized immigrant identity, we interact linked fate with political interest to test our first hypothesis of politicized immigrant identity. To further assess how the immigration narrative in affected immigrant political participation, we have included a key independent variable for immigration policy preference, which ranges from less welcoming Make all unauthorized immigrants felons and send them back to their home country to more welcoming Allow unauthorized immigrants to remain in the United States and eventually qualify for U.
We expect those who have the strongest support for a pathway to citizenship to also be the most likely to engage in nonelectoral politics.
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Building on the extant literature in Latino politics, our first model includes control variables for language spoken at home, whether the respondent has naturalized, percentage of life lived in the United States, and whether the respondent is of Mexican origin. Finally, we control for traditional SES indicators and gender.
Results are entirely consistent. Table 1 shows the results of the first set of models: a base model with all main variables, and another with an interaction of linked fate and political interest, our measure of politicized immigrant identity. In the base model, both political interest and linked fate are positive and significantly related to political participation among Latino immigrants, that is they both have an independent direct effect on participation. However, once we include the interaction term, we see that the direct effect of these variables is muted and no longer significant for linked fate, and that the interaction item is statistically significant.
Therefore, interest in politics translates into greater civic engagement, especially for Latino immigrants who also have a high sense of linked fate identity. The results support our first hypothesis. Second, we see significant results for our immigration policy item. Immigrants who support a path to citizenship for the undocumented were more likely to participate in than those who supported deportation of the undocumented. Again, this is supporting evidence of how immigration became a mobilizing issue for Latino immigrants in People who felt strongly about this issue were indeed more likely to get involved in politics across a variety of types of participation.
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Finally, in looking to model fit statistics, mostly the Bayesian information criterion BIC score, we see model improvement in the second model with the interaction item for linked fate and interest in politics. Our second set of models use vote intention as the outcome variable. To our knowledge, this is the first attempt to measure explicit interest in voter participation among noncitizens.
We think it holds much promise in understanding Latino immigrant political engagement see Jones-Correa Beyond interest in politics, in this model we focus specifically on attention to political television news to assess whether the efforts of Spanish media effectively boosted vote intention. We also include our original interest in politics variable used in the first set of models as a control measure to ensure that our new political attention variable accounts just for exposure to TV news and not overall interest in politics.
To ensure that we capture Spanish-language TV news watchers, we include an interaction between Spanish-dominant household and how much attention the respondent pays to news about national politics on television. All other additional controls used in the first set of models are also included. The results for our vote interest model are shown in table 2. As in the base model, neither attention to politics nor Spanish dominant seem to predict a higher interest in voting by themselves.
Political interest does continue to show a significant and positive relationship, as in the first set of models, as we should expect. We also continue to see a mobilizing effect from those who support immigration reform with a path to citizenship, being more likely to express interest in voting. However, [End Page 88] once we include our interaction term to assess the actual effect of Spanish-language TV news attention we find several significant relationships.
First, the direct effects of exposure to political news and speaking only Spanish are both negatively related to interest in voting. However, these direct effects are typically interpreted as the absence of the interacted item. For example, in the Spanish-language TV news model we see that paying attention to news when Spanish at home is not present holds a negative relationship. This means that English-speaking households that watch a great deal of television news are demobilized. Further, speaking Spanish mostly at home is also negative on its own, when attention to television news is not present, suggesting that Spanish-dominant households not watching Univision or Telemundo are not being mobilized.
Although not all immigrants are eligible to vote, anyone can get involved by volunteering for a campaign, helping canvass door-to-door and get out the vote, or affiliating with a candidate by wearing a campaign button or attending a campaign rally. These are typically reserved for only die-hard political activists, but the LINES dataset reveals that 25 percent of Latino immigrants participated in one or more campaign acts. Participation among naturalized U.
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Thus, in our third set of models, we examine a four-item index of campaign activity, 6 and once again look toward the effect of Spanish TV news as a possible source of mobilization. Table 3 presents the results of our regression predicting participation in campaign activity. High levels of political interest continue to motivate participation; however, independent of political interest, immigrants who are Spanish dominant and pay serious attention to political news on television are significantly more likely to become involved in campaign activity.
As in the earlier findings, Spanish-dominant immigrants not watching a great deal of TV news are statistically less likely to become involved in campaign activity; however, the interaction term reveals that Spanish-language political news clearly mobilized Latino immigrants in We also find support for immigrant identity and campaign activity, the variable linked fate showing a positive and significant relationship with participation in the interaction model. The substantive effects of immigrant identity and Spanish-language news media are best illustrated in the form of predicted probabilities.
Figure 1 portrays the predicted number of acts a Latino immigrant will engage in from our nonelectoral participation scale. The x-axis represents degree of political interest and two [End Page 89] lines are plotted for immigrants who say they have no sense of linked fate blue, dashed line, light blue confidence band in background and for immigrants who say they have a high degree of linked fate with other immigrants red, solid line, light red confidence band in background.
Latino immigrants with no sense of linked fate demonstrate only a modest and nonsignificant increase in political participation across values of political interest, from an estimated 1. However, among Latino immigrants with a strong sense of linked fate, increased political interest is strongly associated with increased political engagement. In fact, those with linked fate and political interest are estimated to take part in 3. The combination of a linked fate identity and heightened political interest create the politicized immigrant identity we hypothesized and result in very high levels of political engagement among Latino immigrants in These results support and reinforce the research of Huddy and her colleagues in this issue, who find in-group identity to be positively associated with political participation among Latino immigrants.
In figure 2 , we explore how exposure to Spanish-language TV news is associated with higher levels of interest in voting. Here, the x-axis represents how closely respondents followed television news coverage of politics and the election, and the two lines depict English-dominant [End Page 90]. For English-dominant immigrants, increased attention to TV news actually decreased interest in voting in by almost 50 percentage points. This could be the result of a mostly negative news environment about politics and the lack of any empowering messages for immigrants.
Thus, exposure to television news coverage of politics only increased voting intensity among the Spanish dominant, presumably because only Spanish-language media was stimulating Latino immigrant interest in voting, whereas English-language media was not speaking directly to Latino immigrants. They expect from us leadership. Finally, we see the same effect for participation in campaign activity in figure 3.
The gap in campaign involvement between English-dominant dashed line and Spanish-dominant solid line immigrants is large when attention to political news is not considered. English-dominant and fully bilingual immigrants have, potentially, many more opportunties to get involved and participate in campaigns. Campaigns are presumably less likely to reach out and try to include the least acculturated, Spanish-dominant immigrants. However, once we incorporate attention to TV news into the model, this trend reverses. Spanish-dominant immigrants who closely followed political news on television were more likely than their English-dominant counterparts to get involved in campaigns, growing from an estimated 0.
English-language TV news viewers dropped from 1. Many election observers called the year of the Latino vote, with record numbers of Latinos turning out at the polls and a historic vote in favor of Obama. However, a closer read indicates that it may have been the election year of the Latino immigrant. Immigration was front and center as a campaign issue from the Republican primary debates that pushed the candidates further to the Right to embrace anti-immigrant positions, to the executive order issued by Obama in June offering relief from deportation to nearly one million DREAMers.
We argue that Latino immigrants found themselves constantly referencing their immigrant identity during the election cycle, and that this became a way of psychological engagement and political mobilization. This was further reinforced by the Jorge Ramos [End Page 92] effect, whereby Spanish-language media played an important role in engaging, informing, and mobilizing Latinos in Leading journalists such as Ramos, Maria Elena Salinas, Pilar Marrero and more highlighted what was at stake for immigrant communities in Their reporting on immigration issues was relentless and offered a perspective to Latino immigrants that was missing in English media.
The result was a Latino immigrant community that was highly informed and highly engaged in the election. Not only was interest in voting high, but our analysis also demonstrates high levels of nonelectoral participation, such as attending a protest or writing a letter to an elected official.
In addition, we find heightened levels of participation in campaigns, especially among those who closely followed Spanish-language political news. The LINES dataset provides an opportunity to test many of our deeply held notions about political participation among an immigrant community that is largely absent in the ANES.
In contrast, the LINES contains a total of 1, interviews with Latino immigrants, about 40 percent of whom are naturalized citizens. Thus the data allow us to test and extend our analyses of political participation to Latino immigrants living in the United States, citizens and noncitizens alike, and the data reveal an actively engaged Latino immigrant community in America. As the Latino immigrant population continues its path of incorporation in America, these findings suggest a politically aware immigrant community poised to participate fully in the politics of the nation.
Sergio I. Garcia-Rios is assistant professor of government and Latino studies at Cornell University. Matt A. Google Scholar. Again, the historical exception here was the politically charged Cuban immigrant communities, who needed higher resource levels to escape Cuba for the United States. Pilar Marrero, May 8, , personal correspondence. Because of sample size considerations, we have used multiple imputation to regain missing cases for socioeconomic control variables, which allow us to employ a larger sample size.
We also considered using a direct measure of Spanish-language news consumption, but this question was asked only of the postelection sample and is not present for all respondents. Further, the question on the post-election sample about Spanish-language news did not measure how closely respondents followed news about politics on television, but rather was a question about how often they rely on Spanish- rather than English-language media.
We feel our interaction item much more accurately captures exposure to Spanish TV political news. Although we cannot specifically isolate Univision news anchor Jorge Ramos in these data no question was asked about which show respondents watched , Ramos has the highest ratings of any nightly news anchor in America—in English or Spanish. Univision reaches 96 percent of Hispanic households and has a 72 percent unduplicated audience, which means that 72 percent of their viewers are not reached by any other network.
Between Univision and Telemundo, Univision carries a 3-to-1 advantage in viewers.
Further, Ramos has 1. Thus, we are fairly confident in calling Ramos a leading voice in Spanish-language TV news. The campaign activities were as follows: asked others to vote for or against a candidate, attended a campaign rally or event, wore a campaign button or posted a yard sign, and volunteered directly for a campaign.
Without cookies your experience may not be seamless. No institutional affiliation. LOG IN. Garcia-Rios bio and Matt A. Barreto bio. Given the political discourse during the presidential campaign, we form the following hypothesis: H 1 : Latino immigrants with a politicized immigrant identity will be more likely to participate in nonelectoral activities. Click for larger view View full resolution. Interpreting the Size of the Effects The substantive effects of immigrant identity and Spanish-language news media are best illustrated in the form of predicted probabilities.
Garcia-Rios Sergio I. Barreto Matt A. Direct correspondence to: Sergio I. Garcia-Rios at garcia. Barreto at barretom ucla. Accessed January 26, Barreto, Matt A. South Bend, Ind. Bass, Loretta, and Lynne Casper. Bishin, Benjamin G. The American Voter. Cassel, Carol A.
Cherlin, Reid. Accessed January 28, DeFrancesco Soto, Victoria. DeSipio, Louis. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press. DeSipio, Louis, and Rodolfo O. Melbourne: Oxford University Press. Dinan, Stephen. Ethier, Kathleen A. Feddersen, Timothy J. Foley, Elise. Accessed February 29, Fox News Latino. Ethnic Ironies: Latino Politics in the Elections. Boulder, Colo. Barrio Ballots: Latino Politics in the Elections. Gerber, Alan S. Green Guerra, Fernando. Jones-Correa, Michael.
Le, Van. Lee, Taeku. Masuoka, Natalie. McCann, James A. Latino Immigrant National Election Study, Medina Vidal, D. Milkman, Ruth. Berkeley: University of California Press. New York: Russell Sage Foundation. Pachon, Harry. Citizenship and Latino Participation in California. Jackson and Michael B. Berkeley, Calif. Pedraza, Francisco I.
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Rosenstone, Steven J. Mobilization, Participation, and Democracy in America. New York: Macmillan Press. Sanchez, Gabriel R. Shaw, Daron, Rodolfo O. Staudt, Kathleen, and Sergio I. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem?
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