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Arranged in order of publication date with the most recent on top. Selection does not necessarily imply endorsement of findings or research methodology by Diversity Dynamics and its partner organizations. Scroll down for all entries. We regret that we may not be able to repair broken links promptly.
 The strenghtening of immigrant communities is an important strategy for immigrant integration. The development of strong immigrant community institutions enables immigrants to help one another and to acclimate to the larger society. Participation in the political process also advances integration and helps to bring about positive social change. These studies and reports discuss various aspects of immigrant civic participation.

The Case for Welcoming as Resilience: A White Paper
Welcoming America, April 2024, 7 pp.

This paper focuses on the issue of climate change and migration, and makes the argument that communities must prepare for climate change and the displacement it will trigger by not only adapting their physical infrastructure, but also their welcoming infrastructure. This is a mater of some urgency because as many as 1 billion people will be uprooted by climate change between now and 2050. Up to now, movements that are focused on environmental issues, including climate change, have mostly operated separately from those focused on migration and immigrant inclusion. A concern is that lack of preparation, or the lack of integration of these movements, will produce harmful divisions within receiving communities experiencing rapid demographic change. The paper acknowledges that while a constellation of actors — funders, nonprofit leaders, refugee resettlement networks, and elected officials — are beginning to focus on protecting people displaced by climate change, few are preparing at the scale that will be necessary to deal with projected mass movements. This paper will be followed by the release of a “playbook” highlighting innovative work being done in three communities around the country that are integrating the work of sustainability, climate action, and immigrant inclusion. The playbook will help civic leaders prepare for the impacts of climate change by creating welcoming and inclusive plans tailored to the needs of their local communities. (Maurice Belanger, Maurice Belanger Associates)


How Does Allowing Noncitizens to Vote Affect Local Government?
The Center for Growth and Opportunity, Utah State University, August 2023, 17 pp.
Authors: Brian K. Strow & Claudia W. Strow

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the barriers to the optimal provision of public goods brought about by large-scale immigration of individuals, some of whom are prevented from voting in the political process. As only half of the US foreign-born population are naturalized citizens, the lack of voting rights among the remaining foreign-born residents amounts to the exclusion of more than 6% of the US population from revealing their preferences through the political process. This percentage is much higher in states and communities with larger numbers of immigrants. This disenfranchisement (or lack of ability to vote) prohibits these consumers of public goods from revealing their preferences for public goods via the ballot box and, in some cases, also reduces their incentive to vote with their feet. This paper suggests that local level voter participation by immigrants could lead to greater overall efficiency in public good provision. “From an efficiency and fairness standpoint relative to the benefits principle, granting foreign-born resident noncitizens the right to vote in local elections increases economic efficiency, fairness, and societal utility by lowering information costs to public goods providers.” Moreover, foreign-born residents (authorized and unauthorized alike) pay property and sales taxes at rates “virtually indistinguishable from US citizens.” The authors also point out that the U.S. Constitution does not ban noncitizens from voting in local elections.


Gated Citizenship,
Citizenship Studies, 25th anniversary issue, 2022, 18 pp.
Author: Ayelet Shachar

This provocative paper, prepared for the 25th anniversary issue of the journal Citizenship Studies, examines the plight of those members of the global population whose access to citizenship is denied or severely restricted. While 97 percent of the world’s population gains access to citizenship solely by virtue of where or to whom they are born, a growing number of people worldwide need access to what the author calls the “secondary allocation” of citizenship. Countries, however, use “the trinity of the territorial, the cultural, and the economic” to block access to citizenship especially for the less privileged.  Wealth requirements harken back to the days when citizenship was severely restricted even for those born into a particular state jurisdiction. However, “The bolted gates of admission, so carefully guarded when it comes to the many, are swung open when it comes to the select few: the global 1%.”  Not only are economic restrictions erected as a barrier to citizenship, so, too, are the cultural. A new emphasis on “cultural integrity” has produced a “philosophical shift from naturalization as a tool of integration to naturalization as the end-point of successful integration.” As world migration continues to grow, especially as climate-induced disasters displace millions of people, the world will need “new answers, new tools, new international conventions that are not yet written,” to reduce the inequities of current citizenship policy.


Fiscal Year 2020 U.S. Naturalizations Annual Flow Report,
Dept. of Homeland Security, Office of Immigration Statistics, October 4, 2021

Author: Sean Long
This report presents information on the number and characteristics of persons aged 18 and over who naturalized during the government’s fiscal year 2020 (October 2019 - September 2020). While the number of persons who applied for naturalization during this period was up 16% from the previous year (to 968,000), the number of person who were granted citizenship was down 26%, to 628,000 — the lowest number since 2010. The suspension of in-person services by USCIS, due to COVID, was in part responsible. Asia continues to be the top region of birth for the newly naturalized (as it has since the 1970s), though Mexico was the leading single country of birth for those who naturalized in 2020. New York-Newark-Jersey City was the metropolitan area with the highest number of naturalizations, while California was the top state of residence for the newly naturalized. Immigrants from Africa and Asia spent the least amount of time in LPR status before becoming citizens (six years). For all immigrants, the amount of time spent as permanent residents before naturalizing has fluctuated between six and eight years in the last decade, and was seven years in 2020.
(Maurice Belanger, Maurice Belanger Associates)


The importance of race, gender, and religion in naturalization adjudication in the United States,

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 119: 9 (February 22, 2022), 18 pp.
Authors: Emiyl Ryo & Reed Humphrey

Based on data obtained in response to an FOIA request on naturalization applications adjudicated between 2014 and 2018, this study examines racial, ethnic, gender and religious disparities in denial rates for these applications. The numbers involved are significant, and the consequences of denial are serious. In 2015, for example, 9.4% of nonmilitary applications resulted in denial, impacting more than 75,000 individuals.  Before presenting their findings, the authors review the history of discriminatory processing of citizenship applications in American history. They point out that “race/ethnicity and gender have long served as enduring bases of exclusion for citizenship in the United States.” Although formal legal restrictions based on race/ethnicity, gender, and religion no longer govern eligibility for naturalization, the process is open to bias in a number of ways, e.g. through conscious or unconscious bias on the part of the government employee reviewing the application, or through discriminatory practices in policing and criminal justice which create disqualifying criminal records.  The authors find that “the odds of approval are consistently smaller for non-White and Hispanic applicants than White applicants.”  Although a 5% difference between Black applicants and White applicants may appear small, they argue, the number of people impacted by such a discrepancy is large enough to warrant concern.

Rejecting Citizenship,

Rutgers Law School Research Paper, December 28, 2021, 30 pp.
Author: Rose Cuison-Villazor

A common belief is that the pursuit of American citizenship constitutes a dream, but one unattainable for many. “Rejecting Citizenship” challenges this conventional wisdom that has dominated legal scholarship for many years. In this review of Ming Chen’s book, Pursuing Citizenship in the Enforcement Era, Rutgers professor Rose Cusion-Villazor rejects Chen’s emphasis on the overwhelming desire for citizenship among noncitizens, arguing instead that focusing on the pursuit of citizenship and the barriers that noncitizens face in this pursuit only tells part of the story. By calling attention to cases of citizenship rejection, Cusion-Villazor contends that legal scholarship should also consider how and why noncitizens and citizens alike refuse American citizenship. She points to the increasing numbers of legal permanent residents who do not apply to become citizens, even though qualified to do so, and to the case of American Samoans rejecting American citizenship. These trends show that immigrants do not always see citizenship as desirable or an ideal to be pursued. Indeed, membership as a citizen in the American nation-state may not act as a tool of integration and equality, but rather as a form of subordination. By rejecting traditional conceptions of citizenship as an ideal that noncitizens pursue, Cuison-Villazor proposes alternative methods of belonging to the United States – methods that move away from the current paths to becoming a citizen towards those where the rights and privileges of citizenship are extended to others, including noncitizens. Indeed, understanding why many might reject citizenship paves the way to understanding and creating more just models of national belonging. (Sonali Ravi for the Immigrant Learning Center’s Public Education Institute)


“By Accident of Birth”: The Battle over Birthright Citizenship after United States v. Wong Kim Ark,
Yale Journal of Law and the Humanities, November 26, 2021, 65 pp.
Author: Amanda Frost

In theory, birthright citizenship has been well established in U.S. law since 1898, when the Supreme Court held in United States v. Wong Kim Ark that all persons born on U.S. soil are U.S. citizens. However, this study shows how Chinese-Americans were challenged, and often blocked from citizenship in the years that followed. The U.S. government reacted to its loss in Wong’s case at first by refusing to accept the rule of birthright citizenship, and then by creating onerous proof-of-citizenship requirements that obstructed recognition of birthright citizenship for certain ethnic groups. Among those most affected by this discriminatory policy were the children of Chinese-American citizens, who under U.S. law were entitled to citizenship as immediate relatives of U.S. citizens. The ban against Chinese immigration, however, also created a cottage industry of fraudulent claims of citizenship. The result was a system in which fraudulent claimants competed with legitimate ones, all in a battle with immigration officials seeking to keep the Chinese out of the United States.


Making Citizenship an Organizing Principle of the US Immigration System
Center for Migration Studies, June 2021, 41 pp.
Authors: Donald Kerwin et al

This paper proposes that the United States treat naturalization not as the culmination of a long and uncertain individual process, but as an organizing principle of the entire US immigration system and its expectation for new Americans. The authors examine two main ways that the Biden-Harris administration’s immigration agenda can be realized – by expanding access to permanent residence and by increasing naturalization numbers and rates. First, the paper proposes administrative and, to a lesser degree, legislative measures that would expand the pool of eligible-to-naturalize immigrants. Second, it identifies three underlying factors – financial resources, English language proficiency, and education – that strongly influence naturalization rates. It argues that these factors must be addressed, in large part, outside of and prior to the naturalization process. In addition, it provides detailed estimates of populations with large eligible-to-naturalize numbers, populations that naturalize at low rates, and populations with increasing naturalization rates. It argues that the administration’s immigration strategy should prioritize all three groups for naturalization promotion and assistance.

Unequal Access: Wealth as Barrier and Accelerator to Citizenship,
Citizenship Studies, June 28, 2021, 68 pp.
Author: Ayelet Shachar

Despite governments around the world strengthening physical, symbolic, and material boundaries to restrict access to their territories and complicate naturalization, high net worth individuals often do not experience these barriers, as capital often serves as a “golden passport to citizenship.” Scholar Ayelet Shachar’s article “Unequal access: wealth as barrier and accelerator to citizenship”, combines insights from the history of citizenship with contemporary legal analysis to explore the role of wealth as both an accelerator and a barrier to citizenship. Shachar notes how sorting strategies of restrictive closure and selective openness which depend on “varieties of affluence” (including income, wealth, equity, credit, etc.) influence individuals’ possibilities for entry, settlement, and naturalization. Shachar conceptually links this wealth-based admission strategy to older, exclusionary systems in which individuals had to own property (land, resources, or in relation to their ‘dependents’ like women, slaves, and children) to qualify for citizenship. Shachar points out the political and social struggles that it took to undo such ancient models and replace them with systems of political membership prioritizing equality above all else, thus, asking if we will continue to deny citizenship to individuals who cannot afford it. (Erika Hernandez for The Immigrant Learning Center’s Public Education Institute)

Naturalization and Citizenship: Who Benefits?
IZA World of Labor, April 2020, 10 pp.
Authors: Cristina Gathmann & Ole Monscheuer

This review of the literature by IZA World of Labor finds that citizenship among immigrants in Europe improves their economic and social integration. Gains were greatest among naturalized immigrants from poorer countries who experienced a substantial increase in wages. Naturalized immigrant women also fared well, often entering into sectors of the economy with higher paying salaries following naturalization. The authors state that policy analysis is needed for country-specific case studies to determine whether the benefits of citizenship are a main driver in increasing economic and social integration or if certain categories of immigrants are better positioned for success in the labor market. For instance, naturalized U.S. citizens tend to have higher education levels and earning potential than non-naturalized U.S. citizens. The wages of naturalized men in the U.S. grew 25 percent more relative to non-naturalized immigrants over a period of 10 years. To what extent did education levels contribute to these wage gains, as opposed to citizen status? Based on existing evidence, the article concludes that citizenship substantially benefits immigrants in the labor market and, as such, liberal naturalization laws allow for immigrants to better integrate into the economy and society, benefitting both the immigrant and host country. (Mia Fasano for The Immigrant Learning Center’s Public Education Institute)  

The Seeds of Ideology: Historical Immigration and Political Preferences in the United States,
Harvard Business School, Working Paper 20-118, May 2020, 44 pp. + appendices
Authors: Paola Giuliano & Marco Tabellin

Can the history of earlier immigration to the U.S. affect the politics of today? The “assimilation” debate of today shows little change in the long-held positions among immigration restrictionists, who argue that immigrants’ failure to assimilate is a danger to the American way of life. However, the authors of The Seeds of Ideology: Historical Immigration and Political Preferences in the United States argue that current residents of U.S. counties with a higher proportion of immigrants who were exposed to welfare state reforms in Europe prior to their arrival between 1910 and 1930 have influenced the political landscape through their support of more liberal ideological positions, such as redistribution of wealth. So, while studies on short-run political effects of immigration show a negative association with natives’ preferences for redistribution, the less-studied, long-run impact on American ideology shows an enduring effect of home-country ideology. Published by the Harvard Business School, the report utilizes census data and the Cooperative Congressional Election Study to show that the long-term presence of immigrants leads to higher social cohesion and a generally stronger desire for generous government spending. While many studies have argued that earlier waves of immigrants have influenced American culture in areas of music and cuisine, the authors believe that their study is “the first to systematically document a similar impact on economic preferences and on political ideology.” For example, residents of counties at the 75th percentile of the historical immigrant share are 5.2 percent more likely to support welfare spending than individuals in counties at the 25th percentile. The authors highlight that assimilation is not a one-way street, but rather that immigrants’ convergence toward the new culture can be accompanied by their value transmissions to natives, thus fostering a more open and “complex” society. (Jasmina Popaja for The Immigrant Learning Center)

A Rockier Road to U.S. Citizenship? Findings of a Survey on Changing Naturalization Procedures,
Migration Policy Institute, July 2020, 32 pp.
Authors: Randy Capps & Carlos Echeverría-Estrada

In September 2019, the Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) administered a survey of immigrant service providers participating in the New Americans Campaign. The ILRC wanted to understand changes that these providers were observing in the naturalization process in the 18 to 24 months prior to the survey. The Migration Policy Institute analyzed the survey responses, and issued this report. The report discusses naturalization application details that are receiving more scrutiny, the form the additional scrutiny is taking, and how widespread the changes in the naturalization process have been. Service providers reported seeing more scrutiny regarding marriage and child support, tax compliance, continuous U.S. residency, good moral character, the content of earlier green card and asylum applications, and more. The additional scrutiny, the report found, was widespread. For example, of the 52 USCIS field offices included in this survey, adjudicators in 27 of the offices required more information about marriage and child support. The additional scrutiny came in the form of longer interviews, more requests for evidence, and questions that came after the interview. All of this extra scrutiny created additional work for clients, their representatives, and the adjudicators — slowing down the naturalization process. For all the additional work (which might be justified if significant fraud were found), the application approval rate has changed little over the last several years, raising questions about the value of the additional vetting. The authors expressed concern that these new hurdles combined with the significant increase in application fees scheduled to go into effect soon, will discourage many eligible immigrants from attempting to become U.S. citizens. (Maurice Belanger, Maurice Belanger Associates)

On Eve of 2020 Census, Many People in Hard-to-Count Groups Remain Concerned about Participating,
Urban Institute, February 2020, 17 pp.
Authors:  Michael Karpman et al

Even though the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Trump administration’s effort to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census, this abortive effort has sown great confusion across the country. Drawing on data from the December 2019 “Well-Being and Basic Needs Survey,” this report from the Urban Institute finds that although three-quarters of nonelderly adults report that they will participate in the 2020 Census, individual self-reported intent to participate is lower among 18-34 year-olds, those living with children, nonwhites, families with noncitizens, and/or high-poverty communities.  Nearly one-third of nonelderly adults are extremely or very concerned about who will have access to their Census responses, and how they will be used.  This sentiment is shared by 40 percent of nonwhite and Hispanic adults and adults in immigrant families. The survey found that nearly 70 percent of adults hold the mistaken belief that the Census will ask about citizenship status, and immigrant families believe the data will be used to find and deport people without documentation.  Other historically hard-to-count groups, including families with young children and young adults, have low self-reported intentions to participate, while the lowest recorded intent is found in high-poverty communities. Congressional redistricting and the distribution of federal funds to the states all draw on Census data, and federal law prohibits sharing identifiable information with other agencies, but mistaken beliefs and lack of information about 2020 Census data will likely limit participation by people who might stand to gain from future policy changes. (
Samantha Jones for The Immigrant Learning Center’s Public Education Institute)

Putting Americans First: A Statistical Case for Encouraging Rather than Impeding and Devaluing US Citizenship,
Journal on Migration and Human Security, December 11, 2019, 15 pp.
Authors: Donald Kerwin & Robert Warren

This paper provides statistical evidence showing that as immigrants proceed through statuses from undocumented to citizenship, their income, educational levels, homeownership rates and other metrics of integration come to equal or exceed the native-born. The authors argue that it is in the interests of the U.S. to encourage full citizenship. The Trump administration, however, is discouraging this progression, by implementing policies that: make it difficult or impossible for the undocumented to adjust status; create barriers to legal immigration, such as the president’s “proclamation” that prospective immigrants be covered by health insurance within 30 days of entry; and slow the processing of a range of immigration benefits while raising fees and making it more difficult to obtain a fee waiver. Going beyond that, the authors argue that the Trump administration is devaluing citizenship for native-born children of immigrants in mixed-status families, some of whom may be forced to leave the U.S. with a parent who has been deported. The administration is also making citizenship less secure with a major effort to review the files of 700,000 naturalized immigrants for possible fraud or mistakes in the application process. The authors conclude with a set of recommendations for the administration and Congress to encourage, rather than discourage, the integration and citizenship of immigrants in the U.S. (
Maurice Belanger, Maurice Belanger Consulting)

Naturalized Citizens Make Up Record One-in-Ten U.S. Eligible Voters in 2010,
Pew Research Center, February 26, 2020, 28 pp.
Authors: Abby Budiman et al

The number of immigrant voters in the U.S. has increased significantly over the past 20 years making the electorate the most diverse it has ever been. This report from the Pew Research Center uses data from the Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS) to paint a detailed picture of these voters. The report finds that 23 million immigrant voters will be eligible to vote in the 2020 presidential election, comprising nearly 10 percent of the overall electorate. Eligible immigrant voters grew by 93 percent compared to an 18 percent growth rate of U.S.-born eligible voters. The majority of eligible immigrant voters are Hispanic or Asian, followed by white and then black immigrants, but voter turnout among these groups is in the reverse order, with black immigrants being most likely to cast a ballot and Hispanic voters being least likely. The report gives a demographic overview of these new voters as well as their geographic distribution. Finally, the report notes that while eligible immigrant voter turnout has lagged behind U.S.-born voter turnout rates, there is the potential for eligible immigrant voters to gain a new role in the 2020 U.S. presidential election. (Samantha Jones for The Immigrant Learning Center’s Public Education Institute)

Do immigrants assimilate more slowly today than in the past?
American Economic Review: Insights (Forthcoming), originally published as NBER Working Paper 22381 (July 2016), 22 pp.
Authors: Ron Abramitzky et al

The authors claim to provide the first quantitative comparison of the cultural assimilation of past and present immigrants by examining the names that first-generation immigrants give to their children as they spend time in the US. Given that names have both cultural significance and are independently chosen, they are a good measure of immigrants' intentions in weighing cultural heritage and concerns about broader assimilation in the US. The data demonstrate that the rate of name-based assimilation is similar between past and present waves of immigration. The authors also cite research to show that second generation immigrants have similar fertility rates, labor force participation and political preferences to children of US-born parents. The implications of the findings reinforce the idea that immigrants coming to the US work hard to assimilate at comparable rates to previous generations. In the past, worries over assimilation led to the first strict immigration quotas of the 1920's. The authors suggest that these concerns, and policies which come from them, may be misguided given the evidence available. (Julianne Weis, Ph.D)

Aspiring Americans Thrown Out in the Cold: The Discriminatory Use of False Testimony Allegations to Deny Naturalization,
UCLA Law Review, 66:1078 (November 1, 2019), 1078-1138
Author: Nermeen Arastu

According to the author of this report, Immigration courts have used the statuory requirement of “good moral character” in a discriminatory manner to deny applications for naturalization. “Aspiring Americans Thrown out in the Cold: The Discriminatory Use of False Testimony Allegations to Deny Naturalization” chronicles the ways in which the “good moral character” clause has been used to deny citizenship applications on unsubstantiated grounds. Researchers have noticed irregularities in the frequency in which applicants are accused of providing “false testimony,” which leads to a rejection of applicants on grounds of “immoral” character. “False testimony” typically amounts to an inconsistency in an applicant’s interview statements and other open source material available to reviewers. Examples of false testimony can include inconsistent dates of trips taken or information on donations made.  Author Nermeen Arastu reviewed 158 cases that cite the false testimony clause as the reason for denying naturalization. Prior to September 11, 2001, only 28 cases discuss false testimony while 130 did so after that date. Of the 130 cases, 46 percent include applicants from Muslim-majority nations even though they make up only 12 percent of all naturalization applications. The author notes that the Supreme Court has sought to create limitations on the potentially “draconian” results of this clause, however it continues to be overused by USCIS. (Patrick Bloniasz for The Immigrant Learning Center)

Impeding or Accelerating Assimilation? Immigration Enforcement and its Impact on Naturalization Patterns,
Centre for Research & Analysis of Migration, University College London, 2018,
56 pp.
Authors: Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes & Mary J. Lopez

The decision to become a citizen is influenced by many factors including cost, personal circumstances, and immigration policy. One of the policies that has changed in recent years is increased interior immigration enforcement. In this report, researchers at the Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration in the Department of Economics at University College London used the American Community Survey and local and state-level data on immigration enforcement to determine whether this particular policy has aided or impeded the naturalization of eligible legal permanent residents (LPRs). In 2016, about 8.8 million LPRs were eligible to naturalize, but only 716,457 individuals a year on average applied for citizenship. Citizenship offers stability, freedom from deportation, economic benefits and social connection to the U.S. as well as the right to vote, access to government benefits and ability to provide visa sponsorship for immediate family members. Using a multiple regression model to analyze the impact that institutional factors such as the prevalence of immigration enforcement in the area have upon naturalization rates, the authors find that enforcement increases LPRs’ propensity to naturalize and accelerates their naturalization, possibly in response to increased uncertainty about future immigration policy. However, the study also finds that eligible-to-naturalize immigrants living in mixed-status households with at least one undocumented member, of which there are 2.6 million, are less likely to naturalize (or more likely to delay their status adjustment), possibly out of fear of contact with immigration officials. The authors find this impact of increased enforcement especially worrisome, as these individuals are predominantly Hispanic and tend to fall on the lower end of the economic scale. 

Alienating Citizens
Northwestern University Law Review, 241 (2019), 27 pp.
Author: Amanda Frost

This essay describes the Trump administration’s efforts to strip citizenship from thousands of naturalized immigrants. The author obtained information about the administration’s efforts from Freedom of Information Act requests, legal filings, and interviews. The author places the administration’s efforts in the context of how denaturalization has been used in the past and how it fits in with the Trump administration’s overall enforcement efforts. Between 1990 and 2017, a total of 305 denaturalization cases were filed by the government. The Trump administration plans to examine the cases of 700,000 naturalized immigrants. Having opened a separate office for this purpose, the government is hiring dozens of lawyers and staff to focus on this effort. Thus far, more than 2,500 cases have been flagged for review, and 95 referred to the Justice Department for prosecution. A July 2017 bulletin from the Justice Department to U.S. Attorneys makes clear that the pursuit of denaturalization against an individual will not depend on whether or not that individual poses a security threat. U.S. attorneys are urged to pursue civil denaturalization, rather than criminal denaturalization, because civil denaturalization can be obtained based on conduct that may not amount to a crime Moreover, there is no statute of limitations for civil denaturalization, and a civil case avoids many of the due process protections afforded individuals in criminal cases. The author notes that, in addition to its crackdown on illegal immigration, the administration has also tried to discourage legal immigration by making it much harder to get through the process. With its denaturalization campaign, the author writes, the administration means “to send the message that no immigrant in the United States will ever be secure.” (Maurice Belanger, Maurice Belanger Consulting)

Citizenship Delayed: Civil Rights and Voting Implications of the Backlog in Citizenship and Naturalization Applications,
Colorado state Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights,
September 2019, 45 pp.

This report from the Colorado State Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights examines the large backlog of immigration applications at the Denver Field Office of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service. The Denver Office’s backlog, while among the largest in the nation, is consistent with an overall national backlog, and so the study addresses both local and national issues. The commission consulted immigration advocates, attorneys, academics, and current officials and held an open session with public comment. While making no findings of intention to discriminate or cause disparate outcomes, this study concludes that policies and practices that have increased scrutiny of applications, insufficient response to predictable changes in the submission of applications, inefficiency within the agency, and inadequate resources and funding have all contributed to the backlog. The report also concludes that that the backlog is having important implications for voting rights, civil rights, and the administration of justice. Processing delays suppress the vote by unreasonably delaying citizenship status for otherwise eligible voters, violate the Administrative Procedure Act, and limit employment opportunities for work-authorized immigrants. The study makes suggestions for how applicants might obtain relief through the justice system. Finally, it makes several recommendations for action at various levels of government, including streamlining the adjudication process, working toward better prediction models for application submissions, providing better transparency, increasing Congressional oversight of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service’s operations, and appropriating temporary funding to eliminate the current backlog. (Karen D. Caplan, Ph.D., Rutgers University -- Newark)

‘Descended from Immigrants and Revolutionists’:  How Family Immigration History Shapes Representation in Congress,
Harvard Kennedy School, Faculty Research Working Paper, September 2019, 46 pp. + appendices
Authors:  James Feigenbaum et al

Does recent immigrant lineage influence the legislative behavior of members of Congress on immigration policy? “Descended from Immigrants and Revolutionists: How Family Immigration History Shapes Representation in Congress,” published by the Harvard Kennedy School, examines the ways that family histories of immigration impact lawmakers in comparison to other factors. The paper explores the relationship between the immigrant background of legislators (i.e., their generational distance from immigration) and legislative behavior, focusing on roll-call votes for landmark immigration legislation (specifically the landmark 1924 and 1965 immigration acts) and congressional speech on the floor. Legislators more proximate to the immigrant experience tend to support more permissive immigration legislation. Legislators with recent immigration backgrounds also speak more often about immigration in Congress, though the size of immigrant constituencies in their districts accounts for a larger share of this effect. A regression discontinuity design on close elections, which addresses selection bias concerns and holds district composition constant, confirms that legislators with recent immigrant backgrounds tend to support pro-immigration legislation. Finally, the paper demonstrates how a common immigrant identity can break down along narrower ethnic lines in cases where restrictive legislation targets specific places of origin. The findings illustrate the important role of immigrant identity in legislative behavior and help illuminate the legislative dynamics of present-day immigration policy.

Noncitizens in the U.S. Military:  Navigating National Security Concerns and Recruitment Needs,
Migration Policy Institute, May 2019, 23 pp.
Authors:  Muzaffar Chishti et al

In what capacity have non-citizens served in the U.S. military in the past? What are the critical skills they bring to the military today? What steps can be taken to facilitate their enlistment and deployment without compromising national security?  These are some of the questions addressed in this report from the Migration Policy Institute.  The backdrop to this report are measures undertaken by the Department of Defense (DOD) since 2016 to strengthen the vetting of non-citizens – measures which have greatly reduced the number of non-citizens serving in the military. The report closely examines the MAVNI (Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest) Program, which has recruited more than 10,400 noncitizens since its creation in 2008. Most MAVNI recruits have qualified for the program based on their ability to speak one of 50 critical languages sought by the DOD. Once enlisted, MAVNI recruits follow an expedited naturalization pathway. Security actions taken by the Trump administration, in response to reports of security breaches in the program, have effectively suspended the MAVNI program. MAVNI enlistees must now pass four different background checks, including the same “Tier 5” investigation required for Top Secret security clearances.  In the current environment in which recruitment goals for the military are not being met and where the DOD has to spend enormous sums of money to purchase interpreting services from outside contractors, the authors believe that these measures are extreme and unnecessary. The authors argue that a proper balance is not being struck between implementing legitimate security measures and continuing to recruit from a rich noncitizen talent pool. The report concludes with a number of recommendations, including opening up the MAVNI program to those with computer skills and allowing MAVNI recruits to do basic training while their security clearances are being processed.

Understanding the Catalysts for Citizenship Application: User Research on Those Eligible to Naturalize,
New America, May 2019, 113 pp.
Authors: Ralph Majma et al

This research seeks to gain greater understanding of the practical variables that influence decisions to naturalize. While advocates have expended much effort to promote and facilitate naturalization, including publicizing the benefits of naturalization, they have focused less attention on the “catalysts” that transform inertia into action. Immigrants, for example, may recognize the right to vote as a benefit of naturalization but not see this benefit as a strong enough incentive to apply for citizenship.  As the number of permanent residents eligible to apply for naturalization (currently 8.5 million) appears to be growing, not shrinking, understanding motivational dynamics may translate into greater programmatic effectiveness. The research team for this study employed multiple qualitative methods to dig deeper into these motivational questions, including conducting 63 directed interviews, speaking with over 20 subject matter experts, conducting 117 in-person surveys, and completing 22 testing sessions. Their approach produced 8 key findings and six recommendations for local, state, and federal government bodies. One key finding is that practical urgency often drives the decision to naturalize, including pressure from younger family members and the convenience of traveling with an American passport.  One recommendation is that states and cities should utilize “existing touchpoints,” such as DMV offices and healthcare facilities to promote naturalization.

The Revival of Denaturalisation under the Trump Administration,
Globalcit, January 29, 2019, 4 pp.
Author: Amanda Frost

This paper probes the Trump Administration’s decision to dramatically scrutinize past grants of naturalization and to pursue denaturalization as a policy priority. The 1967 Supreme Court case in Afroyim vs. Rusk restricted the government’s ability to revoke citizenship to exigent circumstances, such as when individuals lie about participation in human rights atrocities in their countries of origin. Prior to 1967, on the other hand, it was common for citizens to be denaturalized under broad national security and foreign policy concerns (22,000 immigrants lost their citizenship from 1907 to 1967). As a result of this landmark decision, there were only 150 cases of denaturalization between 1968 and 2013. However, since President Trump took office, his administration has announced its intention to reexamine more than 700,000 grants of naturalization for “fraud” or “misrepresentation.” Because these cases are processed as civil proceedings, the standard of proof is lower and there is no mandated, court-approved attorney to defend accused individuals. Naturalization forms contain broadly worded questions that may incriminate applicants who unintentionally give inaccurate information on their applications. As such, there could be a presumption of guilt or misrepresentation of facts for some individuals who have secured their citizenship. The author contends that the revival of the threat of denaturalization is an attempt by the administration to discourage new migrants from coming to the U.S. and only serves to instill fear among naturalized citizens of losing their right to remain in the United States. (Mia Fasano for the Immigrant Learning Center's Public Education Institute)

Paths to Citizenship:  Using Data to Understand and Promote Naturalization,
USC Dornsife, Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration, January 2019, 37 pp.
Authors: Thai V. Le et al

In Paths to Citizenship, the authors offer a data-driven approach to encouraging naturalization. Understanding the characteristics most associated with naturalized citizens can aid public and private organizations to best direct resources in ways to boost naturalization rates. The authors utilize data from the 2012-2016 American Community Survey and the 2014 Survey of Income and Program Participation to generate estimates of who is eligible and who is likely to naturalize. Results indicate that the strongest predictors of naturalization are English fluency and educational attainment (adults with high levels of fluency and education are more likely to naturalize than those without). An inhibiting factor is membership in a mixed status family (an otherwise eligible person is less likely to naturalize if a family member is undocumented). The authors find that providing language instruction and education are two ways in which to encourage naturalization, as is ensuring immigrants of their safety and security. Place-based characteristics, such as red state/blue state voting patterns, state unemployment rates, and ethnicity, also play an important role in determining naturalization rates. The authors also assign low, medium, and high probabilities of naturalization to individuals displaying a range of demographic characteristics. The report highlights the naturalization services of organizations across the country and offers a helpful interactive mapping tool that identifies how eligible adults with different probabilities of naturalization are geographically distributed at state, congressional and local levels. The question of encouraging naturalization in immigrant communities does not have a one-size-fits-all answer, but the analysis and recommendations offered in this work can help target efforts and resources to best encourage naturalization. (Sam Jones for The Immigrant Learning Center's Public Education Institute)

Citizenship and the Census,
Loyola Law School, Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2018-33, 51 pp.
Author: Justin Levitt

In March 2018, the U.S. Census Bureau announced that it would include a question on the 2020 decennial Census to determine the citizenship status of the U.S. population. The article “Citizenship and the Census” discusses the importance of the Census, the methodology behind the development of new or modified census questions, and the effect that a citizenship question may have on the ability to accurately count the population of the United States. The Census is a constitutionally mandated tool to determine the allocation of representation and taxation. Therefore, if Census data is skewed, valuable political decisions and funding would be unfairly altered. According to the author, including a question about immigration status may cause many individuals to provide inaccurate responses or refuse to respond entirely, particularly in a political climate in which immigrant communities harbor deep fears of government officials. The author also argues that the decision to include a question regarding citizenship without ample research on response rates marks a substantial departure from standard operating procedure for the Census Bureau and could have far-reaching negative effects. One of these effects would be to hamper enforcement of violations under the Voting Rights Act if there is a substantial undercount of minority voters. In fact, based on court filings on this issue, the author suggests the motivations behind this proposed change may be more insidious: “a desire to fundamentally rewrite the terms of American representation.” For all these reasons, the author concludes that adding such a question is “both unnecessary and counterproductive” to the main goals of the Census. (Mia Fasano for The Immigrant Learning Center's Public Education Institute)


(Un)Civil Denaturalization,
Case Western Reserve University, Case Research Paper Series in Legal Studies, August 2018,
66 pp.
Authors: Cassandra Burke Robertson & Irina D. Manta

Until six years ago, denaturalization (the revocation of citizenship granted to qualified immigrants) was exceedingly rare in the United States, most often used in connection with the prosecution of Nazi war criminals. Starting in the Obama Administration, the government began proceedings against individuals who had obtained their citizenship in a fraudulent manner, either by concealing information or misrepresenting themselves on their applications. The Trump Administration has ramped up this effort. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has requested funding to institute a task force aimed at bringing more civil and criminal actions against individuals who were allegedly unqualified to obtain citizenship. The program has so far identified 887 potential leads, and expects to review another 700,000 naturalized citizens' files, to see if there are grounds for potential denaturalization. The authors of this essay question the wisdom and constitutionality of this program.  "Stripping political rights without adequate procedural safeguards destabilizes the very concept of citizenship by sending the message that naturalized citizens may never be an integral part of the polity. It also upends the fundamental principle of the United States' founding: that the state has only the power delegated to it by its citizens, and has no power to take that citizenship away.  If naturalized citizens cannot feel secure in their substantive and procedural rights, natural-born citizens (and especially those considered undesirable by the government for any reason) may not be far behind in losing theirs."

The Political Impact of Immigration: Evidence from the United States,
CATO Institute Research Brief, September 12, 2018, 3 pp.
Authors: Anna Maria Mayda & Giovanni Peri

This brief is based on research appearing in an earlier NBER working paper. The authors seek to explore the connection between immigration and electoral outcomes in the United States -- a topic that they say has been neglected by researchers. Looking at the results of federal and local elections over a 20-year period from 1990 to 2010, in conjunction with relevant economic and demographic data, they arrive at several surprising conclusions. Their “strongest and most significant” finding is that an increase in the percentage of high-skilled, i.e. college-educated, immigrants in the local population leads to a decrease in support for the Republican Party.  Conversely, the higher the low-skilled, i.e. non-college educated, immigrant population as a share of the population, the higher the vote share of the Republican Party. These results are magnified in nonurban areas with weak economies. The authors also challenge the conventional wisdom that the voting habits of newly naturalized immigrants account for the strength of the Democratic Party in certain states and localities. “A closer look suggests that the main impact of immigration on voting outcomes is from the skill level of immigrants – which affects the voting behavior of existing voters – and not from how naturalized immigrants vote.” The authors speculate that high-skilled immigrants benefit local economies through the “complementarity” of their labor market effects and through positive fiscal transfers. 

The Marketization of Citizenship in an Age of Restrictionism,
Ethics and International Affairs, March 9, 2018, 12 pp.
Author:  Ayelet Shachar

In today’s restrictionist era, a growing number of countries are closing their gates of admission to most categories of would-be immigrants with one important exception: governments are seeking to lure and attract “high value” migrants, especially those with access to large sums of capital. These individuals are offered golden visa programs that lead to fast-tracked naturalization in exchange for a hefty investment, in some cases without inhabiting or even setting foot in the passport-issuing country to which they now officially belong. In the U.S. context, the contrast between the “Dreamers” and “Parachuters” helps to draw out this distinction between civic ties and credit lines as competing bases for membership acquisition. Drawing attention to these seldom-discussed citizenship-for-sale practices, this essay highlights their global surge and critically evaluates the legal, normative, and distributional quandaries they raise. The author further argues that purchased membership goods cannot replicate or substitute the meaningful links to a political community that make citizenship valuable and worth upholding in the first place (Author provided abstract).

Letter Report on the 2020 Census,
National Academies of Science, Task Force on the 2020 Census, August 7, 2018, 22 pp.

Established in 1972, the Committee on National Statistics (CNSTAT) of the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, has provided expert advice to the Congress and the U.S. department of Commerce on the methods used in conducting the decennial census since 1980. CNSTAT has been instrumental in guiding the government in developing and testing innovations in data-gathering, including the replacement of the “long-form sample” with the American Community Survey (ACS) and the publication of regular editions of its Principles and Practices for a Federal Statistical Agency, which identifies the standards to be followed in ensuring that government agencies produce useful data that is objective and non-partisan. In this letter to the Department of Commerce, a Task Force of CNSTAT lays out its objection to the inclusion of a citizenship question in the 2020 census. Among the arguments given by the Task Force are the following: The ACS already meets the stated need for citizenship data; adding the citizenship question without proper testing will impair the quality of the 2020 census as a whole; and using the responses to the citizenship question to create a new “population register” for law enforcement purposes would violate the census legislative mandate to produce purely statistical data.

Tearing Down the Second Wall:  Ending USCIS’s Backlog of Citizenship Applications and Expanding Access to Naturalization for Immigrants:  Third Addendum to Second Wall Report,
National Partnership for New Americans, July 2018, 10 pp. + appendices
Author: Diego Iñiguez-López

The National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA) released a third addendum to its Building a Second Wall report, which documents the growing backlog of naturalization applications since the start of the Trump presidency. The author suggests this backlog may be a “critical tool in the Trump administration’s attacks on immigrant communities” -- a tool designed to delay or deny citizenship to eligible immigrants. According to the latest USCIS data, processing time for naturalization applications in the first quarter of FY2018 was upwards of 20 months, resulting in an almost 90 percent increase since December of 2015 in the number of backlogged applications. States with the highest number of backlogged applications were California, Texas, New York and Florida. During this time, the number of applications received decreased nationally by 12 percent, but USCIS processed 27 percent fewer applications. Some states have also seen spikes in denials of applications. In Alabama, for instance, denials increased by 310 percent in the first quarter of FY2018. Lawful permanent residents (LPRs) who have pending naturalization applications continue to be vulnerable to removal, deportation and changing immigration regulations in adjudication procedures. In addition, a new USCIS office was established to expedite stripping some naturalized immigrants of their citizenship, previously an extremely rare occurrence. According to the report, these efforts by USCIS and the Trump administration mark a shift from focusing on granting immigration benefits to reassessing and deporting lawful immigrants. Furthermore, according to the report, the reduced number of LPRs who are becoming naturalized citizens serves as a powerful tool in voter suppression. In response, NPNA and its partners launched a national campaign that seeks to reduce processing time to six months by building a coalition of elected officials to hold USCIS accountable and by continuing to report on this important issue. (Mia Fasano for The Immigrant Learning Center’s Public Education Institute)

Municipal Suffrage, Sanctuary Cities, and the Contested Meaning of Citizenship,
Harvard Law Review Blog, January 19, 2018, 3 pp.
Author:  Kenneth Stahl
Adapted from his forthcoming book The Democratic City: Local Citizenship in the Time of Globalization, this blog post by Kenneth Stahl examines how differing rules regarding suffrage at the local and federal level suggest the existence of different models of citizenship.  For example, while San Francisco, Chicago and a few municipalities in Maryland grant non-citizens the right to vote in certain local elections, these individuals are barred from voting in state and federal elections.  The author suggests residency and a sense of commonly shared interest are at the heart of local understandings of citizenship, in contrast to the federal level which grounds citizenship in birth or lineage. He suggests that cities, open to and dependent upon foreign capital and immigrant workers, have developed this approach in order to survive and prosper in a globalized economy.  Narrowly defining citizenship at the local level may dissuade people and capital from locating in a particular city.  To be competitive, cities must expand opportunities for civic participation to all who reside there.  At the federal level, however, citizenship is connected to territory, and therefore limiting the right to vote can be seen as part of an effort to control a nation's borders.  The author believes these two conceptions of citizenship had historically complemented each other, but that they are now increasingly in conflict.  He also suggests that fluid conceptions of citizenship are alarming to those who are not as mobile as those making choices about which city or country to reside in.  He concludes that competing visions of citizenship and the nature of cities in a globalized economy will continue to be flashpoints for conflict (Erik Jacobson, Montclair State University).

Becoming White:  How Mass Warfare Turned Immigrants into Americans
Social Science Research Network, December 4, 2017, 34 pp.
Author:  Soumyajit Mazumdar
The major thesis of this paper is that the state can play a central role in helping immigrants forge a national identity. The mobilization of millions of men to fight during World War I, many of whom were immigrants, following so soon after a great period of migration, provides an excellent test case. Based on data gathered from the 1930 U.S. Census, Mazumdar investigates the relationship between war service and cultural assimilation. The author posits that individuals from the "social periphery," such as Italians, Jews, and other eastern European immigrants, who served in the military were more likely to assimilate to the nation's "social core." Mobilizing for war facilitates assimilation through contact with individuals from the dominant group, shared experiences and indoctrination of national values. The author measures periphery groups' efforts to assimilate by marriage to U.S.-born spouses, naming conventions and naturalization. He concludes "that on average immigrant veterans of WWI are substantially more likely to assimilate across a wide variety of measures relative to non-veterans." Observing members of periphery groups risk their lives for the nation may help the social core become more accepting of periphery groups because of their sacrifice for the nation. Without core group acceptance, however, assimilation was hindered. German veterans, for example, were less likely to become citizens because of the forced repression of German culture during World War I.  The paper argues that, unlike mass education, mass warfare can reshape social identities. The paper contributes to an ongoing conversation about the ways in which contemporary society can incorporate immigrants into the body politic. (Sakura Tomizawa for The Immigrant Learning Center's Public Education Institute)

Building a Second Wall:  USCIS Backlogs Preventing Immigrants from Becoming Citizens
National Partnership for New Americans, October 27, 2017, 27 pp.
Author: Emily Gelbaum
Green card holders have applied for citizenship in record numbers since 2015. In the last two years, some 2 million immigrants have applied for citizenship. During this same period, backlogs in processing applications have soared from 399,397 to 708,638, leading to wait times of one year or more and creating a "second wall" to citizenship. In this report, Emily Gelbaum from the National Partnership for New Americans points out that this backlog prevents immigrants from accessing the full benefits of U.S. citizenship, including the right to vote. Delays in naturalization also frustrate the historical goal of creating a better-informed citizenry. Studies also show that naturalization has a positive economic impact, improving immigrant income by an average of 10 percent. The delay in naturalization blunts this effect. The author suggests that the naturalization backlogs are a form of disenfranchisement and urges USCIS to dedicate resources to reducing the application processing time to six months. The report also provides state-by-state breakdowns of citizenship applications filed, approvals received, and pending applications over the last two years. (Mia Fasano for the Immigrant Learning Center's Public Education Institute)

Immigrants Assimilate into the Political Mainstream
Cato Institute, January 19, 2017, 16 pp.
Authors:  Alex Nowrasteh & Sam Wilson
Using data from the biennial General Social Survey conducted by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, CATO researchers find that immigrant political opinion, especially for naturalized immigrants and later generations of immigrants, does not differ substantially from native political opinion, both in terms of political party affiliation and views on contemporary political and social issues, such as government spending on welfare or views on marijuana legalization. The one area of major difference pertains to views on immigration policy, and the authors speculate that a relaxation of Republican views on this subject would "attract many of the Republican-identifying immigrants who frequently vote for the Democratic Party." The article concludes with a discussion of possible reasons why naturalization seems to produce "politically and ideologically well assimilated" immigrants.

Non-Citizens Are Not Voting. Here Are the Facts.
New York University, Brennan Center for Justice, February 13, 2007, 3 pp.
Authors: Wendy R. Weister & Douglas Keith
According to this report from New York University's Brennan Center for Justice, an analysis of state prosecution records shows scant evidence of non-citizen voter fraud. The study identifies several reasons as to why non-citizen voting remains low, including the harsh penalties imposed by federal and state voting laws. These penalties include disqualification from naturalization, mandatory listing on a voter fraud registry, incarceration, fines and deportation. Furthermore, most states have vigorous voter-identification standards that often lead to the over-reporting of non-citizen voters. North Carolina demonstrated this phenomenon in their 2016 gubernatorial race when non-citizen votes were reported in over half their counties, but none of the claims could be confirmed following investigation. The report also references a study conducted by two professors at Old Dominion University -- and cited by President Trump to support his claim of widespread non-citizen voter fraud -- which was recently debunked for using too small a sample to reach any kind of valid conclusion. The authors conclude that non-citizen voting is rare, harsh penalties serve as adequate deterrents, and there is no credible data that support claims made regarding large numbers of non-citizen votes. (The Immigrant Learning Center Public Education Institute)

Caught in the Gap Between Status and No-Status:  Lawful Presence Then and Now,
Rutgers Race and the Law Review, 17:1 (2016), 27 pp.
Author: Sara N. Kominers
This study traces the historical development of the "gray area" between immigration status and no-status. "Lawful presence" first emerged with the creation of presidential parole power under the McCarran-Walter Act of 1952. Intended by Congress to apply to individual aliens, presidents have used this authority to admit thousands of refugees during humanitarian crises. Around the same time, deferred action emerged as another available method to confer lawful presence -- but not status. Originally shrouded in secrecy, deferred action gained public attention in litigation surrounding the immigration case of John Lennon, and after the publication of regulations in 1975, became a tool available to the general public. For a time, "lawfully present" persons were deemed eligible for federal benefits like Medicaid, Social Security, and SSI, under the Supreme Court's Berger v. Heckler decision in 1985, which allowed 15 categories of aliens (Persons Residing Under Color of Law or PRUCOL) to access such benefits. According to the author, "permitting PRUCOL individuals to access essential health and disability benefits indicates a recognition of the importance of including these longtime noncitizen residents in the community..." However, this recognition ended with the 1996 immigration laws, which stripped most PRUCOL individuals of such eligibility. Consistent with this hard-line approach, DACA recipients were also denied eligibility for health insurance coverage. The author worries about the spread of "caste-like discrimination," especially as the number of people in this in-between status continues to grow, and urges the courts to "lean toward inclusion rather than exclusion."

Wrongs, Rights and Regularization
Moral Philosophy and Politics 2016, 3:2, 36 pp.
Author: Linda S. Bosniak
In this essay, Rutgers law professor Linda S. Bosniak subjects the concept of immigrant "wrongfulness" in illegal migration to in-depth analysis. The usual "supersession" formula posits that the government's right to limit entry of foreigners can be overridden by a "change of circumstances," such as a period of extended residence and the formation of ties to the new country, that "transforms the original wrong into a non-wrong." In addition, supersession cannot usually happen without good behavior on the part of the immigrant.  Bosniak points out, however, that "there are costs and limitations to the supersession approach" and that it "leaves unquestioned the existing set of rules and policies through which irregular status is produced in the first place." Political theory, however, offers a number of alternative views. One approach is to acknowledge that a wrong was committed but that the "wrong was not the fault of the identified transgressor - either because the transgressor lacked the necessary mental capacity to be attributed with fault," e.g. DACA-eligible immigrants, or "because she or he was acting pursuant to an overriding imperative," e.g. seeking asylum from war and disaster. Another interpretation is that the state somehow forfeits its claim to charge immigrants with wrongdoing by its own "ongoing tacit complicity in the perpetuation of irregular immigration via de facto toleration, inaction, incompetence and overall hypocrisy in management of the border." Bosniak then introduces a new twist into her analysis: what if the destination country had committed some "prior wrong" in the sending country "sufficient to transform the normative calculus?" The history of U.S. intervention in Central America is a good case in point, but "how to conceptually model responsibility for harm in such a multifactorial environment over time is, to put it mildy, an enormously difficult question for ethical theory." Nonetheless, Bosniak sees some legitimacy in the "unapologetic" attitude of some immigrant advocates. The fact that she embraces a "politically contextual, rather than metaphysical understanding of the source of political norms" enables her to sympathize with this point of view.

Naturalization Trends in the United States
Migration Policy Institute, August 10, 2016, 7 pp.
Authors: Jie Zong & Jeanne Batalova
Naturalization is the process by which immigrants gain the benefits, rights and responsibilities that native-born citizens have, including the right to vote. The Migration Policy Institute 2016 report Naturalization Trends in the United States examines the latest U.S. naturalization data including historical trends, countries of origin, eligibility to naturalize, and the socioeconomic characteristics of naturalized citizens. Nearly 8.8 million foreign-born, lawful permanent residents were eligible to naturalize as of January 1, 2012. As of 2014, Mexico was the top country of birth for new naturalized citizens, followed by India, the Philippines and China. More than half of new naturalized citizens live in California, Florida New York and Texas. The median number of years between the beginning of lawful permanent residence and naturalization is seven years. Factors that may alter this timeline include an individual's ability to pay required fees, English proficiency and system backlogs. Using 2014 census data, the report also found that immigrants 25 years of age or older who naturalize are more likely to possess a bachelor's degree than native born citizens. Naturalized citizens also have higher median earnings than noncitizen and native-born individuals and the same rate of homeownership as U.S.-born citizens. (Sophia Mitrokostas for The Immigrant Learning Center Public Education Institute)

How Immigration and Concerns about Cultural Change are Shaping the 2016 Election: Findings from the 2016 PRRI/Brookings Immigration Survey
Public Religion Research Institute, Brookings Institution,
June 3, 2016, 60 pp.
Authors: Robert P. Jones, Daniel Cox, E.J. Dionne Jr., William A. Galston, Betsy Cooper, & Rachel Lienesch
This paper reports on a survey of a large sample of Americans in all 50 states, conducted in the spring of 2016. The survey included questions on the direction of the country, the economy and personal financial well-being; levels of anxiety about terrorism, crime, and unemployment; and opinions on trade and taxation. The survey also asked Americans how they feel about immigration and cultural change, and about the upcoming presidential election. The survey also attempts to measure orientation towards authoritarianism. Regarding immigration and cultural change, the survey asked respondents about their level of comfort with immigrants who don't speak English, perceptions about discrimination against whites and Christians, and attitudes about Islam. The study also asked respondents to describe some traits of immigrants, and whether they think immigrants strengthen the U.S. or take jobs from Americans and drive down wages. There were also a number of questions focused on immigration policy-the perception of the number of deportations in recent years, whether undocumented immigrants should be allowed to stay (most say yes), whether the U.S. should build a wall on the Mexican border (most say no), and whether the U.S. should ban Syrian refugees (most say no again). Responses to this survey are broken out by race and ethnicity, party affiliation, educational attainment, and religious affiliation, providing a rich description of the differences in attitudes that Americans hold on these important issues. (Maurice Belanger, Maurice Belanger Consulting)

Breaking the Barriers: The Promise of Citizenship for Los Angeles County
Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration, University of Southern California, May, 2016, 28 pp.
Authors: Manuel Pastor, Justin Scoggins, Jared Sanchez, & Rhonda Ortiz
In spite of the substantial social and economic benefits of citizenship, 770,000 adults in Los Angeles County are "eligible-to-naturalize" but have not done so. They make up one-third of California's eligible-to-naturalize population and one-tenth of the U.S. total. This report from the University of Southern California's Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration details the barriers to, and benefits of, naturalization, and uses a new method to map and estimate the population of legal permanent residents (LPRs) eligible to naturalize in Los Angeles County.  The report finds that, in addition to obtaining the right to vote and run for public office, LPRs who naturalize realize an earnings gain of at least eight percent, which benefits not only immigrant families but also the U.S.-born through economic spillover effects. While general barriers to naturalization include insufficient English skills and the costs of the citizenship application, the report notes that different immigrant groups struggle with different barriers. The report provides neighborhood-level maps of where the eligible-to-naturalize reside in the county in order to highlight the areas with the greatest need for naturalization assistance services and to improve outreach to particular sub-groups (the researchers were able to disaggregate the data for Mexicans, Central Americans, and Asians). The authors emphasize that Los Angeles County is in an advantageous position for naturalization outreach given its strong infrastructure of immigrant-serving organizations and the development of community partnerships to promote immigrant integration. (Crystal Ye for The Immigrant Learning Center Public Education Institute)

Promoting Citizenship: Assessing the Impacts of the Partial Fee Waiver
Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration, University of Southern California, May, 2016, 11 pp
Authors:  Manuel Pastor & Jared Sanchez
The Obama administration will be adjusting fees for immigration and citizenship benefits in 2016. As part of its new fee structure, the administration is proposing to offer a partial fee waiver for citizenship applications for eligible immigrants who have incomes between 150 and 200 percent of the federal poverty level. (Complete fee waivers are available to those who make less than 150 percent of poverty.)  Using Census data, this report concludes that 1 million immigrants will potentially be eligible for the partial waiver, or 12 percent of all immigrants eligible to naturalize. The report provides charts showing how many are potentially eligible for the partial waiver in each state, and from which countries of origin these immigrants come. It also provides maps showing the location of this population down to the level of Census Public Use Microdata Areas (PUMAs) for the four areas of the country where potential beneficiaries are most concentrated: California, Texas, and New York (Maurice Belanger, Maurice Belanger Consulting)

States of Inclusion: New American Journeys to Elected Office,
The New American Leaders Project, 2016, 26 pp.
Authors: Christian Dyogi Phillips & Sayu Bhojwani
Through a survey of 544 elected officials across the U.S., this report seeks to understand the barriers that keep minorities from running for public office. The current imbalance is quite stark: although non-Whites constitute nearly 40 percent of the American public, state legislators who identify as African American, Asian American, Latina/o, or Native American hold only 14 percent of all seats.  Immigrant first and second-generation Asians and Latina/os are even smaller in number, with fewer than 6 percent of all state legislators coming from these groups.  The researchers report that "the most telling differences between racial groups" occurred in four areas: "legislators' personal backgrounds in their communities, the conditions surrounding their decisions to get on the ballot, their supporters and their challenges during campaigns." For example, Asian Americans and Latina/os were much less likely to envision themselves as state legislators than whites; they often had to be encouraged by others to run.  In addition, community groups and unions played "an outsize role in their success." The report concludes with recommendations in the areas of "recruitment, investment, and reform" to build more inclusive state legislatures.

The US Eligible-to-Naturalize Population: Detailed Social and Economic Characteristics,
Journal on Migration and Human Security, 3: 4 (2015), 23 pp.
Authors: Robert Warren & Donald Kerwin
Naturalization is crucial to fully integrating immigrants into U.S. society, yet from 2006 to 2009 only 69 percent of immigrants who were eligible to be naturalized had done so. In working to increase naturalization rates, policy-makers and practitioners have been hampered by a lack of reliable data on the naturalization-eligible population. In this paper, the authors Robert Warren and Donald Kerwin attempt to resolve this problem using an estimation procedure from the American Community Survey. Their research reveals that 8.6 million U.S. residents were eligible to naturalize in 2013 including 2.7 million Mexican-born immigrants. Looking at the characteristics of these residents, the authors report that a large number of naturalization-eligible immigrants may have difficulty in meeting naturalization requirements or may need intensive support to do so. Reasons for this include a lack of English language skills, which prevents their passing the required English proficiency test, and low income, which makes naturalization fees a financial burden. The authors encourage federal, state, local and non-governmental agencies to reconsider current naturalization policies in light of their data to better focus resources where they are most needed: identifying and supporting specific naturalization-eligible populations to develop sustained increases in naturalization rates. The paper contains charts showing the percentage of legal residents eligible to naturalize by country of origin and state of residence (The Immigrant Learning Center Public Education Institute).

The Economic Impact of Naturalization on Immigrants and Cities,
Urban Institute, December, 2015, 38 pp.
Authors:  Maria E. Enchautegui & Linda Giannarelli
This study estimates the economic effects of naturalization in 21 American cities. Using a methodology designed to isolate the effects of naturalization from other factors such as age, education, years in the United States, and other difficult-to-measure motivational characteristics, the authors calculate that, if all the 1.9 million eligible-to-naturalize immigrants in the 21 cities were to naturalize, total tax revenue (federal, state, and local) would increase by $2 billion and aggregate earnings would increase by $5.7 billion. Moreover, through an in-depth analysis of government benefit programs in New York and San Francisco, the authors suggest that expenditures on government benefits, such as SSI, would actually decline in most localities.  Important data points in the study include: the percentage of the foreign-born in each city eligible to naturalize; naturalization rates, i.e. the ratio of the number of naturalized citizens to the sum of those naturalized and eligible to naturalize; top countries of origin of the eligible-to-naturalize; their socioeconomic characteristics and homeownership rates.  As roughly one-third of naturalization-eligible individuals had incomes below 150 percent of the federal poverty level, the authors suggest that the $680 application fee could be deterring significant numbers of immigrants from applying. Finally, the authors point out that the ultimate extent of the economic benefit from naturalization depends on how many people take advantage of the opportunity to naturalize, raising the question of the availability and effectiveness of programs promoting naturalization

Profiling the Eligible to Naturalize,
Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration & Center for American Progress, November 24, 2014, 10 pp.
Authors: Manuel Pastor, Patrick Oakford & Hared Sanchez
This study suggests that naturalization rates would improve substantially if fee waivers, currently available to those earning below 150 percent of the poverty level, were also available to those earning between 150 percent and 250 percent of the poverty line.  Of the estimated 8.7 million legal permanent residents eligible to naturalize, 1.9 million fall within this income band. The current fee ($595 plus $85 biometric fee) poses a barrier to those of limited means, especially Mexicans who tend to fall on the lower end of the income scale. While Mexican immigrants comprise 29 percent of all adults eligible to naturalize, they comprise 40 percent of all adults eligible to naturalize in the band below 150 percent of the poverty level, 37 percent within the 150 percent to 250 percent poverty band, and only 18 percent in the higher income group. The researchers also examine the income composition of those who have naturalized in recent years and find a “distinct bias toward higher income groups.” They also suggest that the kind of data analysis that they have undertaken in this study would be extremely useful in developing strategies to improve naturalization rates in the United States, with special attention to the plight of the working poor. 

Out of the Shadows, Into the Streets! Transmedia Organizing and the Immigrant Rights Movement,
MIT Press, 2014, 295 pp.
Author: Sasha Costanza-Chock

This study examines the role of "media ecology" in the formation, organization, and development of the immigrant rights movement in the United States. In the foreword, Spanish sociologist Manuel Castells describes the work as "social research at its best." He describes the author as an "engaged academic" with a strong commitment to the cause of immigrant rights who uses his "investigative imagination and theoretical capacity" to produce  "an accurate assessment of the ways and means of the new world in the making." Indeed, at the time of the immigrant rights marches of 2006, the author volunteered his time and talent to strengthen the media capacity of the movement in southern California. In reviewing the achievements and limitations of the immigrant rights movement since that time, the author argues that it is "both dangerous and wrong"  to suggest that "vertically structured movements" are the most effective organizing paradigm. Instead, he cites numerous examples of how "horizontalism" has produced major gains and victories.  He takes to task those funders  who are "pushing movement organizations away from horizontalist organizational logics and away from the norms of network culture." He also cautions, that "digital media technologies cannot somehow be sprinkled on social movements to produce new, improved mobilizations." Each chapter in the book explores a particular episode in the immigrant rights movement from a media perspective. These include: the 2006 protests against the Sensenbrenner bill (H.R. 4437) culminating in the historic "Day Without Immigrants" on May 1, 2006; the "MacArthur Park Melee" in 2007 when police attacked demonstrators in L.A.; the DREAMer movement; and the Silicon Valley FWD.US organization.

The Changing Face of the Nation: How Hispanic and Asian Voters Could Reshape the Electorate in Key States,
Partnership for a New American Economy, October, 2014, 16 pp.

The authors of this study ask: who will replace the baby boomers in the American voting booth? As the older, largely white generation passes on, a major demographic shift will take place as 25.6 million Asian and Hispanic voters succeed them and in the process reshape future U.S. presidential elections. There are more than 13.2 million unregistered Hispanic and Asian voters in the United States, with strong concentrations in key presidential election states like Texas and Florida. By 2020, the study finds, almost 4.2 million additional Hispanic and Asian residents will naturalize and become eligible to vote and nearly 8.2 million Hispanic and Asian citizens will turn 18 years old. If Hispanic and Asian voting patterns from the 2012 presidential election continue into future elections, the study concludes, many Republican states will become competitive or begin to lean Democratic. The study points out that unless the Republican Party alters its position on immigration reform, this demographic shift in favor of the Hispanic and Asian vote could have a detrimental impact on the Party's chances of winning national elections in the future. (Robert S. Smith for The ILC Public Education Institute)

Reconceiving Citizenship: Noncitizen Voting in New York City Municipal Elections as a Case Study in Immigrant Integration and Local Governance
Journal of Migration and Human Security, 223 (August, 2014), 64 pp.
Author: Lauren Gilbert

Despite making initial headway in the New York City Council, a measure to extend the franchise in local elections to qualified non-citizens was blocked in 2013 by the administration of former Mayor Bloomberg out of concern for the measure's constitutionality and feasibility. The introduction of the New York is Home Act in the New York State Legislature in 2014, which would grant state citizenship, including the right to vote in state and local elections, to noncitizens who have lived in New York and paid taxes for at least three years, as well as the decision of the new Mayor of New York Bill De Blasio to make municipal ID cards available to undocumented immigrants, suggests that the question of municipal voting may soon be back on the agenda of the New York City Council. Although some have argued that such a measure would constitute a restoration of noncitizen voting rights in local elections, common during the first century and a half of the nation's history, others, including the author of this article, take a more cautious approach. She begins by providing a review of recent experiments with noncitizen suffrage in other parts of the United States, with special attention to Tacoma Park (MD) and Portland (MA). While agreeing that "powerful reasons exist for allowing New York City to extend the suffrage to noncitizens in municipal elections," the author notes that local officials must ensure that noncitizens do not inadvertently vote in federal elections, and thereby subject themselves to prosecution and possible deportation for violating federal law. The author also looks at the question of whether New York City can act without first securing the permission of the New York State legislature. There is sufficient ambiguity in state law, she points out, to suggest the need for a citywide referendum on the subject. However, such a course of action is a risky proposition and would have to be proceeded by a "well-orchestrated YES campaign."

Citizenship: A Wise Investment for Cities,
USC Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration, The Center for Popular Democracy, and The National Partnership for New Americans, Summer, 2014, 9 pp.
This report "represents the first stage in what will be an ongoing research effort" by Cities for Citizenship (C4C), a collaborative project co-chaired by the mayors of Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York, to promote the naturalization of recent immigrants. Funded by Citi Community Development, C4C will help municipal governments start or develop citizenship programs in other communities.  This report quantifies the economic gains to be realized by cities and regions by using Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York as test cases. Controlling for industry and occupation and assuming that half the eligible population will naturalize over a period of 5 to 10 years, the researchers report that the increased earnings of naturalized immigrants (estimated to be between 8 and 11 percent nationally) "will lead to additional economic activity - or GDP - over ten years of between $2.2 and $4.8 billion in the city of New York, $1.6 and $2.8 billion in Los Angeles, and between $1.2 and $1.8 billion in Chicago." The report concludes with some recommendations for cities interested in using naturalization as an economic development and community-building strategy.

Citizenship Matters: How Children of Immigrants Will Sway the Future of Politics,
Center for American Progress & Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration, July, 2014, 25 pp.
Authors:  Manuel Pastor, Justin Scoggins, Vanessa Carter & Jared Sanchez
The authors of this study assess the long-term political consequences of a failure to pass comprehensive immigration reform. They argue that those who fear that a path to citizenship for the undocumented will be a path to defeat for the Republican Party are misguided in their thinking.  The path to citizenship in the Senate bill would take at least 13 years, allowing both parties time to win over voters-to-be. Polling also indicates that close to 20 percent of undocumented immigrants identify with or lean toward the Republican Party, while 45 percent would be open to voting Republican if the Party played a leadership role in passing immigration reform. But the most compelling political argument for action, according to the authors, is that millions of new citizens, both foreign-born and native-born, are linked to the undocumented both through membership in "mixed status" families and through a shared commitment to immigration reform. Both the citizen children of undocumented immigrants and the citizen children of all immigrants will form a pool of 15.4 million new voters by 2032. The number would rise to 19.3 million if the children of all Hispanic and Asian people are counted. The authors conclude that the failure to pass immigration reform "is likely to entrench a second generation against political actors perceived as holding up immigration reform progress."

Protecting Minority Voters: Our Work is Not Done,
Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, National Commission on Voting Rights (NCVR), 2014, 255 pp.
Report Writer: Tova Wang
After conducting 25 regional or state-based hearings to gauge the extent of voting rights violations in states and communities, the NCVR compiled this report to share its findings. The report concludes that "voting discrimination is a frequent and ongoing problem..."  NCVR faults the Supreme Court for finding the Section 5 preclearance provision of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) of 1965 to be unconstitutional and an "unnecessary vestige of a bygone era."  Section 5 provided for federal screening of all new voting practices in nine states and in parts of six others, where there had been a history of discrimination.  According to the report, "Section 5 in fact was targeting the states with the worst records of recent, repeated voting discrimination..." The report provides background information on the VRA, along with an analysis of how the VRA has been used to block voting discrimination from 1995 to the present.  There were: 171 successful Section 2 lawsuits, 113 Section 5 preclearance denials, and 48 successful lawsuits raising language assistance claims. The report also documents the adverse consequences for minority communities of state laws and practices that restrict or interfere with access to the ballot.

The Latino Electorate by Immigrant Generation: The Rising Influence of Children of Immigrants,
Center for American Progress, June 12, 2014, 9 pp.
Author: Patrick Oakford
The 2012 U.S. presidential election was a turning point in the perception of the power of the Latino vote, according to author Patrick Oakford, who noted that Latinos were credited with helping President Barack Obama's reelection. In his paper "The Latino Electorate by Immigrant Generation: The Rising Influence of Children of Immigrants," Oakford analyzes the Latino electorate to gauge its impact on future elections. Oakford breaks down the Latino electorate into three groups: first-generation immigrants (foreign-born), second-generation immigrants (children of foreign-born immigrants), and third-generation immigrants (children of U.S.-born parents). He finds that immigrants and their children are a growing percentage of the Latino electorate increasing from 49 percent in 1996 to 55 percent in 2012. Second-generation immigrants also are a growing share of the Latino electorate: between the last and the next elections, around 3.3 million Latino citizens will turn 18. Crucially, according to the findings, immigrants and their children are more likely to vote than third-generation immigrants. Consequently, as their share of the electorate increases, Latino voter turn-out is likely to increase. Oakford suggests that this trend has important implications for both the President and the House of Representatives, providing some incentive to deal with policy matters that affect Latinos such as immigration reform.  (Denzil Mohammed, The  Immigrant Learning Center, Public Education Institute)

Latinos and the VRA: A Modern Fix for Modern-Day Discrimination,
MALDEF, NALEO, and NHLA, June, 2014, 17 pp.
Authors: Andrea Senteno & Erin Hustings
In June of 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court in Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder struck down the Section 4(b) coverage formula of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by a five-to-four margin. Almost one-third of all eligible Latino voters in the U.S. live in the states and localities subject to the pre-Shelby coverage formula. Asserting that "voting discrimination against Latinos is obvious, egregious, and far-reaching," the three organizations producing this report urge Congress to pass the bipartisan Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2014. To demonstrate the extent to which Latino voters have been subject to voting rights discrimination both before and after the Shelby decision, the report highlights examples of discriminatory laws and practices that were either outlawed before Shelby or allowed to stand post-Shelby.  The inventory of such laws and practices covers the states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, New York, and Texas.

The New Immigration Contestation: Social Movements and Local Immigration Policy Making in the United States, 2000-2011,
American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 119, No. 4 (January 2014), 51 pp.
Authors:  Justin Peter Steil & Ion Bogdan Vasi
Throughout the past century, the policy debate on immigration has primarily played out on the federal level. However, during the first decade of the 21st century, the debate has also seeped down to the local and state level, with some jurisdictions passing laws designed to drive out undocumented immigrants and other jurisdictions enacting policies to promote the integration of immigrants regardless of their immigration status. The authors of this essay refer to this increase in local immigration policy-making as the "new immigration contestation" and they seek to explain the "mechanisms" and "structural forces" that drive some communities to pursue "proactive" (or pro-immigrant) policies, whereas others take "reactive" (or anti-immigrant) paths. Rather than focusing on political partisanship or local demographic change as the main driving forces, the authors examine the role that local social movements have played in the spread of these policies. Their research covers 96 cities that passed anti-immigrant policies and 97 cities that adopted pro-immigrant policies between 2000 and 2011, including in-depth case studies of the cities of Hazleton (PA) and Fremont (NE) - anti-immigrant --- and Easton (PA) and Grand Island (NE) - pro-immigrant. The researchers conclude that "pro-immigrant local associations matter for the passage of local pro-immigrant ordinances, but anti-immigrant local associations are not significant for the passage of anti-immigrant policies...What is significant for the passage of anti-immigrant policies are local social and demographic changes that local residents or political leaders have framed as threats in ways that mirror the framing by national anti-immigrant organizations."

Performative Citizenship in the Civil Rights and Immigrant Rights Movements,
UC Berkeley Public Law Research Paper,  March 16, 2014, 24 pp.
Author: Kathryn Abrams
In this paper, Kathryn Abrams observes "that the discourse, the strategies, and the specific tactical repertoires of the civil rights movement have become symbols and templates for the immigrant justice movement..." However, there are also "performative dimensions" to both movements that may explain their power and effectiveness. One such dimension is "self-narration, " which rejects the stereotypical notion of how a marginalized or exploited person should interact with the rest of society. As undocumented young people, for example, "come out,"  they "reject the fear, and the resulting posture of hiding, that governmental officials have sought to impose on them through anti-immigrant legislation and enforcement efforts." Another performative dimension is "multifaceted civic engagement," where people model the rights which they seek (and in the case of undocumented immigrants without any legal claim to assert those rights).  The "Know Your Rights" sessions sponsored by the ACLU in conjunction with immigrant rights organizations are one example of this approach. When undocumented young people, i.e. the DREAMers,  knocked on doors in Arizona trying to convince Latino citizens to go to the polls to defeat anti-immigrant state legislators, they were engaged in the democratic process, at the same time that they were trying to get more Latino citizens to the polls. The author concludes that both the civil rights movement and the immigrant rights movement relied on the "alchemy" of claiming rights which may be emergent or precarious as a means of securing their formal recognition."

Should Citizenship be for Sale?
European University Institute, January, 2014, 38 pp.
Editors: Ayelet Shachar & Rainer Baubock
The decision by the government of Malta to offer Maltese and European citizenship to foreigners in exchange for an investment of 1,150,000 Euros has sparked considerable controversy.  In this report, 12 scholars present their views on the subject. They do so by responding to an introductory essay by Ayelet Shachar of the University of Toronto law School, who finds these types of "cash for citizenship" programs to be "deeply problematic and objectionable."   In another essay in the collection, Rainer Bauböck, Co-Director of the European University Institute, reviews the major arguments on both sides of the debate. He comments  "that there is a broader trend toward relinking citizenship acquisition to social class, which manifests itself, on the one hand, in offering citizenship to the rich and, on the other hand, in income and knowledge tests for ordinary naturalizations of foreign residents."

Stepping Up: The Impact of the Newest Immigrant, Asian, and Latino Voters,
Immigration Policy Center, September,  2013, 11 pp
Author: Rob Paral

Across both Democratic and Republican congressional districts, demographics shifts are taking place that will significantly alter the composition of the electorates.  Author Rob Parel points out that young Asian and Latino teenagers coming of age, as well as newly naturalized immigrants, will have a major impact on the profile of newly eligible voters in upcoming elections. Using data from the U.S. Census and the Department of Homeland Security, the paper finds that about 1.4 million newly naturalized citizens and 1.8 million first-time Asian and Latino voters  will participate in each two-year election cycle, and together these groups will constitute 34 percent of all new eligible voters in the 2014 elections alone. Congressional districts across the country but particularly in California, Texas, Florida, Illinois, New York, New Jersey and New Mexico will see substantial increases in the Asian and Latino composition of new voters. As a result, Paral suggests  that representatives must be cognizant of how their decisions today and in the future on matters such as comprehensive immigration reform will impact not only the current electorate but also the electorate in the 2014 and future elections. (Denzil Mohammed)

Why don't they naturalize? Voices from the Dominican Community,
Latino Studies (2013), 11, 3, 27 pp.
Authors: Alan Hyde, Ray A. Mateo, & Bridgit Cusato-Rosa

Through interviews with 34 Dominican "non-naturalizers" in New York and New Jersey, this study seeks to understand why Dominican immigrants have historically naturalized at a low rate. It begins by reviewing the four general theories that have been proposed to explain naturalization rates: first, demographic factors, e.g. age, education levels; second, political administrative theories, i.e., the ease or complexity of naturalization procedures; third, economic incentive theories, i.e. immigrants weighing the costs and benefits of citizenship; and fourth, psychological processes.  Each of these theories has some explanatory value, but the authors are most interested in analyzing the psychological factors at work. They reject the view that "Latin Americans don't naturalize because they think they may not stay." Most Dominicans do not expect to return permanently to their country, and even the "sojourners" have an incentive to naturalize so that they can come and go freely without jeopardizing their permanent resident status. However, there may be problems with the very concept of citizenship. The authors quote Smith and Bakker (2008): "Neither popular nor academic thought in this country has come to terms with the difference between being a land of immigrants and being one node in a postnational network of diasporas." Too many immigrants, the authors contend, experience naturalization as "wrenching assaults on their identity."

State Access to Federal Immigration Data Stirs New Controversy in Debate over Voting Rights,
Migration Policy Institute, September 12, 2013, 7 pp.
Authors: Musaffar Chishti & Faye Hipsman

More and more states are seeking to use the electronic, fee-based program called SAVE (Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements) to purge their voter lists of non-citizens. However, this essay points out several problems with the use of SAVE that undermine its usefulness. Firstly, SAVE was not intended to check voter eligibility; rather it was designed to enable government agencies to determine a person's eligibility for public benefits and licenses. The SAVE program is also unreliable. It checks a person's status by finding his or her Alien Registration Number or naturalization/citizenship number but U.S.-born citizens are not included in the SAVE database. Data entry errors and outdated information also make SAVE unreliable; a person's citizenship status may not be immediately updated to the SAVE system. Furthermore, the authors note that state officials have not made a solid case that combating voter fraud is a compelling public goal. Of the 11.5 eligible voters in Florida, for instance, 207 were found to be non-citizens. Nonetheless, the article points out that more than a dozen more states are seeking to access SAVE, a trend that likely will continue. (Denzil Mohammed)

Lining Up: Ensuring Equal Access to the Right to Vote,
Advancement Project & the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, 2013, 58 pp.
Author: Gilda R. Daniels
Produced by two organizations dedicated to preserving the right to vote for all Americans and written by Gilda R. Daniels, an Associate Professor at the University of Baltimore School of Law, this report chronicles the 2011-2012 "war on voting" against "people of color" and the efforts of the civil rights community, the courts, and voters themselves to push back against this "unprecedented spate of suppressive voting laws."  During this period, at least 180 restrictive voting bills were introduced in 41 states. By October 2012, 16 new laws and two executive actions that were considered restrictive had been adopted in 13 states.  The Co-Director of the Advancement Project described these efforts as the "largest legislative effort to rollback voting rights since the post-reconstruction era." Among the practices under examination in the report are:  restrictive voter ID laws, reductions in early voting, voter purges, and proof of citizenship laws. In addition, the report discusses voter challenges, voter deception and intimidation, the impact of long lines, and the use of provisional ballots.  Rather than encouraging more eligible Americans to vote, these laws and practices, ostensibly for the purpose of rooting out "unfounded claims of voter fraud," act to suppress voting among the 51 million potential voters who are not registered. The report argues that it is imperative  to "build a next-generation voting rights movement" and concludes with a series of recommendations, including:  updating the Voting Rights Act; repeal of restrictive voter ID laws; creating a secure, online voter registration system; and creating early voting opportunities (including weekends and evenings)  in every state.

Report on the Evaluation of the Use of CitizenshipWorks in the New Americans Campaign,
Pro Bono Net & The Immigration Advocates Network, 2013, 39 pp.
Authors: Ken Smith, Kelly Thayer, & Kathy Garwold
The CitizenshipWorks (CW) website ( provides access to a variety of online tools to permit permanent residents to determine their eligibility for citizenship and prepare their applications for citizenship. Pro Bono Net and the Immigration Advocates Network, the principal developers of the website, commissioned this evaluation from The Resource for Great Programs to determine the benefits derived by applicants, advocacy organizations, and legal service providers in using these online tools. Under the auspices of the New Americans Campaign, these tools are being piloted with project partners and legal service organizations in eight cities: Los Angeles and San Jose (CA), Houston and Dallas (TX), Detroit, Miami, New York City, and Charlotte (NC). A major conclusion of the evaluation is that "CW has demonstrated that it can significantly increase efficiency and achieve higher success rates over traditional group processing and individual assistance, offering the potential for dramatically increasing the numbers of immigrants that legal services organizations can serve with existing resources of staff, volunteers, and funding." The report also includes a section discussing major issues and lessons learned during the pilot phase of this project.

Urban Politics and the Assimilation of Immigrant Voters
William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal, 2012, 36 pp.
Author:  Rick Su
What explains the "depressed" or low voter turn-out among naturalized immigrants -- low not only compared to the native-born, but also compared to immigrant groups in earlier periods of American history? According to Rick Su, most scholars focus on the legal and social characteristics of today's immigrants. He instead looks at the political structure of America's cities and finds that there are fewer pay-offs for immigrants in today's "fragmented" city. Indeed, voting may not necessarily be a measure of assimilation, especially if apathy is a characteristic of voters in general.  "If anything, it can be argued that immigrants are assimilating America's newfound political apathy quite well by avoiding any political identification and staying away from the polls."  The bulk of the paper looks at immigrant interaction with local political systems during three periods of American history, which he calls "the machine city, the reform city, and the fragmented city." In the current period, power is diffused to independent authorities and regional entities, leaving fewer resources in the hands of urban administrations. By moving to the suburbs (now where more than half the foreign-born live), "many immigrants have been able to find governments with packages of policies and services that are better suited to their needs in a shorter time and with less effort than through political activism."

Overcoming Citizenship: Six Practical Steps for Overcoming the Hierarchy of Nationality
Rutgers School of Law, Research Paper Series, May 10, 2013, 20 pp.
Author: Alan Hyde
The thesis of this paper, first delivered at a  2012 seminar in Italy, is that the concept of citizenship is antiquated and acts as a means of denying rights to people all over the world. The author argues that, "the justification of inequality is the primary contemporary social function of the concept of citizenship" and adds that "To a future generation, the justification ‘because he is a noncitizen' will problematic and troubling as the non-justification ‘because she is black' or ‘because she is a Jew' or ‘because she is a woman' sound to us." The author traces the origins of the concept to "subject-hood," the claim by absolute rulers to the fealty of all people born in their realms.  Despite the association of birthright citizenship with the 14thamendment to the Constitution, its true origins date back to feudal rulers. "The juridical concept of citizen/subject thus has no necessary association with political liberty or participation." In the modern world, citizenship enables us to divide people in entirely arbitrary ways, whether in the workplace, or in schools. "Citizenship not only divides us one from another. It divides us from ourselves. Citizenship abstracts a legal person from a body." The author suggests a number of ways to challenge the mystique of citizenship, including "treat(ing) ‘citizenship' as a dirty word," strengthening international human rights protections, "disaggregating" rights from citizenship, proliferating multiple citizenships, removing unrealistic tests of citizenship based on "policing cultural identification," and treating  most distinctions between citizens and noncitizens as "literally ‘suspect.'" Finally, the paper analyzes reasons for low rates of citizenship acquisition by immigrants in the United States, compared to countries like Canada and Australia. Using interviews with Dominican immigrants as a data source, the author emphasizes the importance of psychological factors. Too many immigrants perceive naturalization "as a wrenching assault on their identities."

Run Local:  The New American Electorate and the 2013 Municipal Elections
The New American Leaders Project, March 6, 2013,
28 pp.
Authors: Tyler Reny & Sayu Bhojwani
This report argues that "elected officials from APIA, Latino, Arab American, and Caribbean American communities (co-ethnics) are the best leaders for their communities." They bring an understanding of the experience and problems of their communities to governance and have the power to mobilize their communities to participate in the electoral process.  Moreover, local elections are important training grounds and pipelines for leaders interested in advancing to state and federal elective office. The report reviews a number of factors that can either inhibit or facilitate the emergence of "descriptive representation," including the size of electoral districts (at-large seats tend to discriminate against co-ethnic candidates), re-districting that does not "crack" concentrations of ethnic voters, and term limits. Finally, the authors provide a list of 22 cities with large minority populations that are holding elections in 2013 and where there are "exciting possibilities for new American candidates..."

Nurturing Naturalization: Could Lowering the Fee Help?
Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration and National Partnership for New Americans, February 2013, 21 pp.
This report finds that the $680 naturalization fee has become a major barrier to applying for citizenship for many legal permanent residents (LPRs), particularly low-income immigrants, who constitute approximately 52 percent of the eligible population.  The fee has risen dramatically over the past 20 years: from $95 in 1997 to $595 (plus a biometric fee of $85) in 2007. Although earlier studies had suggested that the demand for citizenship services is not very price sensitive, this study draws on new data from the Office of Immigration Statistics and the American Community Survey to show that "fee increases are associated with a dramatic decline in the naturalization of less-educated (and likely lower income) immigrants, an increase in the number of years immigrants wait to become citizens, and a change in the national origin of the naturalizing population, in particular a relative reduction in those who were born in Mexico." The authors note that, despite the emergence of private microloan programs to cover the cost of naturalization, "absolute fee reductions" or a change in the fee structure would better encourage citizenship, which "is good for both the greater society at large and for immigrants themselves."  (Denzil Mohammed)

Rock the (NATURALIZED) Vote,
Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration, University of Southern California, October, 2012, 29 pp.
This paper analyzes the size and voting patterns of the newly naturalized (since 2000) voting age population in the United States. New York and New Jersey lead the country in the proportion of the voting age citizen population who are newly naturalized: 7 percent in both states.  However, significant numbers also exist in swing states such as Florida (6 percent) and Nevada (5.1 percent). The authors suggest that the political leanings of this group "may be critical in a tight electoral season," especially because there is some evidence that the newly naturalized may be more motivated to vote "if they attain citizenship in a time period more charged by political tensions around immigration." An interactive map on the Center's website enables ready retrieval of state and county-level data on the newly naturalized.

Voting Law Changes in 2012,
Brennan Center for Justice, New York University School of Law, 2011, 56 pp.
Since 2011, restrictive voting laws have been passed by state legislatures across the country. Changes include laws requiring voters to show photo identification or provide proof of citizenship; laws curtailing the ability of voters to vote early or via absentee ballot; laws limiting voter registration drives, and laws limiting the rights of those with felony convictions to participate in the electoral process. This study examines each of these strategies in detail and attempts to understand the local political dynamics that produced them. The report estimates that more than 5 million voters could be deterred from voting because of the news laws, many in battleground states for the 2012 presidential election.  According to the authors, restrictive voting laws tend to be highly contested along party lines, with Republicans largely supporting and Democrats largely opposing such laws.  Although proof-of-citizenship laws are often justified as a way of preventing non-citizens from voting, the cumulative effect of restrictive voting laws is to deter voting by college-age youth, minority, low-income, voters with disabilities, and other disenfranchised groups -- leading opponents to argue that the new laws are designed to suppress the Democratic vote.

Bolder Together,
A Report from California Civic Participation Funders, 2012, 12 pp.
A group of 10 California funders interested in social justice issues  -- called the "California Civic Participation Funders" -- joined together in 2010 to promote the ability of grassroots organizations to reach out and engage underrepresented groups of voters. The funders targeted four California counties considered "bellwethers of the state's political future": San Diego, Orange, San Bernardino, and Riverside.  By "stepping out of their issue silos," they were able to pool risk and learn from each other. Unlike other funder collaboratives, these foundations did not create a joint fund, but rather made their own grant decisions. However, they did so "in a highly coordinated way, i.e. with an understanding of the groups' broader goals and objectives, and of how their organizations' investments fit into a bigger puzzle."   This case study discusses the goals and methodology of the collaborative, which remains a work in progress.

Immigrant Integration: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Could Better Assess Its Grant Program,
General Accounting Office (GAO), Report to the Ranking Member, Committee on Homeland Security, House of Representatives, December, 2011, 41 pp.
In response to a request from Congress, this report examines the "extent to which the federal government has programs in place to support and coordinate immigrant integration activities." In order to reduce the study to manageable size, the study focuses on the programs of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), particularly the Citizenship and Integration Grant Program of the Office of Citizenship (OoC), as well as other federal mechanisms to coordinate public and private efforts to promote immigrant integration. The grant program -- OoC's largest single budget activity -- consumed $19.8 million of the $42.6 million available to OoC during the three fiscal years ending in 2011.  The report discusses some of the challenges associated with evaluating the program and recommends that USCIS establish interim milestones for conducting internal and external evaluations of the grant program.

Reforming the Naturalization Process,
National Foundation for American Policy, Policy Brief, August, 2011, 19 pp.
This paper outlines a series of steps that could be taken by the Obama administration to improve access to naturalization. The paper consists of a compilation of policy reform recommendations from four organizations:  the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, the National Immigration Forum, and the Immigration Policy Center; as well as the views of two consulting immigration attorneys:  Cyrus D. Mehta, and Gary Endelman.  Among key recommendations are: a reconsideration of the "continuous residence" requirement for naturalization to reflect the realities of today's globalized world;  simplification of the "complex" and "obscure" language in the application form; restoration of off-site naturalization interviews at local community centers, especially important for immigrants with disabilities who live in cities not served by USCIS field offices;  and reducing the escalating cost of naturalization brought about by the exclusive reliance on "user fees" to cover USCIS costs and the "taxation" of immigrants to cover the cost of unrelated USCIS services, such as refugee processing.

The Role of Civil Society in EU Migration Policy:  Perspectives on the European Union's Engagement in its Neighborhood,
Migration Policy institute and the European University Institute, June, 2011, 17 pp
As the European Union seeks to stimulate the development of civil society institutions in North Africa, this report reminds us that EU policymakers have not been consistent in promoting the development of these institutions in Europe. "Rhetorical commitments" have not always been matched by tangible results on the ground. "Having a pro forma seat at the table," doesn't always equate to real policy influence.  This report makes the case for the active and meaningful involvement of migrant-serving organizations in policy development and implementation.  It also suggests specific strategies to make interactions productive and useful to both governments and civil society organizations. Among the recommendations are "more centralized civil-society representation," through the formation of organizational networks with common goals, and an "emphasis on the function rather than the form of engagement." 

U.S. Naturalizations: 2010
Department of Homeland Security, 2011, 4 pp.
This report presents information on the number and characteristics of persons naturalizing during 2010. For the second year in a row, the number of new citizens declined over the previous year.  There were 17% fewer naturalizations in 2010 than in 2009.  However, the number of new applicants for naturalization increased by 25% in 2010 over the previous year, suggesting that new citizen numbers may rise in future years.

Benchmarks of Immigrant Civic Engagement,
Prepared for Carnegie Corporation of New York by Rob Paral and Associates, July, 2010, 42 pp.
This report contains a compilation of data on naturalization rates in the United States, including state breakdowns and data on specific immigrant groups. For example, noncitizens are 56% of immigrant adults in the country as a whole, but are a higher percentage in states like North Carolina (71%) and Texas (68%), and lower in states like New York and New Jersey (both 49%).  Lower rates are probably indicative of the greater age spread, and longer periods of residence among immigrants in states that have functioned as long-time gateways. Despite these lower rates, New York and New Jersey rank among the top five states in the number of green card holders eligible to naturalize. The report also examines voter registration and voting rates for naturalized citizens and notes that 40% of naturalized adults in the U.S. are not registered compared with 28% of the native-born, with wide variations among the states. The report concludes with a set of recommendations for foundations interested in investing in naturalization and voter registration as "pillars of immigrant integration."
Context Matters:  Latino Immigrant Civic Engagement in Nine U.S. Cities,
Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Mexico Institute, 2010, 65 pp.
Funded by a grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, this applied research project examines the local factors that influence the nature and extent of immigrant civic participation in selected communities in the United States.  A jumping-off point for this study is the spring 2006 immigrant mobilizations, described as "the largest (American) mass public protest on any issue, ever." The report pays particular attention to the strength of local coalitions, the role of Spanish-language media, the support of local religious institutions, and the role of unions. Separate reports are available for some of the cities studied in this project: Charlotte, Chicago, Fresno, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Omaha, San Jose, Tucson, and Washington, D.C.

Official Language Proficiency and the Civic Participation of Immigrants,
Monica Boyd, Metropolis Language Matters Symposium, October 22, 2009, 17 pp.
This paper attempts to find evidence for the common assumption that lack of proficiency in host country language leads to low levels of civic participation. Using data from the 2002 Canadian Ethnic Diversity Survey, which included questions about membership and frequency of participation in a wide variety of organizations, including ethnic associations, as well as questions about "sense of belonging" to local, provincial, and national polities, the author finds that, with the exception of ethnic or immigrant associations, immigrants with low levels of host language proficiency have low levels of organizational participation, although this fact "cannot be equated with negative feelings about belonging to Canada." Interestingly, participation in ethnic or immigrant associations, for those with low levels of proficiency, increases with length of residence in Canada.

The Effects of Citizenship on Family Income and Poverty,
Briefing Paper, Economic Policy Institute, February 24, 2010, 12 pp.
Contending that "the economic benefits of citizenship have been underexplored in our national discussion around immigration," this paper attempts to quantify the income gains associated with citizenship acquisition. Noting that adult citizen immigrants in 2007 had a median family income of $57,823, 33.2% higher than the $38,600 median income of non-citizen adult immigrants, and that the 20% poverty rate of the latter was more than double the 9% rate of the former, the author proceeds to control for other demographic factors, such as levels of education and age, that may account for these differences. In the end, she finds a significant correlation, lending support for "policy initiatives that create a path to citizenship, as such a path can be a key factor in reducing poverty and opening the door to economic stability for a broad swath of immigrant families."

Community-Based Organizations and Immigrant Integration in the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Area
The Urban Institute, November, 2009, 51 pp.
This study examines the work of 533 immigrant-serving organizations in the Washington, D.C., area, classifying them by size, finances, location, ethnic communities served, religious affiliation, and types of programs. The researchers analyze data from federal financial disclosure forms and draw on interviews with 40 organizational leaders. Of particular interest is the role played by these organizations in promoting immigrant integration.  The appeal of these groups appears to rest on their ability to provide a "safe environment" and to employ a "holistic approach" to service delivery. As Asian and African community organizations are less well-developed than Hispanic ones, the authors discuss a number of factors impeding the development of non-Hispanic organizations.  The authors also emphasize the role of local government in stimulating the growth of immigrant-serving organizations, noting a concentration of organizations in the District and inner suburbs, where "immigrant-friendly" officials have steered resources to these organizations, but a scarcity of groups in the outer suburbs where the immigrant population has been soaring in recent years, but where no such commitment from local government has been evident.

California Counts! A Funders' Guide to the 2010 Census
California Immigrant Integration Initiative, Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees (GCIR), 2009, 23 pp.
GCIR argues for strategic philanthropic investment to maximize the participation of immigrants and other "hard-to-count" (HTC) populations in the 2010 decennial census. The authors estimate that for each uncounted resident, the State of California will lose ca.$11,400 over the next ten years. A 10% undercount will result in a 10-year loss for California of $42.4 billion. Although this guide was produced specifically for California funders, the authors believe that the principles and strategies outlined in the guide may prove useful and relevant to grantmakers in other states and regions.

Women Immigrants: Stewards of the 21st Century Family
New America Media, February 2009, 32 pp.
Noting that the story of migration is often depicted as "a masculine epic...(and) through the Horatio Alger lens of self-discovery and reinvention," the authors of this report call attention to the special role of women in the migration process. Women seem less interested in individual economic success, and more in holding the family together and making a better life for their children. Based on 1,002 telephone interviews, conducted in August and September of 2008, with a representative sample of the adult female population in the United States, the report also finds that women "are changing the meaning of migration from economic to civic." Women appear to be the "catalysts for their families becoming citizens of the United States." Other survey questions probe changes in family roles and responsibilities, the prevalence of two-parent families, and experiences with discrimination. The report also finds a "substantial" number of women working below their level of education and training.

Community Treasures:  Recognizing the Contributions of Older Immigrants and Refugees,
Center for Intergenerational Learning, Temple University, 2008, 62 pp.
Based on field work and focus groups conducted in Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Orange County (CA), this report finds that the American concept of "volunteering" is generally unfamiliar to older immigrants and refugees, but that the nature of their community involvement is rich and extensive, although strongly influenced by cultural background. The report emphasizes the critical role of "community connectors" in tapping into this reservoir of talent and leadership and contains case studies of five organizations that have been particularly effective in working with elders.

Immigrant Civic Participation:  A Challenge for New Jersey and the Nation,
Program on Immigration and Democracy, Eagleton Institute of Politics, Rutgers University, October 20, 2008, 20 pp.
This report provides a summary and detailed minutes of a half-day conference that brought together researchers, community activists, and public officials to discuss research findings and promising practices in the area of immigrant civic participation.The Forum featured presentations about the following model programs: the Coro Immigrant Civic Leadership Program in New York City, the New Americans Initiative in Illinois, the New York Civic Participation Project, and Project Voice of the American Friends Service Committee.  The purpose of the forum was to develop recommendations for presentation to the New Jersey Blue Ribbon Panel on Immigrant Policy.

Immigration Policy Center, October, 2008 (Updated 2010), 25 pp.
Defining "new Americans" as the total of naturalized immigrants and post-1965 children of immigrants, this study emphasizes the growing importance of this segment of the registered voter population, and in particular, their pivotal status in "battleground" states, such as Colorado, Florida, and Indiana. At 15.1%, the percentage of new American registered voters in New Jersey in 2006 ranked fourth in the nation.

Hometown Associations: An Untapped Resource for Immigrant Integration,
MPI Insight, Migration Policy Institute, July, 2008, 23 pp.
This report discusses the remarkable growth of hometown associations (HTA's) within immigrant communities in the United States. Although often perceived by policy makers as performing overseas development functions only, HTA's also play a useful role in promoting immigrant integration. The report suggests a number of "small, well-crafted interventions" that policy-makers can make to harness the energy of HTA's and built strong partnerships between HTA's, local service providers, and local governments.

The Atlantic Philanthropies, May, 2008, 16 pp.
This report argues that "funding advocacy and advocates is the most direct route to supporting enduring social change for the poor, the disenfranchised and the most vulnerable among us..."  Prepared by a major foundation, the report reviews the components of effective advocacy and some of the legal issues in the field.  It includes examples of effective advocacy campaigns, including the effort to achieve comprehensive immigration reform in the United States.

Priced Out:  U.S. Citizenship, A Privilege for the Rich and Well-Educated
Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, 2008, 11 pp.
Noting that "the Bush Administration has systematically made citizenship less accessible to hard working immigrants," this report examines the consequences of the 610% increase in citizenship fees over the 10-year period ending in 2008. Since the last fee increase in July, 2007, the number of citizenship applications dropped by 59%. The report concludes with a series of recommendations, including pegging the application fee to the equivalent of one week's pay for a worker making the minimum wage.
Pew Hispanic Center, March 28, 2007, 21 pp.
This report documents a rise in the percentage of legal foreign-born persons in the United States who have become citizens, growing from 37% in 1990 to 52% in 2005. The report also shows that immigrants are not waiting as long as in the past to become naturalized. However, immigrants with lower income levels are less likely to naturalize than those with higher incomes.

Institute for Asian American Studies, University of Massachusetts (Boston), January, 2008, 27 pp.
The purpose of this paper is to shed light on the process of organizational formation within Asian communities in the United States. Using data from federal Form 990, author Chi-Kan Richard Hung examines over 2000 organizations within the ten largest Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Areas (CSMA's) in the United States, including New York/New Jersey. The paper analyzes both pan-Asian and ethnic specific organizations but only those with annual revenue in excess of $25,000. Organizations were grouped into four functional types. More than 50% of all organizations were established during the period from 1991 to 2000.

Catholic Legal Immigration Network, January, 2007, 192 pp.
Responding to the challenge of integrating a record number of immigrants, The Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC), with support from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, interviewed hundreds of experts and community representatives from around the country to determine the resources, activities, and partnerships that would be required to naturalize millions of eligible immigrants. This report summarizes their findings and recommendations.

New Voices at the Civic Table:  How Six Human Service Organizations are Supporting the Civic Engagement of Community Members,
Alliance for Children and Families, January, 2007, 33 pp.
This report discusses six pilot projects undertaken in 2006 to demonstrate how human service organizations can make civic engagement "intrinsic to their mission."  The author finds fault with the old "self-help" model, because "self-sufficiency requires people to develp the skills to represent their individual and shared interests." Although only one of the six projects focuses on immigrants, the report is useful in providing a framework for the analysis and evaluation of civic engagement projects.

Bridging Divides:  The Role of Ethnic Community-Based Organizations in Refugee Integration,
Migration Policy Institute and International Rescue Committee, 2007, 72 pp.
Funded by the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement, this study assesses the role of ethnic community-based organizations (ECBO's), sometimes called refugee mutual assistance associations,  in facilitating refugee resettlement and integration. The authors conducted an in-depth examination of seven prototypical organizations around the country, interviewing staff members and clients, analyzing organizational strengths and weaknesses, and providing recommendations to ECBO's, state and local governments, and the Office of Refugee Resettlement.

Immigrant-Led Organizers in Their Own Voices: Local Realities and Shared Visions,
Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc (CLINIC), May, 2006, 33 pp.
Over the course of three year (2001-2004), with funding from the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, CLINIC provided grants and technical assistance to 17 community-based organizations to examine the "birth, development and maintenance of the organizing process among immigrants." With one exception, all participating organizations were outside the Catholic agency network, including the one organization in New Jersey to participate in the project (Wind of the Spirit). This report discusses successful immigrant leadership development strategies, as well as the partnerships that nurtured effective organizing. The report also contains useful information on evaluating immigrant community organizing.

Civic Inequalities:  Immigrant Volunteerism and Community Organizations in California,
Public Policy Institute of California, 2006, 165 pp.
As immigrants and their children constitute a growing proportion of the population, their level of civic participation will have important consequences for the future of American democracy. Through use of census data, ten focus groups and case studies in two cities, the authors of this report survey the landscape of participation in the State of California from the "bottom up" and analyze resource disparities between ethnic and mainstream organizations. The report recommends various strategies to engage immigrants in American civic and political life.

Crossing Borders, Sharing Journeys:  Effective Capacity building with Immigrant and Refugee Groups,
Fieldstone Alliance, 2006, 88 pp.
Funded by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, this report distills the best thinking and practices of 11 capacity building organizations in the United States and Canada that came together as a learning and research community from 2004 to 2006. The report also summarizes the work of each organization in stimulating the development or building the capacity of immigrant and refugee led organizations (IRLOs).

Integrating Civic Participation and Adult ESOL,
New England Literacy Resource Center/World Education, January, 2005, 14 pp.
This article outlines an instructional approach that introduces adult English language learners to "democracy in action."  Since the federally-funded English Literacy/Civics program was first established in 2000, a number of educational providers have built in a practical, "justice-oriented" focus into their curricula. These programs include a "substantive" view of democracy along with the traditional "procedural" view. 

Lessons Learned about Civic Participation among Immigrants,
Association for the Study and Development of Community, September, 2002, 25 pp.
This report summarizes lessons learned from a project in the Washington, D.C., area to understand and promote civic participation among immigrant communities. Seventeen immigrant leaders from diverse backgrounds participated in an 8-month learning circle. The report discusses various dimensions of civic participation and gives concrete examples of how immigrant cultures and social organization can either block or support civic participation.

Aliza Becker & Heide Spruck Wrigley, Citizenship Education in Illinois:  What Works?
Funded under a grant from the Illinois Dept. of Human Services to the Adult Learning Resource Center, August, 2000. 110 pp.
This report evaluates citizenship education services funded by the State of Illinois and the Fund for Immigrants and Refugees from 1995 to 2000. Surveys and interviews were done with representatives of 39 funded programs. The report describes Illinois' investment in citizenship education as a "model for the nation," not only because of the size of the investment but also because of the strategic decision to use ethnic CBO's to deliver those services.