The Political and Civic Engagement of Immigrants

From Civic to Political Engagement: The Role of Associations and Organizations

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Caroline B. Brettell
Commission on the Practice of Democratic Citizenship

The organizational or associational context may be as important for the immigrant generation as it is for their children. In research that has drawn both a good deal of attention as well as critical debate, Sidney Verba, Kay Schlozman, and Henry Brady argued more than twenty years ago that participation in community organizations as well as civic volunteerism can serve as an important foundation for a form of “good citizenship” that can then be extended into broader political participation and incorporation.74 The basis of this argument is in Robert Putnam’s work, revolving around ideas that involvement in associations fosters habits of solidarity, public-spiritedness, empathy for and trust of others, and the ability to cooperate with others.75

This emphasis on the significance of civic engagement is also discussed by Cliff Zukin and colleagues, who identify “a subtle but important remixing of the ways in which U.S. citizens participate in public life. This new mix,” they argue, “has privileged civic engagement over more traditional forms of political engagement such as voting, and focuses on civil and corporate organizations rather than government institutions as the central arenas for public action.” The future of democratic citizenship in the United States, they assert, is “likely to be more civic than political.”76

These authors go on to ask if engagement in civic life is politics by other means and whether engagement in civic activities leads to more traditional political engagement.77 Based on a survey they conducted, they come to the conclusion that for most, civic engagement is neither a pathway to nor a substitute for political engagement. This is a commentary on the U.S. population writ large. But what about the immigrant population, in particular, the new Americans?

One of the earliest projects to raise the question of how civic and political engagement is connected within immigrant communities emerged from the Washington Area Partnership for Immigrants in a report titled Lessons Learned About Civic Participation Among Immigrants.78 The report argues that restricting the focus of attention on voter registration and citizenship (in its legal sense) can be limiting because engaging legal permanent residents may be equally as important. Further it suggests that restricting the definition of civic participation to political activity diminishes the importance of involvement in more local issues and activities, which may be critical dimensions of civic education. The report identified myriad ways in which civic participation among immigrants was happening, often within their own organizations rather than within mainstream organizations and institutions. Within immigrant community organizations information is shared, social support is delivered, and contributions are made to the larger society. Further, the social networks that are built within these organizations can provide the foundation for processes of mobilization around issues of interest. The primary conclusion of this report is that we should be looking at participation at different levels and over time, depending on the degree of integration of one population or another.

In the ensuing years since this early study, the transition from civic to political engagement, and particularly the role of associations in this process, has increasingly captured the attention of migration scholars.79 They ask whether the engagements with nonpolitical institutions that one finds within immigrant communities can have consequences for activism and politics.80 Conversely, can we attribute the low levels of political participation among foreign-born Latinos to their lack of involvement in community associations, in which civic skills can be developed or are other items, which are discussed earlier in this paper, much stronger explanatory factors? As Ramakrishnan has asked, do “group disparities in civic voluntarism . . . lead to continued inequalities in political participation over the long term”?81

One of the most important volumes on this topic in recent years emerged from a conference sponsored by the Russell Sage Foundation. The book, Civic Hopes and Political Realities,82 evaluates the potential for immigrant community organizations to have political impact at the local level. Conceptually, the authors in the book draw on measures of political visibility (are public officials aware of these immigrant organizations) and political weight (is there any recognition of the political significance of these organizations and are their interests considered). Visibility and weight can be impacted by particular places (what is the size of the host city and of the immigrant populations, is there an immigrant business sector, are there local political representatives of immigrant background), the national origins of the immigrant population that has developed the organization, and the kind of organization it is—a religious institution, a cultural group, a nonprofit, etc. In places where there is an active business sector, immigrant organizations have greater visibility; the same is true in places where local and state-level policies are hostile to immigrants, thereby galvanizing some immigrant populations to act (protest, resist, etc.) in the context of the organizations they have formed. Certainly some of the authors argue that these organizations as civic spaces with political potential have more impact at the local level than at the national level, but this may depend on the type of organization and whether it fosters, for example, bonding or bridging social capital.83

It is impossible to do justice to the contributions that this volume makes as it explores whether “the civic paths of immigrant participants lead to greater visibility and influence in politics or whether such hopes dissipate in the face of political stratification.”84 Not only does it offer a useful analytical framework but it also provides a host of case studies that emphasize different dimensions of the relationship between civic and political engagement. For example, Kristi Anderson argues in her chapter, based on an analysis of organizations in six different cities in the United States, that immigrant community organizations are not a good substitute for the political parties of the past in mobilizing immigrants to participate in politics.85 In another chapter, based on research among Indian and Chinese immigrants in Edison, New Jersey, Sofya Aptekar argues that immigrants are largely ignored by a deeply entrenched Democratic political machine, despite their high human capital.86 By contrast, and somewhat surprisingly, Laurencio Sanguino, based on research among Latinos in Chicago, shows that this population has a stronger political presence than Indians or Poles, which can be explained by the depth of their presence in the city and their early institution-building.87 Els de Graauw offers an analysis of the role of 501(c) (3) nonprofit organizations in the process of immigrant political incorporation. She argues that these organizations “not only facilitate the political participation of individual immigrants . . . but also function as independent actors in local politics advancing the collective interests of the immigrant community. Immigrants’ political skills and resources foster immigrants’ political interest, and mobilize immigrants’ civic and political participation.”88

While the outcome evidence presented in this volume is varied, the editors emphasize that organizations do matter, that they can fill a space that political parties have tended to ignore (and presumably should not ignore moving forward), and that they can play a role in the process of political incorporation, although that is sometimes a role that is constrained. As they assert, “immigrant civic organizations have the potential to be vehicles of political engagement, but that much of that power depends on their ability to build wide-ranging coalitions with mainstream and ethnic organizations, to draw on assistance from government and private sources, to create federated structures to harness the positive returns to homeland participation, and to take advantage of political events that facilitate organizing.”89

In a somewhat different approach, Caroline Brettell and Deborah Reed-Danahay, based on ethnographic research with Asian Indian and Vietnamese immigrants in the Dallas–Fort Worth metropolitan area, highlight a community of practice model, arguing that this model focuses attention on processes by which, and the contexts within which, immigrant newcomers learn civic skills that can then eventually extend into the political sphere.90 They argue that conceptualizing the civic sphere in terms of communities of practice offers a more dynamic approach to the development of participatory citizenship than does the social capital approach to civic engagement.91 Their approach is, of course, predicated on a more expansive definition of citizenship. Their book includes an analysis of a range of communities of practice, ethnic associations, religious assemblies, cultural festivals and pan-Asian banquets, as well as the pathways to more formal participation. As they participate in these activities, immigrant newcomers gain greater civic and political visibility and can draw the attention of political candidates who speak at their community events.

The focus on religious assemblies in particular as arenas for developing skills of civic participation has attracted the attention of a host of other researchers.92 Much of this research finds a positive correlation between participation in religious assemblies and greater civic engagement (expressions of good citizenship in perhaps a different way from the responsibilities of voting, etc.) although the link to broader political engagement is not always established.

While there is some concern that religious institutions promote ethnic particularism and hence are not places that foster greater social and political incorporation, recent research has argued that these dimensions are not mutually exclusive. For example, Michael Foley and Dean Hoge demonstrate that religious congregations not only provide services but also foster community involvement, and they nurture civic skills that are transferable to other contexts.93 This is precisely what Christina Mora finds in her study of a Mexican immigrant Catholic parish that offers pathways to greater civic participation.94 The parish creates spaces (in the form of formalized prayer groups) where individuals acquire not only new skills and resources but also build social networks and develop “cultural scripts” about civic engagement and volunteerism.95 In addition, the parish offers connections to other secular organizations that help participants to become more aware of broader civic debates as well as provide them with opportunities for volunteering and political participation.

In a somewhat different approach, Itay Greenspan and colleagues identify several different motivations among first-generation immigrants within religious congregations for volunteerism and civic engagement: religious beliefs, social influence, and the benefits of enhanced human and social capital.96 They found that the first motivation ranked highest and enhanced human capital the least. They also found marked differences between recent and established immigrants, with the former group emphasizing social capital and influence more than the latter group.

Other studies have identified forms of religio-political activism within immigrant faith-based organizations. In their study of a religious congregation, Immanuel Presbyterian Church, and a community-organizing network, the Salvadoran American National Association, in Los Angeles, Stephanie Kotin and colleagues show how religion promotes and sustains political engagement not only on behalf of but also with immigrants who are primarily of Latino origin.97 The authors suggest that more attention should be paid within these contexts to enhance the naturalization of immigrants and the participation rates of new citizens. Marion Coddou explores the role of faith-based institutions in mobilizing Latinos for the 2006 immigrant rights protests.98 She sees these organizations as a powerful structural mechanism impacting the political involvement of immigrants, particularly those who are disadvantaged economically. Prema Kurien focuses her attention on how the differences between immigrants and their children shape processes of civic engagement in Indian Christian congregations.99 These two generations hold quite distinct understandings not only of Christian worship, but also of evangelism, social outreach, and the interrelationships among them.

It is important to note that not all the findings in this broad body of research on community organizations and religious assemblies are consistent, leaving the answer to the question of whether civic engagement leads to political engagement an open one. For example, Carol Zabin and Luis Escala, examining the participation of Mexican immigrants in metropolitan Los Angeles in Hometown Associations (HTAs), argue that despite the galvanization of members of these organizations in the face of Proposition 187, for the most part HTAs remain primarily circumscribed to Mexican spheres, offering social support in the United States and fostering philanthropic work in Mexico rather than serving as fertile ground for political activity.100 They do note, however, that HTAs have the potential to be important locations for immigrant political empowerment.

Zabin and Escala’s work draws attention to a much larger corpus of literature on Hometown Associations and other immigrant community organizations that engage in transnational work. Samuel Huntington saw such organizations as a threat to American civil society because they perpetuated the identification of immigrants with their homelands rather than with the United States.101 Thus, scholars who have taken up this issue pose the empirical question of whether transnational practices within organizations hinder or enhance the political integration of immigrants in the United States.

In an early exploration of this question, Anna Karpathakis, based on research among Greek immigrants in New York City, argued that home country issues can become a rallying point for involvement in the political process and institutions of the United States.102 A similar conclusion was drawn by Louis De Sipio and colleagues based on research among Dominicans, Mexicans, Salvadorans, and Puerto Ricans:

The expanding opportunities for migrants to be involved in the electoral politics of their sending countries does appear to have an independent effect on their perceptions of long-term connection to the United States and, in more cases than not, speeds it. Involvement in these activities reduces respondents’ evaluations of the likelihood of their staying in the United States permanently. At the same time, this one form of home country engagement is balanced by perceptions of influence. Migrants who perceive they have equal or more influence in the United States see their futures here unlike those who perceive that their influence is primarily in the sending country.103

Alejandro Portes and colleagues have explored this question among Mexican, Dominican, and Colombian migrants and their research reveals that there is little conflict between political incorporation and transnational activism.104 In fact, they found that most of the organizations within these immigrant communities have mixed activities, some of them domestic and some of them transnational. A particularly intriguing finding is that those organizations with both more educated and a better-established membership were more likely to be pro-integration and to be involved in both civic and political activities. Furthermore, they found variations among the three groups, with Dominicans and Mexicans being more involved than Colombians, which they attribute to a process of depoliticization in their home country for the latter group. Here the issue of what kind of political culture immigrants bring with them is important. And in a different twist, Adrian Pantoja, in research on Dominicans in New York City, found that while transnational ties may encourage political participation other than voting, they may either depress or have no impact on naturalization.105 Pantoja suggests that the greatest impact of transnational ties may be on those political activities that have “no eligibility requirement” (citizenship or registration). But this too suggests that building on such activities and then redirecting them toward completing eligibility—naturalizing, registering to vote, and voting—may have positive outcomes for greater political participation. Such positive outcomes are identified by Judith Boruchoff and colleagues in their research on Latinos in Chicago.106 It is in the context of Hometown Associations and other community organizations that individuals become aware of political issues and develop their own sense of agency as activists in both sending and host societies. These authors conclude that, “Viewed from a transnational perspective, migrants’ continued participation in civic and political processes in their native land is not at odds with integration in their destination country; in fact, engagement in one of these arenas may enhance participants’ efficacy in the other.”107

The role of transnational associations in fostering civic and political engagement has been equally of interest to scholars of Asian American civic and political engagement.108 Jane Junn and colleagues found that among Asian Americans, those who were involved in homeland politics were in fact slightly more likely to vote than those who were not (73–67 percent), and that in general involvement in homeland politics did not deter or detract from involvement in U.S. politics.109 Hiroko Furuya and Christian Collet have explored the emergence of Saigon nationalism in the United States.110 They describe social and fraternal groups, “such as the Vietnamese Community of Southern California (VCSC), who provided support services to newly arriving Vietnamese. Frequently, however, they would organize activities and rituals (such as festivals commemorating Tet, the lunar new year) that in one way or another turned political—invoking memories of the lost nation of South Vietnam and fostering anger toward the CPV.”111 These authors observe that few Vietnamese during the early years of their presence in the United States became citizens or registered to vote; they viewed focusing on the liberation of Vietnam as their primary duty so that they could return home to a democratic Vietnam. But when President Clinton opened Vietnam, the attention of the Vietnamese community in the United States turned to U.S. political engagement; in 1992, Tony Lam, of Vietnamese origin, won a seat on the City Council of Westminster, California. As the authors trace the history of these changes, they suggest that forms of transnational mobilization can become building blocks for forms of domestic mobilization.112

At this juncture, it is important to introduce the more theoretical and critical arguments offered by Elizabeth Theiss-Morse and John Hibbing.113 They provide three reasons for why they do not think that belonging to a voluntary association is a foundation for “good citizenship”: first, because people join groups that are more homogenous rather than heterogeneous; second, because civic participation does not necessarily lead to and may even “turn people off politics”; and third, because democratic values are not necessarily promoted by all groups. As they state: “Good citizens need to learn that democracy is messy, inefficient, and conflict-ridden. Voluntary associations do not teach these lessons.”114 In other words, they question the conclusion that civic participation through voluntary associations enhances political behavior and participation and strengthens democracy, although they do acknowledge that the relationship between civic and political engagement holds for some populations or for some individuals who by nature are more active than others.

Despite this cautionary note, it is my view that forms of civic engagement can indeed lay the foundation for enhanced political engagement, not only for legal immigrants but also for the undocumented.115 It is wise to be mindful of the distinctions that authors like Hui Li and Jiasheng Zhang draw between different modes of political participation (voting, formal, and informal) as well as “the mechanisms under which civic associations influence political participation.”116 They distinguish particularly between the scope of civic organizational involvement (number of affiliations and the fostering of bridging social ties) and the intensity (depth of involvement in which associations foster trust, cohesion, and bonding social ties), arguing that the latter has a more substantial impact on formal political participation. As they note, based on analysis of data drawn from the 2006 U.S. Citizenship, Involvement, Democracy Survey, “participation in politics rises with participation in voluntary associations, even when these associations are quite apolitical . . . [and] the more involved one is in the active associations, the more political activities one will engage in.”117

A further interesting finding of their research is that while classic socioeconomic status models are better at explaining individualized political behavior such as voting, mobilization is better at explaining formal and informal political behaviors.118 Portes and colleagues come to a similar conclusion: “Individual immigrants seldom enter American politics on their own account. Instead they do so collectively in response to mobilizations organized by activists within their own communities or external ones seeking to address wrongs or achieve various goals.”119 Such collective behaviors often happen within the context of civic associations, making them fundamental to the process of political incorporation. Civic associations, as communities of practice, offer spaces where civic skills can be learned, where information can be disseminated, where confidence can develop, and where social networks can expand. All are vital to the engagement in the broader public sphere of politics.


  • 74Sidney Verba, Kay Lehman Schlozman, and Henry E. Brady, Voice and Equality: Civic Voluntarism in American Politics (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1995); see also Hui Li and Jiasheng Zhang, “How Do Civic Associations Foster Political Participation? The Role of Scope and Intensity of Organizational Involvement,” Non-Profit Political Forum 8 (1) (2017): 3–24.
  • 75Robert Putnam, Making Democracy Work: Civic Traditions in Modern Italy (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1993); and Putnam, Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community.
  • 76Cliff Zukin, Scott Keeter, Molly Andolina, Krista Jenkins, and Michael X. Delli Carpini, A New Engagement? Political Participation, Civic Life, and the Changing American Citizenship (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006).
  • 77Ibid., 193.
  • 78Washington Area Partnership for Immigrants Community Foundation for the National Capital Region (and the Association for the Study and Development of Community), 2002 Lessons Learned About Civic Participation Among Immigrants, September 2002.
  • 79Wong, Democracy’s Promise: Immigrants and American Civic Institutions; Ramakrishnan and Bloemraad, eds., Civic Hopes and Political Realities: Immigrants, Community Organizations and Political Engagement; Garcia and Sanchez, Hispanics and the U.S. Political System: Moving into the Mainstream; S. Karthick Ramakrishnan and Celia Viramontes, “Civic Spaces: Mexican Hometown Associations and Immigrant Participation,” Journal of Social Issues 66 (1) (2010): 155–173; and Kathleen M. Coll, Remaking Citizenship: Latina Immigrants and New American Politics (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2010).
  • 80Hochschild, Gay, and Jones-Correa, eds., Outsiders No More: Models of Immigrant Political Incorporation, 15.
  • 81S. Karthick Ramakrishnan, “Race, Immigrant Incorporation, and Civic Voluntarism in the United States,” in Transforming Politics, Transforming America: The Political and Civic Incorporation of Immigrants in the United States, ed. Lee, Ramakrishnan, and Ramirez, 243.
  • 82Ramakrishnan and Bloemraad, eds., Civic Hopes and Political Realities: Immigrants, Community Organizations and Political Engagement.
  • 83Caroline B. Brettell, “Voluntary Organizations, Social Capital, and the Social Incorporation of Asian Indian Immigrants in the Dallas–Fort Worth Metroplex,” Anthropological Quarterly 78 (2005): 821–851.
  • 84Ibid., 3.
  • 85Kristi Andersen, “Parties, Organizations, and Political Incorporation: Immigrants in Six U.S. Cities,” in Civic Hopes and Political Realities: Immigrants, Community Organizations and Political Engagement, ed. Ramakrishnan and Bloemraad, 77–106.
  • 86Sofya Aptekar, “Highly Skilled but Unwelcome in Politics: Asian Indians and Chinese in a New Jersey Suburb,” in Civic Hopes and Political Realities: Immigrants, Community Organizations and Political Engagement, ed. Ramakrishnan and Bloemraad, 222–243.
  • 87Laurencio Sanguino, “Selective Service: Indians, Poles, and Mexicans in Chicago,” in Civic Hopes and Political Realities: Immigrants, Community Organizations and Political Engagement, ed. Ramakrishnan and Bloemraad, 244.
  • 88Els de Graauw, “Nonprofit Organizations: Agents of Immigrant Political Incorporation in Urban America,” in Civic Hopes and Political Realities: Immigrants, Community Organizations and Political Engagement, ed. Ramakrishnan and Bloemraad, 324.
  • 89Ramakrishnan and Bloemraad, Civic Hopes and Political Realities: Immigrants, Community Organizations and Political Engagement, 35.
  • 90Caroline B. Brettell and Deborah Reed-Danahay, Civic Engagements: The Citizenship Practices of Indian and Vietnamese Immigrants (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2012).
  • 91Ibid., 9.
  • 92Fred Kniss and Paul D. Numrich, Sacred Assemblies and Civic Engagement: How Religion Matters for America’s Newest Immigrants (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2007); Wendy Cadge and Elaine Howard Ecklund, “Immigration and Religion,” Annual Review of Sociology 33 (2007): 359–379; Elaine H. Ecklund and Jerry Z. Park, “Religious Diversity and Community Volunteerism among Asian Americans,” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 46 (2) (2007): 233–244; Michael W. Foley and Dean R. Hoge, Religion and the New Immigrants: How Faith Communities Shape Our Newest Citizens (New York: Oxford University Press, 2007); Peggy Levitt, “Religion as a Path to Civic Engagement,” Ethnic and Racial Studies 31 (4) (2008): 766–791; Janelle Wong, Kathy Rim, and Haven Perez, “Protestant Churches and Conservative Politics: Latinos and Asians in the United States,” in Civic Hopes and Political Realities: Immigrants, Community Organizations and Political Engagement, ed. Ramakrishnan and Bloemraad, 271–299; Alex Stepick, Terry Rey, and Sarah J. Mahler, Churches and Charity in the Immigrant City: Religion, Immigration and Civic Engagement in Miami (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2009); and Brettell and Reed-Danahay, Civic Engagements: The Citizenship Practices of Indian and Vietnamese Immigrants.
  • 93Foley and Hoge, Religion and the New Immigrants: How Faith Communities Shape Our Newest Citizens.
  • 94G. Christina Mora, “Religion and the Organizational Context of Immigrant Civic Engagement: Mexican Catholicism in the USA,” Ethnic and Racial Studies 36 (11) (2013): 1647–1665.
  • 95Ibid., 1648.
  • 96Itay Greenspan, Jill Witmer Sinha, and Femida Handy, “The Road to Volunteering is Paved with Good Intentions: Volunteering in Immigrant Congregations as a Response to Religious, Social and Instrumental Motivations,” The International Journal of Volunteer Administration 28 (2) (2011): 1–17; and Jill Witmer Sinha, Itay Greenspan, and Femida Handy, “Volunteering and Civic Participation Among Immigrant Members of Ethnic Congregations: Complementary NOT Competitive,” Journal of Civil Society 7 (1) (2011): 23–40.
  • 97Stephanie Kotin, Grace R. Dyrness, and Clara Irazábal, “Immigration and Integration: Religious and Political Activism for/with Immigrants in Los Angeles,” Progress in Development Studies 11 (4) (2011): 263–284.
  • 98Marion Coddou, “An Institutional Approach to Collective Action: Evidence from Faith-Based Latino Mobilization in the 2006 Immigrant Rights Protests,” Social Problems 63 (2016): 127–150.
  • 99Prema Kurien, “Religion, Social Incorporation, and Civic Engagement: Second-Generation Indian American Christians,” Review of Religious Research 55 (2013): 81–104.
  • 100Carol Zabin and Luis Escala, “From Civic Association to Political Participation: Mexican Hometown Associations and Mexican Immigrant Political Empowerment in Los Angeles,” Frontera Norte 14 (27) (2002): 7–42.
  • 101Samuel P. Huntington, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of the World Order (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1996).
  • 102Anna Karpathakis, “Home Society Politics and Immigrant Political Incorporation: The Case of Greek Immigrants in New York City,” International Migration Review 33 (1) (1999): 55–78.
  • 103Louis De Sipio, “Transnational Politics and Civic Engagement: Do Home Country Political Ties Limit Latino Immigrant Pursuit of U.S. Civic Engagement and Citizenship?” in Transforming Politics, Transforming America: The Political and Civic Incorporation of Immigrants in the United States, ed. Lee, Ramakrishnan, and Ramirez, 123–124.
  • 104Alejandro Portes, Cristina Escobar, and Renelinda Arana, “Bridging the Gap: Transnational and Ethnic Organizations in the Political Incorporation of Immigrants in the United States,” Ethnic and Racial Studies 31 (6) (2008): 1056–1090.
  • 105Adrian D. Pantoja, “Transnational Ties and Immigrant Political Incorporation: The Case of Dominicans in Washington Heights, New York,” International Migration Review 43 (4) (2005): 140.
  • 106Judith Boruchoff et al., Latino Immigrants in the Windy City: New Trends in Civic Engagement, Reports on Latino Immigrant Civic Engagement, no. 6 (Washington, D.C.: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 2010).
  • 107Ibid., 80.
  • 108Collet and Lien, eds., The Transnational Politics of Asian Americans.
  • 109Junn, Lee, Ramakrishnan, and Wong, Asian Americans and the 2008 Election.
  • 110Hiroko Furuya and Christian Collet, “Vietnam and the Emergence of Saigon Nationalism in the United States,” in The Transnational Politics of Asian Americans, ed. Collet and Lien, 56–73; and Brettell and Reed-Danahay, Civic Engagements: The Citizenship Practices of Indian and Vietnamese Immigrants.
  • 111Furuya and Collet, “Vietnam and the Emergence of Saigon Nationalism in the United States,” 63.
  • 112A cautionary and insightful perspective is offered by Lien based on research among Chinese populations in Southern California. See Pei-te Lien, “Transnational Homeland Concerns and Participation in U.S. Politics: A Comparison among Immigrants from China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong,” Journal of Chinese Overseas 2 (1) (2006): 56–78. She draws a distinction between regime-influencing (e.g., campaign contributions) and regime-supporting (e.g., voter registration) activities and how these are impacted by transnational politics. If homeland issues reflect U.S. ideology and are in the U.S. national interest (e.g., expanding democracy) then, she argues, it will have a positive impact on participation in U.S. politics. See also Sangay Mishra, “The Limits of Transnational Mobilization: Indian American Lobby Groups and the India-U.S. Civil Nuclear Deal,” in The Transnational Politics of Asian Americans, ed. Collet and Lien, 107–118; and Pei-te Lien and Janelle Wong, “Like Latinos? Explaining the Transnational Political Behavior of Asian Americans,” in The Transnational Politics of Asian Americans, ed. Collet and Lien, 137–152.
  • 113Elizabeth Theiss-Morse and John R. Hibbing, “Citizenship and Civic Engagement,” Annual Review of Political Science 8 (2005): 228.
  • 114Ibid., 227.
  • 115Melanie Jones Gast and Dina G. Okamoto, “Moral or Civic Ties? Deservingness and Engagement Among Undocumented Latinas in Non-Profit Organizations,” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 42 (12) (2016): 2013–2030; and Rachel Meyer and Janice Fine, “Grassroots Citizenship at Multiple Scales: Rethinking Immigrant Civic Participation,” International Journal of Political Culture 30 (2017): 323–348.
  • 116Li and Zhang, “How Do Civic Associations Foster Political Participation? The Role of Scope and Intensity of Organizational Involvement,” 5.
  • 117Ibid., 19.
  • 118Ibid., 20.
  • 119Portes, Escobar, and Arana, “Bridging the Gap: Transnational and Ethnic Organizations in the Political Incorporation of Immigrants in the United States,” 1057.