Voting Patterns of Naturalized Chinese Immigrants
Though Asian Americans are among the fastest growing immigrant groups in the United States, their political participation lags behind the community’s population growth. They therefore represent an important demographic for political parties to target in coming years. Yet their political proclivities thus far have been quite distinct from other racial and ethnic groups. In contrast to African Americans and Latinos, Asian Americans are divided on race-based policies, conservative on foreign affairs, and are less likely to hold strong party affiliations.
Recently, organizations have sprung up to mobilize Asian Americans – naturalizing immigrants, registering them to vote, and turning them out for elections. With support from the Foundation, Paul Ong will investigate how lasting the effects of this externally motivated political behavior are. He will look at a group of Chinese immigrants who were mobilized to vote by the Chinese American Voter Education Committee, a San Francisco group which galvanized Asian Americans to vote against an anti-immigrant ballot initiative in 1996. Ong will ask about voting patterns, political attitudes, opinions on major policy issues, engagement in other civic activities, and the motivating factors behind the decision to naturalize and become a voter. He will also ask about interactions with community, political, and advocacy organizations, as well as neighborhood-level concerns. All of this will address the question of whether naturalized immigrants who become voters in response to xenophobic ballot measures sustain their political engagement over time.
Reports and Publications
- Ong, Paul and Joanna Lee. Jan. 2007. "Naturalization of San Francisco Immigrants: The Surge in the 1990s," Working Paper, California Center for Population Research
- Ong, Paul and Joanne Lee. Jan. 2007. "San Francisco Chinese Immigrant Political Attitudes: Ethnic-Centered Political Engagement," Working Paper, California Center for Population Research
- Ong Paul, and Mike Manville. Jan. 2007. "San Francisco Chinese Immigrants: Voters' Persistency in Voter Registration," Working Paper, California Center for Population Research