Despite their rising numbers in the population, Latino and Asian Americans have been less politically influential than non-Hispanic whites and African Americans. Some people explain this away by noting that many Latino and Asian Americans are non-citizens, meaning that the group as a whole has less political clout than a simple head count would suggest. But what explains the decisions to become a citizen, or how quickly to naturalize, register, and vote in this new demographic landscape?
John Logan will investigate these questions with a quantitative analysis of political incorporation of predominantly immigrant groups, comparing them to native-born blacks and whites. He will use census data and information on registration and voting from the Current Population Survey to determine what influences political behavior. The project will also consider the collective factors associated with the communities where immigrants live, and explore their effect on immigrant political behavior. For example, Logan will test for neighborhood effects to see if living in a community with many other immigrants encourages new settlers to naturalize, or if such enclaves discourage naturalization by making it easier for immigrants to eschew the social and political life of majority American society.