Political transnationalism and assimilation : a case study of Dominican and Mexican immigrants
Rea, Rachel C.
Thesis (M.A.L.S.)--Georgetown University, 2010.; Includes bibliographical references.; Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format. Dominican and Mexican immigrants are increasingly participating in forms of political transnationalism such as voting, contributing to foreign candidates, or attending rallies of candidates campaigning for office in their county of origin. Affordable transportation and communication technologies allow immigrants to stay in touch with relatives and be apprised of political happenings in their country of origin. This is a major public policy concern as these immigrant groups are consistently demonstrating lower levels of political participation than other Americans of similar socioeconomic status. Political participation in U.S. politics is important because it plays a vital role in their incorporation into mainstream society and to the overall success of these immigrant groups. However, leading assimilation theorists do not include political participation into their models of assimilation; they instead only analyze other socioeconomic factors. It is my belief that political participation should be a measured variable in the assimilation equation.; The effects of political transnationalism on assimilation will be evaluated by the usage of two methodologies: historical and political. I will trace the evolution of political transnationalism to policies, laws, and political movements within Mexico, Dominican Republic, and the United States. I will compare and contrast the orthodox approach to immigration in the 20th Century to that of today. Next, I will discuss findings on Dominican and Mexican immigrant's participation both in the U.S. and abroad in their country of origin. Then I will analyze the encouragement of dual-citizenship laws by politicians of the immigrants' homeland, the sending of remittances, the beneficiaries of these policies in the Dominican Republic, Mexico, and the U.S.; Based on analysis of various literary sources and studies conducted on Dominican and Mexican political participation, it is concluded that political transnationalism discourages immigrant participation in U.S. politics and prolongs their assimilation into mainstream culture.
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