The Pull of the Parties for Immigrants in the United States

33 Pages Posted: 22 Feb 2011 Last revised: 20 Apr 2011

Date Written: April 21, 2011


Immigrants in the United States frequently express a desire to return to their country of birth, an attitude that could undermine political acculturation and democratic inclusion in the American context. This mindset has been labeled an “ideology of return.” Drawing from original surveys of the Mexican-born population conducted during the 2006 and 2008 elections, we show that partisan competition during major national campaigns has the potential to pull immigrants towards U.S. civic life and make the prospect of remaining in the country over the long-term a more attractive option.

Keywords: immigration, immigrant political participation, ideology of return, field experiment

Suggested Citation

Nishikawa, Katsuo Antonio and McCann, James A. and Connaughton, Stacey L., The Pull of the Parties for Immigrants in the United States (April 21, 2011). Western Political Science Association 2011 Annual Meeting Paper , Available at SSRN:

Katsuo Antonio Nishikawa (Contact Author)

Trinity University ( email )

San Antonio, TX 78212
United States

James A. McCann

Purdue University ( email )

Department of Political Science
Beering Hall
West Lafayette, IN 47907
United States

Stacey L. Connaughton

Independent ( email )

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