Wanting It Both Ways: The Quest for Dual Citizenship
The swells of immigrant political mobilization are based on a substratum of first-generation immigrant organizations which encompass a range of religious, professional, and social groups. These institutions are often constructed to maintain a link between immigrants and their countries of origin, but they must also resolve the dilemma confronting all Latin American immigrants in the city: how to reconcile the demands pulling them in seemingly irreconcilable directions? How to recognize connections to their home countries while accepting the realities of settlement?
The fundamental logic to their responses differs according to gender. Men undergo not only the disruption of the immigration experience, and with it the rupture of family and social networks, but also a relative loss of status as they negotiate entry into the economic sphere of the receiving country. Well-educated and comparatively middle-class in their countries of origin, Latin American immigrant men initially take jobs in the receiving country with status and class positions well below those they held before immigrating. The immigrant organizations they form compensate for the loss of status by providing a social arena where a migrant's previous status is recognized and bolstered. This is particularly true of those seeking organizational or leadership roles.
Women, on the other hand, usually enter the labor market with less previous work experience, so although they may hold low-status jobs, they experience less downward mobilization in the job market and suffer less loss of status. In fact, women working for pay gain a greater say in the household, which gives them an increased incentive to stay in the United States. Moreover, through their children, women come into contact with a much broader