Introduction: Noncitizen Participation in the American Polity

By Banks, Angela M. | The William and Mary Bill of Rights Journal, December 2012 | Go to article overview

Introduction: Noncitizen Participation in the American Polity


Banks, Angela M., The William and Mary Bill of Rights Journal


In 2010 there were 22.5 million noncitizens residing in the United States.1 These noncitizens accounted for 7.3% of the American population.2 Within this population there is great diversity. Some entered as lawful permanent residents, others as nonimmigrants, and others entered without inspection. Some were raised in the United States and have spent the majority of their life here, while others are recent arrivals. Some intend to stay for long periods of time, others plan on only a short stay. Some plan on becoming citizens while others are content to remain noncitizens. The ways in which this diverse population participates in American society is the topic of this Symposium Issue. The Symposium participants explored the various ways in which law, policy, and politics shape how noncitizens participate in American society, and how noncitizen participation shapes American law, policy, and politics.

Within the sociology literature on immigration, a "context of reception" approach has been utilized to describe and explain immigrants' integration within society.3 This approach emphasizes the ways in which the "structural and cultural features" of society influence immigrants' opportunities for participation and integration "above and beyond the role played by their own individual characteristics or motivations."4 A key component of immigrants' context of reception is government policy.5 For example, immigration law and policy detennine who is able to enter a country, how long they can stay, which of them can become citizens, when they can be kicked out, and how they will integrate within society. The answers to these questions determine an immigrant's legal status, a status which dictates the security of one's residence and opportunities for employment, political participation, and post-secondary education. Thus, the answer to these and related questions shape immigrants' participation within a society. Professor Stephen H. Legomsky's Artide, Immigration Policy from Scratch: The Universal and the Unique,6 highlights the importance of these and related questions. This Article outlines the questions that every society must confront when developing immigration policy. The questions focus on defining the mission, citizenship, admission, integration, illegal immigration, expulsion, and decision-making authority. While the questions are universal, the answers will vary across societies due to the unique "histories, cultures, forms of government, social structures, economic realities, age and labor demographics, values, and ultimately even different missions."7 The answers that each society arrives at reveal what it is that the society truly believes.8

The remaining articles in this Issue explore what the answers to these questions reveal about what the United States truly believes about noncitizens. The articles approach this issue through three themes. The first set of articles examines the ways in which laws regulating immigration and the lives of immigrants shape noncitizen participation in the United States, and the ways that such participation shapes American society. The second group of articles explores what nonimmigration rights tell us about the membership status of noncitizens. The final two articles offer new insights on the growth of sub-federal immigration enforcement and the implications of such enforcement strategies on immigrant communities.

Professors Kevin R. Johnson, Rick Su, and Michael A. Olivas each explore the ways in which social structure, in the form of law or politics, shape noncitizens' participation in the United States. In Immigration and Civil Rights: Is the "New" Birmingham the Same as the "Old" Birmingham? ? Johnson argues that there are parallels between Alabama's protection of civil rights during Jim Crow and today. During both eras Alabama used law to limit access to education. During Jim Crow segregation, law limited African Americans' access to educational institutions and Alabama's 201 1 Beason-Hammon Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act limits undocumented students' access to K- 12 public schools. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Introduction: Noncitizen Participation in the American Polity
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.