Everyday life for undocumented Americans often entails coping with the fear, stress, and anxiety of potential deportation (Valenzuela & Erickson 2015; Fussell 2011). Yet despite this troubling emotional state, undocumented Americans are increasingly taking to the streets, social media, and the halls of government demanding their rights be upheld. This paper contributes to understandings of how the political participation of Undocumented Americans occurs in spite of the barriers this group faces. Through a comparative analysis of Catholic Parishes in Los Angeles and Albuquerque, I find that a sense of belonging and expanded opportunities to participate in political and civic activities support undocumented churchgoers as they set aside deportation fears to participate in local public life. This builds on Verba, Schlozman, and Brady’s (1995) model of political participation which underscores the potential of churches as political mobilizers, but argues that belonging and the provision of opportunities to participate both at the church and through the church should be incorporated into future models of political participation among Undocumented Americans.
Erickson, Emily J.
"Citizens of Heaven Political Participation of Undocumented Americans,"
eJournal of Public Affairs: Vol. 9
, Article 6.
Available at: https://bearworks.missouristate.edu/ejopa/vol9/iss2/6