Gabriel R. Sanchez, F. Chris Garcia, and Melina Juárez
Latinos are playing a growing role in public policy debates not only surrounding immigration, but across several domestic policy domains. This has led to an increased interest in the attitudes of the Latino population toward public policy. This chapter focuses on four specific aspects related to Latino public opinion. First, we briefly discuss the vital role that public opinion plays in American politics today. We then examine Latino attitudes toward important policy areas. Next, we discuss issues involved in the accurate measuring of Latino public opinion. And finally, we suggest some future directions in the study of Latino public opinion.
Anna O. Law and Daniel Tichenor
From the earliest days of U.S. nationhood, race and ethnicity have profoundly influenced the politics and governance of immigration. To be sure, this policy arena has been shaped by a variety of economic, social, cultural, and political forces. Yet it is impossible to explain the arc of American immigration policy over time save for recurrent battles over racial and ethnic criteria. This chapter reviews an impressive body of scholarship that chronicles the prominence of race and ethnicity as grounds for immigrant inclusion or exclusion as well as the myriad of ways race and ethnicity have affected the integration and acceptance of immigrants for generations. Additionally, much of the scholarship reviewed in this essay underscores the evolving meaning of racial and ethnic categories even as ascriptive hierarchies have proven durable.
M. David Forrest and Dara Z. Strolovitch
Advocacy organizations have long been a crucial conduit for the construction, articulation, and representation of the interests and identities of African Americans, Latin@s, American Indians, Asian Pacific Americans, and other racialized groups in the United States. These organizations promise to provide a measure of “insider” political access to racialized “outsider” groups by opening up the policy making process and offering them an institutionalized and compensatory source of representation. The extent to which this promise has been fulfilled, however, has been the subject of much debate. This chapter argues that while advocacy organizations have substantially improved the political representation and position of racialized groups, they continue to face many challenges in attempting to fulfill their potential. Suggestions are made about how scholars and activists might clarify these challenges and better confront and dismantle the many inequalities and forms of white privilege that continue to mark American politics, economics, and society.