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Civic Engagement, Legal Status, and the Context of Reception: Participation in Voluntary Associations among Undocumented Immigrants in California (Socius: Sociological Research for a Dynamic World)

Publication Topics

2015 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS 2015); 2016 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS 2016); Immigrant

Publication Type

CHIS Journal Article

Publication Date


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<a onclick="OpenPopUpPage('http:\u002f\\u002f_layouts\u002flistform.aspx?PageType=4\u0026ListId={7AAD61FA-4BCB-48C0-B0B7-87AFDC3673EF}\u0026ID=1921\u0026RootFolder=*', RefreshPage); return false;" href=";ListId={7AAD61FA-4BCB-48C0-B0B7-87AFDC3673EF}&amp;ID=1921&amp;RootFolder=*">Kevin Beck</a>

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Summary: For undocumented immigrants, processes of integration are contingent on the qualities of their local context. A lack of legal status may require them to strategically manage their presence in order to avoid detection that could lead to deportation. The authors ask how the need to mask one’s legal status affects the civic integration of undocumented immigrants. Drawing primarily on data from the California Health Interview Survey (CHIS), the authors estimate the probability of participation in voluntary associations for undocumented immigrants.

Findings: Compared to naturalized immigrants, researchers find that undocumented immigrants exhibit a lower rate of participation but that this low rate of participation is unlikely the result of their legal status. The findings also show that undocumented immigrants are less likely to participate in voluntary associations if they live in counties where large shares of voters cast votes for Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election.

This study uses data from the 2015­–2016 California Health Interview Surveys (CHIS).


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Journal Article: Civic Engagement, Legal Status, and the Context of Reception: Participation in Voluntary Associations among Undocumented Immigrants in California

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Press Release

Related Link 1

California Health Interview Survey (CHIS)

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Version: 4.0
Created at 6/21/2021 2:18 PM by i:0#.f|uclachissqlmembershipprovider|celeste
Last modified at 8/2/2021 9:00 AM by i:0#.f|uclachissqlmembershipprovider|venetia