You will be able to analyze the role of immigration and citizenship in U.S. politics after you've read this chapter.
Explain how the United States is a country and a culture.
There are competing narratives that drive partisan divisions in American politics.
What's at stake.
Donald Trump opened his campaign for the presidency in 2015 with a dramatic descent down an escalator in Trump Tower, followed by a speech that was best remembered for the words "When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best."
They're sending people with a lot of problems to us.
They are bringing drugs.
They are bringing crime.
They are rapists.
He promised to build a huge, beautiful wall between here and Mexico and force Mexico to pay for it.
Six years ago, immigration reform looked like the biggest no-brainer on the planet.
Immigration reform was central to a future presidential win for the party after the Republicans lost the 2012 election by five million votes.
Romney won only 27 percent of the votes of Latinos, a group that was 10 percent of the electorate in 2012 and is sure to get bigger.
Immigration reform is an important issue to the Latino community, but the Republican Party's base rejects any solution other than returning the estimated eleven million immigrants in the United States to their homes.
Romney ran so far to the right that he was never able to find his way back to the middle.
The party leadership decided after the election that the damage had to be fixed and other Republicans and Democrats agreed.
In June of last year, the Senate passed an immigration reform bill that included a path to citizenship for those in this country without proper documentation.
The Speaker of the House had the ball.
Any path to citizenship for those who had broken the law when they arrived in this country was too much for conservatives.
President Barack Obama took executive action to spare the parents of citizens or legal residents from being deported and to defer the deportation of young immigrants who had been brought to this country as small children, when limited immigration reform finally came.
Thousands of young people were left in legal limbo after the Trump administration canceled the Obama policy.
It was as if the Republican angst over the issue had never been because the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a previous ruling blocking Trump's action.
The Republican candidates were vying to outdo each other in their promises to voters that they would remove every illegal immigrant from the country.
Donald Trump was angry with Congress for not including the full cost of the wall in their budget.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has had a tighter rule on deportations, deporting many long-time residents who did not have documentation.
When the vote totals were counted in the fall of 2016 and again in the fall of 2018, the Latino vote was very important in solidifying the partisan divide between the Democrats and Republicans.
We are nation of immigrants, but they tell different stories about the consequences of immigration.
The United States is a vast cauldron of cultures and ethnicities, all of which are boiled down into some sort of American stew.
The other origin story is that we are a multicultural nation in which each individual ethnic and religious identity should be preserved and honored.
The first vision sees the effect of immigration as something that should disappear, while the other sees it as worthy of recognition and celebration.
Being able to get one's preferred narrative accepted is a form of political power, and that is certainly the case with those who are promoting these competing narratives about American diversity.
Reality usually falls between the two extremes.
One of the United States' greatest strengths is its rich diversity of people from all over the world.
Some of the nation's deepest conflicts have been contributed by our diversity.
Politics stems from who we are and what we want from government.
Understanding where American citizens have come from and what they have brought with them, what their lives look like and how they spend their time and money, and what they believe and how they act on those beliefs is critically important to understanding what they choose to fight for politically and how they choose to carry As a nation, we have a choice to include those groups with their own stories as valued parts of the national narrative, or to face the tumult of identity politics--political conflicts based on the claims of groups who feel their interests are being ignored or undervalued because of who they are.
White Americans whose families have been here for a long time and who see the waves of new immigrants, especially immigrants of color, as threats to their status in identity politics.
In a mediated world, every group has a chance to speak out and create a compelling narrative.
Statistics are the next best thing since we can't meet all the Americans out there.
The demographic trends that shape our national culture are examined in the book in the form of charts and graphs.
We will use this information to understand who we are and how we relate to the political issues that shape our society.
Older people, whose pensions and nursing home care must be funded, compete for scarce resources with younger families, who want better schools and health care for children, and with college students, who want cheaper educations and better terms for their loans.
Changes in law enforcement, immigration reform, and other social policies designed to protect whites and raise them up from the lower end of the socio-economic scale will soon outnumber the white population in the United States.
Some whites feel threatened and fearful about the future of the country because of demographic changes, and sometimes feel like strangers in their own towns.
As you look at depictions of the American people and American life, try to imagine the political complexities that arise from such incredible diversity.
In Chapter 1 we said that citizenship confers rights on individuals.
The American concept of citizenship contains both self-interested and public-spirited elements, and is challenged in new ways by the mediated lives we live.
citizenship is more than just a prescription for how governments should treat residents and how they should act; it is also a very precise legal status.
A fundamental element of democracy is not just the careful specification of the rights and obligations of citizenship but also an equally careful legal description of just who is a citizen and how that status can be acquired by immigrants who choose to switch their allegiance to a new country.
In this section, we look at the legal definition of American citizenship and the long history of immigration that has shaped our body politic.