The prevailing narrative is that the American idea of democracy doesn't ask much of us except that we pay attention to the news and come together to vote.
The news we get is influenced by people who are trying to influence us.
The percentage of people who go to the polls and vote on election days is abysmally low in the US, and many Americans are not interested in politics.
In 2008, a year of high turnout, only about 60 percent of eligible voters cast a vote.
One theory claims that it doesn't matter if people participate in politics because all important decisions are made by elites.
One explanation claims that Americans don't need to participate individually because their views are represented in government through their memberships in various groups.
A citizen can make her views heard through membership in an environmental group, a professional association or labor union, a parent-teacher organization, a veterans' group, a church, or a political party.
Some educators and social scientists argue that falling levels of involvement, interest, and trust in politics signal a true civic crisis in American politics.
The fabric of American political life is at risk because of a swing from the collectivist citizens of republican virtue to the self-interested individualism of Madisonian theory.
Benjamin Barber says that citizenship is the "price of liberty" because of the tendency of Americans to take their freedom for granted.
The question of how democratic the United States is may seem to be an academic one, but it is really a question of who has the power, who is likely to be a winner in the political process.
The question has a lot to do with your life, as government starts to make more demands on you, and you on it.
Let's revisit: What's at stake.
We looked at the political circus surrounding the issue of American immigration reform.
In order to improve their chances with Latino voters, the Republican leadership decided to pass immigration reform.
What had seemed like a slam dunk for everyone had become too toxic to touch by the 2016 Republican primaries.
The stakes were mixed for the Republican Party.
The guest worker program meant affordable labor for jobs Americans were not always willing to do.
They argued that the policies that punished employers for hiring them hurt the economy and that there were jobs for them.
Getting a difficult issue off the agenda, one that portrayed the party in a divisive, unflattering light and sent a negative message to an important and growing voting bloc was what Republican Party leaders had in mind when they passed reform.
They knew that the Latino vote was important in battleground states like Colorado, Nevada, and Florida.
They believed that the policies of economic individualism and social conservatism they advocated should be attractive to Latino voters but that until immigration was off the table, they would not get a hearing.
Reform means giving a pass to law-breakers who would be rewarded for coming here illegally, according to many conservatives in the party.
Tough economic times and a diminishing white majority are threats to the social order that would prompt the slamming of the immigration door and the rejection of outsiders.
The party leadership want to get it behind them because the rhetoric on this side of the argument sounds like racism.
It is not clear if the Republican agenda will become Trump's agenda.
The Democrats passed immigration reform to be responsive to their core constituency.
The failure to act meant that one of President Obama's campaign promises would be undone, the main reason he used executive action to address the issue.
Immigration reform was one of the top priorities of the Democrats when they took back control of the House.
The secretary-treasurer of the Service Employees International Union said after the 2012 election that the Latino giant was cranky and taking names.
There will be a lot on the list.
You need the tools to improve your study skills.
The stories in the daily news are just as important as elegant prose and poetry in a literature course.
The Statue of Liberty is one of the first places where immigrants to the United States would see America, and a part of this poem is familiar to most Americans.
The Statue of Liberty was not intended to be a symbol of immigration, but a gift from France celebrating American freedom.
It has become so because of the words put in her mouth by this poem.
We should think about this poem as a work of art and also as a politicalstatement because of the decision to associate it with a nationalmonument.
Mother of Exiles is the name of the imprisoned lightning.
The refuse of the shore.
The poem was put on a plaque inside the Statue of Liberty's pedestal after she submitted it to an auction to raise money for it.
She calls her statue the "Mother of Exiles" because she implies that the statue's purpose is to welcome immigrants but also that the policy of the United States is the same.
It's due to Lazarus's words.
Citizenship in the United States promises certain rights and responsibilities, as well as a precise legal status.
U.S. immigrants are subjects of another country who come here to live and work.
They need to fulfill requirements in order to become full citizens.
Some people come to the United States for other reasons.
The influx of illegal immigrants in the southwestern states has caused a national debate.
Proponents of strict immigration policy complain that immigrants don't pay taxes.
The provision of basic services for people who are escaping hardship and hoping for a better future is supported by opponents of these policies.
Immigration law is made by Congress with the approval of the president.