In Immigrants and Electoral Politics, Heath Brown shows why nonprofit electoral participation has emerged in relationship to new threats to immigrants, on one hand, and immigrant integration into U.S. society during a time of demographic change, on the other. Immigrants across the United States tend to register and vote at low rates, thereby limiting the political power of many of their communities. In an attempt to boost electoral participation through mobilization, some nonprofits adopt multifaceted political strategies including registering new voters, holding candidate forums, and phone banking to increase immigrant voter turnout. Other nonprofits opt to barely participate at all in electoral politics, preferring to advance the immigrant community by providing exclusively social services. Brown interviewed dozens of nonprofit leaders and surveyed hundreds of organizations. To capture the breadth of the immigrant experience, Brown selected organizations operating in traditional centers of immigration as well as new gateways for immigrants across the South: Florida, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, and, North Carolina.
The stories that emerge from his research include incredible successes in mobilizing immigrant communities, including organizations that registered sixty thousand new immigrant voters in New York. They also reveal efforts to suppress nonprofit voter mobilization in Florida and describe the organizational response to hate crimes directed at immigrants in Illinois.
"In Immigrants and Electoral Politics, Heath Brown addresses an important set of questions about the current state and future trajectory of U.S. politics in the midst of increasing racial and ethnic diversity. Brown's analysis of voting behavior among the newest segment of the American electorate is especially timely. This book captures one's attention not only for the importance of the questions at stake but because of the originality of Brown's perspective in considering in detail immigrant-serving nonprofit organizations and their role in electoral politics."-Jane Junn, University of Southern California, coauthor of Asian American Political Participation: Emerging Constituents and Their Political Identities "Heath Brown explores the important political roles of immigrant-serving nonprofits, focusing in particular on their decisions about whether to participate in electoral politics. Immigrants and Electoral Politics illuminates both key opportunities for and challenges to immigrant political power at a time when immigrants constitute an important constituency even while many immigrant communities are increasingly under attack."-Dara Strolovitch, Princeton University, author of Affirmative Advocacy