Watching and learning from the shadows : political knowledge among DREAMEer Latinos
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The fate of undocumented youth recently overwhelmed political dialogue on immigration and its effect on those individuals remains largely unstudied. This paper extends the scope of political information analyses from potential voters to undocumented childhood arrivals. Quantitative observations come from in-depth qualitative interviews in Los Angeles County, California and the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas. It finds important regional differences in the ability of immigration status to motivate cognitive engagement of politics. It questions the threat hypothesis, as highly politically knowledgeable DREAMers appear to reside in supportive environments. Such places help equip them with the ability to attribute blame and channel anger or enthusiasm. Findings suggest profound dissimilarities in the potential for political participation if and when DREAMer Latinos gain access to citizenship.