The Efficacy and Alienation of Juan Q. Public

Francisco I. Pedraza, Gary M. Segura and Shaun Bowler

in Rallying for Immigrant Rights

Published by University of California Press

Published in print June 2011 | ISBN: 9780520267541
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520948914 | DOI:
The Efficacy and Alienation of Juan Q. Public

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Between March 10 and May 1, 2006, millions took part in the single largest coordinated protest action in American history. The marches should not be dismissed as one-off events but, rather, should be seen as examples of political action that allow us to explore the degree to which Latinos, and Latino immigrants, are alienated from the political system of the United States. This chapter explores the possibility that the mass mobilization of 2006 marked not an expression of opposition to and alienation from the U.S. political system, but an act of faith in that system and an expectation that the system will ultimately be responsive. In other words, the marchers believed that the system would hear their voices and would respond because the U.S. system of democratic government responds to popular concerns. To explore this interpretation, the chapter assesses Latino or Hispanic residents’ beliefs regarding their influence on policy and whether government policy works on their behalf. It then examines attitudes toward the 2006 protests and the immigration debate in general.

Keywords: United States; immigrants; protests; immigration; Latinos; political system; mass mobilization; government policy

Chapter.  6646 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Migration Studies

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