Political Orientations and Naturalization Among Latino and Latina Immigrants


  • * Direct correspondence to Sarah Allen Gershon 〈Sarah.R.Allen@asu.edu〉. The authors will share all data and coding information with those wishing to replicate the study. The authors thank the anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments.


Objective. This study adds to our knowledge of the naturalization process by considering the impact of political orientations in shaping the pursuit of U.S. citizenship among contemporary Latino and Latina immigrants.

Methods. We draw on data from the 1999 Harvard/Kaiser/Washington Post “Latino Political Survey” and use ordered logistic regression analyses to test the effects of political orientations on immigrant naturalization.

Results. Political orientations exert a powerful influence on naturalization beyond the traditional sociodemographic determinants. Furthermore, the impact of political orientations on naturalization varies by gender.

Conclusions. Naturalization can be induced by stressing the importance of voting and being interested in politics. In addition, Latinas are more likely to pursue naturalization than Latinos and the factors driving their decisions systematically differ from those of their male counterparts.