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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Dreams of Citizenship, Naturalization Nightmare: New Naturalization Norms Needed


Dr. Adrián Félix traces Mexican migrant transnationalism across the migrant political life cycle, beginning with the “political baptism” (i.e. naturalization in the U.S.) and ending with repatriation to México after death.  Drawing on a multi-method cross-border research design, Dr. Félix examines Mexican migrants’ transnational political allegiances, affiliations and attachments to argue that participation in one national context is not exclusive but rather reciprocal with involvement in the other.  By discussing how Mexican migrants embody their transnational citizenship and interface with state institutions and state power on both sides of the border, Dr. Félix’ research challenges conventional conceptions of political belonging and membership in the U.S. and México.  Defying singular political loyalties, even among Mexican migrants who have become politically integrated in the U.S., cross-border connections to their communities of origin can live on, indicative of migrants’ transnational potential to transform democracy in both countries. 

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