Janelle Wong is an Associate Professor of American Studies and the Director of Asian American Studies at University of Maryland in College Park, MD. Her research focuses on race, immigration, and political mobilization. Dr. Wong is the author of Democracy’s Promise: Immigrants and American Civic Institutions (2006, University of Michigan Press) and co-author of two books on Asian American politics. She is currently working on a book about the impact Asian American and Latino evangelical Christians will have on the traditional conservative Christian movement and immigrant political participation. Recently, PRRI had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Wong in depth about some of the 2014 American Values Survey’s findings on Asian Americans.
A new survey from PRRI and the Brookings Institution shows that majorities of Democrats, independents, and Republicans favor allowing illegal immigrants currently living in the U.S. to become citizens provided they meet certain requirements. But what values are inspiring this unusual political unity on a controversial issue? In my latest column for “Figuring Faith,” I explore the values that motivate different political groups to favor a path to citizenship:
It’s noteworthy that [the RNC's recent] political reality check has motivated even some of the staunchest opponents of immigration reform to rethink not only policy but also values. For example, Tea Party standard-bearer Senator Rand Paul, in a remarkable shift, is replacing references to fences and helicopters and an emphasis on deportation with new appeals to the values of “prudence, compassion, and thrift” and at least a strong implication that these values point toward a path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants currently in the country.
To read the full column, head to “Figuring Faith,” my Washington Post blog.