By Veronica Terriquez, Department of Sociology, University of California, Santa Cruz
This investigation examines the roles of legal status and civic associations in shaping political participation. Analyses of survey and semistructured interview data collected from Latino young adults indicate that the effects of legal status are conditional on the context of involvement. Furthermore, findings suggest that membership in certain types of civic organizations during both adolescence and early adulthood cumulatively shape patterns of political participation. This study has implications for understanding the roles of legal status and formative civic experience in determining the leadership capacities of undocumented immigrants and others from marginalized communities.