Document Type

Honors Project

Abstract

The presence of millions of immigrants without recognition from the federal government presents serious challenges to American democracy and its legitimacy. By analyzing immigration activism in Austin, Texas, this paper will consider how those excluded from formal citizenship seek full membership, or at least its associated rights and protections, and how institutions at a variety of scales responds to these efforts. This activism challenges prevalent notions of what citizenship means, expanding the lines of who deserve rights and protection, and constructs participatory citizenship at the city level rather than relying on the more passive, exclusionary model of federal politics.

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