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  • Print publication year: 2020
  • Online publication date: October 2020

1 - Introduction

Summary

The authors introduce the idea of California inaugurating a new wave of progressive state citizenship, with other states such as Connecticut, Illinois, Oregon, and New York also making significant moves toward expanded citizenship rights. They summarize their argument, challenging long-held views of American citizenship as an exclusively national concept and concerns that “states rights” are necessarily harmful for immigrants and communities of color. The authors offer a new framework of state citizenship that builds on recent works in progressive federalism as well as citizenship rights. Going from concept to application, the authors challenge the long history of civil rights scholarship that has steadfastly remained nationally oriented, showing that states have also played critical roles in expanding Black rights. They also challenge immigration scholarship to take seriously the role of states in expanding citizenship rights for unauthorized immigrants. Finally, they show how the framework of state citizenship offers a systematic way to understand expansions in the rights of women and LGBTQ populations, among other groups, throughout United States history.

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