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

5 - Worst to First

Summary

turns to immigrant citizenship with a focus on California to carefully assess where the state currently stands with respect to progressive state citizenship and to situate the present moment in a sweep of the state’s history, which saw it pioneer and champion anti-Chinese and anti-immigrant legislation from its founding through the late 1990s and only move toward more pro-immigrant policies in the last two decades. We then explore key milestones in immigrant rights over the past decade and pinpoint 2015 as the year when progressive state citizenship became crystallized. Finally, we trace key factors that incubated and enabled the development of progressive state citizenship in California, including voter backlash against racial propositions, partisan shifts in the state legislature, and the growing strength of social movement actors across various regions, aided by long-term investment strategies by private foundations.

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