Assimilation Through the Ballot: How Voting Facilitates Integration into American Life

The United States has been colloquially considered a nation of immigrants. However, the subject of immigrant integration in the United States remains insufficiently explained. Prior research suggests an association between political participation and social integration within the American mainstream, but this relationship remains underexplored. In this video, Nicholas Knowlton discusses his CHDS Master’s thesis, “Assimilation Through the Ballot: How Voting Facilitates Integration into American Life,” which investigates the relationship between political participation and integration, with particular reference to electoral participation and the act of voting.

About the Presenter

Nicholas Knowlton currently serves as Chief of the Terrorism-Related Inadmissibility Grounds (TRIG) Division, situated within the Refugee, Asylum, and International Operations Directorate at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), a component of the Department of Homeland Security. He oversees a team of terrorism subject-matter experts that provide research, training, and guidance to agency officers, among other services. He also chairs the USCIS TRIG Working Group. He has been with USCIS since 2015. 

Nicholas holds a doctorate in political science from the University of Florida. He is also a graduate of the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Homeland Defense and Security (outstanding thesis finalist), and the University of Utah. 

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