McNair Scholars Research Journal


In the United States, Hispanics, or Latino Americans, are individuals with Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, or other Latin American origin. Undocumented and documented Latinos are two of the fastest growing populations in the United States. However, this demographic is still underrepresented in American politics today. The increase in this growing population is due to “push and pull” factors that attract immigrants; some of these factors include escaping from poverty in search for a better life, and better opportunities for employment. Factors contributing to lower voting turnouts include the belief that the Latino vote will not make a difference, mistrust in government, prior experiences in their native country and a lack of education. This literature review summarizes journal publications and various texts, as well as interviews with Latino elected officials, in order to identify the challenges and levels of political participation within the Latino community.