The Price of Rights: Regulating International Labor Migration (by Martin Ruhs, Princeton University Press, 2013)
Diaspora Lobbies and the US Government: Convergence and Divergence in Making Foreign Policy, edited by Josh DeWind and Renata Segura, Social Science Research Council and New York University Press, 2014
by Thomas Ambrosio
Ethnic groups in the United States have long advocated on behalf of their countries of origin and their interests. Our understanding of ethnic group influence on the American foreign policy process, however, remains tentative. Diaspora Lobbies and the US Government, a collection of essays edited by Josh DeWind and Renata Segura, makes a fresh contribution to this area of study through its focus on policy convergence/divergence between the US government and ethnic interest groups.
International Migration, US Immigration Law and Civil Society: From the Pre-Colonial Era to the 113th Congress, edited by Leonir Mario Chiarello and Donald Kerwin, Scalabrini International Migration Network, 2014
by Breana George
International Migration, US Immigration Law and Civil Society: From the Pre-Colonial Era to the 113th Congress, published by the Scalabrini International Migration Network in collaboration with the Center for Migration Studies of New York, offers an overview of immigration law and policy that contextualizes the present challenges in reaching policy consensus in the immigration debate. This book review highlights the debate on executive action in relation to a chapter on the evolution of US immigration laws by Charles Wheeler and a chapter on the role of civil society in immigration policymaking by Sara Campos.
Since 9/11, migration-related security measures, including a growing reliance on watch-lists, have limited the right to travel. Jeffrey Kahn’s book, Mrs. Shipley’s Ghost: The Right to Travel and Terrorist Watchlists, examines the legal and policy questions raised by prohibitions on travel by US citizens.
Migrant workers, particularly those classified as “low-skilled,” find that the denial of their rights is the “price of admission” to labor immigration programs. This is the global phenomenon described and analyzed by Martin Ruhs in The Price of Rights: Regulating International Labor Migration. This book review provides an in-depth discussion of Ruhs's comprehensive study of labor immigration policies and the substantial questions it raises for the global migration debate.
Waiting for José uncovers the practices and motivations of those who form the ranks of the Minutemen—a US anti-immigration movement that has garnered attention over the last decade. Whether readers are sympathetic to or enraged by the Minutemen’s political bravado, they will be captivated by Harel Shapira’s work helping us understand them.
by Pia M. Orrenius and Madeline Zavodny
US immigration policy has serious limitations, particularly when viewed from an economic perspective. Some shortcomings arise from faulty initial design, others from the inability of the system to adapt to changing circumstances. In either case, a reluctance to confront politically difficult decisions is often a contributing factor to the failure to craft laws that can stand the test of time. This paper argues that, as a result, some key aspects of US immigration policy are incoherent and mutually contradictory — new policies are often inconsistent with past policies and undermine their goals. Inconsistency makes policies less effective because participants in the immigration system realize that lawmakers face powerful incentives to revise policies at a later date. It specifically analyzes US policies regarding unauthorized immigration, temporary visas, and humanitarian migrants as examples of incoherence and inconsistency. Lastly, this paper explores key features of an integrated, coherent immigration policy from an economic perspective and how policymakers could better attempt to achieve policy consistency across laws and over time.
by Karen Musalo and Eunice Lee
In the early summer months of 2014, an increasing number of children and families from the Northern Triangle countries of El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala — three of the most dangerous countries in the world — began arriving at the US-Mexico border in search of safety and protection. Responses to this “surge,” and explanations for it, varied widely in policy, media, and government circles. Two competing narratives emerged. One argues that “push” factors in their home countries drove children and families to flee as bona fide asylum seekers; the other asserted that “pull” factors drew these individuals to the United States.
The first section of this paper examines and critiques the Obama administration’s policies during and after the 2014 summer surge, which took the form of expanded family detention, accelerated removal procedures, raids, and interdiction. The second section examines the “push” factors behind the migration surge — namely, societal violence, violence in the home, and poverty and exclusion in El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala. The penultimate section explores the ways in which the United States’ deterrence-based policies echo missteps of the past, particularly through constructive refoulement and the denial of protection to legitimate refugees. The paper concludes by offering recommendations to the US government for a more effective approach to the influx of Central American women and children at its border, one that addresses the reasons driving their flight and that furthers a sustainable solution consistent with US and international legal obligations and moral principles.
by Robert Warren and Donald Kerwin
The Trump administration has made the construction of an “impregnable” 2,000-mile wall across the length of the US-Mexico border a centerpiece of its executive orders on immigration and its broader immigration enforcement strategy. This initiative has been broadly criticized based on its projected cost, efficacy, necessity, and impact on local communities. This paper speaks to another reason to question the necessity and value of a 2,000-mile wall: It does not reflect the reality of how the large majority of persons now become undocumented. The paper finds that two-thirds of those who arrived in 2014 did not illegally cross a border, but were admitted on non-immigrant (temporary) visas, and then overstayed their period of admission or otherwise violated the terms of their visas. Moreover, this trend in increasing percentages of visa overstays will likely continue into the foreseeable future.
The paper presents information about the mode of arrival of the undocumented population that resided in the United States in 2014. To simplify the presentation, it divides the 2014 population into two groups: overstays and entries without inspection (EWIs). The estimates are based primarily on detailed estimates of the undocumented population in 2014 compiled by CMS and estimates of overstays for 2015 derived by the US Department of Homeland Security. Major findings include the following.
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