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 Todd Scribner
This paper analyzes the restrictionist logic that informs the Trump administration’s handling of immigration policy, and explores some of the underlying cultural, philosophical, and political conditions that inspired support for Trump. It contends that the Clash of Civilizations (CoC) paradigm is a useful lens to help understand the positions that President Trump has taken with respect to international affairs broadly, and specifically in his approach to immigration policy. The paper will focus primarily on Trump’s approach to refugee resettlement during his campaign and the early days of his administration. While there are unique aspects of the contemporary reaction against refugee resettlement, it is rooted in a much longer history that extends back to the World War II period. The paper explores this historical backdrop, and helps to clarify the reception of refugees after the fall of the Soviet Union. It also helps to explain how and why a CoC paradigm has become ascendant in the Trump administration. The CoC paradigm is at its core pre-political, and the policy prescriptions that follow from it are more effect than cause. The paper concludes with a series of recommendations for restoring support to the US refugee resettlement program, bolstering foreign aid and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (which are essential to the program’s success), and engaging the cultural underpinnings of opposition to this program.
by Philip Martin
President Trump issued executive orders after taking office in January 2017 that could lead to the removal of many of the 11 million unauthorized foreigners, including one million who work in US agriculture. Agriculture in the western United States especially has long relied on newcomers to fill seasonal farm jobs. The slowdown in Mexico-US migration since 2008-09 means that there are fewer flexible newcomers to supplement the current workforce. Farm employers are responding with worker bonuses, productivity-increasing tools, mechanization, and guest workers. Several factors suggest that the United States may be poised to embark on another large-scale guest worker program for agriculture. If it does, farmers should begin to pay payroll taxes on the wages of guest workers. This will foster mechanization and development in the workers’ communities of origin if payroll taxes are divided equally between departing workers and commodity-specific boards to increase the competitiveness of production in the United States. The economic incentives provided by payroll taxes could help to usher in a new and better era of farm labor.
by Jane Lilly López
With passage of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRIRA), the goal of discouraging illegal immigration and the legal immigration of the poor triumphed over the longstanding goal of family unity in US immigration policy. Two specific elements of IIRIRA — (1) the three- and 10-year bars to reentry, and (2) the minimum income thresholds for citizen sponsors of immigrants — have created a hierarchy of mixed-citizenship families, enabling some to access all the citizenship benefits, while excluding other, similar families from those same benefits. This paper details these two key policy changes imposed by IIRIRA and describes their disparate impact on mixed-citizenship couples seeking family reunification benefits. Policy recommendations include enacting changes to: (1) allow the undocumented spouses of US citizens to adjust their legal status from within the United States; and (2) include the noncitizen spouse’s income earning potential toward satisfying minimum income requirements.
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