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  • Author: Pia M. Orrenius, Madeline Zavodny
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on Migration and Human Security
  • Institution: Center for Migration Studies of New York
  • Abstract: 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. We argue 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. US policies regarding unauthorized immigration, temporary visas, and humanitarian migrants offer examples of incoherence and inconsistency. This article 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.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Immigration
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Saba Ahmed, Adina Appelbaum, Rachel Jordan
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on Migration and Human Security
  • Institution: Center for Migration Studies of New York
  • Abstract: The 1996 passage of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA) has had a devastating impact on immigrants who are detained, indigent, and forced to face deportation proceedings without representation (pro se). In the past 20 years, immigration detention has grown exponentially and a criminal–immigration detention– deportation pipeline has developed as a central function of the immigration system. Despite the growing specter of the “criminal alien” in the American psyche, there is little public knowledge or scrutiny of the vast immigration detention and deportation machine. Enforcement of IIRIRA has effectively erased human stories and narrowed immigration debates to numbers and statistics.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Immigration
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Thomas Ambrosio
  • Publication Date: 07-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on Migration and Human Security
  • Institution: Center for Migration Studies of New York
  • Abstract: While concerns about the loyalties of “hyphenated Americans” remain, the widespread acceptance of multiculturalism in American society has legitimized activities by ethnic groups to advocate within the US political system on behalf of their country of origin and its interests. This phenomenon is not new, but it has received heightened scholarly attention since the end of the Cold War for three reasons. First, given the level of American power, the United States has fewer constraints on its actions on the international stage and therefore its internal sources of conduct are more important — interest groups of all types could potentially influence US foreign policy to a greater degree than before. Second, the United States’ highly diverse ethnic composition means that nearly every event outside the country has an impact on at least some of its citizens; moreover, there are a multitude of ethnic groups vying for influence over US foreign policy. This diversity and mobilization has increased over the past few decades. Lastly, the decentralized nature of the American political system (and, in particular, the US Congress) allows for multiple points of entry into the policy-making process, which, in turn, grants these groups greater influence. Ethnic interest groups are a core part of this system and they must be taken into account when seeking to explain American foreign policy.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Cold War, Politics, Ethnicity
  • Political Geography: United States of America