The International Context of Immigration Reform: US, Mexico and Beyond

A research and policy analysis project supported by a grant from the MacArthur Foundation

Director: Rey Koslowski email: rkoslowski at uamail.albany.edu

Assistant Director: Laura Gonzalez-Murphy email: gonmurph at aol.com

This project examines the politics of changing immigration policies and the implementation of reforms in the US and Mexico from an explicitly comparative and international perspective. The project examines the role that other countries’ examples may play in political and policymaking processes as well as the interaction effects of reform movements in one country on the other. The research will focuses on a side-by-side analysis of immigration reform in the US and Mexico and examines the ways in which Mexican immigration policies may have influenced US immigration reform debates and the ways in which recent Mexican immigration reform efforts have been motivated by the politics of immigration reform in the US. The project will examine how Mexican immigration policies, law enforcement and border controls shape the flows of non-Mexican illegal aliens into the US. The project will also consider comparisons made to other countries in the political and policy processes of the US and Mexico, respectively. Similarly, the project will examine international factors, such as global competition for desired migrants (e.g. foreign students, highly-skilled workers, investors and rich retirees), constraints on immigration policymaking due to international treaties and norms, and/or any opportunities in international relations presented to policymakers (e.g. assuming leadership roles among states on the issue of migration). Finally, the project will examine the implementation of any policy changes in both the US and Mexico, with an emphasis on the modernization of public administration processes using information technologies. Particular attention will also be paid to the ways policy implementation may be shaped by the international environment, including international cooperation, sharing of best practices, data sharing and public administration assistance. By engendering greater sensitivity to the political use of depictions of other countries policies and fostering accuracy in the depictions of each other’s policies, the research intends to help policymakers in both the US and Mexico improve immigration policymaking. Comparative analysis of immigration policy implementation and the requirements of implementation of immigration reform proposals will facilitate formulation of reform proposals that have a greater chance of being effective once enacted and offer opportunities for the sharing of best practices.

The project involves several workshops and conferences organized by Rey Koslowski (and Laura Gonzalez-Murphy up until 2013):

Mexican Immigration Reform in International Perspective, Mexican Senate, Mexico City, June 9-10, 2011.

US Immigration Reform in International Perspective, Woodrow Wilson Center, Washington, DC, October 31, 2011.

Immigration to the US and Mexico, German Marshal Fund, Washington, DC, Nov. 1, 2011

Legislating Immigration Reform, Woodrow Wilson Center, Washington, DC, April 2, 2013.

Higher Education as a Means of Immigration: Local Initiatives, National Policies and Global Governance, SUNY Global Center, New York, May 2, 2014.

 

US Immigration Reform and State Level Immigration Policy-making, Rockefeller Institute of Government, November 13, 2014 (video of session open to the public is here).

 

Innovations in State Government Immigrant Policy, Rockefeller Institute of Government, April 29, 2015 (video of session open to the public is here).

 

Books, Articles, Reports and Paper Presentations:

Laura V. González-Murphy and Rey Koslowski, Socio-political Analysis of Mexico’s Current Laws Governing Immigration and the Need for a New Comprehensive Migration Law, Report to the Mexican Senate, 2010.

Laura V. González-Murphy and Rey Koslowski, "Understanding Mexico's Changing Immigration Laws" (Mexico Institute of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, March 2011) (Spanish version)

Rey Koslowski, “US Immigration Reform: Plenty of Ideas; Little Action,” presented at: U.S. Immigration Reform, With Special Reference to New York City, The Center for Migration Studies (CMS) in cooperation with The Levin Institute, SUNY, March 3, 2011. (pdf available here)

Rey Koslowski, explains the challenges of reforming immigration policy at the federal level in "Why New York Still Welcomes Immigrants" Wall Street Journal, July 28, 2012

Rey Koslowski and Ramon Gil-Garcia, “E-Government for Non-Citizens: A Preliminary Examination,” paper presented in The Roundtable Series on U.S. Visa, Border, and Immigration Policies, Council on Foreign Relations, Washington, DC, Nov. 16, 2012.

Laura V. Gonzalez-Murphy, Protecting Immigrant Rights in Mexico: Understanding the State Civil Society Nexus Protecting Immigrant Rights in Mexico: Understanding the State-Civil Society Nexus (Routledge, March 2013).

Rey Koslowski, “Recruiting the Highly-Skilled: How Does the US Compare with Canada and Australia?” Legislating Immigration Reform, Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars, Washington, DC, April 2, 2013.

Rey Koslowski, “The American Way of Border Control and Immigration Reform Politics,” Immigration Reform: Politics, Policy and Process, The Miller Center, University of Virginia, Washington, D.C., October 10-11, 2013.

Rey Koslowski, “Selective Migration Policy Models and Changing Realities of Implementation,” International Migration, Vol. 52, No. 3 (June 2014), pp. 26-39.

Rey Koslowski, "Hey Congress It's Comprehensive Immigration Reform or Nothing," Christian Science Monitor, May 21, 2013.

Rey Koslowski, “The American Way of Border Control and Immigration Reform Politics,” London Migration Research Group Seminar, London School of Economics, June 10, 2014.

Rey Koslowski, " The American Way of Border Control," Oxford Martin School, University of Oxford, June 11, 2014.

Rey Koslowski, “The American Way of Border Control and Immigration Reform Politics,” University of Edinburgh, June 16, 2014.

Rey Koslowski, “The American Way of Border Control and Immigration Reform Politics,”Institute for Migration and Ethnic Studies, University of Amsterdam, June 20, 2014.

Rey Koslowski, “The American Way of Border Control and Immigration Reform Politics,” University of Bremen, June 23, 2014.

Rey Koslowski, “The American Way of Border Control and Immigration Reform Politics,” Center of Migration Research, University of Warsaw, July 9, 2014.

Rey Koslowski, “The Interaction of US and Mexican Immigration Reform Processes and Increasing Migration Through Mexico,” North American Studies Programme, St. Anthony’s College, University of Oxford, October 28-29, 2014.

Rey Koslowski, “Selective Migration Policy Models, Changing Realities of Implementation and the Recruitment of Foreign Students to Become High-Skilled Immigrants,” American Economics Association – Allied Social Sciences Associations, Boston, January 2-5, 2015.

Rey Koslowski, “Selective Migration Strategies and the Politics of ‘Pathways to Citizenship,’” accepted for presentation at the American Political Science Association Meeting (APSA), San Francisco, September 3-5, 2015.

 

Resources:

Mexico's migration law : Migratory Act May 25, 2011 (This English translation was produced by the Mexican Senate for the workshops: US Immigration Reform in International Perspective and Immigration to the US and Mexico Oct 31, Nov. 1, 2013).