President Obama’s National Address and Dialogue on Comprehensive Immigration Reform

CCIS Research Associate Tom Wong  attended President Obama’s address on immigration reform in Las Vegas, NV January 29, 2013.  The audience was comprised of the President’s key advisors on immigration policy, as well as several national and regional civil rights and immigrant-serving organizations that have played key roles in moving the immigration reform debate forward. Wong, in line with his current research on the determinants of immigration policy in the U.S., is advising several of these organizations on the political prospects for comprehensive immigration reform in 2013.  After the address, the White House released more details of the President’s proposal to attendees, which can be found here.

 


Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar – The Political Economies of Immigration Law

[podcast]http://ccis.ucsd.edu/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Mariano-Cuellar.mp3[/podcast]

Seminar to be held on Monday, January 28th in ERC 115 at 12:00 pm.

A largely dysfunctional American immigration system is only poorly explained by simple depictions of the political economy of lawmaking in this area, blaming functional economic policy-setting, longstanding public attitudes, explicit presidential discretion, or general gridlock. Instead, the structure of immigration law emerges from intersecting effects of three separate political economies – statutory compromises rooted in the political economy of lawmaking, organizational practices reflecting the political economy of implementation, and public reactions implicating the responses of policy elites and the larger public to each other. Together, these factors help constitute an immigration status quo of continuing legal controversies as well as powerful obstacles to change: (1) Particularly since 1986, American immigration statutes have created a legal arrangement essentially built to fail, giving authorities regulatory responsibilities that were all but impossible to achieve under existing law. (2) Implementation has been characterized by organizational fragmentation, with policy changes involving one agency producing externalities not owned by that agency, alongside limited presidential power to change enforcement or implementation. At the same time, (3) the interplay of unrealistic statutory goals, enforcement patterns, and public attitudes engenders a polarizing implementation dynamic, where agencies’ incapacity to enforce existing law tends to spur polarized responses producing legislation that exacerbates agency difficulties in meeting public expectations, without giving interested parties enough of a reason to support an alternative.

The resulting cycle favors expansion in the provision of border enforcement resources, a development supported or at least tolerated by most political actors yet failing to address the core institutional dysfunction in the system, while locking in most other features of the status quo. Beyond what these developments tell us about immigration law, they also reveal much about (a) how statutory entrenchment in the United States is affected by political cycles capable of eroding the legitimacy of public agencies, and (b) how powerful nation-states control, in limited but nonetheless significant ways, the transnational flows affecting their well-being and security.

Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar works at the intersection of law, public policy, and political science.  A member of the Stanford Law School faculty since 2001, he is currently Professor and Deane F. Johnson Faculty Scholar at Stanford Law School, Professor (by courtesy) of Political Science, and the Co-Director of Stanford’s Center for International Security and Cooperation.  His research and teaching focus on administrative law, executive power, and how organizations implement regulatory responsibilities involving public health and safety, migration, and international security in a changing world.  In July 2010, the President appointed him to the Council of the Administrative Conference of the United States, an independent agency charged with improving the efficiency and fairness of federal regulatory programs.  He also serves on the Department of Education’s National Commission on Educational Equity and Excellence, and the Department of State’s Advisory Sub-Committee on Economic Sanctions.

From early 2009 through the summer of 2010, he served as Special Assistant to the President for Justice and Regulatory Policy at the White House.  In this capacity, he led the Domestic Policy Council’s work on criminal justice and drug policy, public health and food safety, regulatory reform, borders and immigration, civil rights, and rural and agricultural policy.  Among other issues, Cuéllar worked on stricter food safety standards, the FDA’s regulatory science initiative, expanding support for local law enforcement and community-based crime prevention, strengthening border coordination and immigrant integration, and the Quadrennial Homeland Security Review.  Before working at the White House, he co-chaired the Obama-Biden Transition’s Immigration Policy Working Group.  During the second term of the Clinton Administration, he worked at the U.S. Department of the Treasury as Senior Advisor to the Under Secretary for Enforcement, where he focused on countering financial crime, improving border coordination, and enhancing anti-corruption measures.  He is on the Board of Directors of the Constitution Project, a non-profit think-tank that builds bipartisan consensus on significant constitutional issues.  He clerked for Chief Judge Mary M. Schroeder of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Barbara Buckinx – Non-Domination Through Citizenship

Monday, January 14
12:00-2:00pm
Social Sciences Building 102
UC San Diego

Non-Domination through Citizenship

Barbara Buckinx, Visiting Scholar, UC San Diego Center on Global Justice; recently of Goethe (Frankfurt), Brown, and Princeton Universities

Scholars such as David Miller rely on civic republican ideas about the normative importance of the state to defend a restrictive citizenship regime. I argue that republicanism instead mandates an inclusive membership policy, and that all non-temporary residents ought to be given access to the status of citizenship and its associated privileges. After all, the republican state can fulfill its function only when its law is non-arbitrary, and this obtains only when all those who are subject to the state’s rule have the necessary means at their disposal to force the state to take their interests into account. Against Iseult Honohan, I argue that a waiting period for citizenship acquisition can also not be justified. Finally, I consider and reject three alternatives to the extension of citizenship to residents: non-citizen voting, legal protections, and cosmopolitan citizenship.

The paper will be posted at http://polisci2.ucsd.edu/ptw/Current_Schedule.htm by 5 PM, Thursday, Jan 10.

For more information, please contact Gerry Mackie

Chris Haynes – Empathy & Immigration Policy Preferences: The Interactive Pathway for Permissive Change

[podcast]http://ccis.ucsd.edu/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Research-Seminar_Chris-Haynes.mp3[/podcast]

Seminar to be held on Monday, November 26th in ERC 115 at 12:00 pm

Social psychology research has shown that priming both emotion-giving and perspective-taking empathy can increase positive attitudes towards other groups.  Yet, political scientists have yet to explore the attitudinal implications of this emotional construct in a political context.  However, in a previous pilot study of students,  Chris Haynes finds evidence that empathy can have a permissive effect on people’s immigration policy preferences.  Here, he builds on these insights by presenting the results of two experiments, one laboratory and one online M-Turk, which evaluate the following expectations:  First, he argues that while empathy is multidimensional, empathic effects on immigration policy preferences depend largely on the presence of both emotion-giving and perspective-taking empathy.  Second,  he asserts that these effects will be moderated by the permissive effects of dispositional empathy.    In the first laboratory study of temp agency supplied participants from California, he finds that dispositional empathy moderates permissive change as expected.   In the second national M-Turk study, he finds support for his interactive understanding of empathy in addition to dispositional empathy as a moderator.  He then discusses the implications of these findings.

Chris Haynes is a PhD candidate in Political Science from the University of California, Riverside and CCIS Pre-Doctoral Fellow.  His NSF-funded dissertation examines the effects of empathy in the context of immigration policy preferences.  More broadly, his research includes a book manuscript on the framing effects on public opinion on immigration, working papers on Asian-American co-ethnic linked fate, the implications of ethnic media consumption on the political knowledge of Latinos, Asian-Americans, and African-Americans, and work with the second iteration of the National Asian American Survey.