Immigration Politics and Policy

Research Paper Assignment

Your final research paper can be on ANY important immigration policy issue of your choosing. Your assignment will be to provide a policy advocacy memo that provides the background on the issue and states a clear position that is well supported by the evidence. You should clear your topic with me beforehand so I know what you are doing and can provide some guidance.

Paper Length 12-15 pages

Due Date December 10

Selecting a Topic

Below is a list of immigration policy think think tanks from a variety of competing points of views, more from the expansionist perspective admittedly, but that is what the internet environment looks like. The most prominent ones are those listed with a description of the organization. There are also a list of subjects, blogs and organizations. I would encourage you to peruse these sites to find a topic or issue that seems compelling and interesting to you.


The Nativist Lobby:  the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) and NumbersUSA
Center for Immigration Studies
The Center for Immigration Studies is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit research organization founded in 1985. The Center provides publications, reports, statistical information, and research and policy analysis of the economic, social, demographic, fiscal, and other impacts of immigration on the United States. CIS also operates two free e-mail information services (listservs) on immigration news (CISNEWS). There are usually two long postings each business day, one for U.S. news and the other for overseas news, plus occasional messages listing new publications or upcoming events from around the world.

Federation for American Immigration Reform
“The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) is a national, nonprofit, public-interest, membership organization of concerned citizens who share a common belief that our nation's immigration policies must be reformed to serve the national interest. FAIR seeks to improve border security, to stop illegal immigration, and to promote immigration levels consistent with the national interest—more traditional rates of about 300,000 a year.”

NumbersUSA for Lower Immigration Levels

-conservative, Restrictionist Immigration Organization

Immigration Policy Center
The Immigration Policy Center in Washington, D.C. is a nonprofit think tank dedicated to research on immigration law and policy. IPC studies analyze the economic, demographic and social impacts of immigration on the United States. In addition, the IPC serves as a resource on immigration law and policy for Congress and other immigration policy makers as well as for the media.

Migration Policy Institute
A private, nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank in Washington, DC.  MPI runs the “Migration Information Source” ( which offers some excellent, short policy overview papers (e.g., on current immigration bills in Congress), overviews of immigration policies around the world, and they have an international "data center" that carries immigration, refugee and citizenship stats from a variety of countries in an easy-to-use format.  Their U.S. data center has profiles of large (and some small) immigrant groups in the U.S., including maps of settlement.  Most of the data are national and international (comparative), but it is site worth exploring since it is user-friendly and has excellent data.

Pew Hispanic Center
Founded in 2001, the Pew Hispanic Center is a nonpartisan research organization supported by The Pew Charitable Trusts. Although the center’s primary focus is on the Latino population, its research and surveys often also include some information on other groups.  The website has reports about demography, economics, education, identity, attitudes (of Latinos, and of non-Latinos towards Latinos), immigration, labor, politics, and remittances. 

Public Policy Institute of California
A private, nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank in San Francisco that does research on population, economy, and governance and public finance in California.  PPIC does not have publicly available raw data, but researchers at PPIC regularly publish reports and working papers on migrants in California, including on the undocumented, naturalization and educational achievement.

The Urban Institute, Immigration Studies Program
The Immigration Studies Program addresses many of the critical issues that surround the integration of newcomers. For instance, immigrants are increasingly dispersed across the United States, settling in smaller cities, towns and rural areas. Immigrant populations are growing especially rapidly in Southeastern, Midwestern, and interior Western states, many of which have little experience in incorporating newcomers. How these states and communities deal with the challenges involved in integrating these new populations is one central area of our research.

Brookings Institute, Social Policy, Immigration*Immigration
The Brookings Institute is a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank devoted to independent research and policy solutions. Scholars at the institute write for policy-makers, the media, and academics.  Within its “Social Policy” area, the Institute has a number of publications, links to Op-eds and speech transcripts on immigration by those affiliated with Brookings.

CATO Unbound
Provides excellent articles on Mexican immigrations by leading scholars (e.g., Massey) and writers (e.g., Rodriguez) in this country.

Congressional Research Service Reports , See section on Immigration, Visas, and Border Security

Data Resources on Immigrants in the United States

National Conference of State Legislators review of state immigration policies

The New York Immigration Coalition


Potential Research Topic Ideas – some are more ideas than subjects- aka refugee policy

Undocumented immigrant students and access to higher education

Bilingual education


287 Program

Immigrants and crime

Immigrants and public assistance

Assimilation policy

Lessons of IRCA

The Revised Citizenship Test

Naturalization Backlog

Prince William County


Arpaio and Maricopa County: What Happens When Local Cops Become Immigration Agents?

 Arizona- the hotbed of anti-immigrant policy

Guest worker policy

H1-B Visas

Refugee policy


Current Numbers

Immigration History


Costs of Immigration

Illegal Immigration

Legal Immigration


National Security

State/Local Policy

Black Americans







Immigration & Immigrant-Related Websites
• ABA Law School Pro Bono Programs
• ACLU Immigrants Rights Project
• American Families United
• American Immigration Center
• American Immigration Law Foundation
• American Immigration Lawyers Association
• Amnesty International
• Asian American Justice Center
• Association of Trial Lawyers of America
• Bar Association of San Francisco, Volunteer Legal Services Program
• Bender’s Immigration Bulletin
• Beyond Borders
• Brazilmax
• California Rural Legal Assistance Border Project
• California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation
• Center for Comparative Immigration Studies, University of California, San Diego
• Center for International Human Rights Law
• Center for Immigration Studies
• Center for U.S./Mexico Studies, University of California, San Diego
• D.L. Hennessey's Immigration Links
• Detention Watch Network
• Fair Immigration Reform Movement
• Federal Publications, Inc.
• FindLaw
• Fong & Chun, LLP Immigration Attorneys
• Golden Venture (The Film)
• Heller Immigration Law Group LLP
• Human Rights First
• Human Rights Watch
• Immigration Equality
• Immigration Law on the Web
• Immigration Law Practitioners Association (UK)
• Immigrant Legal Resource Center
• Immigration Newsman
• Immigration Policy Center
• The Immigration Portal
• Internet Law Library
• Julian Samora Research Institute, Michigan State University
• JURIST (Immigration Law Page)
• Latin American Network Information Center
• Law Offices of Carl Shusterman
• Law Offices of Norton Tooby
• Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights for the San Francisco Bay Area
• Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service
• Mexican-American Legal Defense & Education Fund
• Migration Dialog
• Migration Policy Institute
• National Clearinghouse on Agricultural Guest Worker Issues
• National Council for La Raza
• National Council of State Legislatures
• National Federation of Paralegal Associations
• National Immigration Forum
• National Immigration Law Center
• National Immigration Project
• National Lawyers Guild
• National Legal Aid and Defender Association
• National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights
• New York State Defenders Association
• Northwest Immigrant Rights Project
• Physicians for Human Rights
• Pro Bono Institute, Georgetown University Law Center
• Probono.Net
• Race Equity Project, Legal Services of Northern California
• Refugee Caselaw Site
• Los Repatriados (The Repatriates)
• Rights Working Group
• Truth in Immigration
• Underbelly
• UC Berkeley Interdisciplinary Immigration Workshop
• United Farm Workers
• U.S. Citizenship Study Pages
• U.S. Committee for Refugees
• University of Texas, El Paso Center for Border Studies
• Western Massachusetts Coalition for Immigrant & Worker Rights
• Women on the Border

• Bay Area Immigrant Rights Coalition
• Fair Immigration Reform Movement Blog
• Immigration Orange
• IntLaw Grrls
• KCET Life and Times Blog
• The List: Project to Resettle Iraqi Allies
• New York Public Personnel Law
• Open Border Central
• Orange County Register Immigration Blog
• Refugees International Blog
• Working Imigrants

Immigration Clinics & Programs
• Clinical Legal Education Association
• University of California, Davis Immigration Law Clinic
• CUNY School of Professional Studies, Immigration Law Studies Certificate Program

Law Reviews
• Georgetown Immigration Law Journal


Federal Agencies
• Board of Immigration Appeals Precedent Decisions
• Executive Office of Immigration Review
• Immigration Statistical Yearbooks
• U.S. Court of the Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Immigration Documents
• U.S. Department of Homeland Security
    • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
    • U.S. Customs and Border Protection
   • U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
• U.S. Department of Justice
    • Civil Rights Division
   • Executive Office for Immigration Review
• U.S. Department of Labor
    • Foreign Labor
   • National Origin Descrimination
    • U.S. Department of State
   • Consular Affairs
   • Counternarcotics and Law Enforcement
   • Foreign Entry Requirements
   • Human Rights Page
   • Human Trafficking
   • International Labor
   • Immigration
   • Key Offices Overseas
   • Refugees
    • Visa Bulletin
   • Visa Services