Poles Apart: The Politics of Illegal Immigration in America

Daniel J. Tichenor and Marc R. Rosenblum

in Oxford Handbook of the Politics of International Migration

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780195337228
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Poles Apart: The Politics of Illegal Immigration in America

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This article analyzes the contemporary U.S. immigration policy debate. To understand why U.S. policymakers have struggled to address the nation's most significant immigration problems while immigration control measures have intensified, it identifies and examines five daunting barriers to broad reform. It considers immigration reform politics under Obama's two most immediate predecessors, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. These presidents ultimately made markedly different strategic choices on this combustible issue, with contrasting long-term implications. The article concludes by reviewing the politics of immigration policy during the first three years of the Obama administration and identifying persistent obstacles to comprehensive immigration reform.

Keywords: United States; immigration policy; immigration control; immigration reform; Bill Clinton; George W. Bush; Obama administration

Article.  11358 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; International Relations

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