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           Image courtesy of Gerd Altmann at Pixabay.com
 

My research focuses on ways that the American political system influences policymaking and the operation of agencies in the public sector, as well as the resulting impact these outcomes have on people. In my dissertation, “Immigration & Naturalization Policy Innovation through Bureaucratic Reorganization,” I investigated the means that national politicians employed to restructure the immigration and naturalization systems in the early to mid-20th century. I found that Congress and the president utilized bureaucratic reorganization, along with adjustments to institutional resources (i.e., funding, staffing, and infrastructure), to liberalize the strict laws then in effect. I refer to this process as “policy innovation through bureaucratic reorganization.” These officeholders helped immigrants by expanding the numbers arriving in America and increasing the rate of those becoming naturalized citizens.

At present, I am focused on studying the U.S. asylum process, which was authorized in the 1970s. My research homes in on President Trump’s efforts to reorganize this process to restrict claims for refuge while asylum officers adjudicate those claims. This research may reveal if the President has applied some of the same methods as officeholders have used in the past.