The Political Weaponization of Immigration in the United States

Nevill, Claire
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In the past months and years, immigration has remained a “hot button” issue that Americans politicians are quick to criticize, but slow to reform. Republicans and Democrats have long supported comprehensive immigration reform, but despite acknowledging the downfalls of the immigration system, the policy stalemate over immigration remains. Why? This thesis posits that the policy stalemate over immigration began increasing in the 1990s and remains in place because the stalemate is strategically used by American politicians as a mechanism to gain political advantages and win elections. The beginning of the thesis analyzes the timeline of the increasing immigration stalemate and focuses on the United States while presenting evidence to prove the claim. A comparative analysis of the United States, Mexico, and Canada is also used to gain perspective on why the United States’ struggle with an immigration policy stalemate is different than neighboring countries.

Immigration., Policy stalemate., Politics., United States.