Wasem, Ruth E. | LBJ School of Public Affairs | The University of Texas at Austin
  • Ph.D. in History, University of Michigan, 1990
  • M.A. in History, University of Michigan, 1978
  • B.A. in History, Political Science and Psychology, Muskingum College, 1976
Research Areas
  • Immigration, Asylum and Citizenship
  • Legislative Development
  • Unemployment and Social Welfare
Teaching Areas
  • Policy Process and Institutions
  • Social Policy
  • Finance, Management and Leadership (including non-profits)

For more than 25 years, Ruth Ellen Wasem was a domestic policy specialist at the U.S. Library of Congress' Congressional Research Service. She has testified before Congress about asylum policy, legal immigration trends, human rights, and the push-pull forces on unauthorized migration. Wasem earned master’s and doctor’s degrees in history at the University of Michigan, largely funded by the Institute for Social Research. Wasem is currently engaged with a group of international scholars who are researching asylum and the rise of the political right, and she presented research papers focused on the U.S. context in Italy and Belgium over the summer of 2017. She is also writing a book about the legislative drive to end race- and nationality-based immigration. From this research, she has written "The Undertow of Reforming Immigration," for "A Nation of Immigrants Reconsidered: The U.S. in an Age of Restriction, 1924-1965," (University of Illinois Press, forthcoming 2018). Other recent publications include "The US Visa Waiver Program: Facilitating Travel and Enhancing Security," (Chatham House, 2017), “Welfare and Public Benefits” in "American Immigration: An Encyclopedia of Political, Social, and Cultural Change," 2nd Edition, (M.E. Sharpe, 2014), and "Tackling Unemployment: The Legislative Dynamics of the Employment Act of 1946" (Upjohn Institute Press, 2013).


NewsDecember 15, 2017
LBJ School Semester in Review: Fall 2017

The LBJ School students’ visit with former Vice President Joe Biden made the cover of The Daily Texan’s Semester in Review. Here are some more highlights from a great semester at the LBJ School.

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NewsNovember 14, 2017
New Research from the LBJ School Examines Relationship Between U.S. Visa Waiver Program and National Security

New research from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin examines foreign tourism to the United States and the resulting economic benefits against the backdrop of national security.

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Media MentionFebruary 3, 2017
Trump Adviser Attempts To Recover From 'Bowling Green Massacre' Gaffe

After Kellyanne Conway referenced an incident in Bowling Green, Ky., leading to an Obama administration change in refugee vetting processes, LBJ Professor Ruth Wasem contrasted that policy with Donald Trump's recent immigration ban.

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