Wasem, Ruth E. | LBJ School of Public Affairs | The University of Texas at Austin
Education
  • 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).

Newsworthy

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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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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Media MentionJanuary 30, 2017
Immigration Expert Outlines Origins of 7 Countries in Trump Order

After the announcement of seven countries impacted by a Trump Administration immigration order, Ruth Wasem talks about the nature of prior vetting processes in those countries.

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