As immigrants move to Austin, they may face several challenges. A new analysis from public policy researchers at The University of Texas at Austin shows that although measures of legal support, government leadership and community put Austin at 43 out of the 100 largest cities in 2020 for immigrant incorporation, the city falls below average on measures of civic participation, livability and job opportunities. Additionally, Austin's naturalization rate is one of the lowest among its peers.
- 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
- Immigration, Asylum and Citizenship
- Legislative Development
- Unemployment and Social Welfare
- Policy Process and Institutions
- Social Policy
- Finance, Management and Leadership (including Nonprofits)
Ruth Wasem teaches policy development courses on immigration, citizenship, refugees and legislative development. She is affiliated with the Institute for Urban Policy Research and Analysis and the Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice.
For over 25 years, Dr. Wasem was a policy specialist at the Library of Congress's Congressional Research Service. She has testified before the U.S. Congress on asylum policy, immigration, human rights and unauthorized migration. She is a fellow at the Bipartisan Policy Center and as a contributing opinion writer for TheHill.com.
Dr. Wasem's research on asylum has resulted in two articles in 2020: "More than a Wall: The Rise and Fall of U..S Asylum and Refugee Policy," in the Journal of Migration and Human Security, and "At the Nexus of Refugee and Labour Migration: U.S. Refugee Policy Formulation after the Second World War," in the Journal of Migration History.
She has published "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, 2019). She also is writing Ebb and Flow: U.S. Immigration Policy over Time (Wiley Blackwell, forthcoming). Other recent publications include "Immigration Governance for the 21st Century" in the Journal of Migration and Human Security (Sage, 2018); and Tackling Unemployment: The Legislative Dynamics of the Employment Act of 1946 (Upjohn Institute Press, 2013).
Dr. Wasem directed a policy research project (PRP) that resulted in the publication Welcoming Communities: Immigrant Incorporation in Dallas, TX (2020). This research project on immigrant incorporation has expanded to San Antonio and its peer cities.
She has appeared on NPR's "All Things Considered"; PRI's "The World"; KUT's "Morning Edition"; Texas Public Radio and The Texas Standard, and been cited in The Atlantic, The Wall Street Journal and Dallas Morning News, among other publications.
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