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)

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.

Media Expertise
  • Immigration

Newsworthy

NewsApril 2, 2021
April 2: Faculty Research, Policy Engagement and News

10 features from the week 

  • Patrick Bixler spoke to the Associated Press about philanthropic gifts and scientific discovery after former Google CEO Eric Schmidt and his wife, Wendy, gave $150 million to the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard for research in biology and AI. 

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Media MentionMarch 2, 2021
One way Trump may have changed immigration forever

Since taking office, Biden has rolled back one after another of Trump and Miller's initiatives. On Day 1, he ended the travel ban from 13 majority-Muslim countries; paused construction of the wall along the Mexican border; and introduced a new bill that would give undocumented immigrants a path to citizenship. Biden also made clear he intends to rein in Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

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FeatureDecember 8, 2020
Increasing Community Resilience Through Immigrant Incorporation
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