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 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.

Media Expertise
  • Immigration

Newsworthy

NewsAugust 19, 2021
Immigrants face inclusion challenges in Austin, analysis shows

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.

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FeatureAugust 13, 2021
Fall 2021 classes focus on topics from intelligence and foreign policy to Black politics and COVID

In many ways, "public policy" world is as varied as the people who practice it. There is no one path to it; thinkers and doers pursue their passion for service for so many different reasons. The LBJ School was founded to improve the quality of public service in the United States and abroad at all levels of governance and civic engagement. We practice this through interdisciplinary scholarship, hands-on experience and a customizable educational experience that allows students to develop unique skills and expertise.

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Media MentionJuly 14, 2021
How Texas keeps trying to block Biden on immigration

Ruth Wasem spoke to CNN about how lawmakers in Texas are trying to block the Biden administration on immigration.

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