Exploring the Passage of Immigration Legislation in the Modern Political Era

Open Access
Fleischer, Rachel Sonia
Area of Honors:
Political Science
Bachelor of Arts
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Gretchen G Casper, Honors Advisor
  • Michael J Nelson, Thesis Supervisor
  • immigrant
  • immigration
  • immigration legislation
  • legislative process
  • public policy
  • legislation
This research quantitatively analyzes the impact certain variables had on the passage of immigration legislation from 1973-2014. Testing variables such as saliency, government type, party polarization, member ideology, public opinion, and others, I found that immigration bills are enacted into law more during times of divided government than during times of unified government. Additionally, using the trends over the 41 years that I studied, I also predicted the probability of the progression of future immigration bills through the legislative process given certain conditions. My research helps explain why past legislation has failed, what an “ideal” environment looks like in order to pass immigration legislation, and provides researchers with another method of quantitatively analyzing both immigration legislation and the legislative process overall.