Book Project

Exporting Borders:

The Administrative Architecture of U.S. International Migration Control

What is the influence of the U.S. executive bureaucracy on the internationalization of U.S. immigration enforcement? In contrast to explanations of U.S. immigration policymaking that center institutional constraints, electoral incentives, or interest group pressures on legislators or presidents, this book moves the scope of analysis from the electoral politics of immigration policy to the bureaucratic politics of immigration policy. The book project draws on systematic analyses of U.S. DHS budgets and reports, performance assessments, congressional hearings and testimonies, and interviews with interest groups and government officials who have served in the United States and Mexico across two decades. The book also draws on observations from the U.S.-Mexican border and asylum cases to describe the human effects of their policies and decisions. This methodological approach uncovers illuminating findings concerning the ways U.S. immigration policy is made, managed, and implemented. Ultimately, “Exporting Borders” reveals how the U.S. bureaucracy is not merely a passive institution that mediates between the U.S. government and migrants. The immigration bureaucracy is itself a political institution comprised of powerful actors who advocate for, set agendas, and make policy that drive the externalization of U.S. borders.

Grants in Support

Russell Sage Foundation Pipeline Grant

New Perspectives in American Governance Grant