Implementing Migration Policy: Excavating the Administrative and Bureaucratic Processes Behind Migrant Admissions and Deportation

Conference: Implementing Migration Policy: Excavating the Administrative and Bureaucratic Processes Behind Migrant Admissions and Deportation"
May 2-3, 2022

In a globalized world, one of the most difficult tasks facing governments is how to effectively manage cross-border migration. In recent years, popular media and academic publications have highlighted the ways in which elected officials and lobby groups influence the politics that drives immigration policy. However, less attention has been paid to those tasked with carrying out immigration policy such as bureaucrats who may work in conjunction with non-governmental organizations. Often hidden from public view, these actors operate behind the scenes transforming formal policy into on-the-ground practices which impact migrant populations in a variety of ways. If we are to fully understand how national and regional governments manage cross-border migration and integration, we must also pull back the curtain to observe the dynamics of policy implementation.

With the aim of shedding light on how bureaucratic agencies and civil society organizations influence immigration policy and resettlement, we invite the public to attend a series of conversations on said topic by leading scholars in the social sciences. Our conference explores the dynamics of implementing immigration policy by showcasing cutting-edge academic research on the following issues:

  • Bureaucrats’ role in shaping immigration policy
  • Civil society’s engagement in policy implementation
  • The role of subnational jurisdictions in migrant entry and settlement
  • How states reconcile national law with international legal and global normative pressures

The following speakers are currently expected to speak at the conference.

Session 1: Bureaucrats’ role in shaping immigration policy

May 2, 1:10-3:00 pm

  • Angie Bautista-Chavez, Arizona State University
    Professor Bautista-Chavez’s research explores the domestic and international components of the American immigration enforcement apparatus.
  • Antje Ellermann, University of British Columbia
    Professor Ellermann’s recent book explores how bureaucrats (along with other actors) impact policy trajectories in Canada, the US, Germany, and Switzerland.
  • Nicholas A. R. Fraser, UC Berkeley
    Dr. Fraser’s research shows how bureaucratic culture underlies very generous (Canada) and very strict (Ireland, Japan, South Korea) asylum policy legacies.

Session 2: Civil society’s engagement in policy implementation

May 2, 3:10-5:00 pm

  • Geoffrey Cameron, University of Toronto
    Dr. Cameron’s recent book explores how religious groups have played an important role in refugee resettlement in Canada and the US.
  • Erin Aeran Chung, Johns Hopkins University
    Professor Chung’s recent book investigates how Japan’s and South Korea’s immigration policies have been influenced by the degree to which policymakers engage with civil society actors.
  • Jaeeun Kim, University of Michigan
    Professor Kim’s recent work shows how religious organizations help asylum-seekers navigate refugee status determination procedures in the US.

A public reception will follow the conclusion of Session 2, at 5:15 pm at the Women's Faculty Club on the UC Berkeley campus.

Session 3: The role of subnational jurisdictions in migrant entry and settlement

May 3, 1:10-3:00 pm

  • Els de Graauw, City University of New York
    Professor de Graauw’s recent work explores how city government agencies across the US. manage immigrant integration issues.
  • Angela García, University of Chicago
    Professor García’s recent work examines how local immigration laws in the US impact undocumented immigrants from Mexico.
  • Tomás Jiménez, Stanford University
    Professor Jiménez will present insights from his recent book, States of Belonging: Immigration Policies, Attitudes, and Inclusion
  • Jennifer Jones, University of Illinois at Chicago
    Professor Jones’ ongoing research compares immigrant serving organizations and immigration policy regimes across the southern US.

Session 4: How states reconcile national law with international legal and global normative pressures

May 3, 3:10-5:00 pm

  • Yasmeen Abu-Laban, University of Alberta
    Professor Abu-Laban’s recent research uncovers links between settler colonialism and international migration with a focus on Canada.
  • Rebecca Hamlin, University of Massachusetts Amherst
    Professor Hamlin’s work explores the ways in which national states adhere to the international norm of refugee protection.
  • Nora Kim, University of Mary Washington
    Professor Kim will investigate South Korea's refugee policies and practices in relation to the international refugee regime.

This conference will be held on the UC Berkeley campus and will be open to the public. The intended audience includes academic and members of the public with an interest in comparative immigration policy, with a particular focus on Canada and the United States.

This conference is made possible thanks to the generous support of the Canadian Consulate General in San Francisco; the Miller Institute for Global Challenges and the Law; the Institute of East Asian Studies; the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD); the Institute of Governmental Studies; the Center for the Study of Law and Society; the Othering & Belonging Institute; the Center for Race and Gender; the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues; the Berkeley Interdisciplinary Migration Initiative; Global, International, and Area Studies; the Institute of International Studies; and the Institute of European