Security and the United States Immigration Policy: Two American Immigration Security Traditions and an Analytical Framework of National Security and U.S. Immigration Policy
Totten, Robbie J.
What is the relationship between security and United States immigration policy? This question is important because the volume of international migration has been rapidly rising in recent decades, and, since the 9/11 attacks, leaders are increasingly called on to produce policy to address its perceived security implications. This white paper assists officials with this task and answers the above question by discussing two common ways of structuring security and U.S. immigration—the national security and human rights/security traditions—that often lead to distinct policy outcomes; presenting an analytical framework of national security and American immigration policy with three dimensions (domestic or internal security interests, material and military considerations, and foreign policy); and using this framework to identify meta-security themes underlying major U.S. immigration policy decisions. The paper concludes by examining national security and post-9/11 American immigration responses, and discussing the policy implications of its findings.