Honors Theses

Date of Award

Spring 5-5-2022

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis


Croft Institute for International Studies

First Advisor

Simone Delerme

Relational Format



In the past two decades, the US has experienced a large influx of immigrants from Venezuela and the Northern Triangle countries of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. Due to these unprecedented increases, there has been numerous notable shifts in Immigration control policy between the presidencies of Barack Obama and Donald Trump. Generally, policies under Obama were favorable and reflected pro-immigrant rhetoric. Meanwhile, Trump took a drastic turn toward restrictionist, unfavorable policies. This study aims to examine the impact of immigration policy on migratory flows and the immigrant experience in the US. Using both quantitative and qualitative methods, I examine data that demonstrates the migratory inflows and outflows of these groups as well as oral history interviews and newspaper discourse to determine the effects of immigration policy on migratory flows and the socioeconomic integration of these immigrant groups in the US. The results indicate that favorable policies generally coincided with increases in migratory flows while unfavorable policies coincided with decreases. With regard to the immigrant experience, favorable policies positively impacted the socioeconomic integration process and unfavorable policies negatively impacted the process. This study may provide valuable insight for decision makers of immigration control policy and allow for a deeper understanding of the effects of immigration policies.



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