Who's Going to Build Your Wall?: The Influence of Non-Governmental Institutions on Local Immigration Policy
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This dissertation seeks to understand the influence of non-governmental institutions on local public policy outputs. Within immigration policy, current shifts in the implementation of enforcement have allowed local law enforcement agencies to function as extensions of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement leading to an unprecedented rise in the deportations of immigrants from the interior of the country. By examining the outputs of the Secure Communities program from 2009 through 2014, this research evaluates how non-governmental institutions can influence the deportability of immigrants within a community. In influencing the deportability of immigrants, nongovernmental institutions alter Secure Communities outputs. The first part of this dissertation takes an empirical focus on theorizing how language as an institutional characteristic serves as a mechanism of representative bureaucracy. Using the theory of representative bureaucracy, linguistic congruence between local law enforcement agents and policy target should lead to decreased policy outputs. Using the Law Enforcement Management and Administration Survey, the results indicate that language can function as active representation decreasing Secure Communities outputs, but only in counties with small immigrant communities. The second section of this dissertation is a multi-method study that develops a conceptual framework for the philanthropic sector’s influence on public policy. Beginning with the empirical analysis, the first part of the framework focuses on establishing the link between the philanthropic sector's grant making patterns and immigration policy outputs. The results indicate an incredibly small effect between philanthropic foundations' immigration-related grant making patterns and the identification of deportable immigrants. To understand the relationship between the philanthropic sector and policy outputs, the final part of this study takes a qualitative approach to study how nonprofit grant recipients and their work with the immigrant community alters immigrant deportability. The two studies together develop a conceptual framework that provides insights into how philanthropic funding translates into redefining citizenship at the community level with the aim to reduce the deportability of the immigrant community. This dissertation provides insights into how non-governmental institutions can shape the concept of citizenship and alter policy through citizen-state feedback.
Calderon, Maria Apolonia (2018). Who's Going to Build Your Wall?: The Influence of Non-Governmental Institutions on Local Immigration Policy. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from