The politics of immigration is a top issue here in Seattle at the annual meetings of the American Political Science Association. There is a working group on immigration and citizenship, and many panels related to immigration issues. I participated in a panel on Friday that covered a variety of issues, including deportations as a form of immigration control, guestworker programs, citizenship policy, international cooperation on immigration policy, and my own paper on antidiscrimination policy. Some of the issues that resonated across all of the papers included the role of left and right politics, particularly the role of the far right in setting the agenda and pushing policy in different directions. Many political scientists are trying to develop quantitative analyses which can help us understand which factors are influencing policy change, and the consensus seemed to be that the economy (e.g., unemployment, gdp) was not an important factor in policy change.
On the news front, immigration is heating up as an issue in the Republican presidential race. Mitt Romney is making clear his differences with Rick Perry as described in the Washington Post and In New Hampshire, Perry says he opposes Mexico border fence.
In the meantime California passes its own version of the Dream Act, while Georgia businesses are confused over the new law they are dealing with.