Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
War and Society
Lori Cox Han
Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Americans have been at war against some form of terrorism both at home and abroad. This includes abuses of federal immigration laws and policies that relate to legal and illegal immigration with Mexico. It is easily substantiated that thousands of Americans have died at the hands of illegal immigrants from Mexico through criminal activity in the United States or through illegal drug trafficking. This thesis considers whether the immigration policies of Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush were at fault for not properly securing the border prior to these attacks. Specifically, did the Bush administration effectively secure the border following 9/11? Furthermore, how does the substantial growth of illegal immigrants from 1995 to 2005 correlate to the failed policies passed during this era? This analysis shows that it should not have taken a catastrophic event like the terrorist attacks on 9/11 to realize the urgent need for stronger national security in the homeland. This work concludes with the argument that both administrations should have placed a greater priority on promoting stronger federal immigration laws and policies that would have resulted in better solutions to permanently secure America's southern border with Mexico.
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Nelsen, Robert, "Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Immigration Policy: How 9/11 Transformed the Debate Over Illegal Immigration" (2019). War and Society (MA) Theses. 4.