Ruth Wasem


Professor of Public Policy Practice, LBJ School of Public Affairs, The University of Texas at Austin

Watch the Recap: Immigration: American Dreams and Challenges

Ruth Ellen Wasem is a Professor of Policy Practice (Clinical Professor) at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas, where she teaches courses on immigration policy and legislative development. For more than 25 years, Wasem was an immigration policy specialist at the U.S. Library of Congress' Congressional Research Service. She has testified before Congress about asylum policy, legal immigration trends, human rights, and the push-pull forces on unauthorized migration. Wasem earned master’s and doctor’s degrees in history at the University of Michigan, largely funded by the Institute for Social Research.

Wasem is currently writing a book about the legislative drive to end race- and nationality-based immigration. From this research, she has written "The Undertow of Reforming Immigration," for A Nation of Immigrants Reconsidered: The U.S. in an Age of Restriction, 1924-1965, (University of Illinois Press, 2019). Other recent publications include “Immigration Governance for the 21st Century,” in the Journal of Migration and Human Security, (Sage, 2018); "The US Visa Waiver Program: Facilitating Travel and Enhancing Security," (Chatham House, 2017), “Welfare and Public Benefits” in American Immigration: An Encyclopedia of Political, Social, and Cultural Change, 2nd Edition, (M.E. Sharpe, 2014), and Tackling Unemployment: The Legislative Dynamics of the Employment Act of 1946 (Upjohn Institute Press, 2013). Dr. Wasem is an opinion contributor on immigration-related topics to The Hill newspaper.