Article Title

Immigrants, Markets, and Rights: The United States As an Emerging Migration State

Publication Title

Washington University Journal of Law & Policy


In the pages that follow, we will develop the concept of the migration state and examine U.S. immigration trends from the late nineteenth century up to 2003 in light of labor market dynamics and the business cycle. We then look at the emergence of the United States as a migration state and the rise of rights-based politics and rights-markets coalitions in the period from 1945 to 1990. These coalitions in the U.S. Congress are key to understanding immigration policy outputs and outcomes. The argument can be generalized to cover other liberal democracies in Western Europe, Canada, and Australia.