No Movement on the Border: Why Immigration Reform Fell Short Under Bush

31 Pages Posted: 22 Feb 2011 Last revised: 15 Apr 2011

Date Written: February 1, 2011


Comprehensive immigration reform was one of President George W. Bush’s top priorities during his second term in office, and to get it done he would need to persuade a divided public and a divided Congress to unite behind a single plan. To do so would call for far more than exploiting an opportunity ripe for change. By analyzing the path immigration reform took through Congress and the roll call votes taken in the House and the Senate, I find that the Bush’s strong public stances hindered his efforts of persuading individual legislators, that his public appeals failed to shift public opinion in favor of his policy positions, and that Bush failed to unify even his own party members on this issue. Through this analysis of past efforts to pass comprehensive immigration reform, we can spot the potential pitfalls President Obama may find in his attempts to address this issue over the coming years.

Suggested Citation

Harper, Tiffany, No Movement on the Border: Why Immigration Reform Fell Short Under Bush (February 1, 2011). Western Political Science Association 2011 Annual Meeting Paper , Available at SSRN:

Tiffany Harper (Contact Author)

Collin College ( email )

Plano, TX 75093
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics