Council on Foreign Relations Press
The authors examine U.S. efforts to prevent illegal immigration to the United States. Although the United States has witnessed a sharp drop in illegal border crossings in the past decade alongside an enormous increase in government activities to prevent illegal immigration, there remains little understanding of the role enforcement has played. Better data and analyses to assist lawmakers in crafting more successful policies and to support administration officials in implementing these policies are long overdue.
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Bryan Roberts is a senior economist at Econometrica, Inc. He was previously a senior economist at Nathan Associates. He is also an adjunct lecturer at George Washington University's Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration. Roberts was previously the assistant director for border and immigration issues of the Office of Program Analysis and Evaluation at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). He also worked in DHS's Office of Policy and Science and Technology Directorate as an economist and program manager, analyzing issues related to risk analysis, border security, immigration, nonimmigrant travel and trade, and other homeland security areas. Before working at DHS, Roberts was as an economic adviser in several countries of the former Soviet Union and the Balkans. Roberts holds a BA from the University of Pennsylvania and a PhD in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Edward Alden is the Bernard L. Schwartz senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, specializing in U.S. economic competitiveness. Alden also directs the CFR Renewing America publication series. The former Washington bureau chief for the Financial Times, his work focuses on immigration and visa policy and on U.S. trade and international economic policy. He is the author of the book The Closing of the American Border: Terrorism, Immigration, and Security Since 9/11, which was named a 2009 finalist for the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize for nonfiction writing. Alden was the project director of the 2009 CFR-sponsored Independent Task Force on U.S. Immigration Policy, which was chaired by former Florida governor Jeb Bush and former White House chief of staff Thomas "Mack" McLarty. Alden was previously the Canadian bureau chief for the Financial Times, based in Toronto, and before that was a reporter at the Vancouver Sun, specializing in labor and employment issues. He also worked as the managing editor of the newsletter Inside U.S. Trade. He holds a BA in political science from the University of British Columbia and an MA in international relations from the University of California, Berkeley, and he pursued doctoral studies before returning to a journalism career.
John Whitley is an economist who studies resource allocation and performance issues in national security. He is also an adjunct lecturer at George Washington University's Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration. He previously served as the director of the Office of Program Analysis and Evaluation (PA&E) at the Department of Homeland Security, where he led the DHS resource allocation process and the measurement, reporting, and improvement of performance. Before DHS, Whitley worked in the Department of Defense's Office of PA&E on defense resource allocation issues, the U.S. Senate, and academia, and served in the U.S. Army. Whitley holds a BA from Virginia Tech and an MA and a PhD in economics from the University