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Uncertain Times

Title: Uncertain Times: Immigration Policy, Practice & the Resolve to Make America Safe in the 21st Century.
Name(s): Barnett, Melissa D., author
Reynolds, John R., 1966--, professor directing dissertation
Sinke, Suzanne M., outside committee member
Hardy, Melissa A., committee member
Quadagno, Jill S., committee member
Florida State University, degree granting institution
College of Arts and Sciences, degree granting college
Department of Sociology, degree granting department
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2008
Publisher: Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource (165 pages)
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: This study examines the apparent impact of 9/11 on the desirability of Arab and Muslim noncitizens seeking entry into the U.S. Following the September 11th attacks, immigration legislation expanded the definition of terrorism and restricted entry for nonimmigrants from State Sponsors of Terrorism. Though these two pieces of legislation modified the way in which potential terrorists are assessed, the effect of such legislation on noncitizen flows and its influence on countries that resemble the race/ethnic and religious composition of the State Sponsors of Terrorism and the 9/11 hijackers has not been examined. This dissertation examines whether a profound event such as September 11th had definitive consequences on the flow of noncitizens entering the U.S. from other predominantly Arab and/or Muslim countries. Using data from the 1998-2005 Yearbooks of Immigration Statistics, the UN Population Division’s Demographic Yearbooks, the World Development Indicators, and the CIA Factbook, I compare noncitizen flows pre- and post-9/11 (1998-2005) to identify any changes by country-of-origin and analyze whether changes might be correlated with a country’s predominant racial/ethnic and religious composition. This dissertation has five main findings. First, all noncitizen flows experienced a decline in flows after 9/11. Particularly, students and work-based nonimmigrants from State Sponsors of Terrorism and other predominantly Arab/Muslim countries encountered the greatest declines. Second, young, nonimmigrants aged 25-44 from State Sponsors of Terrorism and other predominantly Arab and/or Muslim countries encountered steeper declines after 9/11 than did nonimmigrants of the same age from counties with established ties to the U.S. Third, immigrant flows for most countries rebounded during 2004-2005. Moreover, predominantly non-Arab/Muslim countries encountered significant increases in flows compared to countries with established ties to the U.S., State Sponsors of Terrorism and other predominantly Arab/Muslim countries. Fourth, refugee applications declined considerably after 9/11 for most countries. However, the desire to enter the U.S. has increased slightly but not for all countries. Fifth, given the decreases in student and work-based nonimmigrant flows after 9/11, the results of this dissertation suggest that official immigration legislation is not necessarily needed to influence noncitizen flows from countries viewed as undesirable by governmental institutions and the public. This implies two things. First, legislation restricting nonimmigrants from State Sponsors of Terrorism has spilled over onto countries of similar race/ethnic and religious composition. Second, it would appear the currently applied definition of desirability has more to do with the racial, rather than religious, composition of noncitizens entering the country.
Identifier: FSU_FA2016_Barnett_fsu_0071E_13688 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Dissertation submitted to the Department of Sociology in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Degree Awarded: Fall semester 2008.
Date of Defense: August 12, 2008.
Keywords: Arab, immigrant flows, Muslim, noncitizens, race/ethnicity, religion
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory Committee: John R. Reynolds, Professor Directing Dissertation; Suzanne Sinke, Outside Committee Member; Melissa A. Hardy, Committee Member; Jill Quadagno, Committee Member.
Subject(s): Sociology
Persistent Link to This Record:
Owner Institution: FSU

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Barnett, M. D. (2008). Uncertain Times: Immigration Policy, Practice & the Resolve to Make America Safe in the 21st Century. Retrieved from