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Ruth E. Wasem

Adjunct Professor of Public Policy


Contact Info

Washington, D.C.

Ruth Ellen Wasem is a domestic policy specialist at the Congressional Research Service, U.S. Library of Congress. In that capacity, she has researched, written, and led seminars on immigration and social welfare policies. Congressional committees and offices have released many of her reports, which are widely cited. She has testified before the U.S. Congress most recently on asylum policy and trends, on human rights protections in immigration law, and on the push-pull forces on unauthorized migration. Wasem earned masters and doctorate degrees in History at the University of Michigan and received her baccalaureate degree in History, Political Science and Psychology from Muskingum University.  Recent publications include Tackling Unemployment: The Legislative Dynamics of the Employment Act of 1946 (Upjohn Institute Press, 2013) and “Welfare and Public Benefits” in American Immigration: An Encyclopedia of Political, Social, and Cultural Change, 2nd Edition, (M.E. Sharpe, 2014).  Current research projects are: "Middle Class Rising," an analysis of the federal policies aimed at encouraging prosperity during the three decades after World War Two; and, "Whom We Shall Welcome," a history of the legislative drive to end race- and nationality-based immigration resulting in the Immigration Act of 1965.

Education

University of Michigan: Ph.D. in History (Winter, 1990); dissertation titled No More Depressions: Full Employment and the Employment Act of 1946.

  • Dissertation committee: Jerome Clubb (chair), John Jackson, Terrance MacDonald and Maris Vinovskis. 
  • Preliminary exam fields: American Political History with Jerome Clubb; Electoral Behavior with Phillip Converse; United States 20th Century History with Sidney Fine; Russian History since Peter the Great with Arthur Mendel; and Ancient Greece and Rome with Chester Starr

University of Michigan: M.A. in History (Fall, 1978).

Muskingum College: B.A. Magna cum Laude in History, Political Science and Psychology (1976).

Current Positions

Library of Congress, Congressional Research Service, Domestic Social Policy Division: Specialist in Immigration Policy and Immigration Team Leader (2000 to date);

Previous Positions

United Way of America, Research Division: Senior Research Associate, Project Manager of Comparative Cities Project (1984-1987).

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Population Affairs: Public Health Service Fellow, Family Planning and Adolescent Pregnancy Programs (1983- 1984).

University of Michigan, Institute for Social Research: Senior Research Assistant (1981 to 1982).

Bentley Library, Michigan Historical Collections: Project Director of Williams Oral History Project (1980 to 1982).

"Welfare and Public Benefits," in American Immigration: An Encyclopedia of Political, Social, and Cultural Change, 2nd Edition, M.E. Sharpe (2014).

Tacking Unemployment: The Legislative Dynamics of the Employment Act of 1946, Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, (2013).

Brief History of Comprehensive Immigration Reform Efforts in the 109th and 110th Congresses to Inform Policy Discussions in the 113th Congress, Congressional Research Service (2013).   (Available through Amazon Books and E-Kindle).

Comprehensive Immigration Reform in the 113th Congress: Major Legislative Proposals, co-authored with Marc R. Rosenblum, Congressional Research Service (2013).  

U.S. Immigration Policy: Chart Book of Key Trends, Congressional Research Service (2013).   (Available through Amazon Books and E-Kindle). 

Permanent Legal Immigration to the United States: Policy Overview,  Congressional Research Service (2012).   (Available through Amazon Books and E-Kindle).

Immigration of Foreign Nationals with Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Degrees, Congressional Research Service (2012).  (Available through Amazon Books and E-Kindle).

Mexican Migration to the United States: Policy and Trends, co-authored with Marc R. Rosenblum,  William A. Kandel, and Clare Ribando Seelke, Congressional Research Service (2012).  (Available through Amazon Books and E-Kindle).

Ability of Unauthorized Aliens to Claim Refundable Tax Credits, co-authored with Erika Lunder and with assistance from Alison Siskin and Margot Crandal-Haddock.  Congressional Research Service (2012).  

Unauthorized Aliens Residing in the United States: Estimates Since 1986, Congressional Research Service (revised 2014). (Available through Amazon Books and E-Kindle).