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The purpose of this paper is to examine past and current policies toward the issue of illegal immigration. In this paper I examine the IRCA of 1986 as the only real attempt at an immigration solution. During this paper I examine this issue through the lens of the System’s Theory by Easton. My point is that currently the feedback loop is broken, and policymakers do not address issues unless they are brought up on the agenda. Some of the theories and tools I use throughout the paper to examine the issue are bounded rationality, punctuated equilibrium, incrementalism, multiple streams theory framework, veil of ignorance, and agenda setting. Through these I show that issues are not brought up on the agenda until it is done by the multiple streams framework of problems, politics, and policy. Then when on the agenda policymakers make boundedly rational policies that are incrementalistic and ineffective. This illustrates the current system we see today. My paper suggests we jump from the precedent of incrementalism, to a policy of punctuated equilibrium that is a comprehensive reform. This comprehensive reform is done by using the veil of ignorance to see what the immigrants want in order to make a policy that is efficient and effective.


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  • Event location
    • Special Collections

  • Event date
    • 3 April 2013

  • Date submitted

    18 July 2022

  • Additional information
    • Acknowledgements:

      Beth Rauhaus