World Policy Institute – The Program on Citizenship and Security


Working Groups

I. Working Group on Practical Intelligence and Law Enforcement
Working Group Leader: Ian Cuthbertson

The Working Group on Practical Intelligence examines “hard” national security policies –including counter-terrorism, surveillance technologies, intelligence capabilities, and issues of border integrity— as they relate to non-citizens. It will also analyze the kind of day-to-day community security concerns, that have traditionally been categorized as law enforcement, but which in immigrant and minority communities have taken on an added national security dimension in the wake of the tragic London bombings and Paris riots. Finally, this Working Group looks at the critical role that immigrants and minorities currently play as part of law enforcement and armed forces in counter-terrorism efforts and explore ways in which the involvement of these communities with policing and intelligence agencies charged with counter-terrorism responsibilities can be expanded and refined.

In many U.S. cities, local police officials have resisted federal efforts to have them enforce immigration laws as part of their routine responsibilities. In other communities, local law enforcement officials have started initiatives against undocumented immigrants out of frustration that federal immigration authorities were not sufficiently active in meeting local concerns. Each type of policy can have a significant impact on enforcement efforts in overlapping jurisdictions. Local crime fighting efforts, for example, can be hurt if immigrants are afraid to report crimes or come forward with relevant information out of fear that they will be detained on immigration charges. At the same time, in both the United States and Western Europe, a raft of new anti-terrorist laws and administrative regulations mean that the overt and covert intrusion of police and security officials into minority and immigrant communities is much greater. The challenge lies in gaining community support for such anti-terrorist measures against a societal backdrop that has become more suspicious and hostile to the presence of these groups.

II. Working Group on Threat Perceptions and Side Effects
Working Group Leader: Michele Wucker

Shifting perceptions about the nature of the biggest threats to America make it more difficult to analyze costs and benefits of security and immigration policies, even as they limit the options politically available to policy makers. Gaps between reality and public perception of threats can push policy makers to misallocate resources and create damaging side effects. The Working Group on Threat Perceptions and Side Effects analyzes public perceptions, as reflected through polls and media, of threats involving non-citizens and the underlying factors that shape those perceptions. It also assesses collateral damage –like that suffered by businesses and universities because of the post-9/11 security-related immigration logjam—and public awareness of these unwanted side effects as part of a process of weighing the perceived nature of threat against the relative costs and benefits of policies intended to reduce threats. For example, recent national security policies have had alarming impacts on business and universities in the United States. Visa delays have cost companies tens of billions of dollars since 9/11. Sensitive technology restrictions have left some research centers bereft of the foreign researchers upon whom they depended, including for research with the potential to increase security –in contrast to the World War II and Cold War years when foreign-born scientists were crucial to U.S. national defense efforts.

III. Working Group on Law, Immigration and Citizenship
Working Group Leader: Belinda Cooper

Since 9/11, both immigration regulations and the criminal law that relates to immigration have come to be permeated by national security considerations, from visa law, to detention and deportation policies, to limits on the legal rights of non-citizens facing trial. Conversely, laws passed to protect national security, such as those on domestic intelligence gathering and surveillance, directly impact minority and immigrant communities. In many cases, these rules reflect differing national responses to terrorism: as a crime-fighting problem, or as a war or “state of exception.” Some embody lasting modifications to rules and attitudes governing the movement of non-citizens across and within borders. At the same time, countries are also reconsidering the ways in which law contributes to or hinders the integration of minorities and immigrants already within their borders, and the effect this has on long-term security.

The Working Group on Law, Immigration and Citizenship analyzes the laws in place affecting minorities, immigrants, and non-citizens and the impact of those laws on security, broadly defined. It also analyzes aspects of national security law for their impact on minority and immigrant communities. Finally, it considers the effectiveness of laws that impact minority or immigrant integration in the various target countries, with special attention to the role of women and the influence of the private sector.

IV Working Group on Integration, Generations, and Equality of Citizenship
Working Group Leader: Mira Kamdar

Managing majority-minority relationships is one of the most pressing challenges of liberal democracies in a globalizing world where populations are on the move, both internally and across borders. When social exclusion extends to second- and third- generation minorities, whether indigenous or immigrant, minority populations may become alienated and vulnerable to conscription by terrorist ideologies and organizations.

The Working Group on Integration, Generations and Equality of Citizenship analyzes the ways different states manage majority-minority relationships and what strategies they employ to combat the social exclusion of minority populations and to insure equality of citizenship while respecting cultural difference. It assesses the institutions involved in integrating immigrants and minorities across generations and gender, including mutual aid societies and lobbying groups, examines the extent of bridge-building work between minority and majority communities, and the role of business as important agents of integration and equality through employment.