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Current refugee policies and the politics of protection have become increasingly complex and contentious over the last couple of years. How have domestic politics and national security concerns shaped policies in the United States since the Cold War? For over forty years, concerns about the threat of communism had a large role in determining US refugee and asylum policies, and the majority of those admitted as refugees came from communist countries. In the post-Cold War period, a wider range of geopolitical and domestic interests influence decisions about who will be admitted, and more recently, sympathy toward refugees and immigrants has dissipated greatly.

Join us for a Chats in the Stacks book talk by Maria Cristina Garcia, the Howard A. Newman Professor of American Studies in the Department of History at Cornell. Her new book The Refugee Challenge in Post-Cold War America Oxford University Press, 2017 examines the actors and interests that have shaped refugee and asylum policy since 1989. Policymakers are now considering a wider range of populations as potentially eligible for protection, but a growing number of asylum seekers who have petitioned for protection are backlogging the immigration courts. Concerns over national security have also resulted in deterrence policies that have raised important questions about the rights of refugees and the duties of nations.Professor Garcia holds a joint appointment in the Cornell Latina/o Studies Program and has served as President of the Immigration and Ethnic History Society.