Valerie F. Hunt

Valerie received her BA and MA degrees in International Relations with a focus on Middle Eastern Affairs and defense studies. She will receive her Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Washington in spring 2002.

Her current research investigates how relationships between national governing institutions help shape the U.S. immigration policy process from 1947 to 1998. I address the following problems: What happens to the immigration policy decisionmaking process when arrangements between governing institutions change? Do these shifts in inter-institutional arrangements inhibit or facilitate inhibit policy change? How do external economic and political factors interact with governing institutional factors in the policy process?

She investigated shifting arrangements in two areas: (1) shifts in competition between congressional committees over decision-making authority in all immigration matters and (2) shifts in the Supreme Court's deference relation to Congress on immigration matters regarding citizenship conferral to children of unmarried parents where one parent is a U.S. citizen. I find that competition between congressional committees over decision-making authority over immigration matters had an impact on the policy process along with changes in economic performance and partisan control. In the case of Court deference to congressional decision-making authority in matters of citizenship conferral, when the Court redefined the matter as one of constitutionality¡ªan area where the Court has jurisdictional authority, the Court stepped into the policy arena.

Her research has been supported by a number of institutions and fellowship organizations. I have been a Research Fellow at the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at University of California, San Diego. The C. Everett Dirksen Research Foundation provided generous support for my research on Court- Congress relations in immigration policymaking. I have also received support from the National Science Foundation and have been a Fellow of the International Migration Program of the Social Science Research Council. I would throw it all away for a soprano gig at the Metropolitan Opera.