Immigration Policy through the Lens of Optimal Federalism

Note from the Digital Editor: In order to highlight the high-level of research and scholarship from the authors who have published in the William & Mary Policy Review’s peer-reviewed print journal, we have reproduced the abstracts from Volume 2, Issue 2 along with a link to an electronic copy of the full form of the piece. 

Senate Bill 1070, the controversial immigration bill enacted by the Arizona legislature, utilizes local police to enforce Arizona‘s interpretations of immigration rules. Meanwhile, the ―Utah Compact‖ suggests that all aspects of immigration policy should be handled by the federal government, not by states or localities. In the midst of this contentious debate, this article uses an ―optimal federalism‖ framework to examine the appropriate locus for immigration policy. It compares economies and diseconomies of scale across enactment, implementation, and enforcement institutions, in order to determine the appropriate level of government for addressing these institutional aspects of immigration policy. It concludes that, due to significant economies of scale in each institutional phase, the federal government should have some dominant role across all phases. However, significant diseconomies of scale appear in both the implementation and enforcement phases, which implies that state and local governments should play important though limited roles in implementing and enforcing immigration policy. The article then offers a complex combination of federal, state, and local authority, in the pursuit of an effective and equitable immigration policy.

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Dale Thompson is an Assistant Professor at Opus College of Business, University of St. Thomas.

Nontransparent Lobbying as a Democratic Failure

Note from the Digital Editor: In order to highlight the high-level of research and scholarship from the authors who have published in the William & Mary Policy Review’s peer-reviewed print journal, we have reproduced the abstracts from Volume 2, Issue 2 along with a link to an electronic copy of the full form of the piece.

Despite its negative reputation, lobbying is an important vehicle for ensuring citizen participation in the democratic process, allowing for a vibrant and participatory democracy. This article supports the pluralistic theory of democracy, which views democracy as an arena in which interest groups struggle to attain the utmost realization of their interests. Yet social scientists have repeatedly shown that the modus operandi of lobbyists and interest groups casts a heavy shadow over the pluralistic vision of a vibrant and participatory democracy, and that interest groups‘ lobbying often comes at the expense of the majority. The article identifies three flaws in the democratic process resulting from lobbying: personal corruption (the ―revolving door‖ phenomenon and the dependence of representatives on campaign financing); unequal power of influence resulting in the distortion of the public agenda; and niche lobbying without competitive counterlobbying. Concentrating on the problem of lack of competition, we suggest that the existing transparency requirements of the 1995 Lobbying Disclosure Act do not attain the goal of creating the type of rivalry that the pluralistic conception seeks to advance. We propose to expand the scope of transparency requirements in the law by requiring lobbyists to publish online all written material transmitted to politicians and to list all areas of lobbying activity. This requirement, we believe, will reduce monitoring costs for rival interest groups and is likely to increase competitive lobbying.

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Moshe Cohen-Eliya is Dean at School of Law, Academic Center of Law and Business. Yoav Hammer is Lecturer at School of Law, Academic Center of Law and Business.

A Survey of Federal and State Anti-Discrimination Public Accommodation Laws

Note from the Digital Editor: In order to highlight the high-level of research and scholarship from the authors who have published in the William & Mary Policy Review’s peer-reviewed print journal, we have reproduced the abstracts from Volume 2, Issue 2 along with a link to an electronic copy of the full form of the piece. 

This article explores the statutory protections offered to protect minorities from racism in retail stores. Federal law gives disappointingly little protection: Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not include protection for shoppers in retail establishments, and the Civil Rights Act of 1866 requires a plaintiff to show that a store employee actually prevented or interfered with a contract. State laws are widely varied, but only some provide protection beyond that offered by federal law. Both federal and many states’ laws should be expanded to include retail establishments in the definition of protected “public establishments” and to allow a finding of discrimination even if a shopper does not attempt to form a contract in the face of egregious profiling. At the federal level, retail stores should be included under Title II’s coverage, and courts interpreting the scope of Section 1981 should use a test akin to the Sixth Circuit’s to focus on whether discrimination has occurred. Likewise, states should provide clear coverage for retail stores as places of public accommodation.

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Jeremy Bayless is J.D. 2010 at Washington University in St. Louis School of Law. Sophie Wang is J.D., cum laude at 2010, Washington University in St. Louis School of Law

The Consequences of Resource Scarcity and a Case for Financial Reform

Note from the Digital Editor: In order to highlight the high-level of research and scholarship from the authors who have published in the William & Mary Policy Review’s peer-reviewed print journal, we have reproduced the abstracts from Volume 2, Issue 2 along with a link to an electronic copy of the full form of the piece. 

Using human capital theory and the signaling and screening hypothesis, I develop a model of pre-secondary student attrition that explains how a shortage of educational supply, rather than demand, is the primary cause of pre-secondary student attrition in Senegal. Qualified Senegalese students otherwise willing to continue their formal studies are unable to do so because of a lack of private and public financial resources. The Senegalese state magnifies this attrition. Acting as a monopolist, the state inefficiently overinvests in tertiary education to the detriment of basic education funding, especially at the lower-secondary level. I highlight three policy implications: (1) the case for cost sharing programs at the tertiary level, (2) the potential gains from improvement in primary school efficiency, and (3) the need to prepare pre-secondary student dropouts for early entry into the labor market.

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Zachary Rice is B.A. / M.P.P. at the College of William & Mary, 2011.

A Policy Analysis on the Cost of Protecting Human Life

Note from the Digital Editor: In order to highlight the high-level of research and scholarship from the authors who have published in the William & Mary Policy Review’s peer-reviewed print journal, we have reproduced the abstracts from Volume 2, Issue 2 along with a link to an electronic copy of the full form of the piece.

Humanitarian intervention is an increasingly popular foreign policy tool used to stop international war crimes. The United Nations‘ Responsibility to Protect, which promotes military intervention as a final effort to halt crimes against humanity, is one of the most controversial policies in international affairs. Advocates laud its moralistic and political justifications. Although many experts have studied whether this is a successful moral and political policy, the economic success of Responsibility to Protect has been largely unstudied. This article evaluates the economic merits of this policy from the perspective of the intervened country, with the Kosovo Conflict as the case study. It undertakes a costbenefit analysis to evaluate the economic impact of different military intervention options and the potential outcomes of non-intervention. The results suggest that Responsibility to Protect, as it stands, is generally not cost-effective. However, if the suggested recommendations are implemented, Responsibility to Protect may not only become the best moral and political choice, but the most cost-effective choice as well.

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Meghan Stubblebine is M.P.P. / J.D. candidate at the College of William & Mary.