Six Decades of Researching Immigration

Parsing Immigration Policy, Episode 10

By Mark Krikorian and David North on July 1, 2021

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Few individuals can boast immigration research experience spanning more than six decades. David North, a Senior Fellow at the Center, is one of them.

North was introduced to immigration policy during the Eisenhower administration, when he first encountered the migrant farmworker issue as an employee of the state of New Jersey. He expanded that involvement as a political appointee in the Kennedy administration Labor Department and has continued working on the issue through to present day.

In this week’s episode of Parsing Immigration Policy, North discusses with Mark Krikorian, the Center’s executive director and the podcast’s host, the changes he has seen in U.S. immigration policy over the decades. Both as a government official and a researcher, he has focused on refugees, H-2B and H-1B temporary worker programs, agriculture worker issues, and other parts of the immigration system, and has examined these programs' impact on American worker opportunities and wages. North also reflects on the changes he has seen in the two political parties' positions on immigration issues.

In his Closing Commentary, Krikorian weighs on the past week's visits to the border by Vice President Harris and former President Trump.

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Mark Krikorian is the Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies.


David North, a Fellow of the Center for Immigration Studies, is an internationally recognized authority on immigration policy. His concentration is predominantly on the interaction between immigration and domestic systems, such as education and labor markets.


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Intro Montage

Voices in the opening montage:

  • Sen. Barack Obama at a 2005 press conference.
  • Sen. John McCain in a 2010 election ad.
  • President Lyndon Johnson, upon signing the 1965 Immigration Act.
  • Booker T. Washington, reading in 1908 from his 1895 Atlanta Exposition speech.
  • Laraine Newman as a "Conehead" on SNL in 1977.
  • Hillary Clinton in a 2003 radio interview.
  • Cesar Chavez in a 1974 interview.
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaking to reporters in 2019.
  • Prof. George Borjas in a 2016 C-SPAN appearance.
  • Sen. Jeff Sessions in 2008 comments on the Senate floor.
  • Charlton Heston in "Planet of the Apes".