Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Political Science


John H. Mollenkopf

Subject Categories

American Politics | Public Policy


Bureaucracy; Bureaucratic Reorganization; Citizenship; Immigration; Naturalization; Policy Implementation


During the early 20th century, Congress and the presidency created new bureaucracies to liberalize the restrictive immigration laws then in effect. This dissertation expounds a process that is referred to as 'policy innovation through bureaucratic reorganization.' The case study method is utilized to examine the formation and evolution of the Bureau of Immigration & Naturalization from 1906 to 1913 and the Immigration & Naturalization Service from 1933 to 1940. In these periods, elected officials increased the numbers of immigrants and naturalized citizens. Such administrative results were produced by decreasing agency resources like funding, staffing, and infrastructure, as well as appointing 'liberal bureaucrats' in key positions to loosen operational rules. The expansion of immigration and (with naturalization) the expansion of the body politic formed part of the political objectives of officeholders. They exploited these outcomes to advance additional goals such as interest group management, reelection, and retaining control of the legislature. For the study of bureaucracy, this investigation contributes to political control theory by showing that bureaucratic reorganization provides politicians with power over agencies for up to seven years. It also adds to immigration and citizenship research by demonstrating that statutes can be temporarily reformed through the policy implementation process. Furthermore, this study's findings are applied to a contemporary case—the development of the Department of Homeland Security from 2002 to 2014. This example confirms that officeholders employ the same procedure described by the thesis to prevent the deportation of undocumented aliens.

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