Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Political Science

First Committee Member

David Damore

Second Committee Member

John Tuman

Third Committee Member

Tiffiany Howard

Fourth Committee Member

Christie Batson

Number of Pages



This project examines the congressional politics associated with legislation on skilled foreign workers, specifically the H-1B visa which was created by the Immigration Act of 1990. It attempts to explain why legislative policies were successful on a small scale between 1998 and 2004 and completely unsuccessful after 2004.

Specifically, this study is a longitudinal qualitative analysis that uses Krehbiel's pivotal politics model (1998), Cox and McCubbins' party politics models (2005; 2007), Sinclair's (2007) unorthodox lawmaking theory, and Gilmour's (1995) strategic disagreement model to explain four key periods of H-1B legislation: (1) the passage of the Immigration Act of 1990; (2) passage of stand-alone legislation from 1998 through 2002; (3) passage of legislation through the use of riders from 1998 through 2002: and (4) complete stalemate after 2004. Using polarization as the main independent variable to explain shifts in congressional behavior, this study attempts to explain why congressional behavior dramatically shifted from 1990 to date. It concludes with a comparison of similar policies in Canada and Australia in order to ascertain whether their legislative experiences on foreign skilled workers coincide or differ from that in the United States and attempt to understand why.


Australia; Canada; Emigration and immigration – Government policy; Emigration and immigration Law; Foreign worker certification; H-1B; Immigration; Skilled labor; United States; United States. Congress; Visas


Immigration Law | Political Science | Public Policy

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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