The Role of the Legislative Process in Protecting Rights to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness Website Review

Authored by Karen Beverly

Website created by Alice Izumo, Amanda Register, Chris Lund, and Mary Thompson


A letter from Amnesty International which entails information including the definition of a refugee.

This particular website focuses on the process of how information is used in order to create laws. To show how this process is done, this website uses various documents obtained from the Endres Collection at the Center for Migration Studies which all pertain to the creation of a very important piece of legislation, The Refugee Act of 1980. While the documents contained in the thirteen boxes at the Center for Migration Studies were created in the 1970’s and 1980’s, the overall enactment of the laws remains relevant, which ultimately allow these documents to serve as a concrete example of the present legislative process.

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The Refugee Act of 1980 Website Review

Authored by Karen Beverly

Website Created by Caitlin Smith & Emma Kelly


An open remark made by Bob Dole which entailed some of the various struggles Cambodians faced.

This website focuses on the overall theme of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness of refugees living in America in the 1970’s and 1980’s. This website emphasizes various documents collected in the years 1979, the year before the implementation of the Refugee Act, and 1980.  Obtained from the Endres Collection at the Center for Migration Studies, these documents provide a strong argument regarding the necessity of why such laws need to be put into effect and how all individuals who reside in the United States are entitled to living their fundamental personal freedoms. Continue reading

Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Happiness: Cuban and Haitian Refugees Website Review

Authored by Karen Beverly

Website Created by Danielle Manri & Alison Mirabella


A New York Times article that includes information on some of the issues that Haitian refugees faced.

This website seeks to inform its viewers on Cuban and Haitian refugees and the numerous struggles that these individuals faced in search of protection in the United States. Coming to America in hopes of living a better life than the one they were leaving behind, Cuban and Haitian Refugees wanted to live Thomas Jefferson’s famous phrase of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” instead of living in lands of poverty and political turmoil. Based off of documents from the Endres collection at Center for Migration Studies, this website showcases legal documents regarding the enactment of legislation concerning immigration from 1970 to 1980.

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Endres Collection – Public Opinion Brochure

Authored by Darya Betin

This is a picture of the front page of a public opinion brochure on immigration created by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (F.A.I.R.)

Front page of a public opinion brochure on immigration created by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (F.A.I.R.)

The Arthur P. Endres Collection, owned by the Center for Migration Studies in New York City, showcases a large body of documents from Endres’ time as Counsel to the Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees, and International Law from 1973 to 1989. Immigration policy was and continues to be one of the most divisive issues in our nation’s history. As Karen Tumulty noted in a Washington Post article on February 3, 2013, millions of people, many of whom are illegal immigrants and who have lived in the United States for years, seek to be heard and to have their status legalized as a recognition of the service they have provided to this country. By the very definition of their status, these individuals are disenfranchised and depend on lawmakers to plead their cases. The other side of the debate argues against their presence or any possibility of legalizing their status. Both sides attempt to convince the government of the justness of their cause by relying on the power of accurate and relevant information and data. Continue reading

Endres Collection: Revisions to Refugee Act of 1980

Authored by Lisa Borten

This is a letter regarding H. R. 2816.

This is the first page of a letter addressing some of the amendments made to the Refugee Act of 1980, H.R. 2816.

The document shown here is the untitled “United States Coordinator for Refugee Affairs Letter” from Dick Clark, who was appointed as U.S. Ambassador for Refugee Affairs by then-President Carter in 1979, to the US Coordinator for Refugee Affairs at the time the letter was written (September 12, 1979).  Clark, a senator from Iowa and history professor, worked on and suggested revisions to H.R. 2816, which would later become known as the Refugee Act of 1980 (Prickman 2010).

This document, among others found in the Endres collection, relates to the revisions made to the bill in question, which was groundbreaking legislation for a number of reasons.  Continue reading

INS Presentation on Data Management and The Nonimmigrant Information System

Authored by Chris Lund

Single page that reads, from top to bottom: "NIIS, The Nonimmigrant Information System, Immigration and Nationalization Service". Also contains the seal of the Department of Justice

Cover Page of INS Presentation on The Nonimmigrant Information System

One of the most effective weapons for providing a voice to the underrepresented is accurate information, and a general prerequisite to providing accurate information is the ability to obtain and manage accurate data. This latter goal of accurate data management constitutes the primary purpose of the Nonimmigrant Information System (“NIIS”). The attached presentation (the “NIIS Presentation”), taken from the Arthur P. Endres Collection at the Center For Migration Studies in New York City, appears to have been created some time around 1986 and presents a 15-page plan for improving on existing NIIS methods for collecting and managing data on nonimmigrants (i.e., foreign born individuals within the United States who are neither citizens nor permanent residents of the United States). Continue reading

Amnesty International Correspondence

Authored by Danielle Manri

 This is a digitized document from the Endres Papers Collection. It was created by Stephanie Grant, Amnesty International’s Washington Office Director

Amnesty International Correspondence

This document, which has never before been seen by the public eye, showcases the development and revision of the Refugee Act of 1980. Most importantly, it provides a context for analyzing the inequities in previous refugee legislation that created the need for a more humanitarian law. This widespread injustice among the admittance of refugees stemmed from the somewhat discriminatory definition of the term “refugee.” In the end, this narrow definition imposed undue suffering on the hundreds of thousands of refugees who sought protection in the United States during the 1970s.[1] On top of dealing with painful memories of a lost home, many of these refugees were not even sure if they would be able to stay in the Land of the Free.[2]

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