Tom K. Wong

Senior Fellow

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Tom K. Wong

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Tom K. Wong is a senior fellow for Immigration Policy at American Progress. He recently served as an adviser to the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders under the Obama administration. Wong is also an associate professor of political science and director of the International Migration Studies minor program at the University of California, San Diego. His research focuses on the politics of immigration, citizenship, and migrant “illegality.” Wong’s research has been used by policymakers both in the United States and Mexico, as well as by organizations that serve immigrant communities. Wong and his work have been covered by The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, NPR, ABC News/Univision, Fusion, NBC News, Yahoo News, and Univision in Mexico. He is on the board of the California Immigrant Policy Center and the New American Leaders Project. Wong also consults on campaigns and elections, specializing in mobilizing low-propensity voters of color and immigrant communities.

Latest by Tom K. Wong

Do Family Separation and Detention Deter Immigration? Report

Do Family Separation and Detention Deter Immigration?

Statistical analysis of data on southwest border apprehensions illustrates that policies of family separation and detention will not deter families from coming to the United States.

Tom K. Wong

DACA Recipients’ Economic and Educational Gains Continue to Grow Article
Activists supporting Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and other immigration issues gather near Trump Tower in New York, August 2017. (AP/Craig Ruttle)

DACA Recipients’ Economic and Educational Gains Continue to Grow

According to the largest study to date, DACA recipients continue to play a critical role in the American economy, gaining higher wages, buying cars and houses, and starting businesses, benefiting the entire nation.

Tom K. Wong, Greisa Martinez Rosas, Adam Luna, 5 More Henry Manning, Adrian Reyna, Patrick O’Shea, Tom Jawetz, Philip E. Wolgin

Statistical Analysis Shows that Violence, Not Deferred Action, Is Behind the Surge of Unaccompanied Children Crossing the Border Article
Two young girls sit in their holding area where hundreds of mostly Central American immigrant children are being processed and held at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Nogales Placement Center on June 18, 2014, in Nogales, Arizona. (AP/Ross D. Franklin)

Statistical Analysis Shows that Violence, Not Deferred Action, Is Behind the Surge of Unaccompanied Children Crossing the Border

Based on a statistical analysis of unaccompanied children arrivals data, border security statistics, and violence levels in Central America, it is clear that violence in countries such as Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador—rather than deferred action or lax U.S. border enforcement—is driving the increase in unaccompanied children.

Tom K. Wong

Undocumented No More Report
Undocumented people fill out application forms for the Obama administration's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program on Wednesday, August 15, 2012, at Navy Pier in Chicago. (AP/Sitthixay Ditthavong)

Undocumented No More

This analysis of the first year of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program examines its implementation; which groups have had the most success with the program; and the role that community-based organizations, new and traditional media, and the political context of individual states play in DACA implementation and outreach.