Mahurin Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects


Social Work

Document Type



the past decade, immigration policy has become the subject of a fiery nationwide debate, with policymakers and lobbyists going head-to-head as policy reform is discussed. As a worrisome trend has emerged in which national security concerns are being prioritized over human rights concerns, it has become necessary that social workers get involved, as well. Due to the professional values and ethical standards laid out in the National Association of Social Workers’ Code of Ethics, social workers are ethically obligated to engage in this discussion and advocate for fair and just policies on behalf of immigrants. Based off an understanding of these ethical obligations, this thesis seeks to evaluate social workers’ performance in this discussion by examining current literature and the responses of practitioners and professional organizations. It is concluded that social workers have been startlingly absent from this discussion and that social work education has left workers ill-equipped to engage in this reform, due to a lack of understanding of immigrant/immigration policies and a lack of advocacy training. It is argued that social work education must expand beyond teaching cultural competence to teaching workers how to understand harmful immigration policies and fight against them at the macro level.

Advisor(s) or Committee Chair

Dr. Dana Sullivan, Dr. Simon Funge, Dr. Christopher Keller


Social Work

Included in

Social Work Commons