Baker Institute experts available to discuss ‘Gang of Eight’ immigration reform proposals


David Ruth

Jeff Falk

Baker Institute experts available to discuss ‘Gang of Eight’ immigration reform proposals

HOUSTON – (April 16, 2013) – Two immigration experts at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy are available to discuss the U.S. Senate’s “Gang of Eight” release today of details of a broad agreement to overhaul the nation’s immigration laws. The proposed legislation would give provisional legal status to an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants and put them on a pathway to citizenship

The experts are Mark Jones, professor and chair of political science and a fellow at the Baker Institute, and Tony Payan, scholar in immigration studies at the Baker Institute.

Jones is an authority on American and Texas politics and has been closely following the immigration reform debate. Jones’ recent Baker Institute paper, “Immigration Policy and Partisan Politics in the State Legislatures: 2010-2012,” surveyed state legislatures that passed restrictive legislation designed to address the presence of undocumented immigrants within their borders.

In addition to being a Baker Institute scholar, Payan is an associate professor of political science at the University of Texas at El Paso and serves on the graduate faculty of the Universidad Autónoma de Juárez in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. His area of study is international relations, with an emphasis on U.S. and Mexican foreign policy and U.S.-Mexico relations. Payan’s recent Baker Institute paper, “The Immigration Debate in Texas: The Counterintuitive Case for Moderation,” studied the state of Texas’ response to undocumented immigration in comparison with other local governments nationwide and in the face of federal inaction.

The Baker Institute has a radio and television studio available for media who want to schedule an interview with Jones or Payan. For more information, contact Jeff Falk, associate director of national media relations at Rice, at or 713-348-6775.


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Related materials:

Jones biography:

Payan biography:

Founded in 1993, the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University in Houston ranks among the top 20 university-affiliated think tanks globally and top 30 think tanks in the United States. As a premier nonpartisan think tank, the institute conducts research on domestic and foreign policy issues with the goal of bridging the gap between the theory and practice of public policy. The institute’s strong track record of achievement reflects the work of its endowed fellows and Rice University scholars. Learn more about the institute at or on the institute’s blog,

About Jeff Falk

Jeff Falk is associate director of national media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.