Alumni Short Talks: An Uncertain Threat: Climate Migration to the United States

Katelin Wright explores the potential implications for migration to the U.S. as a result of the effects of climate change. Using models of severe weather patterns in the coming decades, she explores the expected increased pressures on U.S. immigration. Wright discusses whether these increases should be viewed as threats to the U.S. or opportunities.

About the Speaker

Katelin Wright is the Senior Immigration Services Officer (ISO) at the Albuquerque U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Field Office. In her current position, she serves as lead training coordinator and the subject matter expert on immigration eligibility and adjudication. In addition to these responsibilities, Katelin also runs the office’s emergency management programs and oversees the local budget and purchases. Since joining USCIS over nine years ago, Katelin has held a wide variety of positions within the agency. She began her career working with the E-Verify and Form I-9 programs in Lincoln, NE. She consulted with businesses and other intergovernmental agencies to verify the employment eligibility of U.S. workers. In 2013, Katelin became an ISO at the National Benefit Center, located in Overland Park, KS where she cultivated a passion for public safety, national security and teaching her peers about the intricacies of immigration law and adjudication. During this time, Katelin also participated in the government-sponsored New Leader Program. In the last year, she has served on two supervisor details, and lead the project to overhaul the District 31 adjudication process of paroles in place, deferred action, and the recognition and accreditation program. Katelin graduated with her MA in Security Studies from the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Homeland Defense and Security. Her thesis, The Perfect Storm: Climate-Induced Migration to the United States, was awarded the CHDS 1901/1902 Outstanding Thesis Award.