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Items arranged in order of publication date beginning with the most recent. Scroll down for all entries. Selection does not necessarily imply endorsement of findings or research methodology by Diversity Dynamics and its partner organizations. We regret that we may not be able to repair broken links promptly.
Effective policing requires the trust and cooperation of immigrant communities. To build a productive relationship, police must work to bridge the language and cultural differences that often create suspicion and misunderstanding. These studies examine effective policy and procedure in working with immigrant communities, as well as the role of local police in immigration enforcement. They also look at federal enforcement of immigration laws.

Law-Abiding Immigrants: The Incarceration Gap Between Immigrants and the US-born, 1850-2020,
National Bureau of Economic Research, July 2023, 33 pp.
Authors:  Ram Abramitzky et al

This paper by Ram Abramitzky and colleagues, entitled “Law-Abiding Immigrants: The Incarceration Gap Between Immigrants and the US-born, 1850-2020,” offers the first long-run analysis of incarceration rates for immigrants and the U.S.-born. Three periods from 1850 to 2020 are covered in the study with different findings for each one: higher incarceration rates for immigrants before 1870, similar rates between 1880 and 1950, and lower rates since 1960. Contrary to sentiments expressed by the Trump administration and other immigration detractors, the full-count Census/ACS data demonstrates a noticeable decline in incarceration rates for immigrants of all nationalities since 1960. Although there are substantial differences in incarceration by origin country, the relative decline in incarceration since 1960 occurred among immigrants from all sending regions. After presenting their findings, the authors identify a number of possible explanations. Immigrants, unlike native-born white males, may have been less exposed to recent economic shocks due to their concentration in non-routine manual tasks and services. As such, they didn’t experience large wage or employment declines in recent decades. Furthermore, immigrants may be more resilient in the face of shocks, given that they are a self-selected group of individuals possessing certain traits, such as a greater willingness to move long distances, less risk aversion, higher adaptability and cognitive ability, and higher levels of entrepreneurship. (The Immigrant Learning Center’s Public Education Institute)

The US Immigration Courts, Dumping Ground for the Nation’s Systemic Immigration Failures: The Causes, Composition, and Politically Difficult Solutions to the Court Backlog,
Journal on Migration and Human Security, May 25, 2023, 34 pp.
Authors:  Donald Kerwin & Evin Millet

This paper looks in detail at the many factors that have led to a backlog of cases pending in our immigration courts. By the end of fiscal year 2023, the backlog had reached 1.8 million cases. For each cause, the paper makes recommendations that would reduce the backlog. Some of the causes are administrative—such as insufficient funding to keep up with the volume of cases being entered into the system by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS); a lack of discretion available to Immigration Judges (IJs) and difficulty IJs face in managing their caseload; and a failure by DHS to apply enforcement priorities to keep lower priority cases out of the court system. The authors also trace some of the causes to the failure to update our immigration laws over the past several decades, and recommend legislation to include, among other things: legalization of undocumented immigrants residing in the U.S. for many years; more generous relief from deportation for those with equities in the U.S.; creation of a statute of limitations for civil violations of immigration law; and making the immigration courts an independent entity, insulated from enforcement priorities of the administration in power. In all, the paper concludes with over two dozen recommendations that would make our immigration courts—and our immigration system in general—more efficient and humane. (Maurice Belanger, Maurice Belanger Associates)

The New Border Asylum Adjudication System: Speed, Fairness, and the Representation Problem,
Howard Law Journal (Forthcoming 2023), 59 pp.
Authors: Philip G. Schrag et al

In 2022, the Biden administration implemented sweeping changes to the American asylum process designed to increase the speed, efficiency, and effectiveness of the entire asylum system. One important Biden reform was to give asylum officers, who possess special training on political conditions in sending countries, the power to make initial determinations of eligibility for asylum. Written by three law professors, the report reviews the history of asylum adjudication dating back to the Refugee Act of 1980, which was largely silent on operational procedures for asylum cases.  The authors commend various aspects of the new asylum rule issued by the Biden administration, but they also find a serious flaw in the new process, namely the short period of time in which asylum seekers who present themselves or are apprehended at the southern U.S. border must find counsel and meet arduous evidentiary standards. The new rule also “traps asylum lawyers in an ethical and moral quandary. They cannot possibly explain the relevant law and legal process to their clients, collect the necessary documentation, and prepare testimony from their clients and fact and expert witnesses within the draconian time frames required by the regulation.”  The authors make a number of recommendations for further reforms to the system, including a time frame of five months for asylum seekers to secure counsel and meet evidentiary standards.

Deconstructing Race in Immigration Law’s Origin Stories,
Maryland Journal of International Law, April 21, 2023, 21 pp.
Author: Karla McKanders

This essay criticizes the plenary powers doctrine, which allows U.S. courts defer to the federal government on immigration enforcement issues. The author believes that this doctrine allows federal authorities to use racist strategies to limit immigration.  This doctrine creates “the illusion of neutrality” in the passage and enforcement of immigration laws resulting in adverse impacts on immigrants of color. The author traces the history of this doctrine to the Chinese Exclusion Act Cases in the 19th century, which set the precedent for how the judiciary places no limitations on the immigration authority of Congress and the Executive Branch. Among examples mentioned in the essay are the Supreme Court’s upholding of former President Trump’s Muslim travel ban and the Biden administration’s continued enforcement of Title 42, which had a disproportionately negative impact on Haitian migrants. Even laws that appear racially neutral, such as the law that makes it a crime to return to the U.S. after deportation, have a clearly racist intent, especially if you look at the circumstances surrounding its passage in the 1920s, when racist legislators were obsessed with keeping Mexican migrants out of the U.S. According to the author, something needs to be done to combat “the endless cycle of immigration laws being part and parcel of systemic racism in the U.S.”


Caught In The Web: The Role Of Transnational Data-Sharing In The US Immigration System

National Immigrant Justice Center, December 2022, 15 pp. + Endnotes
Author: Jesse Franzblau

 This report summarizes the results of an investigation into the ways in which foreign data interacts with immigration enforcement programs, utilizing open records requests to obtain internal government records, as well as a survey of 34 attorneys. Section I) provides an overview of prominent U.S. transnational data-sharing programs that rely on unreliable foreign sources, and the harms they cause; Section II) examines the ways in which information obtained through foreign data prejudices immigrants seeking asylum and other forms of protection in the United States; and Section III) provides recommendations on ways to restrict the reliance on foreign data and protect the rights of individuals swept up in such programs. The report contains many stories of immigrants who were “caught in the web” of questionable foreign data sources and suffered dire consequences as a result, such as deportation to dangerous home countries.


In Defense of Deportation Defense,
Social Science Research Network, November 8, 2022, 27 pp.
Author:  Michael Kagan

Recent years have seen a growing momentum toward greater public funding for legal defense of immigrants fighting deportation. Yet, some recent scholarship argues that government-funded deportation defense carries the risk of legitimizing and entrenching an immigration enforcement system that should simply be abolished. As a result, some immigrant rights advocates are hesitating to support deportation defense. This essay argues that such hesitation would be a mistake. Of the 296,788 new deportation cases started in U.S. Immigration Courts in fiscal year 2021, the respondents in 80 percent — 237,672 people — had no lawyer. Data shows that lack of representation increases the likelihood of deportation. 
Legal defense is the most feasible means available right now to stop many deportations, and expanding deportation defense resources will strengthen the immigrant rights movement locally and nationally. Expanding deportation defense, according to the authors, should be a high priority for local and national immigrant rights advocates over the short- and medium-term future. Although “abolition” of ICE may occur at some point in the distant future, the author contends that the country has to respond to the present reality.


Charitable Legal Immigration Programs and the US Undocumented Population: A Study in Access to Justice in an Era of Political Dysfunction,
Journal of Migration and Human Security, 10:3 (September, 2022), 25 pp.
Authors: Donald Kerwin & Evin Millet

This study examines the availability of charitable immigration legal services for the undocumented population in the U.S. on the national, state, county, and municipal levels.  One premise underlying the study, supported by prior research, is that such representation produces much more positive outcomes for this population. The study uses a broad definition of “legal professionals,” counting attorneys, federally accredited non-attorneys, paralegals and legal assistants in this professional category. Nationally, the study found that there were 1,413 undocumented persons in the U.S. for every charitable legal professional. However, there are wide variations depending on location.  States like Alabama (6,656 undocumented per legal professional), Hawaii (4,506), Kansas (3,010) and Georgia (2,853) suffer from lower rates of availability, whereas -- somewhat surprisingly -- states like West Virginia (80), Montana (173), Maine (208), and Wyoming (249) have among the highest rates of availability, but their undocumented population is comparatively low.  The authors also break out these figures for accredited representatives, finding that a state like Nevada suffers from one of the lowest rates of availability of such representatives (19,896 undocumented per accredited representative).  The authors conclude that Congress, states, localities, private foundations and charitable agencies should commit to expanding immigration legal programs, which remain in short supply.  However, agencies must be careful not to become overly dependent on government funding; otherwise, they may become vulnerable to budgetary crisis if such funding is slashed or eliminated.


The Public Administration of Justice,
Social Science Research Network, September 18, 2022, 94 pp.
Author: Nicholas Bednar

Immigrants in the U.S. are often deported or denied welfare benefits as a consequence of decisions made by agencies such as The Executive Office of Immigration Review (EOIR). Serious injustices occur when these agencies lack the capacity to accurately decide the fate of vulnerable populations, as shown in a recent article published by the Social Science Research Network entitled The Public Administration of Justice. The author found that the insufficient capacity of adjudicatory agencies, evidenced by a lack of material resources, expert judges and support staff, results in unjustly shortened court hearings, biases based on appearance, and the use of cognitive shortcuts in decision-making. The author looked at over 1.5 million removal hearings and 32,000 personnel records from the EOIR and discovered that simple changes such as hiring a single law clerk to support an immigration judge can lead to significant improvements in outcomes like a 5.2 percent lower chance of removal and a 4.4 percent higher chance of asylum status being granted to an immigrant. These problems arise from a lack of political motivation for either Congress or the President to invest in agencies like the EOIR. The author concludes that despite this fact, our leaders are duty-bound to increase the capacity of these agencies. If they do not, then the courts must reform administrative law doctrine to promote due process.
(The Immigrant Learning Center’s Public Education Institute)


FY2022 Seeing Rapid Increase in Immigration Court Completions,
Syracuse University, TRAC Immigration, September 16, 2022, 15 pp.

According to this report, immigration court case completions have been rapidly increasing. During the first eleven months of FY 2022, immigration judges have closed over 375,000 cases – a historical record. If the pace continues, closures should top more than 400,000 by the end of the fiscal year. This number is nearly three times as many case closures as in FY 2021. It is also roughly 50 percent higher than the previous high in FY 2019 during the Trump administration. Although the number of judges has grown from 449 in FY 2019 to 558 at the beginning of FY2022, the bulk of the increase seems to be explained by the types of cases handled by the courts. Like in previous years, the largest number of cases relate to deporation, but the types of outcomes show some significant differences. Judges have issued more removal (i.e. deportation) orders in FY 2022 than in the previous year. But the biggest growth in closures can be seen in three key areas: the much higher numbers of cases that are terminated, the higher number of cases in which the government never filed a Notice to Appear to begin with, and the return of the use of administrative closure or prosecutorial discretion to close a case that is not a priority for deportation.


What Makes a Border Secure? Building a Healthier Border Dialogue,
National Immigration Forum, August 16, 2022, 18 pp.
Author: Danilo Zak

The U.S. currently spends more money on border security and immigration enforcement than on all other federal law enforcement agencies combined. Yet, in 2011, researchers Edward Alden and Bryan Robert explained how “the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has never clearly defined what border security means in practice.” Even in 2022, this statement remains true. In “What Makes a Border Secure? Building a Healthier Border Dialogue,” Danilo Zak of the National Immigration Forum seeks to create an actionable border security framework using the best available data, and clearly defined metrics and benchmarks. Zak starts by reviewing current and past efforts to describe and quantify border security. He then proposes a better border security framework, which would include: 1) restricting the number of migrants entering without inspection; 2) limiting the flow of illegal drugs; 3) effectively processing arriving migrants and overseeing cross-border trade; and 4) preventing the entry of terrorists. The paper also proposes policy recommendations to shape a healthier dialogue about securing our border. Zak recommends providing more resources to and expanding the authority of the DHS Office of Immigration Statistics, as well as using existing and newly created metrics for border security and border management to make policy decisions. He suggests clarifying border security goals, connecting border funding and pilot programs to clear, metric-based outcomes. The time has come, he suggests, to reconsider the “Sisyphean” goal of eliminating all unlawful entries.
(Erika Hernandez for The Immigrant Learning Center’s Public Education Institute) 


Do sanctuary policies increase crime? Contrary evidence from a county-level investigation in the U.S.,
Social Science Research, August 2022, Research Summary, 6 pp.
Author: Marta Ascherio

In 2009, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) launched the “Secure Communities” program, an effort to engage state and local law enforcement authorities in identifying individuals in the country illegally and subject to deportation, both those arrested and those scheduled for release from prison. The program was intended to improve public safety by more quickly removing foreign criminal elements from the country. The author of this study tested the impact of this program by comparing property crime and violent crime rates in communities cooperating with ICE and those that had chosen not to. By 2014, some 200 jurisdictions – sometimes referred to as “sanctuary” Communities -- had chosen to withdraw from the Secure Communities program.  Although crime rates were similar in both cooperating and non-cooperating communities in the decade prior to introduction of Secure Communities, crime rates in “sanctuary” jurisdictions from 2013 to 2016 were paradoxically lower than those in cooperating communities.  Using data from 98% of the more than 3,000 counties in the continental United States, the author questions the assumptions underlying the Secure Communities, i.e. that it will improve public safety. The author suggests that there are three reasons for this inverse relationship between Secure Communities and crime rates:  “immigrant political integration, positive spillover effects of sanctuary practices, and increased social harmony.”

Prejudicial and Unreliable: The Role of Police Reports in U.S. Immigration Detention and Deportation Decisions,
National Immigrant Justice Center, July 14, 2022, 19 pp.
Author: Nayna Gupta

 The U.S. Congress and almost every federal circuit court of appeals have acknowledged the unreliable and prejudicial nature of police reports. Yet, U.S. immigration decision-makers make life-altering decisions often solely based on those reports, thereby undermining due process, showing prejudice against immigrants, and exacerbating racial bias. Prejudicial and Unreliable: The Role of Police Reports in U.S. Immigration Detention and Deportation Decisions by the National Immigrant Justice Center finds that immigration decision-makers, including judges, equate allegations in police reports with the truth, give these allegations substantial weight, use reports from ongoing or dismissed cases, and make negative inferences if reports are not provided. In one of the cases described in the report, after a criminal judge released an immigrant arrested on drug charges, an immigration judge ordered her detained without bond despite strong evidence of community and family ties. The judge basically considered the allegations in the police report to be true and made a negative inference from her refusal to testify about the arrest charges, a constitutional right that she exercised as advised by her counsel. Being in immigration detention, she was unable to appear in her criminal proceedings to dispute the allegations that led to her detention. The report finds that immigration authorities should take immediate action to reduce damages arising from reliance on police reports by, among other steps, creating a presumption of unreliability and a right to refute any police report. (Jasmina Popaja for The Immigrant Learning Center’s Public Education Institute)

Immigrants and Asylum-Seekers Deserve Humane Alternatives to Detention,
Center for American Progress, July 13, 2022, 16 pp.
Author: Trinh Q. Truong

This report is a very thorough and well-referenced but concise overview of alternatives to immigration detention, including those already in use and those that might be created in the future. After explaining the high costs involved in detention, the first part discusses the use of electronic monitoring, and the decline under the Biden administration of the use of ankle bracelets in favor of phone based electronic monitoring and check-ins. The author mentions privacy, intrusiveness, and civil liberties concerns involved in surveillance as well as the impact of these approaches on the psychological and physical health of immigrants and asylum-seekers. The report then outlines several models of community supervision, including two programs developed as pilot projects by the government, and the drawbacks to programs affiliated with ICE even though they are run by non-profits. Ultimately the author presents the case for community-based alternatives, run by community organizations rather than ICE, with the recommendation that congressional oversight, not ICE oversight, can meet the concerns of the courts without the distrust of ICE or stigma of programs that essentially promote collaboration between enforcement and non-profits. Significantly, pilot community projects already in existence have demonstrated extremely high rates of successful court appearances and check-ins, despite minimal confinement, surveillance, and intrusion, allowing for people to work and conduct normal lives while waiting for hearings. (William Westerman, Ph.D., New Jersey City University)


Building Power: Charting Recent Victories in the Movement to End Immigration Detention in the United States,
NYU School of Law, June 2022, 111 pp.
Author: Elena Hodges

This report describes the movement to abolish immigration detention in the United States. Six states – California, Washington, Illinois, New Jersey, Maryland, and Oregon – have enacted legislation prohibiting public and/or private contracts with ICE to detain immigrants. The author describes the “grassroots power” that made possible these legislative victories. Other states have closed facilities or reduced detention capacity in response to activist pressure. Although the movement’s victories have provoked backlash from ICE, including efforts to overturn legislation and mass transfers of detainees to other parts of the country more supportive of detention (primarily in the South) , the author sees the anti-detention movement as “gaining unprecedented momentum.” She also questions the validity of the “alternatives to detention” program, e.g. electronic monitoring, arguing that it is another form of detention and a continuation of the criminalization of immigration in the U.S.

Can You Hear Me Now? Attorney Perceptions of Interpretation, Technology, and Power in Immigration Court,
Journal on Migration and Human Security, October 30, 2021, 17 pp.
Author: Maya P. Barak

In this study, Maya P. Barak examines the impact of courtroom interpretation services and technology on immigrants. Most trial-level immigration proceedings require foreign language interpretation and use of communication technology such as video conferencing, yet the public knows little about these tools and how effectively they are used. The author interviewed immigration attorneys involved in deportation proceedings, who describe the courts as “procedurally unjust” due to deficiencies in interpretation, telephonic conferencing and videoconferencing, and who believe that these deficiencies deny the right to due process. Drawing on criminology, legal sociology and linguistics, Barak makes recommendations to ensure due process for clients in immigration courts including: 1) eliminating conferencing by telephone and video except in extreme circumstances; 2) modernizing such telephonic conferencing and videoconferencing technology; 3) improving standards and working conditions for interpreters; and 4) educating attorneys, judges and interpreters about challenges inherent to courtroom technology and interpretation. Barak concludes that such enhancements to interpretation and technology can better immigrants’ access to justice in immigration courts. However, she also adds, meaningful immigration reforms could decrease the need for immigration courts in the first place. (Erika Hernandez for The Immigrant Learning Center’s Public Education Institute)

Targeted but not Silenced: A report on Government Surveillance and Retaliation Against Immigration Organizers in the United States,
University of Washington School of Law Immigration Clinic, August 2021, 33 pp.
Authors: Jennifer Koh et al

Between 2014 and 2018, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) targeted, surveilled, arrested and detained members of Migrant Justice, a Vermont-based farmworker and economic justice grassroots organization. The group, which had successfully campaigned for the passage of the “Driver Privilege Card” legislation and the “Milk with Dignity” program that protected farmworkers’ rights, sued ICE. In 2020, they reached a comprehensive settlement with ICE whereby the agency agreed to pay damages, grant immigration relief to targeted members, and affirm its commitment to basic First Amendment principles. This is but one example detailed in the report Targeted But Not Silenced: A Report on Government Surveillance and Retaliation Against Immigration Organizers in the United States, published by The University of Washington School of Law Immigration Clinic. The report uses case studies and interviews to detail ICE’s surveillance of and retaliation methods against immigration rights advocates. It also examines the resulting harms to organizations and individuals. The authors call on the Biden administration and Congress to address the harms caused by this surveillance and retaliation and offer seven policy recommendations. They include: exercise of prosecutorial discretion for deportable immigrant rights organizers; return of deported activists; ending mass surveillance; auditing ICE’s retaliation activities; legislation limiting surveillance tactics; re-evaluation of the current immigration system; and elimination of immigration enforcement agencies. (Jasmina Popaja for The Immigrant Learning Center’s Public Education Institute)  

From Jailers to Case Managers: Redesigning the U.S. Immigration Detention System to Be Effective and Fair,
Migration Policy Institute, September 2021, 24 pp.
Authors: Randy Capps & Doris Meissner

The U.S. immigration detention system is vast, expensive, prison-like, and prone to health risks, despite the fact that violations of immigration law are a function of civil, not criminal, law. This report by Randy Capps and Doris Meissner of the Migration Policy Institute reimagines the immigration detention system by “steering it away from a punitive, detention-centered approach and toward more proportionate and cost-effective policies that still ensure compliance with immigration court and removal proceedings.” The authors argue that the current immigration detention system as well as the broader enforcement system is too expensive, accounting for a full third of Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) budget. Moreover, current policies have clogged the immigration court system such that millions of immigrants have to wait sometimes years for their cases to be heard. The authors also argue that the system is inhumane, as demonstrated by the restriction of personal freedoms as well as extremely high infection rates during the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, the authors propose a less costly alternative that would use release with supervision and case management as the main enforcement methods. Detention would be limited only to those migrants who pose public safety risks. Emphasis would be placed on providing legal counsel, case management and social services that would lead to the fairer adjudication of cases. Such a shift would necessitate fundamental changes to the culture and operations of the Department of Homeland Security as well as action by Congress. (The Immigrant Learning Center’s Public Education Institute)


Disrupting the Traffic Stop-to-Deportation Pipeline: The New York State Greenlight Law’s Intent and Implementation,
Journal on Migration and Human Security, 9:2 (2021), 16 pp.
Authors: Robert Courtney Smith et al

In New York State (NYS), traffic stops are a major trigger for deportation despite constituting minor offenses. This article seeks to examine the repercussions of the traffic stop-to-deportation pipeline and how the so-called Greenlight Law, which permits the issuance of standard driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants, can mitigate these harms. The paper analyzes how the law’s ability to protect these immigrants and their mostly US citizen children, however, depends on implementation, which some evidence suggests has been unequal across the state, and which has been complicated by the pandemic and by anti-immigrant, fear-mongering rhetoric.  The paper highlights the impact of these limitations on the children of undocumented immigrants. For example, many of them develop a strong mistrust of the police or suffer from the depletion of family income caused by the deportation of a parent. Not only has this implementation gap been driven by the pandemic, but it also continues to be fueled by reluctant enforcement of the law, political opposition, insufficient capacity to deliver services in Spanish, and trust concerns from immigrants when seeking government help. The article proposes a number of policy recommendations to address these implementation problems, including bolstering bilingual staffing at motor vehicle offices and ending the practice of segregating undocumented applicants from other motor vehicle clients and forcing the former to wait longer for service. (Flora Meng for The Immigrant Learning Center’s Public Education Institute)

A Lineage of Family Separation,
Brooklyn Law Review (forthcoming), July 14, 2021, 59 pp.
Author: Anita Sinha

In 2018, more than 5,000 migrant children were deliberately separated from their parents under the Trump Administration’s “zero tolerance” policy, aimed at deterring migration from Central America. Criminalizing migration-related acts, denigrating migrant parents, and invoking religious authority were tactics used to justify this short-lived policy. Counter-narratives of devastating harm coupled with sympathetic media coverage and strategic human rights litigation fueled the public outrage that led to the policy’s termination. A Lineage of Family Separation examines the long and painful history of family separation carried out against enslaved, Indigenous and immigrant families by the U.S. government and private actors from colonial times to the present. Narratives justifying family separation were and continue to be rooted in bigotry, white supremacism, and paternalism. Historically, those practices ended when counter-narratives synchronized with social movements that promoted fundamental changes. Public condemnation of “zero tolerance” did not encompass collateral family separation caused by mass incarceration and large-scale detention and deportation; the author, therefore, calls for continued alignment of counter-narratives with the collective resolve to transform systems that separate underprivileged families, whether immigrant or not. (Jasmina Popoja for The Immigrant Learning Center’s Public Education Institute)

A Domestic Reign of Terror: Donald Trump’s Family Separation Policy,
Florida International University Research Paper, June 2021, 48 pp.
Authors: Ediberto Roman & Ernesto Sagás

In A Domestic Reign of Terror: Donald Trump’s Family Separation Policy, the authors assert that Trump’s family separation policy was not only immoral but un-American. The authors lay out three arguments for arriving at this conclusion:  first, the family separation policy violates international norms dealing with the welfare of children and families, and for that reason the International Criminal Court can and should pursue a case against Trump Administration officials for crimes against humanity; second, immigrants are vital to the current U.S. economy, and an indispensable part of American history; to revile immigrants demonstrates ignorance of our history and un-American sentiment. Third,  “leaders” who champion systems that hurt children, families, and the communities they are sworn to protect are shameful and hypocritical, and their policies must be repudiated or else they will morally define us.  Trump’s violent and xenophobic policies perpetuated harm on immigrants and immigrant families. Moreover, they had a harmful effect on the economic and cultural fabric of the country that the Trump Administration claimed to be striving to protect. (Samantha Jones for The Immigrant Learning Center’s Public Education Institute)

Advancing Universal Representation: A Toolkit for Advocates, Organizers, Legal Service Providers, and Policymakers,
Vera Institute for Justice, Module Three, April 2021, 68 pp.
Authors: Liz Kenney et al

In the United States, while criminals are entitled to government-funded representation under the law, immigrants facing deportation are not. According to the Vera Institute of Justice (Vera), the daily population of detained immigrants rose from 9,000 to around 51,000 from 1996 to 2018. Those detainees without legal representation are far more likely to be deported than those with representation. In “Advancing Universal Representation: A Toolkit for Advocates, Organizers, Legal Service Providers, and Policymakers,” Vera draws on the experiences and examples of local, state and national initiatives from its Safety and Fairness for Everyone (SAFE) Network, as well as from the Center for Popular Democracy and the National Immigrant Law Center (NILC), to suggest strategies for implementing, sustaining and scaling universal representation programs. Consisting of three parts, the toolkit’s first module makes the case for universal representation; the second module outlines the process of building an advocacy campaign to achieve such representation; and the third module proposes practices to implement local and statewide programs. Ultimately, Vera asserts that providing publicly funded universal representation supports immigrant communities and protects essential American values of due process and fairness.  (Flora Meng for The Immigrant Learning Center’s Public Education Institute)

Help Me to Find My Children: A Thirteenth Amendment Challenge to Family Separation,
Stanford Journal of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, 17:1 (2021), 61 pp.
Author: Ndjuoh MehChu

During the height of the Trump Administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy in 2018, 50 to 70 migrant families were separated daily. By January 2020, 4,368 children in total had been separated.  In “Help Me to Find My Children: A Thirteenth Amendment Challenge to Family Separation,” Ndjuoh MehChu, an interdisciplinary scholar with a focus on human and civil rights, criminal justice reform and critical race theory, argues that involuntary family separation at the U.S.-Mexico border is a violation of the Thirteenth Amendment. to the Constitution MehChu believes that such separation deserves Congressional or judicial prohibition as an “incident of slavery.” First, he notes how the lens of the Thirteen Amendment links the practice of family separation to other historical practices that victimized other marginalized communities, a connection that may expand advocacy to better protect migrant groups. Secondly, he notes how Congress or the Courts can use the Thirteenth Amendment to interpret family separation as an issue of public morality. Migrant family separation would, according to the author, mean the failure of Congress and the courts to eliminate the system of slavery, which denied individuals dignity and the fundamental human right to the sanctity of family. (Erika Hernandez for The Immigrant Learning Center’s Public Education Institute)

Special Report: How Trump administration left indelible mark on US immigration courts,
Reuters, March 8, 2021
Authors: Read Levinson et al

Does the end of a president’s term usher in a new era for its country’s policies? Not necessarily, according to this Reuters special report entitled “How Trump administration left indelible mark on U.S. immigration courts.” The authors examine Trump’s lasting legacy on U.S. immigration. Analyzing over 800,000 U.S. immigration cases adjudicated over the past 20 years, the authors found that immigration judges appointed by the Trump administration were much more likely to rule in favor of deportation – at a rate of 87 percent compared to 58 percent for all judges who heard immigration cases during the 20-year period of the study. The report found that the Trump administration appointed new immigration judges quickly, often hiring those with little to no immigration experience and thus lacking fundamental knowledge of immigration law and policy. Those appointed under Trump also tended to take a hardline stance on immigration issues, strongly indicative of partisanship in the hiring process and of the politicization of immigration courts, which are supposed to operate as fair and neutral tribunals. These appointments have, according to the authors, not only resulted in the deportation of tens of thousands of immigrants – which has sent the message that most of those seeking asylum in the US are not deserving of it – but has also set precedents that has rendered asylum cases difficult to win. By examining the concrete implications of the Trump administration’s immigration court hiring decisions, the special report demonstrates the enduring impact of Trump-era policies on the U.S. immigration landscape. (Sonali Ravi for The Immigrant Learning Center’s Public Education Institute)

The Legacy of Racism within the U.S. Border Patrol,
American Immigration Council, February 2021, 27 pp.
Authors: Katy Murdza & Walter Ewing

The United States Border Patrol, despite its long history of human rights violations and opaque operations, is a well-funded, powerful law enforcement agency with weak internal disciplinary mechanisms and little external oversight. “The Legacy of Racism within the U.S. Border Patrol,” published by the American Immigration Council, examines the history of racism in U.S. immigration policy and its impact on the institutions responsible for implementing this policy. According to the authors, the Border Patrol has become immensely powerful since it was founded about a century ago yet a culture of racism pervades the agency. The report surveys U.S. immigration policies from the late 1880s to the present day, which, at different points in U.S. history, systematically kept out and expelled Asian, Eastern European and later Mexican immigrants deemed “racially inferior” and “undesirable,” and the ways in which these policies influence modern-day policing by the Border Patrol. The authors argue that this history of racist exclusion is at the foundation of the agency’s mission as well as its law enforcement procedures, which are marked by a culture of racism, brutality and abuse directed against immigrants of color. The authors find that the Border Patrol perpetrates violence against immigrants of color through both direct means such as sexual assault, excessive force and verbal abuse, and indirect means like medical neglect, family separation and inhume conditions for those held in custody, often with no consequences. The authors highlight the importance of changing not only the laws surrounding immigration, but also the approach taken by Border Patrol agents in their encounters with prospective immigrants at the border, emphasizing the need for the Biden administration to institute transparency and accountability in the agency’s enforcement practices. (Sonali Ravi for The Immigrant Learning Center’s Public Education Institute)

A Federal Defender Service for Immigrants: Why We Need a Universal, Zealous, and Person-Centered Model,
Vera Institute of Justice, Policy Brief, February 2021, 4 pp.

The stakes are high for immigrants involved in the 1.25 million cases currently pending in the U.S. immigration court system. If deported, a person could face family separation, loss of income and possible persecution in their country of origin. Yet, individuals in 500,000 of these pending cases have no legal counsel. In contrast to the criminal legal system, the government is not required to provide publicly funded legal representation in immigration proceedings. A Federal Defender Service for Immigrants: Why We Need a Universal, Zealous, and Person-Centered Model, published by the Vera Institute of Justice, advocates for a federally funded legal defense service for immigrants, a recommendation grounded in Vera’s extensive experience administering national immigrant legal defense programs. The policy brief explains that a federal defender service for immigrants is urgently needed to ensure immigrants’ full and equal protection under the law and to reduce the harms caused by systemic racism and racist immigration policies. Built on the principles of universality, zealousness and person-centeredness, a federal defender system for immigrants would provide aggressive legal advocacy and non-judgmental, holistic and multidisciplinary support to all individuals in immigration proceedings in which immigration status or liberty and life are at risk. (Jasmina Popaja for The Immigrant Learning Center’s Public Education Institute)

The Electronic Nationality Verification Program: An Overview,
American Immigration Council, Fact Sheet, January 26, 2021, 6 pp.

One of the tools developed by the Trump administration to rapidly deport migrants from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras is the Electronic Nationality Verification (ENV) program. Since 2019, the government has used ENV to rapidly deport thousands of people, often swiftly and silently with almost no public information on the program. This fact sheet describes the ENV program, the people it impacts, and highlights concerns regarding the program. These include: lack of government transparency, increased risk of error due to rapid processing time, and blindness to migrants’ fear of persecution upon deportation to their countries of origin. It is unknown if the program will expand to include other countries in the future, or what the effects on migrants have been since 2019. To address these issues, the authors recommend increased government transparency and greater consideration of the factors that cause people to flee their countries. (Katelin Reger for The Immigrant Learning Center’s Public Education Institute)

The Biden Administration and Congress Must Guarantee Legal Representation for People Facing Removal,
American Immigration Council, January 15, 2021, 9 pp.
Authors: Jorge Loweree & Gregory Chen

Having legal counsel is one of the most important factors in determining whether a person will obtain relief in removal proceedings. While the right to legal counsel under U.S. law is ensured for those in removal proceedings, the government is not required to pay for counsel for indigent clients. At least 40 percent of those facing removal are unrepresented, and even fewer held in detention have access to legal counsel. Detained immigrants are deprived of liberty, have limited access to the internet, legal information, phone services, support services, lack of contact with their family and communities, and limited time and resources to prepare a claim.  This report argues that the federal government should establish a national system that guarantees representation to all people facing removal. The authors assert such a system would make the process fairer and help the government ensure efficiency and due process in removal proceedings, reducing the current immigration court backlog (exceeding 1.25 million cases) and dramatically lowering the government’s costs for detention and court proceedings. The authors recommend that the President seek additional funding for legal representation that covers vulnerable populations, particularly people who are detained, children, people who speak rare languages, individuals with mental disabilities, and asylum seekers. Further, the Attorney General should announce a policy to temporarily defer cases involving unrepresented individuals and reestablish the Office for Access to Justice, which supported access to counsel in immigration cases, as well as other civil and criminal cases.  The authors suggest that the Biden administration should also award a contract to one or more national non-profit organizations that can subcontract with local legal service providers, thus providing the benefits of centralization and economies of scale, along with the expertise to provide program support and training to assist local service providers. (The Immigrant Learning Center’s Public Education Institute).

Are Programs that Use Local and State Police to Enforce Federal Immigration Policies Effective?
Center for Growth and Opportunity, Utah State University, December 2020, 6 pp.
Authors: Josh T. Smith & Carilyn Lueck

This paper from the Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University examines the effectiveness of programs that empower local law enforcement agencies to coordinate with federal immigration officials. First established in 1996, such programs were intended to promote public safety by facilitating the deportation of dangerous criminals. Article 287(g) of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Responsibility Act allows local and state law enforcement to assume Immigration and Customs Enforcement functions. The Secure Communities program (2008-2014 and 2017-) broadly targets immigrants who may have committed almost any crime, while the Priority Enforcement Program (2014-2017) targeted only the most dangerous offenders. This paper surveys the literature on the effects of these programs. The authors find that the broad approach of Secure Communities has little to no effect on crime rates. Instead, there is significant evidence that these programs drastically decreased immigrant community trust in the police and made immigrants less likely to report crimes; in turn, this has made them more likely to be victimized by criminals who know they are unlikely to be caught. In addition, broad enforcement seems to have reduced immigrants’ willingness to engage with the education system. The paper promotes a return to the more targeted approach of Priority Enforcement, which focuses on the most dangerous criminals. In addition, such an approach frees up police resources to pursue inclusive policies that are more likely to improve public safety. (Karen D. Caplan, Ph.D., Rutgers University---Newark)


Who Does America Want?
Georgetown Immigration Law Journal, 35:1 (Fall, 2020), 22 pp.
Author: Jarienn James
This paper juxtaposes immigration-related fees with the fines and fees for traffic violations paid by Black and Brown Americans “to help the reader understand that America’s racism and classism exist both at and within its borders.” According to the author, these fees originate from different areas of the law but still communicate the same idea: “immigrants, poor, Black, and Brown people are unwanted in America. If unpaid, these fees combined prevent immigrants, poor, Black, and Brown people from driving to work, maintaining medical appointments, taking their children to school, walking the streets, marrying the love of their lives, and working to provide for their basic needs. The American system uses every opportunity to create unnecessary barriers for their progress and oppresses them enough to make them regret their birth or coming to America.” The author looks at specific conditions in four states: Connecticut, South Carolina, Florida, and Georgia, and after detailing the harsh penalties imposed on people for traffic violations, sketches out a number of alternatives to existing systems.  The paper also traces the obstacles facing immigrants, both financial and bureaucratic, and argues that the immigration system is “complex and expensive and shows no respect for the sacrifices of the immigrant.”

Ending Forced Labor in ICE Detention Centers: A New Approach,
Georgetown Immigration Law Journal 34:3 (Spring 2020), 44 pp.
Author: Jonathon Booth

Who holds the majority of migrants detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)? What are the conditions of those being held? The answers may surprise you. Jonathan Booth examines issues arising from criminalized immigration in the article “Ending Forced Labor in ICE Detention Centers: A New Approach,” published by the Georgetown Immigration Law Journal. The author explains how ICE contracts with private prison companies to hold the majority of its detainees—over 70%—and that this practice has produced conditions of forced and coerced detainee labor. Private contractors offset expenses and turn hefty profits from forced migrant work, creating yet another form of human trafficking. ICE’s forced labor takes two forms: the “Voluntary Work Program” by which migrants may be paid $1 per day, and mandatory facility cleaning, which is uncompensated. Detainees who refuse to participate cannot access basic necessities and have reported retaliation in the form of solitary confinement from detention staff. These conditions violate the Trafficking Victims’ Protection Act (TVPA), which forbids forced or coerced labor. The author suggests several lawsuits against private prison contractors are likely to succeed, obligating these companies to stop forced labor and to pay damages to victims of these abuses. While there are several potential ways to try to end forced labor in ICE detention facilities—including decreasing the number of detainees—enforcing protections of the TVPA is likely one of the fastest and most likely to succeed. (Katelin Reger for The Immigrant Learning Center’s Public Education Institute)

Zealous Administration: The Deportation Bureaucracy,
Rutgers Law Review (Forthcoming), Posted SSRN (April 13, 2020), 75 pp.
Authors: Robert Knowles & Geoffrey Heeren

Federal executive agencies enjoy a high degree of autonomy when it comes to constructing their administrative cultures and customary practices. Some agencies are more zealous than others in carrying out their missions, and their practices can sometimes influence other agencies within the same regulatory stratosphere. Calling this phenomenon “zealous administration,” the authors of this paper argue that U.S. immigration agencies, particularly the deportation bureaucracy, have evolved into zealous government agencies. The authors contend that agencies like Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Patrol have engaged, since the times of the now defunct Immigration and Naturalization Service, in the “hyper-regulation” of immigration, and have been able to “infect” other agencies within the larger immigration bureaucracy with their enforcement priorities and ethos. According to the authors, their overreach is made possible because many zealous agencies are largely impervious to influence from the President, pressure from other government entities, public disapproval and internal dissent. Using public choice theory, the authors find that the broader the definition of an agency’s mission, the higher the likelihood for that agency to engage in zealous administration to enhance the agency’s autonomy and maximize its reputational payoff. The authors recommend ways to limit zealous administration including agency realignment, strengthened judicial review and restrictions on private contractors. (Jaisang Sun for The Immigrant Learning Center’s Public Education Institute)


Reimagining Immigrant Detention: Alternative Policy Tools and Lessons from Abroad,
Bipartisan Policy Center, January 12, 2021, 9 pp.
Authors:  Kathleen Fink & Theresa Cardinal Brown

Immigration detention, the principal enforcement method used by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), resulted in an average daily population of more than 50,000 detainees in 2019, at an average daily cost of at least $200 - $300 per detainee. ICE also employs alternatives to detention (ATDs). Its current ATD program includes ankle monitors, which have raised concerns related to health and social stigma. “Reimagining Immigrant Detention: Alternative Policy Tools and Lessons from Abroad,” published by the Bipartisan Policy Center, reviews a number of ATD methods used in other countries, such as regular reporting, open centers and bridging visas. Canada, for example, uses a voice-reporting program for immigrants who are not considered a security risk. The program relies on voice recognition technology to verify identities of immigrants who are required to call regularly. In Greece, migrants registered for assisted voluntary return have access to open centers that provide meals, showers, and medical services. Australia grants bridging visas for temporary lawful status to those who are in the process of departing or applying for another visa. The authors conclude that ATDs have high compliance rates and come at relatively low cost. However, they say, more research is required for a full analysis of their effectiveness. (Jasmina Popaja for The Immigrant Learning Center’s Public Education Institute)

Measuring in Absentia Removal in Immigration Court,
American Immigration Council, January 2021, 24 pp.
Authors: Ingrid Eagly & Steven Shafer

Do immigrants show up to their court hearings after they are released into the country? Measuring ‘In Absentia’ Removal in Immigration Court, published by the American Immigration Council, finds that between 2008 and 2018, 83 percent of non-detained immigrants did, in fact, attend their court hearings. Additionally, 15 percent of immigrants who received orders of deportation due to a “no show” were able to reopen their cases, suggesting that they were either not given advance notice of their hearings or faced hardship that prevented them from attending court. Of immigrants who were represented by a lawyer, 96 percent attended court hearings. Despite these high rates of court attendance, the federal government frequently cites much higher rates of in absentia removal, or “no shows,” when advocating for stricter immigration policies. Using data from the Executive Office for Immigration Review, the authors posit that the federal government’s method for measuring the rate of in absentia removal is flawed and does not accurately reflect the data. (Deb D’Anastasio for The Immigrant Learning Center’s Public Education Institute)


COVID-19 & Immigration Detention: What Can Governments and Other Stakeholders Do?
United Nations Network on Migration, April 2020, 13 pp.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, the detention of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers around the world has had a devastating impact on both the detained population and the people working in detention facilities. “In the often overcrowded facilities where they are detained, misinformation is common, physical distancing impossible, hygiene and sanitation inadequate, and human resources stretched.” In response, the United Nations Network on Migration, through its Working Group on Alternatives to Detention, comprised of UN agencies, civil society organizations, local governments and technical experts, has released guidance, resources and practical recommendations to deal with this problem. Their report advises that new detentions of migrants be halted; that non-custodial, community-based alternatives be scaled up; that migrants currently in detention be released into these community-based settings; and that conditions in current detention center be improved while alternatives are worked out. The guide offers a sweeping list of practical recommendations drawn from the experiences of Network members on such questions as: how to arrange migrant releases, how to manage cases, and how to improve access to care. The guide is part of a series by the U.N. Network that looks at different aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic and immigration. (Denzil Mohammed, The Immigrant Learning Center’s Public Education Institute) 

Comparing crime rates between undocumented immigrants, legal immigrants, and native-born US citizens in Texas,
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America,
December 22, 2020, 8 pp.
Authors: Michael T. Lights et al

Despite the lack of data on crime rates among undocumented immigrants in the U.S., assumptions about undocumented criminality have not only distorted public perceptions of the issue, but have also influenced immigration policy and enforcement decisions. In this report published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS), comprehensive arrest data from the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Department of Homeland Security between 2012 and 2018 bring clarity to this understudied issue. Contrary to prominent political discourse, the researchers found that undocumented immigrants have substantially lower crime rates than both U.S.-born citizens and authorized immigrants, and, over the seven years covered by the data, the proportion of arrests in Texas involving undocumented immigrants was either relatively stable or decreasing. In fact, the authors found that, when compared with undocumented immigrants, U.S.-born citizens are more than twice as likely to be arrested for violent crimes, 2.5 times more likely to be arrested for drug crimes and over four times more likely to be arrested for property crimes. These findings can help explain why certain immigration enforcement programs focused on removing undocumented immigrants with relatively low felony crime rates have not succeeded in their stated purpose of reducing crime. As the authors explain, these empirical findings run contrary to political discourse claiming undocumented immigrants are more likely to commit crimes, when in fact the research suggests undocumented immigrants are substantially less likely to commit crimes than authorized immigrants and the U.S.-born. (Katelin Reger for The Immigrant Learning Center’s Public Education Institute)

Inventory of Promising Practices and Programs for Immigrant and Refugee Outreach,
Police Executive Research Forum & the Law Enforcement Immigration Task Force,
Updated November 2020, 15 pp.

The “Inventory of Promising Practices and Programs for Immigrant and Refugee Outreach” contains short descriptions of outreach and educational programs that seek to strengthen the relationship between police departments and immigrant communities across the U.S. The inventory, compiled by the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) and the Law Enforcement Immigration Task Force, is the result of a decade of research, which included interviews with police agencies and officials, site visits, and executive sessions. The inventory is organized into twelve topics: national programs, community academy models, community advisory board models, community education and training for immigrants and refugees, community outreach, cultural competency training for officers, interagency collaboration, liaison officers, multilingual outreach programs, providing direct services, recruiting and hiring from the immigrant community, and youth engagement. Each listing features a program description and point of contact. Other PERF publications available on their website feature many of the initiatives listed in the inventory. The authors encourage individuals to contact PERF to obtain more information about the programs listed in the inventory or to request that a program be added to it. (Stephanie Depauw for The Immigrant Learning Center’s Public Education Institute)

Illegal Immigration and Crime in Texas,
Cato Working Paper, October 13, 2020, 28 pp.
Authors:  Alex Nowrasteh et al

This paper investigates the claim that unauthorized immigrants are more likely than the U.S.-born to engage in criminal activity. In the study, data from the Texas Department of Public Safety is used to shed light on immigrant criminality (Texas is the only state that records arrests and convictions by immigration status). Texas also has the second largest population of undocumented immigrants in the U.S., thus providing a large sample for analysis.  The key finding from the data is that undocumented immigrants have significantly lower crime rates than the U.S.-born; from 2012-2016, average criminal conviction rates for undocumented immigrants were 42 percent lower than those for the U.S.-born. Further, authorized immigrants had a criminal conviction rate 63 percent lower than the U.S.-born. On average, from 2012 through 2018, unauthorized and authorized immigrants were less likely to be arrested than the U.S.-born by 40 percent and 55 percent, respectively. The authors find that, rather than immigration status, the strongest predictor of higher crime rates is county population size: intuitively, “more people means more crime.” These results have important policy implications, calling into question the effectiveness of domestic immigration policies, like border wall construction or the greater allocation of resources to the Border Patrol, in actually lowering crime rates. (Lara Carbine for The Immigrant Learning Center’s Public Education Institute)

As #DefundThePolice Movement Gains Steam, Immigration Enforcement Spending and Practices Attract Scrutiny,
Migration Policy Institute, June 25, 2020, 8 pp.
Authors: Muzaffar Chishti & Jessica Bolter

This brief explores what is behind some activists’ calls for abolishing the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) and notes parallels to the Black Lives Matter movement. In each case there is a concern with how problematic law enforcement actions may reveal a pattern of systemic racism. The authors also see connections between dramatic increases in the budget for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the expansion of the remit of Custom and Border Patrol (CBP), noting that CBP officers have been deployed in areas not typically considered their domain, e.g. New York City during protests against police violence. The report compares the growth of spending on the DHS to other federal agencies, calculating that its budget is now more than the combined budgets of the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Secret Service, the U.S. Marshals Service, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. ICE’s budget alone increased from $3.1 billion to $8.4 billion between FY 2005 and FY 2020. During this period, the number of detained immigrants soared, reaching 50,165 in FY 2019 (the largest total ever). In addition to money budgeted for ICE, the report explains how private enterprise is profiting from detention related contracts. The authors suggest that accountability has not kept pace with the expansion of enforcement and detention, and that there are widespread examples of malpractice and abuse. The report concludes that immigration enforcement has developed into a“formidable machinery” that not only affects immigrants, but the wider society as well. (Erik Jacobson, Montclair State University)

Segregation by Citizenship,
132 Harvard Law Review 1379 (2019), 65 pp.
Author: Emma Kaufmann

Legal scholars have spent little time examining prisons segregated by citizenship, or prisons only holding foreign-born inmates. Many people do not even know these institutions exist. Before 1999, prisoners in the United States were not separated by their citizenship status. Today, there are 10 all-foreign prisons, housing mostly Latino immigrants. Moreover, the Trump administration has announced its intention to build more. Emma Kaufman’s 2019 article “Segregation by Citizenship” in the Harvard Law Review is the first account of the all-foreign prison. The article draws on data from the Bureau of Prisons, internal agency documents, interviews and other primary sources in order to understand the legal implications of this trend in incarceration. The author argues that these prisons are insulated from meaningful judicial review by an alienage jurisprudence that affords deference to any federal policy characterized as migration control. And it critiques this doctrine, arguing that courts need a more coherent and defensible conception of the relationship between national sovereignty and noncitizens’ equal protection rights. To that end, this Article advances a simple claim: only core immigration activities — setting rules on entry, exit, and naturalization — should count as migration control. Other forms of state action, including segregating foreign national prisoners, may affect where and how immigrants live their lives. But they are not the kind of migration control that warrants deference from federal courts. (Olivia Pickard for The Immigrant Learning Center’s Public Education Institute)


Building Trust with Immigrant Communities: Best Practice for Law Enforcement Agencies in Smaller Cities and Towns,
Police Executive Research Forum, 2020, 29 pp.

Based on interviews with 14 police chiefs and sheriffs in small- to medium-sized jurisdictions, this publication discusses promising programs and activities adopted by law enforcement agencies in their efforts to reach out to and build trust with their local immigrant communities. While these smaller jurisdictions share common challenges with larger cities, they generally have fewer resources. One of the main challenges is a built-in mistrust of police that many immigrants bring from their home countries, layered with confusion about the difference between federal immigration enforcement and the local police. The agencies highlighted in this publication have developed programs that include, among others, partnering with community organizations and leaders; sharing resources and best practices with neighboring small law enforcement agencies; and participating in after-school programs with elementary and high-school students. The publication concludes with a list of low-cost best practices that law enforcement agencies facing similar challenges might consider employing.
(Maurice Belanger, Maurice Belanger Consulting)

How the Immigration Bond and Detention System Created Today’s COVID-19 Tinderbox,
Immigrants’ Right/International Human Rights Clinic, Seton Hall University School of Law, April 20, 2020, 11 pp.
Authors: Hafsa S. Mansoor & Katherine Comly

Immigration detention centers face high risks for COVID-19 outbreaks. This report from Seton Hall University describes the impact that the current coronavirus pandemic has upon overcrowded U.S. immigrant detention centers. As other institutions have implemented social distancing and other measures to prevent the spread of the virus, immigrant detention centers have failed to adequately protect their populations from the pandemic. With some of the highest numbers of detained immigrants in the world, the outbreak has highlighted preexisting overcrowding issues within immigrant detention facilities in the United States. Despite the hundreds of immigrants who have tested positive for coronavirus, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has continued to detain undocumented immigrants and contribute to overcrowding in facilities. The report points to underlying systemic issues, such as the bond system, that have contributed to poor public health outcomes within the facilities. Since the 1990s, the number of detained immigrants who are released on bond has steadily decreased. Additionally, the immigration detention system has increasingly resembled criminal detention centers in its use of bed quotas and private prisons to house individuals. The paper argues that bond should be made more accessible and that ICE should release immigrant detainees who pose no threat to public safety, beginning with those most vulnerable to the virus. Moreover, the U.S. should end the convergence of the immigration and criminal systems. (Mia Fasano for The Immigrant Learning Center’s Public Education Institute)

Sanctuary States,
Rutgers Law School Research Paper (Southwestern Law Review, forthcoming), February 16, 2020, 23 pp.
Authors: Rose Cuison Villazor & Alma Godinez

California and New Jersey have been called “sanctuary states” because of policies limiting state, county and local cooperation with federal authorities in immigration enforcement.  This study analyzes California’s Senate Bill (SB) 54: California Values Act, and New Jersey’s Immigrant Trust Directive (AG Directive) to compare their various methods of “resistance” to the Trump administration’s increased immigration enforcement. Part I discusses how individual states are stakeholders in federal immigration policies because these policies directly affect families and communities at a local and state level. Part II profiles the similarities and differences between SB 54 and the AG Directive. Both bar local police departments from stopping, arresting, or detaining individuals based on civil immigration violations; both prohibit federal immigration authorities from using state resources; and both forbid police departments from honoring ICE detainer requests. The authors posit, however, that SB 54 offers broader protections for individuals in California than New Jersey’s AG Directive. Part III examines the legal pushback sanctuary states face as they aim to bolster protections for undocumented immigrants. Much of the pushback comes from the federal government, but there are also cases of resistance from local governments, some of which have adopted a hardline stance on immigration.
(Deb d’Anastasio for The Immigrant Learning Center’s Public Education Institute)

Can Sanctuary Policies Reduce Domestic Violence?
IZA Institute of Labor Economic, December 2019, 56 pp.
Authors: Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes & Monica Deza

Sanctuary policies that limit local police cooperation with federal immigration authorities may lead to increased reporting and accountability for domestic abuse. Can Sanctuary Cities Reduce Domestic Violence? from the IZA Institute of Labor Economics notes that one in three Hispanic women in the U.S. has experienced some form of domestic violence, but less than 50 percent of survivors report the abuse to police. Researchers found that fear over their own immigration status or that of a community member was a key obstacle to contacting law enforcement. The authors found a 62 percent reduction in homicide rates from domestic violence for Hispanic women occurring after the implementation of sanctuary policies. However, no such reduction was apparent for white non-Hispanic women, a finding that serves as a check against other confounding factors. The authors suggest that sanctuary policies create greater trust in local police, and offer more financial and social autonomy to Hispanic women who may be immigrants or members of mixed-status households. “In sum,” the authors write, “sanctuary policies appear effective in offering Hispanic women a true sanctuary against domestic violence.” (Clare Maxwell for The Immigrant Learning Center’s Public Education Institute)

Police Trust and Domestic Violence: Evidence from Immigration Policies
IZA Institute of Labor Economics, October 2019, 49 pp.
Authors: Catalna Amuedo-Dorantes & Esther Arenas- Arroyo

This paper examines the effects of both intensified immigration enforcement and local sanctuary policies on self-reporting of domestic abuse among immigrant populations in the United States. The Violence Against Women Act (1994) allows immigrant women to petition for adjustment of their immigration status if they are the victims of domestic abuse at the hands of a US citizen or lawful permanent resident partner. Using data on these petitions, the authors determine that an increase in immigration enforcement curbs self-reporting under VAWA. Their analysis indicates that this is true both in the case of increased police-based enforcement—such as 287(g) agreements between ICE and local law enforcement and the Secure Communities information sharing program—and employment-based enforcement in which employers are required to determine the work eligibility of potential employees. At the same time, the authors determine that sanctuary policies, which limit local law enforcement’s ability to cooperate with ICE, boost self-reporting under VAWA. In order to determine whether shifts in self-petitions are due to changes in rates of victimization or changes in rates of reporting, they look at domestic homicide data and conclude that it is rates of reporting that have changed rather than rates of abuse. The authors believe that this study is the first to systematically present empirical evidence on the relationship of immigration policy and the reporting of domestic abuse by migrant women. Overall, their results support the conclusion, derived from both qualitative and quantitative evidence, that people are more likely to report a crime when they trust the police. (Karen D. Caplan, Ph.D., Rutgers University -- Newark)

Universal Representation: Systemic Benefits and the Path Ahead,
Journal on Migration and Human Security (2019), 5 pp.
Author: Lindsay Nash

According to the New York Immigrant Representation Study, 74 percent of immigrants had successful case outcomes when they had legal counsel and were not placed in detention, whereas only three percent had a successful outcome if they were detained and did not have representation. “Universal Representation: Systemic Benefits and the Path Ahead” describes the origin and current need for the universal legal representation model for immigrants in deportation proceedings.  The author points out that the New York model has now spread to 15 jurisdictions in 9 states. The model uses a unique merits-blind intake mechanism prioritizing representation for indigent immigrants.  The benefits of universal representation extend beyond the immigrant community to the adjudication system as a whole, as the author argues that the program actually changes the quality of justice by challenging system deficiencies and holding government prosecutors accountable. Author Lindsay Nash argues that various challenges must be addressed in order to increase representation for noncitizens. Moving toward a system that effectively covers non-citizens rather than relying on pro-bono work, as well as creating clear-cut means of prioritizing litigants for coverage, will ensure benefits to both immigrants and the legal system as a whole. (Stephanie DePauw for the ILC Public Education Institute)

Crisis in the Courts: Is the Backlogged U.S. Immigration Court System at Its Breaking Point?
Migration Policy Institute, October 3, 2019, 11 pp.
Author: Marissa Esthimer

There were more than one million removal cases awaiting trial in U.S. immigration courts as of August 2019. “Crisis in the Courts: Is the Backlogged U.S. Immigration Court System at Its Breaking Point?” published by the Migration Policy Institute explains how the immigration courts struggle to process the skyrocketing number of asylum cases. At the time of the report, proceedings lasted an average of 700 days per case. Unlike other immigration enforcement agencies, such as Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the immigration courts have not received an increase in resources to permit the hiring of more judges and staff.  The courts have been overwhelmed with cases due to the Bush and Obama administration policies to prioritize deportations from the interior of the country and a rapid increase in new arrivals between 2017 and 2019 particularly of Central American families seeking asylum. The report concludes by offering policy suggestions to improve the immigration court system. For instance, the authors suggest that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services play a more active role in determining the merits of an asylum case before sending the case to the courts. They also recommend the hiring of more immigration judges to keep pace with the growing caseload.  (Mia Fasano for The ILC Public Education Institute)

Crimmigration in Gangland: Race, Crime, and Removal During the Prohibition Era,
Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law, 16:1 (2018), 37 pp.
Author: Geoffrey Heeren

“Crimmigration,” defined by Prof. Garcia Hernandez as “the intertwinement of crime control and migration control,” was as rampant at the beginning of the 20th century as it is today. In this study Geoffrey Heeren, Professor of Law at Valparaiso University Law School, examines how crime became associated with race and influenced U.S. criminal and immigration laws. While most scholars contend that “crimmigration” arose in the 1980s, Heeren's examination of the original records of the Immigrants Protective League of Chicago found that it dates at least as far back to a deportation drive in Chicago in 1926. That drive was meant to target presumed gang members but in fact resulted in indiscriminate raids on immigrant communities. Italians and Sicilians, whose “whiteness” was contested at the time, became targeted as criminals in the same way that Latino immigrants are today. The author demonstrates that eugenics and “scientific racism” – the idea that certain ethnic groups have a greater propensity to crime – were used in the 1920s to justify the racist frameworks that conflated immigration with increased levels of crime. Heeren concludes that the current practice of associating immigrants with criminal activity is based on a century of pseudoscience that allows crime to serve as a proxy for race and ethnicity. (Lydia Grinnell for the Immigrant Learning Center's Public Education Institute)

The Mythology of Sanctuary Cities,
Social Science Research Network, September 6, 2019, 25 pp.
Author: Kit Johnson

Sanctuary jurisdictions, defined as municipalities, counties or states where local government and law enforcement do not cooperate with federal immigration enforcement, are often portrayed as violent, dangerous or lawless places. “The Mythologies of Sanctuary Cities” disputes that characterization and aims to debunk nine myths and misconceptions about these areas. Author Kit Johnson finds that sanctuary cities:  follow a variety of different legal practices; are not a homogenous grouping; are dispersed across the country but do not exist in every state; are not lawless but rather have strict legal codes that govern the activities of their law enforcement professionals; do not shield criminals from prosecution; do not hide unauthorized immigrants, but rather put their own resources into immigration enforcement. Moreover, American citizens do not suffer adverse consequences from living in sanctuary cities; local and state governments do not have a legal responsibility to enforce federal immigration law; the executive branch cannot withhold federal funding from sanctuary cities; and sanctuary city policies do not present a challenge to the enforcement of U.S. borders. The report argues that sanctuary city policies are legitimate, legal and voter-supported. Understanding the myths used to discredit sanctuary city policies, according to the author, is necessary to move forward in both local and national conversations on immigration policy. (Clare Maxwell for the Immigrant Learning Center’s Public Education Institute)

The Attorney General’s Judges:  How the U.S. Immigration Courts Became a Deportation Tool,
Southern Poverty Law Center & Innovation Law Lab, June 2019, 38 pp.
Authors: Tess Hellgren et al

The immigration court system in the U.S. is fundamentally flawed and, under President Trump’s attorneys general, has “effectively collapsed.” This is the main finding of a report by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The report explores the key institutional and structural problems within the immigration court system and their effect upon individuals navigating high-stakes cases. The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), housed under the Office of the Attorney General, oversees the entire system. According to the report, there are numerous violations of due process and severely unequal application of the law. For instance, most asylum seekers do not have access to immigration attorneys because there is no specific right to counsel and most petitioners cannot afford to hire private attorneys. This situation has resulted in wide discrepancies in final determinations among immigration judges, some of whom approve cases at high rates and others who do not. Moreover, immigration courts do not have an appeals process and, according to focus groups with immigration lawyers, there is often a lack of basic respect and professionalism from judges and other court employees.  The authors also object to the blatant attempt of the Trump administration to use the court system for political purposes. Finally, they suggest that the immigration courts should be moved out from under the Office of the Attorney General and be designated an independent Article 1 Court. “Only by removing the immigration courts from the dangerous control of the executive branch can a fair, independent adjudication system be created.” (Mia Fasano for The Immigrant Learning Center’s Public Education Institute)

Do Immigrants Threaten US Public Safety?
Center for Growth and Opportunity, Utah State University, February 2019, 18 pp.
Authors:  Pia Orrenius & Madeline Zavodny

Advocates for tougher immigration enforcement often justify their approach as a means to reduce crime and protect public safety. However, it is important to know empirically whether the presence of immigrants, either authorized or unauthorized, actually leads to increases in crime and whether stricter enforcement reduces unauthorized immigration and crime rates. This report reviews available research and finds that immigrants are less likely than the U.S.-born to commit crimes. The authors, for example, cite a study by the Cato Institute that found that arrest and conviction rates of unauthorized immigrants in Texas were significantly lower than those of the U.S.-born, and that rates among legal immigrants were even lower. Second-generation immigrants, on the other hand, have comparable levels of criminal activity with the general U.S. population. These findings demonstrate that there are lower rates of criminal activity among new arrivals and that immigration status has a variable impact on rates of illegal activity. Moreover, there is little evidence to suggest that increased border enforcement affects crime rates. The authors suggest these findings should be used to re-evaluate enforcement policies as well as programs like the Secure Communities Act, which is designed to increase collaboration between Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and other law-enforcement agencies, in order to reduce crime and increase public safety. The authors also recognize that more research is necessary to determine the efficacy of the E-Verify program, which helps employers hire workers with work authorization.  (Jasmina Popaja for The Immigrant Learning Center’s Public Education Institute)

Immigrant Sanctuary as the “Old Normal”: A Brief History of Police Federalism,
Columbia Law Review, 119:1 (2019), 85 pp.
Author: Trevor George Gardner
In this article, legal Scholar Trevor Gardner undertakes a review of the history of police federalism in the U.S. and concludes that constitutional and historical precedent supports a clear separation of authority and function among federal, state, and local police jurisdictions, thereby lending support to those state and local authorities that refuse to engage in immigration enforcement activities. For nearly all of U.S. history, Americans within and outside of the political and legal fields flatly rejected federal policies that would make state and local police subordinate to the federal executive. Indeed, U.S. presidents in recent years who have argued for an expansion of federal powers are disregarding the widespread fear of concentrated power that guided the development of American federal system. Gardner writes “that some of the most ardent proponents of federal government minimalism lose their ideological bearings when contemplating matters of crime control and domestic and national security.”  Moreover, the arguments for the involvement of local police in federal immigration enforcement are “flagrantly ahistorical.”  The federal government, and state and local police departments, have operated “with near absolute independence.  Historically, Americans have not only supported this arrangement but have insisted that the federal government keep its distance from local police institutions.” The nation’s aversion to the consolidation of police powers is apparent in the Constitution itself, which does not assign a police power to the federal government, by default leaving this power to the states. Gardner discusses a number of episodes in American history, which reveal this principle in action, including local resistance to federal efforts to enforce Prohibition, and the avoidance of using local police as federal proxies in the War on Terror. In this historical context, the Secure Communities approach to immigration enforcement, predicated on the active involvement of local police, appears as a historical outlier. 

Does Halting Refugee Resettlement Reduce Crime?  Evidence from the United States Refugee Ban,
Immigration Policy Lab, Stanford University, December 2018, 55 pp.
Authors:  Daniel Masterson & Vasil I. Yasenov

In January of 2017, the Trump administration halted refugee resettlement ostensibly to review vetting procedures. Subsequently, refugee admission numbers were drastically reduced over previous levels. The rationale for these changes was to minimize the risk that refugees would engage in criminal acts or threaten national security. These actions permitted researchers at Stanford to conduct a “natural experiment” to see if there were any reductions in crime rates associated with reduced refugee admissions. Examining county-level data available through the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports database, the researchers found “no discernible effect on county-level crime rates. These null effects (were) consistent across all types of crime.”  The authors suggest several possible reasons for this result, including the “multilayered vetting that involves multiple agencies running extensive background checks” and the fact that refugees are often selected for admission to the U.S. on “vulnerability-based criteria.”

Do Apprehensions of Undocumented Immigrants Reduce Crime and Create Jobs? Evidence form U.S. Districts, 2000-2015,
UC Davis Law Review, 52 (2018-2019), 43 pp.
Authors: Annie Laurie Hines & Giovanni Peri

The Trump administration points to the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States as a major security risk and a threat to the economic livelihood of U.S.-born workers. This supposition provides justification for enhanced border security and immigration enforcement. However, there is limited causal research on the effects of apprehension and deportation on crime rates and the employment prospects of low-skilled U.S.-born workers. In this study, scholars use data from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Yearbooks of Immigration Statistics, the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Database and the American Community Survey to analyze how increased enforcement affected both local crime rates and job opportunities for U.S. citizens across 17 Immigration and Customs Enforcement districts between 2000 and 2015. The researchers found no substantial empirical evidence supporting the argument that intensified immigration enforcement reduces crime rates and increases employment opportunities for Americans. For example, there was no statistically significant difference in crime rates between districts with high apprehension rates compared to those with lower apprehension rates. Even in areas that experienced a decline in property crime rates, such as in Arizona, deportations often had no effect on overall crime rates. Likewise, aggressive apprehension policies did not deliver economic benefit for the U.S.-born population. On the contrary, the evidence suggests high enforcement districts experienced negative effects on the wages of low-skilled U.S. citizens from 2007 to 2011. The authors therefore find little justification for the intensified enforcement policies of the Trump administration. Instead, they emphasize the importance of encouraging immigrants to report criminal activities in their communities, and of recognizing the economic benefits of immigration for all Americans. (Ayse Alkilic for The Immigration Learning Center’s Public Education Institute)

Equity in Contemporary Immigration Enforcement: Defining Contributions and Countering Criminalization,
Kansas Law Review, 66 (2017-2018), 40 pp.
Authors: Alia Al-Khatib & Jayesh Rathod

Immigrants contribute economically, socially and culturally to the United States regardless of their legal status. However, the rise of “crimmigration,” or the “criminalization of immigration law,” has discounted these contributions, preventing them from being taken into consideration in deportation decisions.  Over the years, scholars have articulated a range of factors that justify protection from removal or even regularization of status. This article builds upon that literature, and presents a more nuanced typology of the societal contributions that should weight against removal. A second purpose of the article is to expose how the powerful trend of criminalization has begun to infect even the limited space where discretion can be exercised, and has converted even favorable activity into perceived criminal activity. The authors suggest that two types of contributions by noncitizens should be taken into consideration in the context of immigration enforcement decisions: first, sustained economic, social, and cultural contributions; and second, contributions that support the government in its functions, such as serving in the military, serving as a sponsor for an unaccompanied minor, or aiding in a criminal prosecution. One of the perverse consequences of the current system is that immigrants may refrain from making contributions to the community for fear of detection and deportation. The authors acknowledge, however, that their “contributions framework” overlaps somewhat with the concept of “earned citizenship,” which posits that an original evil act has to be somehow overcome by good behavior. In truth, illegality in immigration may result from flaws in the current immigration system or in U.S. foreign policy. Nonetheless, restoring balance and equity into the current immigration system by articulating the circumstances that should grant a “right to remain” seems to be a worthwhile undertaking, as it may help to restore the immigration system’s “moral legitimacy.”

Immigration and Crime and the Criminalization of Immigration,
Social Science Research Network, July 2, 2018, 13 pp.
Authors: Ruben G. Rumbaut et al

A chapter in the forthcoming International Handbook of Migration Studies, this study provides a sweeping review of research on crime trends among the foreign-born dating back to the early 20th century. Without exception, this research shows an inverse relationship between criminal activity and the size of immigrant populations. For example, the incarceration rate of U.S.-born persons, as revealed in the 2000 census, was five times higher than that of young immigrant men. The authors explain that, despite this data, the conflation of immigrants and criminal behavior continues to be a common misconception. The stereotype of immigrants-as-criminal has been reinforced by powerful institutions, such as the media, military, political campaigns and private prison companies, which have profited from the subsequent “moral panic” and policy-driven actions of searching for, detaining and deporting large swaths of the noncitizen population. While the immigrant rights movement has pushed back at the consequences of “crimmigration” since the Reagan presidency, the authors suggest this struggle will continue amid Trump Administration’s ongoing characterization of immigrants as criminal. (Samantha Jones for The Immigrant Learning Center’s Public Education Institute)

Immigration Detention, Inc.,
Journal on Migration and Human Security, 2018, 16 pp.
Authors: Denise Gilman & Luis A. Romero
Some 350,000 immigrants are detained each year by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and about 30,000 immigrants are in detention on any day.  Private prison corporations increasingly manage and profit from rising immigrant detention. Managing immigrant detention is a money-making business for corporations like the GEO Group, which opened a family detention facility in 2014 and soon after had $30 million in increased quarterly profits. The CoreCivic prison company had $245 million in revenue in one year from family detention. Prison companies lobby governments to expand their role and profitability, spending $1.5 million in lobbying in 2014 compared to close to zero dollars in 2006. The prison industry has persuaded Congress to mandate a daily immigration detention quota, which incentivizes U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to fill detention beds it has already paid for. In Texas, the GEO group nearly convinced the state legislature to grant them a childcare license; the company sought the license because “the licensing process (would) allow longer lengths of stay” for families in detention. Data from one private facility showed that ICE decisions on bond amounts and length of detention fluctuate to keep detention beds filled. The authors argue that the detention system is rife with “economic inequality,” as release from detention often depends on whether an immigrant can afford to post bond. Private companies seek immigrant detention contracts in part because nationally there is a trend away from incarceration contracts with private firms for the general prison population, and the overall U.S. prison population is declining. Paradoxically, expansion of private detention occurs while irregular border crossings and the overall undocumented population are actually in decline.  The article concludes with a number of recommendations, including the scaling back of private prison contracting, which “should be the rare exception rather than the rule.” (Rob Paral, Rob Paral Associates)

Operation Streamline: No Evidence that Criminal Prosecution Deters Migration,
Vera Institute of Justice, June 2018, 12 pp.
Authors: Michael Corradini et al
Before the so-called “zero-tolerance” policy implemented by the Trump Administration in April of 2018 that mandated criminal prosecution for all immigrants entering the country without authorization, there was a similar policy known as “Operation Streamline,” which began in 2005 and continued through 2014. This paper examines whether Operation Streamline was effective in curtailing illegal border crossings during this period, a claim that the Trump administration has used to justify its tough stance on border enforcement. Using monthly apprehension data broken down by border sector, the researchers were able to track immigration flows in sectors implementing Streamline and those that did not. The report concludes that “there is no evidence to support the conclusion that Operation Streamline succeeded in deterring unauthorized border crossings, nor that it had any effect whatsoever on immigrants’ decision to come to the United States.”  Moreover, Operation Streamline, by clogging the federal court system with immigration cases (In 2013, 47 percent of all completed cases in the federal court system were immigration-related), Operation Streamline may have diverted law enforcement and judicial attention away from the activities of violent organized gangs or drug cartels.  Moreover, the due process rights of immigrants were effectively compromised, as public defenders (a constitutional requirement for indigent clients in criminal cases) often had to handle hundreds of Streamline defendants in a single day, making it virtually impossible for immigrants to claim equities under the law or to file asylum applications, as required under international treaty obligations. A final perverse result of Operation Streamline may have been to increase the size of the undocumented population in the U.S., as immigrants already resident in the U.S. stayed put, rather than risk the consequences of leaving and not being able to return, and loved ones outside the U.S. tried to cross the border to reunify with family members in the U.S. An apt description of Operation Streamline, according to the authors, might be “deterrence theater.”

Revving Up the Deportation Machinery:  Enforcement and Pushback under Trump,
Migration Policy Institute, May 2018, 110 pp.
Authors: Randy Capps et al
This report results from a year-long study by MPI into how immigration enforcement has been handled by the Trump administration. The enforcement environment, the report finds, has changed in two different ways. The administration has become much more aggressive in seeking to remove any unauthorized immigrant-regardless of whether a crime has been committed. However, the report finds that arrests and deportations are about at half the level during their peak (2008-2011). The chief cause is the increasing resistance of state and local jurisdictions that are reducing their cooperation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). In the first year of the Trump administration, the number of ICE arrests at homes and in communities has increased; the share of arrests of immigrants with no criminal record has increased; there have been many more "collateral arrests" (arrests of others in addition to the intended target); low-priority immigrants are now routinely arrested during scheduled "check-ins" with ICE. The report discusses a number of other changes to enforcement policy. These new policies, however, are not producing the expected results because jurisdictions are limiting their cooperation with ICE by, for example, refusing to honor ICE detainers, not entering into 287(g) agreements, and enacting other "sanctuary" policies. Some jurisdictions have taken other steps to reduce the likelihood that immigrants will be put into a situation where ICE might discover them, e.g. by decriminalizing certain minor offenses and providing alternative IDs for drivers. Some jurisdictions have provided funds for deportation defense. Advocates for immigrants have stepped up "know-your-rights" trainings and are monitoring ICE activities. Regardless of how a jurisdiction is treating its immigrant residents, however, there is widespread fear in immigrant communities, and that has resulted in a measurable decline in business in immigrant communities. Public safety has been affected, as police report a decline in reporting of crimes, including domestic violence. The report concludes with the observation that arrests and deportations will probably never achieve the level seen during the Obama administration, due to the resistance of jurisdictions with large immigrant populations. Rather, there are growing disparities among jurisdictions depending on how they view immigration enforcement. These growing disparities are eroding federal pre-eminence in immigration. This report is accompanied by a "report in brief," which you can find here (Maurice Belanger, Maurice Belanger Associates).

National Guard Heads to Southern Border Amid Differing Reality from Earlier Deployments,
Migration Policy Institute, April 25, 2018, 7 pp.
Authors:  Muzaffar Chishti et al
This essay discusses the rationale for the deployment of 4,000 National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border by the Trump administration. Unlike previous deployments by the Obama and George W. Bush administrations, no apparent crisis precipitated the president's decision; nor did the states in question (Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California) request the deployment, as they had done earlier. According to the authors, Trump's action "seems to be primarily driven by political and public relations concerns" and by his failure to secure funding for a border wall from Congress.  The rest of the essay provides details about earlier deployments and discusses the role played by National Guard troops in supporting federal immigration personnel.  The authors also point out that the reality on the border today is quite different than it was in 2006 and 2010. In FY 2017, border apprehensions dropped to the lowest level since 1971, and the number of Border Patrol agents is more than 50 percent higher than in 2006.

Twenty Years After IIRIRA:  The Rise of Immigrant Detention and Its Effects on Latinx Communities Across the Nation,
Journal on Migration and Human Security, 6:1 (2018), 22 pp.
Authors:  Melina Juárez et al
This paper argues that corporate interests, specifically CoreCivic and the GEO group - two companies that operate nine out of the 10 largest immigrant detention centers in the U.S. housing 45 percent of all detained immigrants in 2014 -- "have helped to fuel the growth of immigration detention and to convert the criminalization of immigrants into a profitable industry." Both groups have spent large amounts of money lobbying federal officials for increases in detention budgets, including the "bed mandate" passed in 2009 that requires ICE to hold a minimum of 34,000 immigrants per night in detention. As a result, their profits have soared in recent years, at a time when the undocumented population has decreased. The authors also contend that federal officials have "applied a double standard" when it comes to the detention system, often locking people up and potentially banishing them from the country for minor offenses, such as traffic violations or possession of marijuana. Moreover, mandatory detention tends to distort democracy as immigrant detainees are counted by the Census as residents of the community in which the detention facility is located, not their home communities, thereby sending more federal dollars to the detention communities and increasing their representation in Congress. The authors also cite studies showing how the "effects of deportation and ultimately deportation start at the individual level but reverberate to the family and community levels."  The paper includes a time series regression analysis tracing the influence of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA) of 1996 and other developments since 1996 on the "criminalization of immigrants," measured through the ratio of the average daily population of detained immigrants divided by the total number of noncitizens residing in the United States. The paper concludes with a series of recommendations, including the repeal of all mandatory detention legislation and the repeal of the bed mandate, as well as greater transparency and more effective data management from Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Freezing Out Justice: How Immigration Arrests at Courthouses are Undermining the Justice System,
American Civil Liberties Union, 2018, 8 pp.
Since the beginning of the Trump administration, immigration authorities have significantly increased their enforcement activities at courthouses-by 1,200 percent in New York in 2017 alone. Surveyed police officials, prosecutors, defenders and judges across the country believe that this practice has led to a decline in cooperation from immigrant victims and increased difficulties in investigating crimes and administering justice. This report utilizes 2016 and 2017 survey data from the National Immigrant Women's Advocacy Project and the ACLU on crime survivor participation in investigations and court proceedings to show how the increased enforcement undermines public safety and the judicial process. Twenty-two percent of police officers, for example, reported that immigrant communities were less willing to file police reports in 2017 than in 2016. According to the Denver City Attorney, 13 women dropped their domestic abuse cases due to fear of deportation after a video was released showing immigration enforcement officers in a courthouse waiting to make an arrest. Despite concerns from law enforcement and judicial officials, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) directed in 2017 and 2018 to arrest immigrants at court houses with a vague description of when to avoid making arrests there. To safeguard the fundamental rights of access to courts, due process and equal protection, the authors recommend adding courts to the list of sensitive locations exempt from immigration enforcement, passing federal legislation to limit and control arrests by ICE and Customs and Border Patrol at courthouses, and directing court personnel to facilitate enforcement only when required by a judicial order (Jasmina Popaja for the Immigrant Learning Center's Public Education Institute).

On Holy Ground:  Church Sanctuary in the Trump Era,
Southwestern University Law Review, March 3, 2018, 12 pp.
Author:  Valerie J. Munson
The number of deportations of unauthorized immigrants has increased dramatically since the election of Donald Trump. In keeping with long-standing tradition, religious communities across the United States have responded by providing sanctuary to unauthorized immigrants in the form of housing and social services. Thus far, immigration authorities have refrained from entering sacred spaces to apprehend unauthorized immigrants. But, is it legal for religious communities to provide such sanctuary under the current law criminalizing the "harboring" of unauthorized immigrants? Can immigration authorities enter sacred spaces to apprehend unauthorized immigrants if they wish? This article addresses those questions. The first part of the article reviews the history of sanctuary from ancient times to the present-day in the United States. Next, it surveys current law on the legality of church sanctuary, especially the provisions prohibiting the "harboring" of unauthorized immigrants. Finally, it recommends that the courts and the federal government should construe "harboring" in a manner consistent with the history of the statute, namely to prevent smuggling and other clandestine activity. As long as religious congregations are exercising their first amendment rights, objecting to an activity they deem to be a violation of their conscience, and not seeking to evade detection, they should not have to fear enforcement actions focused on houses of workshop.

Criminal Immigrants in Texas:  Illegal Immigrant Convictions and Arrest Rates for Homicide, Sexual Assault, Larceny, and Other Crimes,
Cato Institute, February 26, 2018, 6 pp.
Author:  Alex Nowrasteh
There is a widespread belief, propagated by the Trump administration, that when undocumented immigrants enter the United States, they significantly increase crime rates. However, undocumented immigrants are less likely than the U.S.-born to be arrested or charged for most crimes, according to this report by Alex Nowrasteh at the Cato Institute. Using 2015 data from the Texas Department of Public Safety, Nowrasteh compares arrest and conviction rates in Texas for undocumented immigrants, legal immigrants, and native-born Americans. Overall arrest rates for undocumented immigrants were 40 percent lower than for native-born Americans. Furthermore, conviction rates for legal immigrants were 611 per 100,000 and 899 per 100,000 for undocumented immigrants -- both significantly lower than 1,797 per 100,000 for native-born Americans. For example, homicide conviction rates for undocumented immigrants were 16 percent lower than for the U.S.-born, and sexual assault conviction rates were 7.9 percent lower. Undocumented immigrants had higher conviction rates for gambling, kidnapping, smuggling, and vagrancy; however, these four crimes combined only accounted for 0.18 percent of the total crime in Texas in 2015. These findings are consistent with previous research that shows immigration enforcement programs do not affect local crime rates, suggesting that undocumented immigrants are not any more or less crime-prone than other residents. (Deb D'Anastasio for The Immigrant Learning Center

Immigration Enforcement under Trump: A Loose Cannon,
Harvard Law Review Blog, February 21, 2018, 3 pp.
Author: Shoba Siviprasad Wadhia
Despite multiple stays of removal after an order for removal from the United States in 2006, Ravi Ragbir, an immigrant activist, was taken into custody during a routine meeting with Immigration and Customs Enforcement in January 2018.  His case is symptomatic of a larger problem caused by Trump administration immigration policies. This report addresses the Trump administration's change in longstanding policies governing the exercise of prosecutorial discretion in relation to people who have received an order of removal. Owing to limited enforcement resources and the fact that personal circumstances can make deportation an inhumane option, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has historically exercised the discretion afforded to it by the Immigration and Nationality Act.  Discretion may be exercised at any point during the removal process through simply not enforcing the law, deferring action, or issuing stays of removal and orders of supervision. However, guidance issued by the Trump administration has directed DHS officials to prioritize enforcement efforts against people with removal orders without any mention of when discretion can be exercised and without providing any guidance as to the special circumstances that might be considered in granting discretion. The author argues that the consequence of this change has been devastating to individuals and families who were previously protected from removal. Many immigrants living under some form of discretionary protection own homes and have built families in the U.S.; their lives may be upended should the discretionary protection suddenly end. The author concludes by arguing that targeting everyone with a removal order for deportation is unsuitable both as a matter of law and as a question of conscience. (Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia for Tulane University, PHIL 3930)

Looking Past the Label: An Analysis of the Measures Underlying ‘Sanctuary Cities,'
University of Memphis Law Review, January 14, 2018, 61 pp.
Author:  James Rice
One important premise underlying this study is that federal immigration law is "under-enforced" and that local law enforcement may serve as a "force multiplier," so long as the mission of local law enforcement is not compromised in the process. The author also argues that the term "sanctuary city" creates more confusion than clarity, as it encompasses a variety of measures each of which should be argued on its own merits. The author therefore evaluates the distinct legal and policy issues surrounding different types of sanctuary measures, examining, for example, whether a particular measure violates the federal government's power to regulate immigration law or how the public interest might be served through such a policy. He identifies four major "sanctuary" measures: first, declining ICE's immigration detainer requests; second, restricting communication with federal immigration authorities; third, barring police inquiries or investigations into a person's immigration status; and fourth, preventing police officers from making arrests for violations of federal immigration law. In some instances, he suggests, the claims of sanctuary advocates are not fully supported by the available data. He argues that "the failure to distinguish between the differing measures underlying sanctuary cities has fueled misleading arguments on both sides of the debate."  The article includes a brief history of the sanctuary movement.

Imprisoned Justice:  Inside Two Georgia Immigrant Detention Centers,
Center for Immigrants' Rights, Penn State Law, May 2017, 63 pp.
The United States has steadily expanded its use of immigrant detention from about 30 detained immigrants per day prior to 1980 to 41,000 in 2016. Now the world's largest immigrant detention system, it relies heavily on for-profit facilities, with 72 percent of immigration detention beds located in for-profit facilities in 2015 compared to only seven percent of imprisoned non-immigrants in 2014. Imprisoned Justice: Inside Two Georgia Immigrant Detention Centers utilizes data from immigration enforcement sources such as the Department of Homeland Security, as well as interviews with immigration lawyers and with immigrants detained at the Stewart and Irwin County Detention Centers in Georgia, to highlight the inhumane living conditions in these privately-run detention centers, which are among the largest in the country. The lengthy list of concerns includes sexual abuse, inadequate access to medical care and legal information, excessive use of solitary confinement, and a lack of clean drinking water and food. For instance, upon arrival at Irwin, some detained immigrants were placed in solitary confinement for up to a week or longer until space became available. To ensure respect for detained immigrants' basic human rights, the authors make numerous recommendations pertaining to due process, living conditions, medical care and detention center staff. The authors also recommend closing both Stewart and Irwin detention centers, terminating contracts with non-compliant facilities, and making greater use of the Alternatives to Detention Program for eligible immigrants (Jasmina Popaja for The Immigrant Learning Center's Public Education Institute)

Muslim-American Involvement with Violent Extremism, 2017,
Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security, University of North Carolina and Duke University,
January 18, 2018, 9 pp.
Author: Charles Kurzman
This is the latest annual report on Muslim-American terrorism suspects and perpetrators produced by the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security. The report presents quantitative information about incidences of violent acts committed by Muslim-American extremists and then places those numbers within the larger context of violent crime in the United States. For example, the author notes that Muslim-American extremists have caused 140 fatalities since 9/11, but in that same period of time there have been 260,000 murders.  Just in 2017, 267 people were killed in mass shootings, almost double the number killed by Muslim-American extremists in sixteen years. In fact, the report notes that the number of attacks by Muslim-American extremists actually decreased in 2017, which runs counter to suggestions that it would go up in the first year of the Trump Administration.  Overall, the author suggests that the Trump Administration's policies with regard to counter-terrorism policy demonstrate more continuity with those of the Bush and Obama administration than a significant change in direction.  However, the author asserts that President Trump's rhetoric about the threat of terrorism is exacerbating an existing problem of misperception of risk - that is, the fear of Muslim American extremist violence is out of proportion to actual rates of occurrence (Eric Jacobson, Montclair State University).

Immigration and the War on Crime: Law and Order Politics and the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996,
Journal on Migration and Human Security, 6:1 (2018), 24 pp.
Author:  Patrisia Macías-Rojas
This study focuses on events leading up to the passage of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA) of 1996 that recast undocumented immigration as a crime and fused immigration enforcement with crime control. The author suggests that the act may have had less to do with immigration and more to do with "crime politics and the policies of mass incarceration" that dominated the national discourse in the 25 years preceding passage of the act. Ronald Reagan's Drug War tripled the prison population and pushed hundreds of thousands of Americans into already overcrowded prisons. Overcrowded prisons and detention centers prompted legislators to introduce measures to deport "alien felons" in order to free up beds. Such measures were championed by leaders in both parties, who seemed to vie with each other to appear "tough on crime."  The rhetoric of immigrant overcrowding in jails spread to other arenas, as undocumented immigrants were accused of "crowding" schools, hospitals, and labor markets. The "rhetoric of overcrowding garnered support for punitive federal and state-level anti-immigration laws, while masking the crime politics from which such measures emerged."  The author believes that her findings "warrant rethinking IIRIRA's criminal provisions - from criminal enforcement priorities to fast-track deportations to mandatory detention and immigrant incarceration and federal appropriations - that have legitimized branding entire groups of people as criminal so as to exclude them"

What We Know and Need to Know About Immigrant Access to Justice,
South Carolina Law Review, 67:295 (2016), 32 pp.
Author: Ellinor R. Jordan
This article begins by presenting a review of research on the impact of legal representation in removal cases.  A consistent finding is that the amount and quality of representation play a marked role in the outcome of hearings.  Litigants without representation or with poor representation are much more likely to be removed and moreover, to not fully understand the implications of pleas and agreements they may make.  The author suggests that in addition to poor outcomes for litigants, this situation reduces the overall efficiency of the justice system. This arises in part because current law does not mandate representation for those involved in immigration cases unless there is a demonstrable issue with mental capacity.  The article also contains a discussion of individuals that engage in the unauthorized practice of immigration law, e.g. non-lawyers who misrepresent themselves and lawyers who go before the court without any information about their clients.  The author notes that further research should be done into why these types of scams continue to happen, suggesting that failure to address cultural and linguistic barriers in serving immigrants may be one key factor.  Because the author does not believe universal representative is likely to happen anytime soon, she reviews ways that access to quality representation can be expanded.  One approach would be to increase support for authorized community-based organization that provide immigration legal services; another would be to expand support for pro bono representation.  The article concludes with a brief look at computer programs that claim to help support those involved in immigration cases, suggesting that much more needs to be known before they can be recommended (Erik Jacobson, Montclair State University). 

Inclusive Immigrant Justice: Racial Animus and the Origins of Crime-Based Deportation,
New York University School of Law, Public Law & Legal Theory Research Paper, Working Paper No. 17-40, November, 2017, 20 pp.
Author: Alina Das
The merger of immigration and criminal law has transformed both systems, amplifying the flaws in each. In critiquing this merger, most scholarly accounts begin with legislative changes in the 1980s and 1990s that vastly expanded criminal grounds of deportation and eliminated many forms of discretionary relief. As a result of these changes, immigrant communities have experienced skyrocketing rates of detention and deportation, with a disparate impact on people of color. Despite increasing awareness of the harshness of the modern system, however, many people still view criminal records as a relatively neutral mechanism for identifying immigrants as priorities for detention and deportation. Drawing on the early history of crime-based deportation, this essay argues that criminal records have never been a neutral means for prioritizing immigrants for detention and deportation from the United States. Rather, as this essay sets forth, racial animus has driven the creation and development of crime-based deportation from the beginning

.Evaluation of the New York Immigrant Family Unity Project:  Assessing the Impact of Legal Representation on Family and Community Unity,
Vera Institute of Justice, November, 2017, 68 pp.
Authors: Jennifer Stave et al
The right to be represented by legal counsel is a fundamental right guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, but not for immigrants in deportation proceedings. Two-thirds of detained immigrants face such proceedings without an attorney, and suffer as a consequence. Unrepresented immigrants at the Varick Street Immigration Court in New York, for example, stand only a four percent chance of remaining in the country. Aware of this situation, the New York City Council began the New York Immigrant Family Unity Project (NYIFUP) to provide universal representation to immigrants in deportation proceedings who are below 200 percent of the federal poverty line. This study examines the NYIFUP from 2013 to 2016 using data from interviews, NYIFUP program records, and other sources including the U.S. Department of Justice, Executive Office for Immigration Review to compare NYIFUP case outcomes to similar cases in other cities. According to the report, NYIFUP won 48 percent of detained immigrants' cases (meaning that immigrants were allowed to remain in the U.S), representing a 1,100 percent increase in successful outcomes over unrepresented cases. NYIFUP also nearly doubled the rate at which immigrants could be released from detention on bond from 25 percent to 49 percent. Even if the case is ultimately unsuccessful, release on bond allows immigrants to care for their families, work and contribute to tax revenue while their cases are adjudicated. As a result, NYIFUP was able to preserve family unity for many of its clients. The authors conclude that ensuring due process so "everyone is entitled to the same opportunity to access the law" through universal representation is a powerful achievement of the NYIFUP. (Yuki Wiland from The Immigrant Learning Center's Public Education Institute)

Immigration Equity's Last Stand: Sanctuaries & Legitimacy in an Era of Mass Immigration Enforcement,
Social Science Research Network, October 21, 2017, 64 pp.
Author: Jason A. Cade
When Congress in the mid-nineties removed the immigration court system from any role in reviewing deportation orders, it unintentionally created a vacuum in the justice system filled by the sanctuary movement. In this article, Professor Jason A. Cade of the University of Georgia Law School argues that when immigration agents, rather than adjudicators, took over responsibility for whom to target for deportation and how to remove them, the immigration system lost the ability to calibrate decision-making in individual situations, such as when otherwise law-abiding immigrants with family responsibilities are targeted for deportation.  Although sometimes "messy and contested," the attention to equity and justice has now moved "upstream," where local police officers, state prosecutors, and other local actors are intervening to ensure the proper administration of justice. Rather than viewing their actions as legal obstructions, it would be more accurate to describe them as "engines furthering legal norms in the face of the executive branch's mass, indiscriminate enforcement policy and less-than-faithful execution of the full body of our immigration law."  The author discusses in detail the actions of cities, churches, and campuses and suggests that these actions are on "solid legal footing to weather challenges from the federal and state officials who oppose them."

Understanding "Sanctuary Cities,"
Boston College Law Review, forthcoming 2018, 62 pp.
Authors:  Christopher N. Lasch et al
Produced by a group of law professors interested in the intersection of immigration enforcement and criminal law, this article asserts that "sanctuary" jurisdictions are following policies "informed by sound legal principles and considered policy judgments about how local resources should be used." The "Trump administration's reliance on white nationalist themes" and the false characterization of "sanctuary cities" as propagating immigrant crime have also raised concerns about discriminatory intent in the administration of immigration law and have forced local authorities to articulate their rationale for refraining from participating in immigration enforcement. The authors describe the "crosshatched shield" of policies designed to maintain the integrity of local law enforcement, including barring the investigation of civil or criminal immigration violations, limiting compliance with immigration detainers, limiting the disclosure of sensitive information, precluding participation in joint operations with the federal government, and preventing immigration agents from accessing local jails. The article then discusses the rationale for non-cooperation with federal immigration enforcement, including the constitutional separation of powers, lack of federal reimbursement for the cost of immigration enforcement and the need to shepherd local resources wisely, worries over the erosion of trust necessary for positive interaction between the police and local community members, concern that cooperation with detainer requests would lead to violations of the Fourth Amendment, and avoiding practices that might lead to racially-based profiling. As a complement to this article, the authors have created a public online library of all the sanctuary policies cited in the article and reviewed in their research.

The Absurdity of Crime-Based Deportation
UC Davis Law Review, 50:2067 (2017), 81 pp.
Author: Kari E. Hong
On what grounds should an immigrant be deported? In The Absurdity of Crime Based Deportation, Kari Hong argues that the current crime-based deportation policies, derived from the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA ) and the Illegal Immigration and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA), should be discontinued. Hong examines the circumstances under which ACCA and IIRIRA were implemented and the impact of judicial decisions related to these acts. She concludes that they are inherently arbitrary and sweeping in their impact, as they do not differentiate between major and minor crimes. AACA and IIRIRA then result in collateral consequences of harsher sentences and potential (or actual) deportation.  Overall, Hong contends that ACCA and IIRIRA are overly broad in scope, inefficient and expensive. They fail to sort dangerous from non-dangerous immigrants, and impose penalties that are not fitting for the crime. If one enters a criminal database, whether as a rapist or a mother driving her children to school without a driver's license, the immigrant is treated the same way.  Crimes, she argues, "do not effectively serve as proxies for character." Moreover, IIRIRA "fails to recognize expungements, commuted sentences, vacated sentences, and other extraordinary relief - including some pardons  -- that states have given to those worthy of second chances." Hong cites two recent Supreme Court cases: Descamps v. United States and Mathis v. United States as practical examples of how to appropriately manage deportation. Instead of crime-based deportation, Hong calls for a return to an immigration policy that allows for individual assessments before applying the penalty of deportation and differentiates between contributing and non-contributing immigrants. (Sakura Tomizawa for the Immigrant Learning Center's Public Education Institute)

Local Immigration Enforcement and Arrests of the Hispanic Population,
Journal on Migration and Human Security, 5:3 (2017), 21 pp.
Author:  Michael Coon
The enforcement of immigration in the United States has traditionally fallen under the jurisdiction of the federal government. Over time, however, state and local law enforcement have taken a larger role in immigration enforcement, largely at the urging of the federal government. Federal programs such as the Criminal Alien Program (CAP), the Secure Communities program and the 287(g) program are all designed to help local agencies identify members of immigrant communities for detention and deportation. This study explores the effects of implementation of the 287(g) program in Frederick County, Maryland. Using data from individual arrest records from the Frederick County Sheriff's Office, which has a 287(g) agreement with ICE, and the Frederick Police Department, which does not, the study analyzed the changes in arrests between the two agencies before and after the 287(g) program was implemented in 2008. The author found that overall the arrests of Hispanics fell, suggesting that the Hispanic community avoided interaction with law enforcement when the program began. However, the program also led to a significantly higher number of arrests of Hispanics by the Sheriff's Office than would have occurred in its absence, indicating that attention was focused toward the Hispanic community as a result of the program. These results suggest that, if the program is to continue, additional safeguards are needed to prevent abuses and civil rights violations. (Jonathan Eizyk for the Immigrant Learning Center's Public Education Institute)

Sanctuary Networks
Social Science Research Network. September 18, 2017, 60 pp.
Authors:  Pratheepan Gulasekaram & Rose Cuison Villazor
In response to heightened immigration enforcement by the federal government, immigrant rights advocates have supported the development of “sanctuary” policies, which have been introduced in many communities and attracted a great deal of media attention. This study defines sanctuary as a range of policies adopted by public and private entities that seek to deliberately limit participation in federal immigration enforcement. The authors summarize the history of the sanctuary movement, explore how concepts of sanctuary have evolved in the context of “hyper-enforcement” of immigration laws, and show that collective effort from private and public institutions “can calibrate federal enforcement policy and instantiate a competing immigration enforcement regime.”  Local and state authorities, religious organizations, universities, and private companies often form a decentralized network to shield undocumented individuals from federal immigration enforcement using legal and social mechanisms. For example, local law enforcement agencies often refuse to enforce immigration policies on behalf of the federal government. These acts of noncooperation by local police have resulted in debate over the role of states’ rights in federal immigration enforcement and the constitutionality of the executive branch’s ability to remove funding from sanctuary cities. Churches and religious organizations, often legally protected by religious freedom of expression and private property laws, can provide accommodations and protections to undocumented immigrants.  This article finds that these layered networks of actors have a profound impact on immigration enforcement since they ultimately “decenter the federal government as the sole locus and source of enforcement policy.” It explores the ways in which these entities shape norms even in “anti-sanctuary” communities, such as through increasing the cost of immigration enforcement to overcome community resistance (Mia Fasano for The Immigrant Learning Center’s Public Education Institute).

Criminal Immigrants: Their Numbers, Demographics, and Countries of Origin,
Cato Institute, March 15, 2017, 7 pp.
Author: Michelangelo Landgrave & Alex Nowrasteh
This paper uses the U.S. Census's 2014 American Community Survey data to determine incarceration rates of immigrants aged 18 to 54 compared to the native-born. The researchers use common statistical methods to estimate the number incarcerated foreign-born individuals who are undocumented immigrants. They find that legal immigrants, with an incarceration rate of 0.47 percent, are 69 percent less likely to be incarcerated than the native-born, with an incarceration rate of 1.53 percent. Undocumented immigrants, with an incarceration rate of 0.85 percent, are 44 percent less likely to be incarcerated than the native-born. But subtracting undocumented immigrants incarcerated for immigration violations brings their incarceration rate to 0.5 percent. The paper includes tables with demographic characteristics. This paper reaches similar conclusions to other research conducted over the past 100 years on immigrants and crime: immigrants are less prone to criminal activity than the native born. (Maurice Belanger, Maurice Belanger Associates

"Sanctuary" Policies: An Overview
American Immigration Council, Fact Sheet, February 23, 2017, 5 pp.
Although there is no one definition of "sanctuary policies," they cover a variety of laws or guidelines that limit the participation of state or local governments in federal immigration law enforcement. This brief from the American Immigration Council clarifies what jurisdictions with sanctuary policies can and cannot do, without running afoul of federal law or compromising their law enforcement function. For example, sanctuary cities or states can share information with ICE-such as sending fingerprints from police databases-but cannot stop residents from being deported by ICE. Sanctuary jurisdictions can (but are not required to) honor detainer requests from ICE in order to arrange pick up, but they cannot require their police departments to ask residents about their immigration status. In no way do sanctuary policies limit the ability of police to enforce all criminal laws against immigrants who commit crimes. The brief also notes that sanctuary policies comply with federal law, referencing a 2016 finding by the U.S. Department of Justice that no state or locality with sanctuary policies had violated federal statute. The benefits of sanctuary policies, the brief suggests, include lower rates of crime, poverty and unemployment. (Deb D'Anastasio for The ILC Public Education Institute)

The Negative Consequences of Entangling Local Policing and Immigration Enforcement,
Center for American Progress, March 21, 2017
Authors: Danyelle Solomon, Tom Jawetz, & Sanam Malik
This paper briefly discusses the costs that local jurisdictions may incur if, in the face of threats by the Trump administration, they adopt policies to assist the federal government in immigration enforcement. Having local police enforce immigration laws will damage relations between law enforcement and immigrant communities; such a development runs counter to good community policing practice. The agreements between the federal government and local enforcement agencies (known as 287(g) agreements) have proven to be expensive for jurisdictions to implement. Not only are there increased personnel and other costs associated with helping the federal government enforce immigration laws, but some agencies have been sued for racial profiling. By contrast, jurisdictions that have policies limiting their cooperation with federal immigration agents have lower crime rates and enjoy lower risk from unlawful detention litigation. Ultimately, the administration's threats to punish "sanctuary" jurisdictions may be hollow, as they may not withstand legal challenges. (Maurice Belanger, Maurice Belanger Associates)

A Path to Public Safety: The Legal Questions around Immigration Detainers,
National Immigration Forum, Law Enforcement Immigration Task Force, 2017, 19 pp.
Author: Laurence Benenson 
In recent years, there has been a heated debate on the cooperation between the federal government and local jurisdictions on immigration enforcement. Local jurisdictions that limit their cooperation with federal immigration enforcement have come under attack from the Trump administration and some members of Congress. Much of the conflict revolves around federal immigration detainers-requests from the federal government to detain individuals suspected of being in the United States unlawfully. This paper presents a thorough examination of the legal issues related to immigration detainers. It reviews the 10th amendment's "anti-commandeering" constraints on the federal government's ability to compel local jurisdictions to honor immigration detainers. The Constitution's fourth amendment prohibits the government from depriving a person of liberty without probably cause, and a local jurisdiction that holds a person beyond his or her scheduled release from prison may be held liable. Finally, there is a question as to whether immigration detainers are even legal under the Immigration and Nationality Act. Given the legal context of immigration detainers, the paper concludes by noting that states and localities have elected not to honor detainers because federal law makes clear that honoring detainers without a warrant or probable cause is illegal in most situations (Maurice Belanger, Maurice Belanger Associates). 

Immigration and Public Safety
The Sentencing Project, March, 2017, 16 pp.
Authors: Nazgol Ghandnoosh & Josh Rovner
According to the authors of this report, the impact of immigration on crime rates in the United States is a "well-examined field of study" which has produced "a rigorous body of research."  After reviewing this research, they find that President Donald Trump "has made demonstrably false claims associating immigrants with criminality." The report covers research bearing upon three issues:  immigrant crime rates compared to native-born individuals, the relationship between rising immigration and falling crime rates in local communities, and incarceration rates in federal and state prisons. In the first area, the authors focus on adolescent and undocumented criminality, citing studies showing that "foreign-born youth...had among the lowest delinquency rates when compared to their peers" and that "immigrants - regardless of legal status - do not have higher crime rates than native-born citizens."  In the second area, the authors reference several studies that find a connection between increases in immigration and decreases in crime rates in cities and metropolitan areas, including one study that found a similar inverse relationship at the neighborhood level in Chicago. Finally, the authors disaggregate the U.S. prison population to explain the over-representation of non-citizens in the federal system, and their underrepresentation in the state. Although non-citizens are slightly underrepresented in U.S. prisons as a whole, they are greatly underrepresented in state prisons, where non-citizens make up only four percent of the population (of the 1.5 million people imprisoned in state and federal prisons, 87 percent are held in state institutions).  Within federal prisons, however, 22 percent are non-citizens, largely resulting from the criminalization of immigration violations since 2000 (66 percent of all federal sentences imposed in 2015 were for immigration violations).  The authors conclude that "false statements about immigrant criminality contribute to unfounded public fears that threaten the safety of immigrants and U.S. citizens."

Urban crime rates and the changing face of immigration: Evidence across four decades,
Journal of Ethnicity in Criminal Justice, 15:1 (2017), 25 pp.
Authors: Robert Adelman et al
(copy of paper only available only to journal subscribers)
Although research has consistently shown that immigrants have lower crime rates than the native-born population, testing for possible "indirect" effects on crime rates, e.g. by leading native-born Americans affected by job displacement to turn to lives of crime, has been minimal. This study attempts to remedy this gap in research. The authors investigate the immigration-crime relationship within 200 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) over a 40-year time period from 1970 to 2010.  By pushing the time frame back to 1970 (the horizon for most recent studies is much shorter), this research has the advantage of including periods of both economic stress and expansion. The study examines rates (per 100,000 people) of murder, non-negligent manslaughter, aggravated assault, robbery, burglary, and larceny at five points in time (1970, 1980, 1990, 2000, and 2010).  The results show that "the presence of immigrants consistently helped to decrease violent and property crime in U.S. metropolitan areas" and thus suggestions that immigrants contribute to crime through "structural" or "macro-level" mechanisms are unfounded.  The paper also contains a useful summary of research to date on the question of immigration and crime.

The Effects of Sanctuary Policies on Crime and the Economy,
Center for American Progress, January 26, 2017, 17 pp.
Author: Tom K. Wong

In one of his first acts as president, Donald Trump issued an executive order that would, among other things punish "sanctuary jurisdictions." The order included a directive to the Secretary of Homeland Security to put out reports to "better inform the public regarding the public safety threats associated with sanctuary jurisdictions." Do "sanctuary jurisdictions" threaten public safety? This report from the Center for American Progress compares crime rates in "nonsanctuary" verses "sanctuary" counties-defined in this report as counties that do not honor requests by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to hold an immigrant beyond his or her release date. The report finds "that there are, on average, 35.5 fewer crimes per 10,000 people in sanctuary counties-a result that is highly statistically significant." The report also looks at a number of economic indicators, comparing "sanctuary" verses "nonsanctuary" counties. It finds that in "sanctuary" counties median household income is higher, poverty is lower, use of public assistance is lower, the labor force participation rate is higher and unemployment is lower. It may be hard to say that the better outcomes experienced by "sanctuary" counties are because of their policies keeping law enforcement and immigration enforcement separate. But it is clear from the report that there is no evidence to show that there are greater "public safety threats associated with sanctuary jurisdictions." (Maurice Belanger, Maurice Belanger Associates)

Policing Sex, Policing Immigrants: What  Crimmigration's Past Can Tell Us About Its Present And Its Future,
California Law Review, Forthcoming, 2016, 53 pp.
Author: Rachel E. Rosenbloom
Most people assume that efforts to involve local police departments in immigration enforcement date back to the 80s and 90s. This paper documents a "lost chapter" in the history of this relationship -- the pipeline that led to the deportation of gay immigrants in the fifties. The author devotes much attention to a landmark 1963 Supreme Court case Rosenberg v. Fleuti . Her analysis owes much to her success in accessing Fleuti's 1600-page government file through a Freedom of Information Act request.  The paper also examines early 20th century precedents for collaboration between the criminal justice system and immigration enforcement, including contacts with prison officials concerned about the potential for released alien prisoners to become public charges and the "crusade against sex trafficking" which began with the passage of the Mann Act in 1910.  The author sees parallels between the "overpolicing" of today, often referred to as "broken windows" policing, which disproportionately targets residents of minority communities, and programs that promote police-immigration cooperation, which also target underprivileged immigrant communities.

Uniting Communities Post-9/11: Tactics for Cultivating Community Policing Partnerships with Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian Communities,
Vera Institute of Justice, 2015, 67 pp.
Authors: Pradine Saint-Fort & Susan Shah
This field guide addresses a topic that the authors believe may not have received sufficient attention in law enforcement circles, i.e. how to develop partnerships with, and improve community policing in, Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian (AMEMSA) communities. The guide draws on the experiences of law enforcement personnel and community members in three localities with sizable AMEMSA populations:  Piscataway, New Jersey; Anaheim, California; and Cleveland, Ohio. The authors identify three major problems interfering with effective policing in these communities:  the lack of liaison between the police and the community, the underreporting of crime, and the underdeveloped organizational capacity in local law enforcement agencies.  The researchers then discuss nine major tactics for addressing these problems, Including creating a liaison position, partnering with Faith leaders, setting up community advisory councils, investigating every incident that might be a bias crime and publicizing this effort, providing language services, and integrating Terrorism Liaison Officers (TLOs) into the community policing framework. The production of this report was supported under a cooperative agreement with the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, US Department of Justice.
The Protective Influence of Neighborhood Immigration on Violence is Strongest in Cities that are More Open to Immigrants,
London School of Economics, American Politics and Policy, Blog, October 15, 2014, 4 pp.
Authors:  Christopher J. Lyons, Maria B. Vélez, and Wayne A. Santoro

This article is based on a paper entitled "Neighborhood Immigration, Violence, and City-Level Immigrant Political Opportunities," which appeared in the June 17, 2013, edition of the American Sociological Review. Although research has repeatedly shown that neighborhoods with high concentrations of immigrants have less violence and crime than might otherwise be expected, this paper attempts to quantify the effect of "open cities" on levels of violence and crime. "Open cities" are defined as cities with immigrant representation in elected offices and law enforcement; pro-immigrant legislation, such as "sanctuary cities"; and a large proportion of Democratic voters. The researchers find a strong association between such factors and safe communities. They come to the following conclusion:  "Contrary to public opinion and political rhetoric, our research joins a chorus of others in suggesting that immigrants can make us safer. However, the ability of immigration to translate into less violence partly depends on the social and political climates of immigrant reception."

Estimating the Effects of Immigration Enforcement on Local Policing and Crime: Evidence from the Secure Communities Program,
Social Science Research Network, December 2, 2013, 51 pp.
Authors:  Elina Treyger, Aaron Chalfin, & Charles Loeffler
In 2008 the federal government developed "Secure Communities" to strengthen interior immigration enforcement. The aim of this program is to enhance public safety by bolstering efforts to identify and deport criminal aliens. Secure Communities mandates local law enforcement agencies (LEAs) to forward arrestee information, in the form of biometrics, i.e. fingerprints, to federal immigration officials at the time of booking. This protocol enables federal agents to verify the immigration status of every apprehended individual. There are opposing views regarding the impact of the program on communities and individuals. Supporters maintain that it improves community safety by identifying and deporting immigrants committing violent crimes. Opponents argue that the program has grave consequences, such as: encouraging police profiling, creating mistrust of local law enforcement among immigrant communities (leading to decreased crime reporting), and stigmatizing immigrants by associating them with crime. The researchers used the staggered activation dates of Secure Communities across counties to examine whether the program had a detectable effect on crime rates or the arrest behavior of local police. Their findings showed no detectable impact on crime rates, but also no discernible increase in arbitrary or discriminatory policing practices The authors conclude "that the addition of Secure Communities into the existing mix of programs and policies that involve sub-national LEAs in the enterprise (of immigration enforcement)  does not appear as consequential as promised or feared."
(Jade Flora-Holmquist)

Ethical Advocacy for Immigrant Survivors of Family Crisis,
Family Court Review, October, 2012, 11 pp
Author: Theo Liebmann
This article is a primer for family court lawyers on forms of immigration relief dependent on decisions by family court judges, including relief for abused youth under Special Immigrant Juvenile status, benefits for victims of domestic violence available under the Violence Against Women Act, and the U Visa available to victims of human trafficking. While family court proceedings can lead to harsh outcomes for certain immigrants, including deportations and termination of parental rights, they can also bring benefits. The author of this article asserts that "ethical mandates related to client counseling, representational goals, and competence affirmatively require family court practitioners to provide advice and advocacy related to these collateral benefits to family court proceedings."   Unfortunately, there is evidence that there is "inconsistent" adherence to these mandates. As immigration issues increasingly permeate family court proceedings, lawyers must provide counseling and advocacy related to these opportunities.

Engaging Police in Immigrant Communities: Promising Practices from the Field,
Vera Institute of Justice, October, 2012, 62 pp,
This report concludes a  two-year, government-funded study of effective policing practices within immigrant communities, described as the "new frontier of community policing." The report was commissioned "because very little (was) known about how most of the 18,000 police agencies nationwide work with immigrant communities." The report identifies 8 key principles of good practice: (1) get to the root causes, (2) maximize resources, (3) leverage partnerships, (4)focus on the vulnerable, (5) engage in broad outreach, (6) train law enforcement and the community, (7) monitor successes and failures, and (8) sustain programs that work.  To identify practices that exemplify these principles, Vera solicited input from more than 1,000 law enforcement agencies and evaluated practices from 175 of them.  The report profiles 10 law enforcement agencies that have put these principles into action through effective and innovative programs, namely Brooklyn Center (MN), Brooklyn Park (MN), Chelsea (MA), Clearwater (FL), Everett (MA), Metropolitan Nashville (TN), Orange County (FL), Palm Beach County (FL), Storm Lake (IA), and Tulsa (OK). A companion Toolkit contains resources gathered from the 10 profiled agencies, such as "police academy" schedules, outreach materials in foreign language, multicultural advisory committee materials, police training curricula, and various policies and procedures. In addition, there are 8 podcasts on pertinent topics by officials in the profiled agencies.

The Paradox of Law Enforcement in Immigrant Communities: Does Tough Immigration Enforcement Undermine Public Safety?
Columbia Law School, October 4, 2011, 31 pp.
Based on a telephone survey of 1,653 immigrants in New York City, stratified by neighborhood location, socio-economic characteristics, and ethnicity, this study examines perceptions of the criminal justice system within immigrant communities.  The findings indicate that cooperation with the police is higher in immigrant neighborhoods than in neighborhoods with a preponderance of native-born residents.  Despite negative experiences with the police in their home countries, "legal cynicism" tends to be lower in immigrant neighborhoods than in native-born ones. However, ethnic heterogeneity within a particular neighborhood is negatively associated with trust in law enforcement because "a resident may fear retaliation or retribution if he or she helps the police solve a crime committed by a member of another group." The authors conclude with a discussion about how this surprising "normative compliance" with the law could be undercut by "harsh enforcement" of immigration laws.

Insecure Communities: How an Immigration Enforcement Program Encourages Battered Women to Stay Silent,
Boston College Third World Law Journal, 2011, 32 pp.
This article argues that the Secure Communities Program of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) deters immigrant victims of domestic violence from reporting abuse to the police. According to the author, many immigrants have a "police-averse mentality" to begin with; others are reluctant to report domestic violence to protect the reputation of the larger family; and still others may feel constrained by an inability to communicate effectively in English. An undocumented woman with a documented husband is especially vulnerable to abuse.  The author recommends a three-step reform to reduce underreporting and protect battered spouses: delay reporting to ICE until the perpetrator is convicted; limit the reporting requirement to felony charges and misdemeanor convictions; and work with states and local authorities to publicize these changes within immigrant communities.

Public Safety Programs for the Immigrant Community: 17 Good Practices in U.S. Cities,
National League of Cities, Center for Research & Innovation, 2011, 46 pp.

This report provides short descriptions of model police outreach programs to immigrant populations in 17 U.S. cities of diverse size and location, including contacts for additional information.  Examples include the "Newcomer Meet and Greets and Living Room Dialogues" of the Portland Police Department, the "Cambodian Community Liaison" of the Lowell (MA) Police Department, the Latino and Asian Liaison Units of the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department, and soccer matches between police and community members in Newport News and Norfolk, Virginia.  The report includes recommendations for developing immigrant public safety programs in other cities.

Police and Immigration: How Chiefs Are Leading their Communities through the Challenges,
Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), 2010, 72 pp
In the swirl of political cross-currents on the issue of immigration enforcement, the judgments of police professionals often diverge from the opinions of politicians and pressure groups. This report examines how six police departments are dealing with one of the most contentious issues in American life.  During 2009, PERF researchers prepared case studies on the following police jurisdictions:  New Haven (CT), Prince William County (VA), Montgomery County (MD), Phoenix (AZ), Mesa (AZ), and Minneapolis (MN). PERF also convened a National Summit on Immigration Enforcement in Phoenix in July, 2009, which helped to inform the conclusions in the report. With separate chapters devoted to each of the six jurisdictions, the report highlights "lessons learned" in each community and "guiding principles for dealing with immigration issues."  A concluding chapter includes a set of recommendations for Congress and the Obama administration, as well as a separate set of recommendations for local police agencies.

Assessing the Terrorist Threat
National Security Preparedness Group, Bipartisan Policy Center, September 10, 2010, 43 pp.
Co-chaired by former New Jersey Governor Thomas H. Kean and former Congressman Lee Hamilton, the National Security Preparedness Group seeks to monitor progress in implementing the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission and to provide new analyses and policy recommendations based on changing security needs.  This report provides an overview of Jihadist activity in 2009 in the United States and around the world and notes with alarm that Al-Qaeda and its allies "have been able to accomplish the unthinkable - establishing at least an embryonic terrorist recruitment, radicalization, and operational infrastructure in the United States with effects both at home and abroad."  The authors note, however, that would-be American jihadists "do not fit any particular ethnic, economic, educational, or social profile."  Indeed, "diversification" of the recruitment effort seems to be part of the Al-Qaeda strategy.  Thirty percent of the 57 Americans who have been charged or convicted of Islamic terrorism crimes since January of 2009 are Caucasian or African-American.  At the same time, there has been a considerable weakening of the operational and strategic capacity of Al-Qaeda and allied terrorist groups around the world. The authors conclude by observing that Americans must maintain "resilience" in the face of future attacks, which may be low-level in nature. "If any attack can succeed in generating significant political and economic fallout, then there is a greater motivation for undertaking these attacks."

The Performance of 287(g) Agreements,
Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General, March, 2010. 87 pp. including appendices
Pursuant to legislation passed by Congress in 2009, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) was asked to review the operation of 287(g) programs to ensure consistency with legislative intent, proper supervision and training of local law enforcement officers, and compliance with memoranda of agreement between the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and local authorities.  As of June of 2009, DHS had 66 active agreements in 23 states involving 833 active officers.  In FY 2008, these officers identified 33,831 aliens removed from the U.S. during that year, representing 9.5% of all DHS removals. The OIG report, however, faults DHS for not adhering to its stated intent of using the 287(g) program to arrest, detain, and remove criminal aliens. Other management shortcomings are also detailed. The appendices include a copy of DHS's response to the 33 recommendations contained in the OIG report.

A Program in Flux:  New Priorities and Implementation Challenges for 287(g),
Migration Policy Institute, March, 2010, 30 pp.
In July of 2009, the Director of Homeland Security announced major changes to the 287(g) program, which permits state, county and local law enforcement agencies to enforce federal immigrant law, under negotiated agreements with the federal government. The purpose of the changes was to target enforcement activities on immigrants convicted of serious offenses or deemed a threat to public safety, not those guilty of misdemeanors or immigration violations, and to give the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) greater control over the enforcement operations of local jurisdictions. This report compares the pre-2009 agreements with the new agreement, and identifies a series of questions that will guide researchers, as they undertake an in-depth field study involving six to nine jurisdictions with 287(g) agreements. The study will assess whether the program "advances its goals of promoting security, improving immigration enforcement, and protecting civil rights."

Fact Sheets:  Language Access Problems among Government Bodies,
Brennan Center for Justice, NYU School of Law, February, 2010.
Prepared on behalf of the National Language Access Advocates Network ("N-LAAN"), these fact sheets find serious shortcomings in how the Department of Justice enforces compliance with Title VI requirements for language access to federally-funded programs. The four reports cover state court systems, law enforcement agencies, immigrant courts, and other federal executive agencies.

 "We Want to Know What They Are Saying" A Multiagency Collaborative Effort to Address Parental Language Barriers and Disproportionate Minority Contact,
Vera Institute of Justice, November, 2009, 10 pp.
This report describes the approach and accomplishments of a multiagency collaborative work group striving to facilitate the participation of limited English proficient parents in the juvenile and criminal justice system in New York City. The initiative was designed to address the problem of disproportionate minority contact (DMC), or the over-representation of African American and Latino youth in detention or correctional facilities. After conducting focus groups in English, Spanish, and Chinese with ca 75 parents and young adults, the work group produced a 12-page multilingual informational resource in plain language for distribution to community members. The resource is entitled, "Understanding the Maze:  If Your Child has Contact with the Law."

Constitution on Ice:  A Report on Immigration Home Raid Operations,
Immigration Justice Clinic, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University, 2009, 38 pp
Utilizing records on ICE operations in the New York and New Jersey area obtained under Freedom of Information Act lawsuits, this study is described by the authors as "the first public document to collect and analyze the available evidence regarding the prevalence of constitutional violations occurring during ICE home raids."  Despite the goal of apprehending "high priority targets," e.g. immigrant gang members and sex offenders, approximately two-thirds of arrests made under these operations are "collateral arrests of mere civil immigration status violators." The authors are particularly sensitive to the impact of these efforts on local community policing efforts, suggesting that "ICE home raid misconduct...undermines the traditional crime fighting mission of local law enforcement agencies."  The report contains a series of policy recommendations developed with assistance from a six-member advisory panel chaired by Lawrence W. Mulvey, Chairman of the Nassau County Police Department in New York.

The Role of Local Police:  Striking a Balance Between Immigration Enforcement and Civil Liberties,
The Police Foundation, April, 2009, 256 pp.
This year-long, groundbreaking study attempts to "give police a voice on (the) critical issue" of the proper role of local police in immigration law enforcement. Based on focus groups with police officers around the country, the input of academic experts, a survey of police officials, and a two-day conference in Washington, DC, in August, of 2008, this report concludes that the "the costs of the 287(g) program outweigh the benefits." The study, however, goes beyond the controversial 287(g) program to examine the full range of collaboration between local police and federal immigration officials, including the practice of checking the immigration status of noncitizens arrested for criminal violations, and the embedding of ICE personnel within local police departments. The study finds that police officials are often subjected to intense political pressure to "do something" about undocumented immigration, even when their understanding of the issues differs substantially from majority opinion in the community. The report concludes with seven overarching recommendations, and features a series of important studies that are included as appendices to the report, including an analysis of the rates of crime and imprisonment associated with immigration and a study of the problems faced by undocumented youth transitioning to adulthood and lacking legal work opportunities.

Crossing the Line: Damaging Immigration Enforcement Practices by New Jersey Police Following Attorney General Law Enforcement Directive 2007-3,
The Center for Social Justice, Seton Hall University School of Law, April 2009, 31 pp
Over a nine-month period, this report documents 68 instances of New Jersey police referrals to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), when only a minor offense or no offense was charged. These cases are broken down into four categories: traffic stops, passengers in cars, stopping people on the street, and questioning of victims or witnesses. Noting the possibility of a serious undercount of such referrals, and the frequency with which Latinos were targeted, the authors see "a disturbing trend toward racial profiling by New Jersey police."  The report recommends that the Attorney General directive, which attempted to set ground rules for police reporting to ICE, "should be repealed or fundamentally revised."
Bridging the Language Divide:  Promising Practices for Law Enforcement,
Vera Institute of Justice, February, 2009, 64 pp.
With funding provided by the federal COPS office, Vera undertook a comprehensive study of how local law enforcement agencies in the Unites States are addressing language barriers. Contacting more than 750 agencies, evaluating practices from nearly 200, and doing in-depth analyses of 25, Vera singled out six police jurisdictions doing exemplary work: Boise, Las Vegas, Lexington, Nashville, Oklahoma City, and Storm Lake.  The report shows how their techniques illustrate eight promising practices in achieving effective language outreach.  The report contains extensive appendices with sample agency documents and resources.

Webinar: Bridging the Language Divide:  Promising Practices for Law Enforcement,
Vera Institute of Justice, February 24, 2009

Representatives from three police agencies in communities of varying sizes (Boise, Idaho; Lexington, Kentucky; and Storm Lake, Iowa), identified by Vera as leaders in the provision of culturally and linguistically appropriate services, discuss their respective approaches:  a Spanish language immersion program for police officers in Lexington, the development of a community-wide interpreter bank in Boise; and the hiring of civilian bilingual outreach workers in Storm Lake.

Immigration Enforcement:  Better Controls Needed over Program Authorizing State and Local Enforcement of Federal Immigration Laws,
General Accounting Office, January, 2009, 44 pp.
In response to a congressional request to review the 287(g) program, which allows local law enforcement entities to enter into agreements with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to participate in the enforcement of immigration laws, the GAO undertook a performance audit of the program from September 2007 through January 2009.  The GAO reviewed 29 of the 67 local law enforcement agencies participating in the program. The audit found major shortcomings in the management of the program, including lax oversight and lack of clarity over program goals.  Rather than ferreting out criminal activity -- the ostensible purpose of the program -- 287(g) seems to be targeting individuals with minor violations, such as traffic infractions. The GAO report concludes with five recommendations to improve the operation of the program.

Language of Inclusion: A Critical Look at Equal Access in the N.J. Court System,
American Friends Service Committee, Immigrant Rights Program, Summer, 2007, 14 pp.
Over the course of three summers (2005-2007), AFSC analyzed the extent of language access in small claims courts in the five NJ counties with heavy immigrant populations.  The study found that immigrants were generally unaware of their right to free language services, key court documents were not translated into foreign language, and that language services were generally not provided in pre-trial settings. The study highlighted best practices in several vicinages and provided a set of recommendations to improve access, including better training for court personnel and more effective use of county ombudsmen.

Police Chiefs Guide to Immigration Issues,
International Association of Chiefs of Police, July, 2007, 47pp.
This publication is a useful primer on immigration issues for police leaders in the United States. It covers issues as wide-ranging as day laborers, housing, anti-immigrant groups, and human trafficking. Although the report refrains from issuing recommendations, especially on the subject of police participation in immigration enforcement, it provides a useful framework for local decision-making on immigrant-related issues.

Overcoming Language Barriers: Solutions for Law Enforcement,
Vera Institute of Justice, March, 2007, 17 pp.
With immigration in the U.S. growing and increasingly dispersed, many law enforcement practitioners are looking for ways to improve contact with people who cannot speak or understand English well. This report was produced by Translating Justice, a technical assistance project sponsored by the Vera Institute's Center on Immigration and Justice and three diverse law enforcement agencies-the Anaheim Police Department in California, the Clark County Sheriff's Office in Ohio, and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department in Nevada.

Attorneys General and the Protection of Immigrant Communities,
National State Attorneys General Program at Columbia Law School, Memorandum, January 12, 2007, 11 pp.
This document argues that immigrants are "particularly exposed to predatory practices, abuse, and fraud" and that state attorneys general must focus their attention on this growing and often vulnerable population. It gives examples of successful initiatives around the country and details strategies that may be employed in the "emerging field" of immigrant protection services.

Nine Point Position Statement: Enforcement of Immigration Laws by Local Police Agencies,
Major Cities Chiefs Association, June, 2006, 11 pp.
Representing 57 police jurisdictions in the United States and Canada with populations of over 1.5 million, the Major Chiefs Associations produced this consensus position statement on the question of local police enforcement of immigration laws. The statement enumerates several concerns with such a broadening of local police power, including that of undermining the trust and cooperation of immigrant communities, and the diversion of police resources away from normal police functions. 

Translating Justice:  A Guide for New York City's Justice and Public Safety Agencies to Improve Access for Residents with Limited English Proficiency,
Vera Institute of Justice, April, 2006, 27 pp.
This guide provides an overview of language access needs and promising practices within New York City's justice agencies. The guide also describes innovative approaches elsewhere in the country and overseas. The core of the report consists of an analysis of various approaches, including the use of bilingual employees, professional interpreters, and emerging technology. The guide concludes with suggested "next steps."

Building Strong Police-Immigrant Community Relations:  Lessons from a New York City Project,
Vera Institute of Justice, August, 2005, 33 pp.
This report provides an account of a project in 2003-2004 to create a "regular forum for communication between police and immigrant communities," focusing on the Arab-American, African, and emerging Latin-American communities. The report discusses outreach strategies, session content, and recommendations for institutionalizing the initiative.

Forcing Our Blues into Gray Areas:  Local Police and Federal Immigration Enforcement, A Legal Guide for Advocates,
Appleseed, 2005, 34 pp.
This report outlines the legal history behind local law enforcement of federal immigration laws and argues that such expansion of local police authority makes fighting crime and terrorism more difficult.