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The Rise and Fall of the Secure Border Initiative’s High-Tech Solution to Unauthorized Immigration

The Secure Border Initiative (SBI), launched by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in 2005, is a cautionary tale of the dangers inherent in seeking a technological quick fix to the problem of unauthorized immigration.  SBI calls not only for fencing the U.S.-Mexico border in the literal sense, but constructing a “virtual fence” as well.  Since physical fencing can be climbed over, broken through, or dug under, it is complemented in SBI by a system of cameras and sensors—known as “SBInet”—that will, in theory, alert the Border Patrol whenever an unauthorized border crossing occurs. 


Published On: Thu, Apr 15, 2010 | Download File

Local Enforcement of Immigration Laws Through the 287(g) Program

Updated 04/02/10

Since 2004, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) has greatly expanded its partnerships with local police through the 287(g) program.  As of March 2010, more than 1,075 local officers have been trained and certified through the program under the 67 active Memoranda of Agreement (MOAs) in 24 states. However, while the number of MOAs has increased, the numerous problems surrounding them have also become more apparent.  Recent reports have found that 287(g) agreements are costing localities millions to implement while ICE provides little oversight and support to the program. Additionally, crime-solving activities are being compromised, the trust between police and community is eroding, and accusations of racial profiling and civil rights violations are on the rise. Furthermore 287 (g) agreements are being used as political tools that interfere with the kind of true community policing that protect and serve our communities.


Published On: Fri, Apr 02, 2010 | Download File

How Expanding E-Verify Would Hurt American Workers and Business

Expanding mandatory E-Verify would threaten the jobs of thousands of U.S. citizens and saddle U.S. businesses with additional costs—all at a time when we need to stimulate our economy.  Expanding E-Verify now would be in direct contradiction to the goal of creating jobs and would slow America’s economic recovery.


Published On: Tue, Mar 02, 2010 | Download File

DHS Progress Report: The Challenge of Reform

By Royce Bernstein Murray, Esq.

The month of March marks the seventh anniversary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its immigration agencies. It also marks the end of a sweeping internal review ordered by Secretary Janet Napolitano, a review which as not been made public. In order to assess the first year of immigration policy under the Obama Administration, the Immigration Policy Center releases the following Special Report which compare DHS's actions with the recommendations (Transition Blueprint) made to the Obama Transition Team’s immigration-policy group. How does DHS stack up? The following IPC report finds a department caught between the competing priorities of old broken policy and new reforms. While DHS has failed to meet key expectations in some areas, it has engaged thoughtfully and strategically in others, and has made some fundamental changes in how it conducts its immigration business.

Published On: Tue, Mar 02, 2010 | Download File

Protecting Children in the Aftermath of Immigration Raids

Study Finds Significant Behavioral Changes in Children After Raids

Children of unauthorized immigrant parents are often forgotten in debates over immigration reform.  There are roughly 5.5 million children living in the United States with unauthorized immigrant parents—three-quarters of whom are U.S. born citizens.  These families live in constant fear of separation.  The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) estimates that over the last 10 years, more than 100,000 immigrant parents of U.S. citizen children have been deported from the United States.  


Published On: Mon, Feb 22, 2010 | Download File

The Criminal Alien Program: Immigration Enforcement in Prisons and Jails

In The Criminal Alien Program: Immigration Enforcement in Travis County, Texas, author Andrea Guttin explores the Criminal Alien Program (CAP), which is one of the programs the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) uses to identify immigrants who may be deportable.  The paper provides a history and analysis of the CAP program, as well as a case study of CAP implementation in Travis County, Texas.


Published On: Wed, Feb 17, 2010 | Download File

The Criminal Alien Program: Immigration Enforcement in Travis County, Texas

By Andrea Guttin, Esq.

The Criminal Alien Program (CAP) is a program administered by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that screens inmates in prisons and jails, identifies deportable non-citizens, and places them into deportation proceedings. In this Special Report, The Criminal Alien Program: Immigration Enforcement in Travis County, Texas, author Andrea Guttin, Esq., provides a brief history and background on the CAP program.  Guttin also includes a case study of CAP implementation in Travis County, Texas, which finds that the program has a negative impact on communities because it increases the community’s fear of reporting crime to police, is costly, and may encourage racial profiling. Read more...

Published On: Wed, Feb 17, 2010 | Download File

Immigration Detainers: A Comprehensive Look

What is an immigration detainer and how does it work? Are detainers only placed on unauthorized immigrants? What happens after an immigration detainer has expired?  What are the consequences of immigration detainers?  In order to better understand immigration detainers’ function and impact, the Immigration Policy Center (IPC) provides the following Fact Check to shed much needed light on this often misunderstood immigration enforcement tool.


Published On: Wed, Feb 17, 2010 | Download File

New Data on Federal Court Prosecutions Reveal Non-Violent Immigration Prosecutions Up

The Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) reports that federal immigration prosecutions rose to record levels during fiscal year (FY) 2009.  In the past, federal court resources were appropriately allocated to pursue immigration-related prosecutions against individuals with criminal backgrounds.  Recently, however, priorities have shifted, and large numbers of federal immigration prosecutions have focused on non-violent border crossers, creating the appearance that immigrants are committing more crimes. However, the fact is -- the federal government’s shift in resources has meant spending billions of dollars prosecuting non-violent immigration violators while more serious criminals involved in drugs, weapons, and organized crime face a lower probability of prosecution.


Published On: Thu, Feb 04, 2010 | Download File

Enforcing Immigration Laws: Repairing our Broken Immigration System

For years the U.S. government has addressed unauthorized immigration primarily through the lens of deportation and removal, pursuing enforcement-only policies that have not effectively curbed unauthorized immigration.  An increase of personnel and technology along the U.S.-Mexico border has been accompanied by increased worksite enforcement in the interior of the United States.  In addition, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has partnered with state and local police agencies and jails to identify and apprehend immigrants and to remove them from the country.  None of these efforts has resulted in a significant decline in the size of the unauthorized population, but these enforcement policies and priorities have had devastating impacts on U.S. families and communities.


Published On: Tue, Dec 08, 2009 | Download File