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Balancing Federal, State, and Local Priorities in Police-Immigrant Relations

Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, changes in federal, state, and local law-enforcement priorities and practices have had a profound impact on America’s Muslims, Arabs, and South Asians.  Some of these policy shifts applied exclusively or primarily to those communities, such as the federal “special registration” program, selective enforcement of immigration laws based on national origin or religion, and expanded federal counter-terrorism efforts that targeted these communities.  At the same time, a wide range of ethnic groups have been affected by the use of state and local police agencies to enforce federal immigration law, and the aggressive use of detention and deportation authority for even minor infractions and technicalities.

Across the United States, police departments and Muslim, Arab, and South Asian communities have responded with varied approaches to the new post-September 11 reality.  In some cities, serious tensions between law-enforcement agencies and immigrant communities have arisen.  Other cities have taken steps to alleviate these tensions and promote dialogue and cooperation with immigrant communities.  This report evaluates the challenges and successes of recent trust-building efforts between immigrant communities and local police departments, and the responses of each to new and proposed policies that threaten those efforts.  Using the experiences of Muslim, Arab, and South Asian communities, the report offers insights that apply to much broader populations.  It draws attention to best practices and policy solutions such as the creation of more effective channels for public dialogue and communication, public education campaigns, officer training and recruiting programs, and forms of cooperation between police and community organizations.

Published On: Tue, Jun 24, 2008 | Download File

Money for Nothing: Immigration Enforcement without Immigration Reform Doesn

While the U.S. government has poured billions upon billions of dollars into immigration enforcement, the number of undocumented immigrants in the United States has increased dramatically. Rather than reducing undocumented immigration, this enforcement-without-reform strategy has diverted the resources and attention of federal authorities to the pursuit of undocumented immigrants who are drawn here by the labor needs of our own economy.

Published On: Thu, May 22, 2008 | Download File

The Politics of Contradiction: Immigration Enforcement vs. Economic Integration

Since the mid-1980s, the federal government has tried repeatedly, without success, to stem the flow of undocumented immigrants to the United States with immigration-enforcement initiatives: deploying more agents, fences, flood lights, aircraft, cameras, and sensors along the southwest border with Mexico; increasing the number of worksite raids and arrests conducted throughout the country; expanding detention facilities to accommodate the hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants apprehended each year; and creating new bureaucratic procedures to expedite the return of detained immigrants to their home countries.  At the same time, the economic integration of North America, the western hemisphere, and the world has accelerated, facilitating the rapid movement of goods, services, capital, information, and people across international borders.  Moreover, the U.S. economy demands more workers at both the high-skilled and less-skilled ends of the occupational spectrum than the rapidly aging, native-born population provides.  The U.S. government’s enforcement-without-reform approach to undocumented immigration has created an unsustainable contradiction between U.S. immigration policy and the U.S. economy.  So far, the economy is winning.


Published On: Wed, May 21, 2008 | Download File

New Employee Verification Act (HR5515): Myths and Facts

Analyzes fundamental flaws in the bill's proposed mandatory electronic employment verification system.

Published On: Mon, May 19, 2008 | Download File

The Social Security Administration No-Match Program: Inefficient, Ineffective, and Costly

This report provides an overview of SSA’s no-match letter program, a summary of DHS’s new supplemental proposed rule regarding no-match letters, and an overview of the unintended consequences of no-match letters that are sent to employers.

Published On: Thu, May 08, 2008 | Download File

Preserve the Child Support System: Don't Let the New Hire Database be Hijacked for Immigrant Employment Verification

This fact sheet shows that using the National Directory of New Hires for employment verification purposes, as called for in the "New Employee Verification Act of 2008" (HR5515), would seriously undermine the goals and effectiveness of the child support system, and furthermore, that the directory is not set up for employment eligibility verification purposes and could not be easily adapted.

Published On: Tue, May 06, 2008 | Download File

E-Verify and Arizona: Early Experiences Portend a Rough Road Ahead

This fact check looks at the experiences of Arizona’s employers and employees with E-Verify, and early signals of its impact on the state’s economy.


Published On: Mon, May 05, 2008 | Download File

Impact of the SAVE Act on Asian Americans

Information on how the SAVE Act will affect Asian American businesses, Asian American workers, and Asian American taxpayers.

Published On: Thu, May 01, 2008 | Download File

Shuler-Tancredo Employment Eligibility Verification System: Poorly Designed, Dangerous for the Economy

Covers the pitfalls of the Secure America through Verification and Enforcement Act of 2007, or "SAVE Act."

Published On: Wed, Apr 09, 2008 | Download File

ERROR! Electronic Employment Verification Systems: What Will Happen When Citizens Have to Ask the Government For Permission to Work?

Mandatory electronic employment verification systems would require all American workers, foreign- and native-born alike, to seek the government’s permission to work. This Immigration Fact Check covers what we know about the databases and what we can expect if these bills are passed, including information on database error rates, the impact on the SSA, and employers' misuse of the program.

Published On: Wed, Apr 02, 2008 | Download File