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Just the Facts

Immigration Fact Checks provide up-to-date information on the most current issues involving immigration today.

The Fiscal Bottom Line on Immigration Reform

The Costs of Enforcement-Only and the Benefits of Comprehensive Reform

Tax Day is an appropriate time to take stock of a few fiscal bottom lines about immigration enforcement and immigration reform.  The federal government spends billions of taxpayer dollars every year on border and interior enforcement measures intended to deter unauthorized immigration.  While these efforts have failed to solve the problem of unauthorized immigration, they have had a negative impact on American families, communities, and the economy.  Were the United States to adopt a different approach by implementing comprehensive immigration reform, the legalization of currently unauthorized immigrants alone would generate billions of dollars in additional tax revenue as their wages and tax contributions increase over time. 

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Published On: Tue, Apr 13, 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.

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

The 2010 Census: The Stakes of an Accurate Count

Every 10 years, as required by the U.S. Constitution, the federal government undertakes a massive nationwide effort to count the residents of the United States, who now number more than 300 million.  The results form the basis for the apportionment of congressional districts and the distribution of hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funds, as well as serving to guide a wide range of community-planning decisions across the country.DD  The Census is, however, no stranger to controversy, such as the suggestion by some activists that immigrants sit out the Census this year to protest the federal government’s failure to enact comprehensive immigration reform.DD  Yet, among demographic groups like immigrants and ethnic minorities who are typically under-counted in the Census, a boycott would be self-defeating.  Moreover, anyone living in an area afflicted by a large under-count of any sort stands to lose out on political representation and federal funds.DD  For instance, an undercount of Latino immigrants would impact anyone living in a state such as California, New York, or Illinois that has a large population of Latino immigrants—meaning that everyone in those states stands to lose political representation and access to economic and educational opportunities if their residents aren’t fully counted in 2010.

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Published On: Wed, Mar 03, 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.

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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.  

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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.

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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.

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

Remittance Will Be Critical to Haitians; The U.S. Benefits from Remittances As Well

In the weeks since a devastating earthquake hit Haiti, there has been much discussion of the impact the Haitian diaspora in the United States and the remittances they send to family members will have on the nation’s recovery.  According to Kristin Johnson, Ph.D., author of the IPC report, Many Happy Returns—Remittances and their Impact: How Money Sent Home by Migrant Workers Helps the American Economy, the remittances Haitians receive will be extremely important to their recovery process.  Furthermore, the money that leaves the U.S. in the form of remittances will be used by Haitians to purchase U.S. exports.  Over half of Haiti’s imports originate in the U.S., and the states with the most Haitian immigrants also have large export markets in Haiti.  In this way, the remittances that immigrants in the U.S send abroad have a positive impact on the U.S. economy and trade. Read more...

Published On: Wed, Feb 10, 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.

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

Future Flow: Repairing Our Broken Immigration System

One of the greatest challenges in immigration reform is the need to realistically assess our future employment-based immigration needs.  This includes permanent and temporary visas, high-skilled and low-skilled workers.  Many people agree that our current legal immigration flow is drastically out of sync with America’s labor needs and the global realities of the 21st century. Meanwhile, some employers have been able to misuse the broken system to the detriment of U.S. and foreign workers.  Policymakers must recognize that if we create a legal immigration system that functions well, there will be less pressure on immigrants to come to the U.S. illegally and for employers to hire unauthorized workers.  Given the current weakened economy and high unemployment rates, it is difficult to estimate the U.S.’s future labor needs.  However, the economy will eventually improve, and a reasonable, flexible legal immigration system must be put into place to fill our future labor needs.  If the U.S. is to thrive in the globalized 21st century economy, employment-based immigration must be seen as a strategic resource that can both meet labor market needs and foster economic growth and competition while still protecting U.S. workers and improving wages and working conditions.

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Published On: Mon, Feb 01, 2010 | Download File