"In 2008, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) described the US border as a 'Constitution-Free Zone,' referring to a 100-mile wide strip of territory around the 'external boundary' of the nation within which Fourth Amendment protections against random and arbitrary stops and searches by law-enforcement officials do not apply. According to the ACLU, the 197.4 million people residing in this zone—roughly two-thirds of the US population—are subject to 'administrative' stops by the Border Patrol or other federal authorities for the purpose of guarding the nation’s borders from security threats (ACLU 2008b). The inland checkpoints where the Border Patrol conducts 'administrative' stops and searches are mostly clustered near the southwest borderlands of California, Arizona, and Texas, but are also found along the northern border in Washington state and could, in principle, appear anywhere else along US land or coastal borders (ACLU 2008a)..."
"Deportation of Central American Refugees Is Inhumane" (January 7, 2016)
At one level, it should come as no surprise that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has taken into custody and intends to deport 121 unauthorized immigrants who fled violence in Central America and arrived here over the past year and a half. After all, DHS deports people all the time who pose a danger to no one and may even have U.S.-based families. So what makes the cases of the Central American migrants so special? Perhaps it’s the fact that these migrants tend to be mothers and children who sought refuge in the United States, only to be dumped back into countries with the highest murder rates on the planet, not to mention epidemic levels of gang violence and human rights abuses by security forces..."
(with Daniel E. Martínez and Rubén G. Rumbaut, July 2015)
"For more than a century, innumerable studies have confirmed two simple yet powerful truths about the relationship between immigration and crime: immigrants are less likely to commit serious crimes or be behind bars than the native-born, and high rates of immigration are associated with lower rates of violent crime and property crime. This holds true for both legal immigrants and the unauthorized, regardless of their country of origin or level of education. In other words, the overwhelming majority of immigrants are not 'criminals' by any commonly accepted definition of the term. For this reason, harsh immigration policies are not effective in fighting crime..."
(with Daniel E. Martínez and Guillermo Cantor, May 2014)
"Data obtained by the American Immigration Council shine a light on the lack of accountability and transparency which afflicts the U.S. Border Patrol and its parent agency, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The data, which the Immigration Council acquired through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, covers 809 complaints of alleged abuse lodged against Border Patrol agents between January 2009 and January 2012. These cases run the gamut of physical, sexual, and verbal abuse. Although it is not possible to determine which cases had merit and which did not, it is astonishing that, among those cases in which a formal decision was issued, 97 percent resulted in 'No Action Taken.' On average, CBP took 122 days to arrive at a decision when one was made. Moreover, among all complaints, 40 percent were still 'pending investigation' when the complaint data were provided to the Immigration Council..."