"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)..."
"How Much Do Undocumented Immigrants Pay in State and Local Taxes?" (April 21, 2015)
"Undocumented immigrants contribute to the U.S. economy in many ways. They fill essential jobs, they sustain U.S. businesses through their purchase of goods and services, and they pay taxes to federal, state, and local governments. Their contributions would be even greater if they had a chance to earn legal status and didn’t have the danger of deportation constantly hanging over their heads. With legal status, they’d be able to change jobs more easily and—as they found better jobs and their wages increased—their economic clout as consumers and taxpayers would rise as well. This is a win-win scenario for both the immigrants themselves and the native-born population..."
"Four Myths That Sen. Sessions Believes About Immigration to the United States" (April 14, 2015)
"Nativist ideology is filled with falsehoods, half-truths, and distortions. From the impact of immigrants on the economy to the pace of their integration into U.S. society, the nativist creed more often than not gets it wrong. For example, consider the current chairman of the Senate’s immigration subcommittee, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL). In an opinion piece in the Washington Post, titled 'America needs to curb immigration flows,' Sen. Sessions displays four fundamental misunderstandings of the economic and social dynamics of immigration to this country..."
(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..."
The Growth of the U.S. Deportation Machine: More Immigrants are being “Removed” from the United States than Ever Before (March 2014)
"Despite some highly public claims to the contrary, there has been no waning of immigration enforcement in the United States. In fact, the U.S. deportation machine has grown larger in recent years, indiscriminately consuming criminals and non-criminals alike, be they unauthorized immigrants or long-time legal permanent residents (LPRs). Deportations under the Obama administration alone are now approaching the two-million mark. But the deportation frenzy began long before this milestone. The federal government has, for nearly two decades, been pursuing an enforcement-first approach to immigration control that favors mandatory detention and deportation over the traditional discretion of a judge to consider the unique circumstances of every case. The end result has been a relentless campaign of imprisonment and expulsion aimed at noncitizens—a campaign authorized by Congress and implemented by the executive branch. While this campaign precedes the Obama administration by many years, it has grown immensely during his tenure in the White House. In part, this is the result of laws which have put the expansion of deportations on automatic. But the continued growth of deportations also reflects the policy choices of the Obama administration. Rather than putting the brakes on this non-stop drive to deport more and more people, the administration chose to add fuel to the fire..."