"From Anecdotes to Evidence: Immigration, Crime, and Terrorism," in Debates on U.S. Immigration (2012)
"Anti-immigrant activists are fond of telling scary stories. When it comes to the subject of immigration, crime, and terrorism, these stories are typically about individual immigrants—especially unauthorized, or 'illegal,' immigrants—who planned or committed heinous crimes or terrorist acts. Such stories are presented as proof that we should restrict immigration and 'get tough' on all immigrants to save the lives of U.S. citizens. These kinds of anecdotes may be emotionally powerful, but they are highly misleading. Obviously, dangerous criminals and terrorists must be punished, and immigrants who are dangerous criminals or terrorists should be locked up. But harsh immigration policies are not effective in fighting crime or terrorism because the overwhelming majority of immigrants are neither criminals nor terrorists..."
"The Growth of the U.S. Deportation Machine and Its Misplaced Priorities" (March 10, 2014)
"No one can say with certainty when the Obama administration will reach the grim milestone of having deported two million people since the President took office in 2008. Regardless of the exact date this symbolic threshold is reached, however, it is important to keep in mind a much more important fact: most of the people being deported are not dangerous criminals. Despite claims by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that it prioritizes the apprehension of terrorists, violent criminals, and gang members, the agency’s own deportation statistics do not bear this out. Rather, most of the individuals being swept up by ICE and dropped into the U.S. deportation machine committed relatively minor, non-violent crimes or have no criminal histories at all. Ironically, many of the immigrants being deported would likely have been able to remain in the country had the immigration reform legislation favored by the administration become law..."
"Obama’s 2015 Budget Adopts Contradictory Stance on Immigration" (March 7, 2014)
"The Obama Administration’s Fiscal Year 2015 budget proposal is of two minds about how to deal with the broken U.S. immigration system. On the one hand, the document calls for the creation of 'a pathway to earned citizenship for hardworking men and women' who are in the United States without legal status. On the other hand, the budget would continue to devote significant sums of money to the detention and deportation of many of the same people for whom the administration would like to create a path to citizenship. In other words, the administration pledges that it will do its best to deport from the country the very same people it wants to help stay..."
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..."
The Fallacy of "Enforcement First": Immigration Enforcement Without Immigration Reform Has Been Failing for Decades (May 2013)
"Opponents of a new legalization program for unauthorized immigrants living and working in the United States frequently claim that we must try 'enforcement first.' That is to say, we must adequately enforce the laws on the books before we can contemplate the formulation of more reasonable laws. This stance is nonsensical for two reasons. First of all, it ignores the fact that the unworkable nature of our immigration laws is itself facilitating unauthorized immigration; so it is illogical to hope that stronger enforcement of those unworkable laws will somehow lessen unauthorized immigration. Secondly, the 'enforcement first' perspective conveniently overlooks the fact that the United States has been pursuing an 'enforcement first' approach to immigration control for more than two-and-a-half decades—and it has yet to work..."