"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)..."
"New Report Evaluates Scale of the Central American Refugee Influx" (September 4, 2015)
"The Central American refugee influx along the U.S.-Mexico border, which generated so much press attention in 2014, is not going away anytime soon. The conditions which spur Salvadorans, Guatemalans, and Hondurans to flee their countries in large numbers—namely, widespread violence and grinding poverty—have not changed. Nor has the fact that so many unaccompanied children are being sent to the United States on their own in a desperate attempt by their families to ensure their safety. What has changed, however, is that more of these refugees are being apprehended by Mexican authorities (and deported) before they reach the U.S.-Mexico border. This serves to keep U.S. apprehension and deportation statistics lower than they would otherwise be, but does nothing to address the root causes of the situation..."
"Four Reasons Why Report on Immigrant Welfare Use Is Wrong" (September 3, 2015)
"Numerous studies have demonstrated and documented the ways in which immigrants contribute to the U.S. economy. As workers, consumers, taxpayers, entrepreneurs, and innovators, the overwhelming majority of immigrants create economic value and sustain new jobs over the course of their lives—just as most native-born Americans do. Confronted by the weight of the evidence in support of this conclusion, immigration restrictionist groups frequently rely upon creative accounting in an attempt to turn the tables and make it seem as if immigrants are draining rather than contributing to our country..."
"Immigration Courts Desperately Need More Judges" (August 27, 2015)
"Although this year’s presidential primary contests are dominated by the topic of immigration, the focus is on politically charged, hot-button issues like border walls and birthright citizenship. And while the media remains transfixed by the inflammatory rhetoric of some candidates, more mundane yet equally important problems go unaddressed. Case in point: immigration court backlogs. While every political candidate in this year’s races presumably wants to create an immigration system that functions better than the current one, no one has had much to say about one of the most critical, nuts-and-bolts problems with the system we have now: the severe shortage of immigration judges to adjudicate cases..."
(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..."