"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)..."
“Report on Immigrant Welfare Use is Fundamentally Flawed—Here’s Why” (May 10, 2016)
“It’s déjà vu all over again at the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS). Having released one flawed report on immigrant ‘welfare’ use late last year, CIS has followed up with another that contains the same flaws. The biggest shortcoming of both reports is that they count the public benefits utilized by U.S.-born children as costs incurred by the ‘immigrant-headed households’ of which they are a part—at least until those children turn 18, that is, at which point they are counted as ‘natives’...”
“Donald Trump’s approach to immigration seems to rest on three pillars: the construction of a big wall across the entire U.S.-Mexico border, the banning of all Muslim immigration to the United States, and the deportation of every man, woman, and child found to be in the country without authorization. This is an immigration plan rooted in xenophobia, hysteria, and a callous disregard for human suffering. It is also a plan that would wreak havoc upon the U.S. economy if it were ever implemented...”
“How a Border Wall Would Hurt the U.S. Economy” (March 17, 2016)
“When Donald Trump speaks of the Great Wall he would build between the United States and Mexico, he fails to account for a few inconvenient facts. For instance, there are millions of men, women, and children who live in communities that fall on both sides of the international boundary. There are millions of tourists, workers, students, and entrepreneurs who cross the border each day. And there are the billions of dollars in two-way trade that sustain millions of U.S. jobs. Not surprisingly, were Trump to forge ahead with his plan to create an impenetrable border between two economically and socially integrated countries, he would destroy—or, at best, severely damage—these connections at an enormous humanitarian and economic cost. Likewise with his related plan to clear the United States of all undocumented immigrants, which would subtract millions of workers and consumers from the U.S. economy. If we try to make the United States a Mexico-free zone, we will tear the country apart in the process...”
(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..."