"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)..."
"Nativist Group Falsely Blames Immigrants for Unemployment in Tennessee" (August 7, 2014)
"From the narrow, nativist perspective of groups such as the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), every immigrant worker who enters the U.S. economy is stealing a job from a native-born worker. In this view of the world, employment is a zero-sum game in which immigrants and the native-born compete for a fixed number of jobs. So it is hardly surprising that CIS has released a backgrounder titled 'All of Tennessee’s Employment Growth Since 2000 Has Gone to Immigrants, Yet Natives Accounted for Two-Thirds of Population Growth.' The point of the backgrounder is not hard to grasp: immigrants in Tennessee presumably got all of the new jobs which would have gone to the native-born if the immigrants hadn’t been there. The elegant simplicity of this argument is undermined by the fact that labor markets don’t work that way in the real world. Immigrant workers, like native-born workers, are also consumers, taxpayers, and—sometimes—entrepreneurs who creates new jobs through their purchases of goods and services, their tax payments, and their investments. Remove the immigrants and remove a lot of jobs, too..."
"After more than a century’s worth of studies and reports, you’d think that politicians would have gotten the message: not only are the vast majority of immigrants not criminals, but immigrants are less likely to be criminals than native-born Americans. This is true for both unauthorized immigrants and those who are legally present in the country, and it is true for immigrants from Mexico and the nations of Central America. It would seem that Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) is not familiar with this body of evidence..."
(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..."