Democratizing Data

Democratizing Data

The Human Cost of IIRIRA – Stories From Individuals Impacted by the Immigration Detention System
The 1996 passage of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA) has had a devastating impact on immigrants who are detained, indigent, and forced to face deportation proceedings without representation. Despite the growing specter of the “criminal alien” in the American psyche, there is little public knowledge or scrutiny of the vast immigration detention and deportation machine. Enforcement of IIRIRA has effectively erased human stories and narrowed immigration debates to numbers and statistics. This paper tells the stories of individuals — immigration attorneys, immigration judges, and detained immigrants and their family members — who have personally experienced the impact of IIRIRA. Collectively, these vignettes provide a realistic picture of the immigration detention experience and reveal the human cost of IIRIRA.

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The 2,000 Mile Wall in Search of a Purpose: Since 2007 Visa Overstays have Outnumbered Undocumented Border Crossers by a Half Million
This paper speaks to another reason to question the necessity and value of a 2,000-mile wall along the US-Mexico border: It does not reflect the reality of how the large majority of persons now become undocumented. The paper presents information about the mode of arrival of the undocumented population that resided in the United States in 2014. To simplify the presentation, it divides the 2014 population into two groups: overstays and entries without inspection (EWIs). The estimates are based primarily on detailed estimates of the undocumented population in 2014 compiled by CMS and estimates of overstays for 2015 derived by the US Department of Homeland Security.

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Mass Deportations Would Impoverish US Families and Create Immense Social Costs

This paper provides a statistical portrait of the US undocumented population, with an emphasis on the social and economic condition of mixed-status households – that is, households that contain a US citizen and an undocumented resident. The study finds that mass deportations would plunge millions of US families into poverty, cost $118 billion to care for US-citizen children of deported parents, imperil the housing market and reduce GDP.

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New Data and Analysis Confirms Stable Growth in Immigration
This report reviews the latest information available about the growth of the foreign-born population and provides information about recently arrived temporary residents in the population. Foreign-born population growth, legal and undocumented, as well as new arrivals, have remained fairly stable over the past few years.

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Successful implementation of any broad-scale immigrant legalization program requires an adequately funded infrastructure of immigrant-serving organizations. As the initial Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program instituted in 2012 has already stretched the capacity of immigrant-serving organizations to their limits or even beyond them, the possibility of full implementation of DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents of Citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents) and the expanded DACA programs presents a formidable challenge for these organizations. In this paper, the Human Resources Working Group of the Committee for Immigration Reform Implementation (CIRI) draws on the lessons of the Immigrant Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA), DACA, and other initiatives to provide a roadmap for immigrant service delivery agencies and their partners in planning for implementation of the expanded DACA and the DAPA programs, with an eye (ultimately) to broad legislative reform. In particular, this paper focuses on the funding and human resources that the immigrant service delivery field, writ large, would require to implement these programs.

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This paper offers a statistical portrait of the intended direct beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA), the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), and the DACA expansion (DACA-plus) programs. It finds that potential DAPA, DACA, and DACA-plus recipients are deeply embedded in US society, with high employment rates, extensive US family ties, long tenure, and substantial rates of English-language proficiency. The paper also notes various groups that would benefit indirectly from the full implementation of DAPA and DACA or, conversely, would suffer from the removal of potential beneficiaries of these programs. The authors find these populations have become embedded in US society and that an unknown, albeit not insubstantial percentage of both the DAPA- and DACA-eligible may already qualify for an immigration benefit or relief that would put them on a path to permanent residency and US citizenship.

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