Democratizing Data

Democratizing Data

DHS Overestimates Visa Overstays for 2016; Overstay Population Growth Near Zero During the Year

This paper compares US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) estimates for visa overstays in fiscal year 2016 with estimates from the Center for Migration Studies (CMS). It finds that DHS has overstated the number of people from roughly 30 counties who have overstayed their temporary visas, half of them participants in the US Visa Waiver Program (VWP). In particular, the DHS estimates for 2016 include significant numbers of temporary visa holders who left the undocumented population, but whose departure could not be verified. Thus, the actual number of visa overstays in 2016 was about half of the number estimated by DHS.  The paper also shows that the population growth of visa overstays was near zero in 2016 after adjusting DHS estimates to account for unrecorded departures. The country-specific figures in this paper should help DHS improve verification of departures of temporary visitors and also to reassess decisions about admission to the VWP.

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Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haitians in Peril
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) faces a November 23, 2017, deadline to determine whether to extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Haiti, first granted following a devastating earthquake in that country in January 2010. Haiti was extended for six...

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A Statistical and Demographic Profile of the US Temporary Protected Status Populations from El Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti
This report presents detailed statistical information on the US Temporary Protected Status (TPS) populations from El Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti. It reveals hardworking populations with strong family and other ties to the United States. In addition, high percentages have lived in the United States for 20 years or more, arrived as children, and have US citizen children.

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Zero Undocumented Population Growth Is Here to Stay and Immigration Reform Would Preserve and Extend These Gains
This paper makes the case that the era of large-scale undocumented population growth has ended, and that there is a need to reform the US legal immigration system to preserve and extend US gains in reducing undocumented entries and the US undocumented population overall. The paper demonstrates that a broad and sustained reduction in undocumented immigration to the United States occurred in the 2008 to 2015 period. It shows that the Great Recession had little, if any, role in the transformation to zero population growth of the undocumented population. Rather, the undocumented population stopped growing because of increased scrutiny of air travel after 9/11, a decade and a half of accelerating efforts to reduce illegal entries across the southern border, long-term increases in the numbers leaving the population each year, and improved economic and demographic conditions in Mexico. These conditions are likely to continue for the foreseeable future.

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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. The report finds that 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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