This session featured a special screening of The Texas Tribune’s short documentary, “Beyond the Wall" which puts viewers into the shoes of undocumented immigrants, border patrol agents and a borderland rancher to explore the state’s most pressing immigration issues. It is part of the Tribune’s yearlong Bordering on Insecurity project. Following the screening, the Tribune’s Jay Root moderated an expert panel discussion exploring the issues and solutions.
Proposals to shape migration management policies recognize the need to involve a range of actors to implement humane and effective strategies. However, when observed through the lens of immigration detention, some migration policy trends raise challenging questions, particularly related to the involvement of non-state actors in migration control. This article critically assesses a range of new actors who have become involved in the deprivation of liberty of migrants and asylum seekers, describes the various forces that appear to be driving their engagement in immigration enforcement, and makes a series of recommendations concerning the role of non-state actors and detention in global efforts to manage international migration. These recommendations include ending the use the detention in international migration management schemes; limiting the involvement of private companies in immigration control measures; insisting that the International Organization for Migration (IOM) actively endorse the centrality of human rights in the Global Compact for Migration and amend its constitution so that it makes a clear commitment to international human rights standards; and encouraging nongovernmental organizations to carefully assess the services they provide when operating in detention situations to ensure that their work contributes to harm reduction.
This panel highlighted successful models of collaboration to defeat anti-immigrant legislation and to create momentum and winning partnerships for long-term reform. It discussed the ingredients of successful past legislative campaigns; current state advocacy challenges (including passage of SB 4 in Texas); and likely legislative challenges in Congress in the upcoming months.
The expansion of detention, border enforcement, expedited removal, and other practices seek to prevent, deter and interfere with the right of migrants to seek political asylum. These practices exacerbate challenges related to a shortage of legal representation for asylum seekers. This panel addressed efforts to promote and expand access to the US political asylum system in the face of these challenges. It also discussed challenges to the US refugee resettlement program in Texas.
This panel covered the defense of persons in detention and in removal proceedings. Panelists discussed how organized communities can assert and defend their rights, how to establish coordinated removal defense projects, and whole-of-community responses to the threat of removal.
This paper introduces a special collection of 15 articles that chart a course for long-term reform of the US immigration system. The papers look beyond recent legislative debates and the current era of rising nationalism and restrictionism to outline the elements of a forward-looking immigration policy that would serve the nation’s interests, honor its liberal democratic ideals, promote the full participation of immigrants in the nation’s life, and exploit the opportunities offered by an increasingly interdependent world.
Lisa M. Martinez of the University of Denver reviews Dreams and Nightmares, by Marjorie S. Zatz and Nancy Rodriguez. Authors Zats and Rodriguez look at the challenges and dilemmas of immigration policy and practice in the absence of comprehensive immigration...
This panel addressed federal litigation as a prompt for unifying strategies. It covered legal challenges to the Trump administration’s Executive orders, to immigration enforcement practices, and in individual removal cases. It also addressed how communities can prepare for, assist in, and utilize litigation as one potential tool in an effective community response to anti-immigrant legislation and practices.
Fr. Pat Murphy, c.s., Director of Centro Scalabrini – Casa del Migrante in Tijuana, Mexico, reflects on life at the border six months into 2017.
This panel discussed the formation and work of the Houston Immigration Legal Services Collaborative. It discussed Houston’s “whole of community” approach to immigration services, how the community has organized to defend the rights of immigrants, and the engagement and mobilization of a diverse group of stakeholders, including legal services providers, the funding community, the City of Houston immigrant advocates, and social services organizations.