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.
This panel provided a primer on the US immigration enforcement system and its impact on families and communities. It included short presentations by scholars and researchers on different aspects of the statutes and policies which serve as the groundwork for the new administration’s Executive orders on immigration, expanded detention, and federal, state and local immigration enforcement partnerships. Panelists offered recommendations for reform of the immigration enforcement system and spoke to how scholarship and research can be used to inform and strengthen whole-of-community responses to immigrants. The session is meant to provide an evidence-based foundation for much of the conversation that followed.
Keynote Addresses by His Eminence Daniel Cardinal DiNardo (Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston; President, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops) and Stephen Klineberg (Professor of Sociology and Founding Director, Kinder Institute for Urban Research, Rice University)
On World Refugee Day 2017, CMS and Cristosal (El Salvador) released a report detailing ten cases from the Northern Triangle of Central America—four from El Salvador and three each from Guatemala and from Honduras—which chronicle the journeys of refugees in search of protection, how the system did not protect them, and what they face upon return to their home countries. The report concludes that the United States and Mexico are returning Central American asylum-seekers to danger, and, as a result, are violating the international principle of non-refoulement. Overall, 18 cases were interviewed and analyzed for the study. The report includes several policy recommendations for the governments to consider.
For too long, the policy debate over border enforcement has been split between those who believe the border can be sealed against illegal entry by force alone, and those who believe that any effort to do so is futile without expanding legal work opportunities. New evidence suggests that unauthorized migration across the southern border has plummeted, and border enforcement has been a significant reason for this decline. These research advances should help to inform a more rational public debate over border enforcement expenditures. In particular, Congress should take a careful look at the incremental gains that might come from additional spending on border enforcement. The evidence suggests that deterrence through enforcement, despite its successes in reducing illegal entry across the border, is producing diminishing returns due to three reasons. First, arrivals at the border are increasingly made up of asylum seekers from Central America, which is a population that is harder to deter because of the dangers they face at home, and in many cases not appropriate to deter because the United States has legal obligations to consider requests for asylum. Second, the majority of new additions to the US unauthorized population is now arriving on legal visas and then overstaying. And finally, among Mexican migrants, a growing percentage of repeat border crossers are parents with children left behind in the United States, a population that is far harder to deter. Finally, the administration could better inform this debate by releasing to scholars and the public the research it has sponsored in order to give Americans a fuller picture on border enforcement.
New York, NY – The migration study centers of the Congregation of the Missionaries of St. Charles – Scalabrinians, a Catholic community dedicated to serving refugees and migrants throughout the world, released today their first annual International Migration Policy...