Irregular / Unauthorized / Undocumented Migration

Irregular / Unauthorized / Undocumented Migration

Immigration Adjudication: The Missing “Rule of Law”
US immigration removal procedures need reform, and systematic flaws in the removal adjudication system must be addressed. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) uses every tool in its arsenal to expeditiously remove people from the United States, including by bypassing judicial hearings. In “ministerial” or expedited forms of removal, there is no courtroom, no administrative judge, and rarely any opportunity for legal counsel to participate or for federal judicial review. In these settings, the rule of law is entirely within the hands of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) or Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers who serve as both prosecutor and judge. This paper argues that the rule of law must be restored to the US removal adjudication system, and it proposes ways in which this can be accomplished. Specific recommendations include the necessity of clear enforcement priorities, sufficient resources to allow for fair adjudication, a statute of limitations for immigration violations, and the right to counsel.

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National Interests and Common Ground in the US Immigration Debate: How to Legalize the US Immigration System and Permanently Reduce its Undocumented Population
This paper identifies potential common ground in the US immigration debate, including the national interests that underlie US immigration and refugee policies, and broad public support for a legal and orderly immigration system that serves compelling national interests. It focuses on the cornerstone of immigration reform, the legal immigration system, and addresses the widespread belief that broad reform will incentivize illegal migration and ultimately lead to another large undocumented population.

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The Promise of a Subject-Centered Approach to Understanding Immigration Noncompliance
This paper examines the importance of applying a subject-centered approach to understanding immigration noncompliance and to developing effective, ethical, and equitable immigration policies. In general, a subject-centered approach focuses on the beliefs, values, and perceptions of individuals whose behavior the law seeks to regulate. This approach has been widely used in non-immigration law contexts to produce a more nuanced understanding of legal noncompliance. By contrast, the subject-centered approach has been an overlooked tool in the study of immigration noncompliance. This paper argues that a subject-centered understanding of why people obey or disobey the law can advance public knowledge and inform immigration policy in important ways. Specifically, the paper considers how the use of this approach might help us: (1) recognize the basic humanity and moral agency of unauthorized immigrants, (2) appreciate not only direct costs of immigration enforcement policies, but also their indirect and long-term costs, and (3) develop new and innovative strategies to achieving policy goals.

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Immigration Policy and Agriculture: Possible Directions for the Future
President Trump issued executive orders after taking office in January 2017 that could lead to the removal of many of the 11 million unauthorized foreigners, including one million who work in US agriculture. Agriculture in the western United States especially has long relied on newcomers to fill seasonal farm jobs. The slowdown in Mexico-US migration since 2008-09 means that there are fewer flexible newcomers to supplement the current workforce. Farm employers are responding with worker bonuses, productivity-increasing tools, mechanization, and guest workers. Several factors suggest that the United States may be poised to embark on another large-scale guest worker program for agriculture. If it does, farmers should begin to pay payroll taxes on the wages of guest workers. This will foster mechanization and development in the workers’ communities of origin if payroll taxes are divided equally between departing workers and commodity-specific boards to increase the competitiveness of production in the United States. The economic incentives provided by payroll taxes could help to usher in a new and better era of farm labor.

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Fanny Lauby of William Paterson University, reviews Lives in Limbo: Undocumented and Coming of Age in America by Roberto G. Gonzales. This vivid ethnography explores why highly educated undocumented youth share similar work and life outcomes with their less-educated peers, despite the...

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