• Sharp increase in number of non-criminal undocumented immigrants arrested by ICE

    The number of immigrants with no criminal records arrested has more than doubled under President Donald Trump. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement made 21,362 arrests from January to mid-March, which is an increase of roughly one-third compared to 16,104 during the same period last year. The number of non-criminals arrested doubled to 5,441, suggesting Trump’s administration is enforcing immigration laws more aggressively than the previous administration.

  • The face of Latin American migration is rapidly changing. U.S. policy isn’t keeping up

    A fundamental shift in U.S. immigration patterns is well underway. Recent rhetoric from President Donald Trump and the focus of U.S. immigration policies suggest that Mexicans entering the U.S. without authorization are the principal challenge facing policymakers. That is no longer the case. The era of Mexico as the primary source of immigrants to the U.S. appears to be coming to a close. An increasing number of individuals are now arriving at the U.S. southwest border because of crime, violence and insecurity in Central America. These are now far more decisive factors in decisions to emigrate than the traditional pull of economic opportunity in the U.S. This change in the profile of those arriving at the border suggests two things. First, far more emphasis should be placed on improving the U.S. immigration court system than on efforts to strengthen an already well-fortified border. Second, there is a need to move beyond a view of those arriving at the U.S. southwest border as a monolithic group driven by purely economic motives.

  • Trump likely to eye treaties, E-Verify as part of immigration strategy

    The Trump administration may not be able to move mountains — literally — in its quest to build a coast-to-coast wall along the nation’s southern border. But that doesn’t mean the White House won’t review some long-standing treaties that have stymied past administrations in their efforts to erect such barriers, Former immigration and border officials say the Trump administration is floating ideas that range from nullifying treaties to expanding employment screenings.

  • Educating children in Guatemala before they decide to migrate to the U.S. border

    Insecurity is a primary factor pushing thousands of young Central Americans to leave their homes and travel north. In fiscal year 2016, nearly 60,000 youth from Central America and Mexico crossed the U.S. border without a parent or guardian. During the peak of the crisis in 2014, more than 68,000 made the perilous trek. The vast majority of these minors are arriving from what are called Northern Triangle countries in Central America: Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. U.S. foreign policy in Central America has focused on funding a militarized war on drugs, which in turn has fueled the root causes that push people to migrate. But some efforts have been made to identify and address these root causes. In 2014, the U.S. government committed $9.6 million in emergency funding to El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras to assist migrants returned from the U.S. USAID launched a five-year, $40 million program to improve security in Guatemala. Programs that strengthen the regional socioeconomic fabric of affected communities stand as alternatives to anti-drug operations. These programs could establish conditions for children and youth to stay in their countries of origin and live more productive and healthy lives.

  • U.S. crime rates declined in period of high immigration: Reports

    The number of immigrants in the United States has risen from 3.5 million in 1990 to 11.1 million in 2014, but two new studies show that an increased number of immigrants in the country might have been associated with a historic decline in crime rates. The studies – Immigration and Public Safety from the Sentencing Project and Criminal Immigrants Their Numbers, Demographics, and Countries of Origin from the CATO Institute — also shows that immigrants are less likely than U.S.-born citizens to commit crimes and be imprisoned.

  • Trump’s revised travel ban still faces legal challenges

    President Trump’s new executive order on immigration addresses some of the legal problems found by courts in the Jan. 27 original order, but is still vulnerable on some of the same legal grounds. As a constitutional law professor who has recently written on this topic, I’d contend that Trump’s lawyers are not out of the woods yet. Ultimately, the only way to know for sure the legal effect of this new executive order is to wait for a court ruling. Given that the American Civil Liberties Union has already pledged to challenge the new executive order in its ongoing litigation against the immigrant ban, we may not have to wait long.

  • Mexico, rejecting Trump’s scheme, will only accept deportees who are Mexican nationals

    A key element in President Trump’s deportation scheme is the deportation to Mexico of everyone crossing the U.S.-Mexico border illegally, regardless of the deportee’s nationality. The deportation scheme indicates that the United States expects Mexico to build detention facilities for the hundreds of thousands which will be deported. Mexican officials, in meetings with Rex Tillerson and John Kelly last Thursday, said that Mexico would not, under any circumstances, agree to accept and hold deportees who are not Mexican nationals.

  • Trump administration directs Border Patrol, ICE to expand deportations

    The Trump administration on Tuesday moved one step closer to implementing the president’s plans to aggressively rid the country of undocumented immigrants and expand local police-based enforcement of border security operations.

  • Immigrants picked up, but no massive raids, authorities say

    U.S. and Mexican authorities are pushing back against reports of widespread raids that have sown panic in immigrant communities. But the “targeted operation” appears to be the largest of its kind since President Trump took office.

  • No link between immigration and increased crime: Research

    Political discussions about immigrants often include the claim that there is a relationship between immigration patterns and increased crime. However, results of a new study find no links between the two. In fact, immigration actually appears to be linked to reductions in some types of crimes, according to the findings. “It’s important to base our public policies on facts and evidence rather than ideologies and baseless claims that demonize particular segments of the U.S. population without any facts to back them up,” says one of the researchers.

  • History shows Trump will face legal challenges to detaining immigrants

    President Donald Trump has followed through on his promise to ramp up immigrant detention as part of immigration enforcement. His executive order on border security and immigration describes a “new normal” that will include the detention of immigrants while they await removal hearings and removal. Rather than doing something new, President Trump is simply expanding the use of immigrant detention — a tool which has long been part of the arsenal of the U.S. government in immigration enforcement. Courts have regularly been asked to intervene to curb the excesses of immigrant detention. As detention appears to be an important part of Trump’s immigration enforcement plan, legal challenges will almost certainly follow.

  • Trump’s policies will affect four groups of undocumented immigrants

    President Donald Trump is expected to order the deportation of millions of “criminal aliens” this week. Administrations prioritize the removal of some immigrants over others because immigration enforcement resources are limited. Since the mid-1990s, previous administrations have focused on removing immigrants with criminal convictions, regardless of whether they have legal residency. Trump’s focus on deporting “criminal aliens” and his suggestion that he might offer reprieve to certain immigrant youth suggest there could be some continuity between his enforcement priorities and those of Obama. But the new president’s emphasis on mass deportation promotes fear. This, in turn, may make noncitizens less likely to apply for naturalization, attend school, seek medical care or challenge violations of labor laws.

  • DHS OIG recommends USCIS suspend plans to use ELIS for naturalization application processing

    The Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General (DHS OIG) recommended that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) stop plans to reinstate use of the Electronic Immigration System (ELIS) to process naturalization benefits for immigrants. The OIG says that its urgent recommendation stems from an ongoing review which discovered alarming security concerns regarding inadequate background checks and other functionality problems with ELIS.

  • Six years after first attempt, fight over anti-sanctuary cities bill has changed

    Bills targeting “sanctuary cities” failed to pass the Texas Legislature in 2011 and 2015, but similar efforts this session have better chances of making it to Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk.

  • U.S. ends preferential treatment of Cuban migrants

    The Obama administration has decided to end a 20-year-old preferential treatment of Cuban immigrants – a policy known as Wet Foot, Dry Foot – which allowed most Cuban migrants who reached the United States – typically on boats – to receive a Green Card after one year. Ending the policy means that undocumented Cuban immigrants will from now be treated the same way as migrants from all other countries who enter the United States without proper papers.