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Border Challenges

What Thousands of Interviews with Undocumented Migrants Tell Us about Achieving Effective Enforcement

Washington D.C. - While the immigration issue remains the subject of countless hearings, speeches, and speculation on Capitol Hill, for the last 3 years researchers at U.C.-San Diego have been documenting and assessing the impact and effectiveness of the U.S. border-enforcement strategy through interviews with over 3,000 migrants and potential migrants. The U.C.-San Diego research team has conducted interviews in Mexicans' hometowns in the states of Jalisco, Zacatecas, Oaxaca, and Yucatán, as well as in the U.S. cities that are their primary destinations.  Their most recent study was conducted in Oaxaca and San Diego County, from December 2007 to February 2008.  The research team's data, gathered from the people whose behavior has been targeted by the U.S. enforcement strategy, is the most direct and up-to-date evidence of whether border-enforcement efforts are actually keeping undocumented migrants out of the United States, and reveals the border strategy's significant unintended consequences.Policy experts will react to the survey and discuss the implications for the upcoming legislative debates over immigration.


On-the-record briefing with experts recently featured in the PBS series "Frontline," who have interviewed thousands of experienced and potential migrants, studied U.S. immigration enforcement up close at the border, and reached important conclusions about our current border-enforcement efforts. The findings of this research will soon be released in the book Four Generations of Norteños: New Research from the Cradle of Mexican Migration.


Wayne Cornelius, Director of the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at
the University of California-San Diego, and members of his research team.
Tamar Jacoby, President of ImmigrationWorks USA
Kevin Appleby, Director of Migration and Refugee Policy, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
Angela Kelley, Director, Immigration Policy Center (moderator)


Tuesday, June 10, 2008, 1:00 p.m. ET
(12:00 noon CT/11:00 a.m. MT/10:00 a.m. PT)