In The Criminal Alien Program: Immigration Enforcement in Travis County, Texas, author Andrea Guttin explores the Criminal Alien Program (CAP), which is one of the programs the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) uses to identify immigrants who may be deportable. The paper provides a history and analysis of the CAP program, as well as a case study of CAP implementation in Travis County, Texas.
The Criminal Alien Program (CAP) is a program administered by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that screens inmates in prisons and jails, identifies deportable non-citizens, and places them into deportation proceedings. In this Special Report, The Criminal Alien Program: Immigration Enforcement in Travis County, Texas, author Andrea Guttin, Esq., provides a brief history and background on the CAP program. Guttin also includes a case study of CAP implementation in Travis County, Texas, which finds that the program has a negative impact on communities because it increases the community’s fear of reporting crime to police, is costly, and may encourage racial profiling. Read more...
The Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) reports that federal immigration prosecutions rose to record levels during fiscal year (FY) 2009. In the past, federal court resources were appropriately allocated to pursue immigration-related prosecutions against individuals with criminal backgrounds. Recently, however, priorities have shifted, and large numbers of federal immigration prosecutions have focused on non-violent border crossers, creating the appearance that immigrants are committing more crimes. However, the fact is -- the federal government’s shift in resources has meant spending billions of dollars prosecuting non-violent immigration violators while more serious criminals involved in drugs, weapons, and organized crime face a lower probability of prosecution.
For years the U.S. government has addressed unauthorized immigration primarily through the lens of deportation and removal, pursuing enforcement-only policies that have not effectively curbed unauthorized immigration. An increase of personnel and technology along the U.S.-Mexico border has been accompanied by increased worksite enforcement in the interior of the United States. In addition, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has partnered with state and local police agencies and jails to identify and apprehend immigrants and to remove them from the country. None of these efforts has resulted in a significant decline in the size of the unauthorized population, but these enforcement policies and priorities have had devastating impacts on U.S. families and communities.
We can expect comprehensive reform legislation to mandate that all employers use some sort of system that verifies the work authorization of all workers. Since this will affect every single worker in the United States - immigrants and citizens alike - and because an error in the system can cost a worker his job and paycheck, it is important to make the system workable. This report lays out the must-haves for any broad employment verification system and lays out why a system like this can only work if it is within the context of a broader reform package.
While some characterize our immigration crisis as solely an issue of the 11 to 12 million unauthorized immigrants living in this country, our problems extend beyond the number of undocumented people to a broader range of issues.
As health care bills make their way through Congress, lawmakers are debating whether or not to include overly burdensome citizenship verification requirements to ensure that unauthorized immigrants do not have access to health insurance. However, past attempts to implement these kinds of additional measures have prevented U.S. citizens and legal immigrants from receiving health care, while uncovering very few instances of unauthorized immigrants trying to abuse the system. In fact, research shows that unauthorized immigrants do not come to the United States for health care benefits or any other public services for which they are not eligible. These additional measures threaten to ensnare far more citizens than unauthorized immigrants and add unnecessary costs to health care reform.
A key part of comprehensive immigration reform will no doubt be the implementation of an electronic employment-verification system (EEVS). Since EEVS affects every single person working in the United States—immigrants and citizens alike—is it important to consider several key areas that must be addressed to make such a system workable and effective.
The Department of Homeland Security released a report this week showing that apprehensions of undocumented immigrants at the U.S.-Mexico border are at their lowest level since 1973, leaving many observers contemplating the factors responsible for this decline. Is it the recession-plagued U.S. economy or beefed-up enforcement efforts? New data from a research team led by Wayne Cornelius, Director of the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at the University of California, San Diego, sheds light on the decline in apprehensions and reveals the surprising, unintended consequences of border enforcement.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has released various sets of data regarding the accuracy and error rates of the E-Verify employment-verification system. Although the numbers change often depending on the time period, the number of employers using the system, and the number of queries to the system, DHS generally claims that E-Verify is highly accurate and efficient. However, it is important to understand exactly what the DHS numbers mean in order to have a clear picture of how well E-Verify is performing. Most importantly, E-Verify is not simply an immigration-enforcement tool. If it were to become a mandatory, nation-wide program, it would affect every single person who works in the United States, including U.S. citizens. Even tiny error rates would mean big problems for large numbers of citizens and other legal workers. Under mandatory E-Verify, 60 million new hires would have to be verified annually, and up to 3 million U.S. workers per year would have to navigate government bureaucracy to fix database errors. Read more...