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Special Reports

Our most in-depth publication, Special Reports provide detailed analyses of special topics in U.S. immigration policy.

Children in Danger: A Guide to the Humanitarian Challenge at the Border

The American Immigration Council has prepared this guide in order to provide policymakers, the media, and the public with basic information surrounding the current humanitarian challenge the U.S. is facing as thousands of young migrants show up at our southern border. This guide seeks to explain the basics. Who are the unaccompanied children and why are they coming? What basic protections are they entitled to by law? What happens to unaccompanied children once they are in U.S. custody? What has the government done so far? What additional responses have been proposed to address this issue? Read more...

Published On: Thu, Jul 10, 2014 | Download File

Two Years and Counting: Assessing the Growing Power of DACA

This week marks the two-year anniversary of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program, first initiated by President Obama on June 15, 2012.  This research brief presents current findings from the National UnDACAmented Research Project (NURP) national survey on the impact that DACA has had on some of the young people who have received it.

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Published On: Mon, Jun 16, 2014 | Download File

Mexican and Central American Asylum and Credible Fear Claims: Background and Context

Carlos Gutierrez, a successful businessman in Chihuahua, Mexico, and the married father of two, refused to comply with a criminal cartel’s monthly demands of $10,000. In retribution for his refusal and as an example to other businessmen, his feet were cut off and he was left for dead. According to his former attorney, that kind of “organized crime is not possible without the complicity of the municipal, state and federal police.”

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Published On: Wed, May 21, 2014 | Download File

No Action Taken: Lack of CBP Accountability in Responding to Complaints of Abuse

Data obtained by the American Immigration Council shine a light on the lack of accountability and transparency which afflicts the U.S. Border Patrol and its parent agency, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The data, which the Immigration Council acquired through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, covers 809 complaints of alleged abuse lodged against Border Patrol agents between January 2009 and January 2012. These cases run the gamut of physical, sexual, and verbal abuse. Although it is not possible to determine which cases had merit and which did not, it is astonishing that, among those cases in which a formal decision was issued, 97 percent resulted in “No Action Taken.” On average, CBP took 122 days to arrive at a decision when one was made. Moreover, among all complaints, 40 percent were still “pending investigation” when the complaint data were provided to the Immigration Council.Read more...

Published On: Sun, May 04, 2014

A Guide to H.R. 15: The Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act

On October 2, 2013, Democrats in the House of Representatives proposed an immigration reform bill addressing border security, legalization of the undocumented, interior enforcement of immigration laws, and fixes for our dysfunctional legal immigration programs. The bill is based on S.744, the bipartisan bill passed by the Senate by a vote of 68-32 on June 27, 2013. However, the bill removes the Corker-Hoeven border security amendment and replaces it with the bipartisan House border security bill, H.R. 1417, which was passed unanimously by the Homeland Security Committee in May 2013.

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Published On: Wed, Mar 26, 2014 | Download File

Revitalization in the Heartland of America

A potent combination of declining population growth and economic stagnation has led many cities and metropolitan regions to rethink how to reinvigorate their communities. The Midwest is a prime example of this trend. According to the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, “the Midwest cannot hope to keep up with other regions or international competitors without a vital entrepreneurial sector.” The Council notes that “immigrants, risk takers by nature, are unusually successful entrepreneurs, more than twice as likely as native-born Americans to start their own firms.” As a result, immigration is one of the strategies to which communities are repeatedly turning to fuel economic growth.

A budding place-based awareness of the important contributions that new and existing immigrants make to neighborhood revitalization is seen in the increasing number of cities pursuing a nexus of immigrant welcoming, integration, and economic development initiatives. In this report, we focus on the journeys of three places—two cities and one state—in their efforts to implement strategies for future economic success that depend on immigration. The initiatives are taking place against a backdrop of tepid progress toward comprehensive federal reform of the U.S. immigration system.

Published On: Wed, Jan 15, 2014 | Download File

Bordering on Criminal: The Routine Abuse of Migrants in the Removal System

This three-part series highlights the findings of the Migrant Border Crossing Study—a binational, multi-institution study of 1,110 randomly selected, recently repatriated migrants surveyed in six Mexican cities between 2009 and 2012. The study exposes widespread mistreatment of migrants at the hands of U.S. officials in the removal system.

Part I: Migrant Mistreatment While in U.S. Custody

This report focuses on the mistreatment of unauthorized migrants while in U.S. custody. Overall, we find that the physical and verbal mistreatment of migrants is not a random, sporadic occurrence but, rather, a systematic practice. One indication of this is that 11% of deportees report some form of physical abuse and 23% report verbal mistreatment while in U.S. custody—a finding that is supported by other academic studies and reports from non-governmental organizations. Another highly disturbing finding is that migrants often note they are the targets for nationalistic and racist remarks—something that in no way is integral to U.S. officials’ ability to function in an effective capacity on a day-to-day basis. Read more...

Published On: Tue, Dec 10, 2013

Stepping Up: The Impact of the Newest Immigrant, Asian, and Latino Voters

by Rob Paral

Amid the current debate on immigration reform, much attention is on House members and how their vote for or against reform will play in their home districts.  But many congressional districts have a huge number of naturalized immigrants and young Asians and Latinos who are entering the electorate, and who deeply support immigration reform. 

Political analysts frequently discuss the changing demographics of voters but no analysis to date has quantified a key aspect of this change for each congressional district.  Thus, we have no way of knowing what portion of newly eligible voters in the 2014 elections come from either Asian and Latino citizen teenagers who will vote for the first time in 2014, or from legal immigrants who will naturalize by 2014.

Young Asians and Latinos will have a major impact on the composition of newly eligible voters in upcoming elections.  These groups are highly represented among the population of teenage citizens that become able to vote for the first time with each election.  About 1.8 million U.S. citizen Asians and Latinos become eligible to vote in each two-year election cycle.

Immigrants who become U.S. citizens through naturalization will also be a significant contributor to the evolving electorate.  Each election cycle, about 1.4 million of these new citizens become eligible to vote nationally.

Together, these groups will constitute 34 percent of all newly eligible voters in the 2014 elections.Read more...

Published On: Tue, Sep 03, 2013 | Download File

Tackling the Toughest Questions on Immigration Reform

Throughout 2013, immigration reform has captured public attention. Millions of people followed S. 744 as it worked its way through committee and watched as the Senate voted 68 to 32 to pass a comprehensive immigration reform plan. In the next few months, immigration reform will be high on the list of priorities in the House of Representatives. Despite significant public support for immigration reform among members of the public in both parties, many of the most basic facts about immigrants and immigration remain misunderstood. Debunking the myths about immigration and providing short, concise answers to the often complex issues raised by the immigration debate is a challenge. Smart, thoughtful answers often take longer than the sound bites and quick retorts that the media demands today. The staff of the Immigration Policy Center (IPC) has prepared this Q&A Guide to help you get to the heart of the toughest questions on immigration. While we’ve included succinct answers to many immigration questions, more in-depth analysis, fact sheets, and data can be found on our website, www.immigrationpolicy.org.

I. The Importance of Immigration Reform

Q: Why do we need Immigration Reform?Read more...

Published On: Mon, Jul 29, 2013 | Download File

A Guide to S.744: Understanding the 2013 Senate Immigration Bill

S744 Thumb

What is the purpose of this guide?

The Immigration Policy Center has written this guide to provide policymakers, the media, and the public with an easy-to-understand guide to the main components of S. 744 and the purpose behind them.

The guide follows the structure of the bill, with a separate section addressing the cost-benefit analysis of S. 744, a resources page, and a glossary.

The Basics

What is S. 744?Read more...

Published On: Wed, Jul 10, 2013 | Download File