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Special Reports

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

Learning from IRCA: Lessons for Comprehensive Immigration Reform

If the current political stalemate over immigration reform is any indication, many U.S. policymakers have yet to heed the lessons of recent history when it comes to formulating a realistic strategy to control undocumented immigration. In 1986, lawmakers passed the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) in an attempt to reign in undocumented immigration through heightened worksite and border enforcement, combined with legalization of most undocumented immigrants already in the country. Read more...

Published On: Wed, May 03, 2006 | Download File

Border Insecurity: U.S. Border-Enforcement Policies and National Security

The U.S. government's efforts to stem undocumented immigration by fortifying the U.S.-Mexico border have increased the profitability of the people-smuggling business and fostered greater sophistication in the smuggling networks through which a foreign terrorist might enter the country. U.S. national security would be better served if undocumented labor migration were taken out of the border-security equation by reforming the U.S. immigration system to accommodate U.S. labor demand.

Published On: Mon, Apr 10, 2006 | Download File

Immigration Scare-Tactics: Exaggerated Estimates of New Immigration Under S.2611

The debate over S. 2611, the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act, has been clouded by grossly exaggerated estimates of the likely scale of future immigration under the bill.

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Published On: Sat, Apr 01, 2006 | Download File

Immigrants, Skills, and Wages: Measuring the Economic Gains from Immigration

Foreign-born workers do not substitute perfectly for, and therefore do not compete with, most native-born workers. Rather, the complementary nature of the skills, occupations, and abilities of foreign-born workers increases the productivity of natives, stimulates investment, and enhances the choices available to consumers.

Published On: Mon, Mar 13, 2006 | Download File

Achieving 'Security and Prosperity': Migration and North American Economic Integration

Most of the border-enforcement and immigration-reform proposals currently being considered in Washington, DC, are not comprehensive or adequate solutions to the issue of undocumented immigration. The process of North American economic integration, and development within Mexico itself, create structural conditions that encourage Mexican migration to the United States. Read more...

Published On: Mon, Feb 06, 2006 | Download File

Playing Politics on Immigration: Congress Favors Image over Substance in Passing H.R. 4437

Congressional representatives who supported H.R. 4437—the Border Protection, Anti-Terrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act of 2005—are most likely to represent districts with relatively few undocumented immigrants.

Published On: Wed, Feb 01, 2006 | Download File

More Than a Temporary Fix: The Role of Permanent Immigration in Comprehensive Reform

The immigration debate once again is dominated by narrow thinking and the search for simplistic solutions to complex problems. Most lawmakers and the press have come to equate “immigration reform” with the question of whether or not enhanced immigration enforcement should be coupled with a new guest worker program that is more responsive than current immigration policies to the labor needs of the U.S. economy. All but lost in this debate have been the calls by prominent immigration reform advocates to improve and expand pathways for permanent immigration as well.

Published On: Sun, Jan 01, 2006 | Download File

Hidden Victims Evaluating Protections for Undocumented Victims of Human Trafficking

In the United States, human traffickers most frequently exploit the desperation of undocumented immigrants as a means of obtaining victims. Until recently, their lack of legal status precluded undocumented trafficking victims from receiving government protections typically available to other crime victims and kept them from remaining in the United States to assist in the prosecution of their abusers.

Published On: Thu, Dec 01, 2005 | Download File

Economic Growth & Immigration: Bridging the Demographic Divide

This report examines the relationship between immigration and sustained U.S. economic growth. As the U.S. labor force ages and becomes better educated, the economy is continuing to create a substantial number of jobs for individuals with low levels of formal education and that favor younger workers. These trends are creating a critical demographic gap between U.S. labor supply and demand that immigration can help fill.

Published On: Wed, Nov 02, 2005 | Download File

Beyond the Border Buildup: Towards a New Approach to Mexico-U.S. Migration

A proper understanding of the causes of international migration suggests that punitive immigration and border policies tend to backfire, and this is precisely what has happened in the case of the United States and Mexico. Rather than raising the odds that undocumented immigrants will be apprehended, U.S. border-enforcement policies have reduced the apprehension rate to historical lows and in the process helped transform Mexican immigration from a regional to a national phenomenon. The solution to the problems associated with undocumented migration is not open borders, but frontiers that are reasonably regulated on a binational basis.

Published On: Tue, Sep 06, 2005 | Download File