WASHINGTON — The Migration Policy Institute (MPI) today released a comprehensive report assessing the performance of the three immigration agencies within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), offering detailed recommendations for policy and operational changes that could be accomplished by the executive branch without legislation.
The report, DHS and Immigration: Taking Stock and Correcting Course, offers a clear-eyed assessment of immigration policy direction and coordination almost six years into the life of a young department with a vitally important national security mission.
“The Obama administration faces significant demands and choices with respect to immigration. There is much that can be done by the executive branch to improve the Department of Homeland Security’s performance with respect to immigration,” said report co-author Doris Meissner, who directs MPI’s U.S. Immigration Policy Program and is former Commissioner of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service.
“Regardless of how or whether Congress and the White House ultimately come to agreement on new immigration legislation, the DHS immigration agencies require policy and operational changes to improve their effectiveness and ability to implement existing laws,” Meissner added.
Report co-author Donald Kerwin, MPI Vice President for Programs, said: “Strengthening the DHS immigration agencies now offers the opportunity to improve national security, increase efficiency and fairness in the services they provide, and prepare them for new legislative mandates that could significantly add to their already large workloads.”
The MPI report follows a months-long review of the three agencies – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), — along with overall DHS immigration policy.
The analysis, based on extensive MPI research, also was informed by roundtable discussions with senior DHS officials, congressional staff, stakeholders, state and local law enforcement officials, advocates and policy experts.
Among the report’s 36 recommendations:
The Migration Policy Institute is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit think tank in Washington, DC dedicated to analysis of the movement of people worldwide. MPI provides analysis, development and evaluation of migration and refugee policies at the local, national and international levels.