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E.g., 10/16/2021
Illegal Immigration & Interior Enforcement

Illegal Immigration & Interior Enforcement

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lllegal immigration is a phenomenon confronted by many major immigrant-receiving countries, one that vexes policymakers and publics alike. While much of the focus may be on border enforcement, there are an array of interior enforcement policies aimed at identifying unauthorized immigrants for removal, including worksite enforcement, employment verification, jail-house screening, and state and local law enforcement activity. The research below delves into many facets of illegal immigration and enforcement occcuring away from national borders.

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Policy Briefs
February 2017
By  Sarah Pierce and Randy Capps
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Since 2000, Mexico has further intensified efforts to detain and deport irregular migrants. Gabriela Diaz and Gretchen Kuhner investigate the experiences of women migrants, the majority of them from Latin America, who have been detained in Mexico en route to the United States.

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After watching the immigration reform debate intensify in the last few months, Thor Arne Aaas, Norway's Director General of the Department of Migration and a Visiting Fellow at MPI, characterizes the debate as "unfocused, unstructured, and very emotional." More on his views in this interview with Migration Information Source Editor Kirin Kalia.

In the most recent session of Congress, four legislative proposals addressing unauthorized immigration and general immigration reform have been introduced. MPI's Eliot Turner and Marc R. Rosenblum compare their provisions for enforcement, employer sanctions, legalization, and guest worker programs.

The 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act made the knowing hiring or employment of unauthorized immigrants illegal in the U.S.. But as Peter Brownell of the University of California Berkeley details, the government has not devoted many resources to enforcing this provision.

An estimated 10.3 million unauthorized migrants were living in the U.S. in 2004. Jennifer Van Hook, Frank Bean, and Jeff Passell report on who they are, where they live, the work they do, and their levels of education and poverty.

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Recent Activity

Reports
May 2018

The Trump administration has significantly cranked up the immigration enforcement machinery in the U.S. interior. Yet even as arrests and deportations are up in the early Trump months, they remain less than half their peaks. This report demonstrates how pushback from California and other "sanctuary" locations makes it quite unlikely that ICE will be able to match record enforcement levels.

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Seizing on reports of a migrant “caravan” making its way northward through Mexico, President Donald Trump called for up to 4,000 National Guard troops to deploy to the Southern border. Although previous presidents took similar action in response to upticks in violence and apprehensions, the picture at the border today differs on several metrics. This article examines how the deployment compares to those under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

Video, Audio
March 19, 2018

With immigration increasingly visible in the news and the political space in the United States and internationally, getting access to accurate, high-quality data is essential to understand immigration’s demographic effects and impacts on the economy, education and labor systems, and communities. This event marks the release of the Immigration Data Matters guide.

Reports
November 2020

This useful online guide links users directly to the most credible, high-quality data on immigrants and immigration in the United States and internationally. The easy-to-use guide includes more than 250 data resources compiled by governmental and nongovernmental sources, covering topics ranging from population stock and flow numbers to statistics on enforcement, public opinion, religious affiliation, and much more.

Audio
March 15, 2018

This discussion, featuring California's Labor Commissioner and the head of the Tennessee Bureau of Workers' Compensation, launched a report that examines state innovations in labor standards enforcement in low-wage, immigrant-dense industries. With wage underpayment, payroll fraud, and other violations widespread in industries such as construction and car-washing, the discussion focused on how targeted enforcement can deter practices that hurt native-born and immigrant workers alike, cost state tax revenue, and disadvantage law-abiding employers. 

Video
February 28, 2018

In an era of stepped-up immigration enforcement, speakers at this event present their research on the impact of enforcement policies on children from immigrant families and U.S. public schools. 

Articles

Together, Canada, Mexico, and the United States are home to nearly one-quarter of the world's migrants. Despite shifts in the profile of those who migrate and changing demographic realities across the region, such as population aging, perceptions and policies remain set in earlier eras. This article explores the intersection of migration and population dynamics in North America and the Northern Triangle of Central America.

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The Trump administration has been steadily building a case to penalize "sanctuary" cities—those jurisdictions that in some way limit their cooperation with federal immigration authorities—after threatening to cut federal funding. Despite court rulings that seemed to strike a blow against these efforts, the Justice Department is moving forward with its strategy, relying on a broad interpretation of a federal statute, as this article explores.

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