Library

Reports

Books

Freed but not Free, report coverFreed but not Free: A Report Examining the Current use of Alternatives to Immigration Detention
Rutgers School of Law; American Friends Service Committee
As set forth in further detail in the report, immigration detention is costly, and it is unnecessary except in rare cases. For this reason, many advocates have called for an increase in alternatives to detention. Despite the proven effectiveness of many alternatives to detention, as this report makes clear, the capacity of the current ATD system is insufficient. At present, many individuals who are released from detention are placed on an Order of Release on Recognizance (ROR) or an Order of Supervision (OSUP), under which participants are required to check in periodically with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), among other requirements. Some of those individuals are subject to the Intensive Supervision Appearance Program (ISAP), which includes an electronic monitoring component and is administered by a private company
Immigrant Contributions Report Cover by CIPC
Looking Forward: Immigrant Contributions to the Golden State 2012
CA. Immigrant Policy Center
The report contains data on immigrant contributions to the GDP and household spending, labor force participation, and numbers of eligible voters. It shows that although the number of immigrants relative to the rest of the country is leveling out, immigrants’ economic contributions remain steady.
“The report shows that Immigrant workers are the backbone of key industries in California; they are innovators, entrepreneurs, active community members, community leaders,” said Reshma Shamasunder, Executive Director of the California Immigrant Policy Center. “The story of California is one of successes won through hard work, through a knowledge that we are interdependent, diverse, tolerant and that these values help make our state stronger and more unified.”
Aspiring American report coverAspiring Americans: Undocumented Youth Leaders in California [2012]
Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration, USC
There are approximately 5 million undocumented children and young adults residing in the United States, with 24% (or 1.1 million) living in California alone.1 Many of these young people are actively seeking access to higher education and a pathway to citizenship so they can fully utilize their talents and credentials to contribute to U.S. society. This research brief highlights the experiences of undocumented young adult leaders who belong to immigrant youth organizations in California. We demonstrate that these are accomplished individuals who are actively involved in their communities. We also show that these young people disproportionately experience economic hardship and challenges to their personal well-being. The brief concludes by recommending policies that can further the economic and social contributions of undocumented youth leaders and others like them.
Cultivating Fear: The Vulnerability of Immigrant Farmworkers in the US to Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment
Human Rights WatchCultivating Fear report cover
This 95-page report describes rape, stalking, unwanted touching, exhibitionism, or vulgar and obscene language by supervisors, employers, and others in positions of power. Most farmworkers interviewed said they had experienced such treatment or knew others who had. And most said they had not reported these or other workplace abuses, fearing reprisals. Those who had filed sexual harassment claims or reported sexual assault to the police had done so with the encouragement and assistance of survivor advocates or attorneys in the face of difficult challenges.
The State of California’s Immigrant Communities: A 2011 Report from Dialogues Across the Golden State
California Immigration Policy CenterCalifornians, including and especially immigrants, continued to face difficult and persistent economic challenges during 2011. In areas hardest hit by the recession, the crisis over home foreclosures, and unemployment, communities have seen an increase in anti-immigrant sentiment expressed through the media and the scapegoating of immigrants for these problems. Overall, in predominantly immigrant communities, there has been growing fear and a sense of increasing intimidation of immigrants.
Report Cover for Justice Derailed

Published: November 2011

Justice Derailed: What Raids on New York’s Buses and Trains Reveals about Border Patrols Interior Enforcement Practices
NYCLU
This report is the first-ever in-depth examination of the Border Patrol’s transportation raids in upstate New York. It paints a disturbing picture of an agency resorting to aggressive policing tactics in order to increase arrest rates, without regard for the costs and consequences of its practices on New Yorkers’ rights and freedoms. The report extends beyond transportation raids to other Border Patrol practices as well, raising serious concerns about an agency that appears to be driven by the belief that the regular rules of the Constitution do not apply to it

Shattered Families Report Cover

Published: November 2011

“Shattered Families,” The perilous Intersection of Immigration Enforcement and the Child Welfare System
A Report by The Applied Research Center (ARC)
The first national investigation on threats to families when immigration enforcement and the child welfare system in- tersect. It explores the extent to which children in foster care are prevented from uniting with their detained or deported parents and the failures of the child welfare system to adequately work to reunify these families.

Cover of the report on Immigration Policy and Migrant Flow

Published: August 2011

US Immigration Policy and Mexican/Central American Migrant Flows: Then and Now
Migration Policy Institute
Migration from Mexico and Central America’s “Northern Triangle” region (El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras) to the United States has increased significantly in the past four decades, from less than 1 million immigrants in the 1970s to 14 million today. Propelled by difficult economic and social conditions at home, massive opportunity differentials, and strengthening social networks, these regional migration flows have been shaped by evolving policies and practices. This report examines the push-and-pull factors of migration in the region from three major migration periods: the mostly laissez faire policies prior to the 1930s, the large-scale Bracero temporary worker program before and after World War II, and the mostly illegal system that emerged after the Bracero Program’s end in 1964.

Cover from INjustice on Our Plates

November 2010

Injustice on our plates: Immigrant Women in  the US Food Industry
Southern Poverty Law Center
SPLC researchers interviewed approximately 150 women who are either currently undocumented or have spent time in the U.S. as undocumented immigrants. The women all have worked in the U.S. food industry in Arkansas, California, Florida, Iowa, New York or North Carolina. A few have now obtained legal status. The interviews took place from January through March of 2010. Researchers also interviewed a number of advocates who work with immigrant women and farmworkers.

Cover of Report: Estimates of Unauthorized immigrants in CA

July 2011

Unauthorized Immigrants in California: Estimates for Counties
Public Policy Institute of California
Unauthorized immigrants make up 7 percent of California’s total population. But little is known about exactly where they live. This report presents the first authoritative estimates of this group within the state’s regions and counties. It shows the unauthorized living in all parts of California, with Shasta County housing the smallest share and the Monterey/San Benito County region the largest.

Cover for the report Restoring Community

August 2011

RESTORING COMMUNITY: A National Community Advisory Report on ICE’s Failed “Secure Communities” Program
Alto Polimigra
S
ecure Communities (“S-Comm”) is a deportation program launched by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) in 2008. Through S-Comm, fingerprints submitted by local law enforcement agencies to the FBI for criminal background checks are automatically searched against immigration databases. If ICE determines that an individual may be deportable, it requests that the local law enforcement agency detain him or her for transfer to ICE and possible deportation. ICE initially presented S-Comm as a voluntary program. But when states and localities began to push back, citing concerns about S-Comm’s deleterious effects on community policing, risks of racial profiling, burden on cash-strapped communities, and failure to stick to its stated target of deporting dangerous criminals, ICE declared the program would be mandatory. As a result of S-Comm, local police have become a primary gateway to deportation, with serious implications for public safety and civil rights.

Cover for the culture of cruelty report

Sept. 2011

Culture of Cruelty
No Más Muerte, No More Deaths
A Culture of Cruelty is the culmination of three years of abuse documentation collected and carried out by No More Deaths and our partners in Naco, Agua Prieta, and Nogales, Sonora- border towns and cities through which thousands of immigration detainees have been deported. In our years of documenting abuses committed by the Border Patrol against detainees and migrants, we have found that it is clear that instances of mistreatment and abuse in Border Patrol custody are not aberrational. Rather, they reflect common practice for an agency that is part of the largest federal law enforcement body in the country. Many of them plainly meet the definition of torture under international law.

Cover from the Opportunity Agenda's report: In play

April 2010

In Play: African American, Hispanic, and Progressive White Voters on Immigration Reform
The Opportunity Agenda
Since its inception, America has been considered a land of opportunity for people around the world. The fabric of our nation is woven by immigrant experiences. However, the current immigration system does not work and is not fair for Americans or immigrants. Most Americans agree that the system is broken and needs to be reformed.
Most recently, we commissioned two rounds of original public opinion research, designed to respond to advocates’ needs for messages, which not only persuade but also activate core audiences; African American, Latino, and Progressive White voters. These are all groups with various stakes in immigration reform. Together, they comprise an important voting block that often shares the values that pro-immigrant policies embrace. However, research and experience have indicated, that they are not activated constituencies on the immigration issue.

Books

Banished to the Homeland: Dominican Deportees and Their Stories of Exile (2012)
David C. Brotherton and Luis Barrios
The 1996 U.S. Immigration Reform and Responsibility Act has led to the forcible deportation of tens of thousands of Dominicans from the United States. Following thousands of these individuals over a seven-year period, David C. Brotherton and Luis Barrios use a unique combination of sociological and criminological reasoning to isolate the forces that motivate emigrants to leave their homeland and then commit crimes in the Unites States violating the very terms of their stay. Housed in urban landscapes rife with gangs, drugs, and tenuous working conditions, these individuals, the authors find, repeatedly play out a tragic scenario, influenced by long-standing historical injustices, punitive politics, and increasingly conservative attitudes undermining basic human rights and freedoms.
The Latino Threat: Constructing Immigrants, Citizens, and the Nation (2008)
Leo Chavez
From volunteers ready to patrol the U.S.-Mexico border to the hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children who have marched in support of immigrant rights, the United States has witnessed a surge of involvement in immigration activism. In The Latino Threat, Leo R. Chavez critically investigates the media stories about and recent experiences of immigrants to show how prejudices and stereotypes have been used to malign an entire immigrant population—and to define what it means to be an American.
Immigrants Raising Citizens: Undocumented parents and their Young Children (2011)
Hirokazu Yoshikawa
There are now nearly four million children born in the United States who have undocumented immigrant parents. In the current debates around immigration reform, policymakers often view immigrants as an economic or labor market problem to be solved, but the issue has a very real human dimension. Immigrant parents without legal status are raising their citizen children under stressful work and financial conditions, with the constant threat of discovery and deportation that may narrow social contacts and limit participation in public programs that might benefit their children. Immigrants Raising Citizens offers a compelling description of the everyday experiences of these parents, their very young children, and the consequences these experiences have on their children’s development.
Living “Illegal”: The Human Face of Unauthorized Immigration (2011)
Marie Friedmann Marquardt, Timothy J. Steigenga, Philip J. Williams and Manuel A. Vasquez
Today’s polarized debates over immigration revolve around a set of one-dimensional characters and unchallenged stereotypes. Yet the resulting policy prescriptions, not least of them Arizona’s draconian new law SB 1070, are dangerously real and profoundly counterproductive.
A major new antidote to this trend, Living “Illegal” is an ambitious new account of the least understood and most relevant aspects of the American immigrant experience today. Based on years of research into the lives of ordinary migrants, Living “Illegal” offers richly textured stories of real people—working, building families, and enriching their communities even as the political climate grows more hostile.
Border Wars (2011)
Tom Barry
The Tea Party and its allies celebrate the rogue states of the Southwest as a model for the nation in their go-it-alone posturing and tough immigration-enforcement talk. In Border Wars, dogged investigative journalist Tom Barry documents the costs of that model: lives lost; families torn apart; billions of wasted tax dollars; vigilantes prowling the desert; and fiscal crises in cities, counties, and states. Even worse, he warns, the entire nation risks following their lead. As Barry explains, the lack of coherent federal policy on immigration and drug war conduct and the uncritical embrace of all things in the name of national security has opened doors for opportunists from boardrooms to governor’s offices in Texas and Arizona. Corporate-prison magnates eagerly swallow up undocumented immigrants into taxpayer-funded dungeons, border sheriffs and politicians trade on voters’ fears of Latinos and “big government,” and pro-business policy institutes and lobbyists battle the public interest. Border Wars offers a stark portrait of the domestic cost of failed federal leadership in the post-9/11 era.
The Accidental American: Immigration and Citizenship in the Age of Globalization (2008)
Rinku Sen
The Accidental American vividly illustrates the challenges and contradictions of U. S. immigration policy, and argues that, just as there is a free flow of capital in the world economy, there should be a free flow of labor. Author Rinku Sen alternates chapters telling the story of one “accidental American”–coauthor Fekkak Mamdouh, a Morrocan-born waiter at a restaurant in the World Trade Center whose life was thrown into turmoil on 9/11–with a thorough critique of current immigration policy. Sen and Mamdouh describe how members of the largely immigrant food industry workforce managed to overcome divisions in the aftermath of 9/11 and form the Restaurant Opportunities Center of New York (ROC-NY) to fight for jobs and more equitable treatment. This extraordinary story serves to illuminate the racial, cultural, and economic conflicts embedded in the current immigration debate and helps frame the argument for a more humane immigration and global labor system.
Inheriting the City: The Children of Immigrants Come of Age (2010)
Philip Kasinitz, John H. Mollenkopf and Mary C. Waters
Behind the contentious politics of immigration lies the question of how well new immigrants are becoming part of American society. To address this question,Inheriting the City draws on the results of a ground-breaking study of young adults of immigrant parents in metropolitan New York to provide a comprehensive look at their social, economic, cultural, and political lives.

Inheriting the City examines five immigrant groups to disentangle the complicated question of how they are faring relative to native-born groups, and how achievement differs between and within these groups. While some experts worry that these young adults would not do as well as previous waves of immigrants due to lack of high-paying manufacturing jobs, poor public schools, and an entrenched racial divide, Inheriting the City finds that the second generation is rapidly moving into the mainstream—speaking English, working in jobs that resemble those held by native New Yorkers their age, and creatively combining their ethnic cultures and norms with American ones. Far from descending into an urban underclass, the children of immigrants are using immigrant advantages to avoid some of the obstacles that native minority groups cannot.

We Are Americans: Undocumented Students Pursuing the American Dream (2011)
William Perez
Through the inspiring stories of 16 students—from seniors in high school to graduate students—William Perez gives voice to the estimated 2.4 million undocumented students in the United States, and draws attention to their plight. These stories reveal how—despite financial hardship, the unpredictability of living with the daily threat of deportation, restrictions of all sorts, and often in the face of discrimination by their teachers—so many are not just persisting in the American educational system, but achieving academically, and moreover often participating in service to their local communities. Perez reveals what drives these young people, and the visions they have for contributing to the country they call home.
Learning a New Land: Immigrant Students in American Society (2010)
Carola Suárez-Orozco, Marcelo M. Suárez-Orozco, Irina Todorova
One child in five in America is the child of immigrants, and their numbers increase each year. Very few will return to the country they barely remember. Who are they, and what America do they know?Based on an extraordinary interdisciplinary study that followed 400 newly arrived children from the Caribbean, China, Central America, and Mexico for five years, this book provides a compelling account of the lives, dreams, and frustrations of these youngest immigrants. Richly told portraits of high and low achievers are packed with unexpected ironies. When they arrive, most children are full of optimism and a respect for education. But poor neighborhoods and dull–often dangerous–schools can corrode hopes. The vast majority learn English–but it is the English of video games and the neighborhood, not that of standardized tests.
Brokered Boundaries: Creating Immigrant Identity in Anti-Immigrant Times (2010)
Douglas S. Massey, Magaly Sanchez R.
Anti-immigrant sentiment reached a fever pitch after 9/11, but its origins go back much further. Public rhetoric aimed at exposing a so-called invasion of Latino immigrants has been gaining ground for more than three decades—and fueling increasingly restrictive federal immigration policy. Accompanied by a flagging U.S. economy—record-level joblessness, bankruptcy, and income inequality—as well as waning consumer confidence, these conditions signaled one of the most hostile environments for immigrants in recent memory. In Brokered Boundaries, Douglas Massey and Magaly Sánchez untangle the complex political, social, and economic conditions underlying the rise of xenophobia in U.S. society. The book draws on in-depth interviews with Latin American immigrants in metropolitan New York and Philadelphia and—in their own words and images—reveals what life is like for immigrants attempting to integrate in anti-immigrant times.
Irresistible Forces: Latin American Migration to the United States and its Effects on the South (2011)
Gregory B. Weeks and John R. Weeks
The politics, social issues, and cultural impacts of Latin American migration to the United States are often studied by historians and political scientists, but the regional focus is typically on the Southwest and California. This study examines the phenomenon of the impact of Latin American migration on the southeastern United States, a region that now has the nation’s fastest growing immigrant population.
Incorporating a political demography approach, this study seeks to provide a clear understanding of the complex dynamics of migration with particular emphasis on the unique demographic fit between the United States and Latin America. This fit arises from one region needing young workers while the other has more than its economy can absorb. Although a relatively simple concept, it is one that has largely been ignored in the political discussions of migration policy. This study argues that the social and political ramifications of and policy responses to Latin American immigration can best be understood when viewed in light of these circumstances.

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