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  • Author: Els de Graauw, Irene Bloemraad
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on Migration and Human Security
  • Institution: Center for Migration Studies of New York
  • Abstract: Supporting and investing in the integration of immigrants and their children is critically important to US society. Successful integration contributes to the nation’s economic vitality, its civic and political health, and its cultural diversity. But although the United States has a good track record on immigrant integration, outcomes could be better. A national, coherent immigrant integration policy infrastructure is needed. This infrastructure can build on long-standing partnerships between civil society and US public institutions. Such partnerships, advanced under Republican- and Democratic-led administrations, were initially established to facilitate European immigrants’ integration in large American cities, and later extended to help refugees fleeing religious persecution and war. In the twenty-first century, we must expand this foundation by drawing on the growing activism by cities and states, new civil society initiatives, and public-private partnerships that span the country.
  • Topic: Migration
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Robert Warren, Donald Kerwin
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on Migration and Human Security
  • Institution: Center for Migration Studies of New York
  • Abstract: The Trump administration has made the construction of an “impregnable” 2,000-mile wall across the length of the US-Mexico border a centerpiece of its executive orders on immigration and its broader immigration enforcement strategy. This initiative has been broadly criticized based on: • Escalating cost projections: an internal Department of Homeland Security (DHS) study recently set the cost at $21.6 billion over three and a half years; • Its necessity given the many other enforcement tools — video surveillance, drones, ground sensors, and radar technologies — and Border Patrol personnel, that cover the US-Mexico border: former DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff and other experts have argued that a wall does not add enforcement value except in heavy crossing areas near towns, highways, or other “vanishing points” (Kerwin 2016); • Its cost-effectiveness given diminished Border Patrol apprehensions (to roughly one-fourth the level of historic highs) and reduced illegal entries (to roughly one-tenth the 2005 level according to an internal DHS study) (Martinez 2016); • Its efficacy as an enforcement tool: between FY 2010 and FY 2015, the current 654-mile pedestrian wall was breached 9,287 times (GAO 2017, 22); • Its inability to meet the administration’s goal of securing “operational control” of the border, defined as “the prevention of all unlawful entries to the United States” (White House 2017); • Its deleterious impact on bi-national border communities, the environment, and property rights (Heyman 2013).
  • Topic: Immigration, Post Truth Politics
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Karen Musalo, Eunice Lee
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on Migration and Human Security
  • Institution: Center for Migration Studies of New York
  • Abstract: In the early summer months of 2014, an increasing number of Central American children alone and with their parents began arriving at the US- Mexico border in search of safety and protection. The children and families by and large came from the Northern Triangle countries of El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala — three of the most dangerous countries in the world — to seek asylum and other humanitarian relief. Rampant violence and persecution within homes and communities, uncontrolled and unchecked by state authorities, compelled them to flee north for their lives.
  • Topic: Refugee Crisis
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Pia M. Orrenius, Madeline Zavodny
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on Migration and Human Security
  • Institution: Center for Migration Studies of New York
  • Abstract: US immigration policy has serious limitations, particularly when viewed from an economic perspective. Some shortcomings arise from faulty initial design, others from the inability of the system to adapt to changing circumstances. In either case, a reluctance to confront politically difficult decisions is often a contributing factor to the failure to craft laws that can stand the test of time. We argue that, as a result, some key aspects of US immigration policy are incoherent and mutually contradictory — new policies are often inconsistent with past policies and undermine their goals. Inconsistency makes policies less effective because participants in the immigration system realize that lawmakers face powerful incentives to revise policies at a later date. US policies regarding unauthorized immigration, temporary visas, and humanitarian migrants offer examples of incoherence and inconsistency. This article explores key features of an integrated, coherent immigration policy from an economic perspective and how policymakers could better attempt to achieve policy consistency across laws and over time.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Immigration
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Saba Ahmed, Adina Appelbaum, Rachel Jordan
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on Migration and Human Security
  • Institution: Center for Migration Studies of New York
  • Abstract: The 1996 passage of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA) has had a devastating impact on immigrants who are detained, indigent, and forced to face deportation proceedings without representation (pro se). In the past 20 years, immigration detention has grown exponentially and a criminal–immigration detention– deportation pipeline has developed as a central function of the immigration system. Despite the growing specter of the “criminal alien” in the American psyche, there is little public knowledge or scrutiny of the vast immigration detention and deportation machine. Enforcement of IIRIRA has effectively erased human stories and narrowed immigration debates to numbers and statistics.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Immigration
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Julia G. Young
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on Migration and Human Security
  • Institution: Center for Migration Studies of New York
  • Abstract: This paper surveys the history of nativism in the United States from the late nineteenth century to the present. It compares a recent surge in nativism with earlier periods, particularly the decades leading up to the 1920s, when nativism directed against southern and eastern European, Asian, and Mexican migrants led to comprehensive legislative restrictions on immigration. It is based primarily on a review of historical literature, as well as contemporary immigration scholarship. Major findings include the following
  • Topic: International Relations, Nationalism, History
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Robert Warren, Donald Kerwin
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on Migration and Human Security
  • Institution: Center for Migration Studies of New York
  • Abstract: This paper provides a statistical portrait of the US undocumented population, with an emphasis on the social and economic condition of mixed-status households – that is, households that contain a US citizen and an undocumented resident. It is based primarily on data compiled by the Center for Migration Studies (CMS).
  • Topic: Migration, Immigration
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Gabriella Sanchez
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on Migration and Human Security
  • Institution: Center for Migration Studies of New York
  • Abstract: Current representations of large movements of migrants and asylum seekers have become part of the global consciousness. Media viewers are bombarded with images of people from the global south riding atop of trains, holding on to dinghies, arriving at refugee camps, crawling beneath wire fences or being rescued after being stranded in the ocean or the desert for days. Images of gruesome scenes of death in the Mediterranean or the Arizona or Sahara deserts reveal the inherent risks of irregular migration, as bodies are pulled out of the water or corpses are recovered, bagged, and disposed of, their identities remaining forever unknown. Together, these images communicate a powerful, unbearable feeling of despair and crisis.
  • Topic: Migration
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Thomas Gammeltoft-Hansen, F Nikolas Tan
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on Migration and Human Security
  • Institution: Center for Migration Studies of New York
  • Abstract: Asylum seekers and refugees continue to face serious obstacles in their efforts to access asylum. Some of these obstacles are inherent to irregular migration, including dangerous border crossings and the risk of exploitation. Yet, refugees also face state-made obstacles in the form of sophisticated migration control measures. As a result, refugees are routinely denied access to asylum as developed states close their borders in the hope of shifting the flow of asylum seekers to neighboring countries.
  • Topic: Migration, Refugee Crisis
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Susan Schmidt
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on Migration and Human Security
  • Institution: Center for Migration Studies of New York
  • Abstract: Children make up half of the world’s refugees, yet limited research documents the views of youth about migratory causes and recommendations. While there is wide recognition of migrant children’s right to free expression, few opportunities exist to productively exercise that right and provide input about their views. This article analyzes the responses of Central American and Mexican migrant children to one interview question regarding how to help youth like themselves, and identifies several implied “no-win” situations as potential reasons for the migration decisions of unaccompanied children. Furthermore, the children’s responses highlight the interconnected nature of economics, security, and education as migratory factors. Examination of children’s political speech revealed primarily negative references regarding their home country’s government, the president, and the police. The police were singled out more than any other public figures, with particular emphasis on police corruption and ineffectiveness. Additional analysis focused on children’s comments regarding migration needs and family.
  • Topic: Migration, Immigration
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Ninette Kelley
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on Migration and Human Security
  • Institution: Center for Migration Studies of New York
  • Abstract: Between 2011 and 2015, Lebanon received over one million Syrian refugees. There is no country in the world that has taken in as many refugees in proportion to its size: by 2015, one in four of its residents was a refugee from Syria. Already beset, prior to the Syrian crisis, by political divisions, insecure borders, severely strained infrastructure, and over-stretched public services, the mass influx of refugees further taxed the country. That Lebanon withstood what is often characterized as an existential threat is primarily due to the remarkable resilience of the Lebanese people. It is also due to the unprecedented levels of humanitarian funding that the international community provided to support refugees and the communities that hosted them. UN, international, and national partners scaled up more than a hundred-fold to meet ever-burgeoning needs and creatively endeavored to meet challenges on the ground. And while the refugee response was not perfect, and funding fell well below needs, thousands of lives were saved, protection was extended, essential services were provided, and efforts were made to improve through education the future prospects of the close to half-a-million refugee children residing in Lebanon. This paper examines what worked well and where the refugee response stumbled, focusing on areas where improved efforts in planning, delivery, coordination, innovation, funding, and partnerships can enhance future emergency responses.
  • Topic: Refugee Issues
  • Political Geography: America, Lebanon
  • Author: Robert Warren
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on Migration and Human Security
  • Institution: Center for Migration Studies of New York
  • Abstract: Undocumented immigration has been a significant political issue in recent years, and is likely to remain so throughout and beyond the presidential election year of 2016. One reason for the high and sustained level of interest in undocumented immigration is the widespread belief that the trend in the undocumented population is ever upward. This paper shows that this belief is mistaken and that, in fact, the undocumented population has been decreasing for more than a half a decade. Other findings of the paper that should inform the immigration debate are the growing naturalized citizen populations in almost every US state and the fact that, since 1980, the legally resident foreign-born population from Mexico has grown faster than the undocumented population from Mexico.
  • Author: Donald Kerwin, Robert Warren
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on Migration and Human Security
  • Institution: Center for Migration Studies of New York
  • Abstract: The Obama administration has developed two broad programs to defer immigration enforcement actions against undocumented persons living in the United States: (1) Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA); and (2) Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The DACA program, which began in August 2012, was expanded on November 20, 2014. DAPA and the DACA expansion (hereinafter referred to as “DACA-plus”) are currently under review by the US Supreme Court and subject to an active injunction.
  • Author: Donald Kerwin, Robert Warren
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on Migration and Human Security
  • Institution: Center for Migration Studies of New York
  • Abstract: The Obama administration has developed two broad programs to defer immigration enforcement actions against undocumented persons living in the United States: (1) Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA); and (2) Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The DACA program, which began in August 2012, was expanded on November 20, 2014. DAPA and the DACA expansion (hereinafter referred to as “DACA-plus”) are currently under review by the US Supreme Court and subject to an active injunction. This paper offers a statistical portrait of the intended direct beneficiaries of DAPA, DACA, and DACA-plus. It finds that potential DAPA, DACA, and DACA-plus recipients are deeply embedded in US society, with high employment rates, extensive US family ties, long tenure, and substantial rates of English-language proficiency. The paper also notes various groups that would benefit indirectly from the full implementation of DAPA and DACA or, conversely, would suffer from the removal of potential beneficiaries of these programs. For example, all those who would rely on the retirement programs of the US government will benefit from the high employment rates and relative youth of the DACA population, while many US citizens who rely on the income of a DAPA-eligible parent would fall into poverty or extreme poverty should that parent be removed from the United States.
  • Topic: Human Welfare, Poverty, Labor Issues, Governance
  • Political Geography: United States of America
  • Author: Roberto Suro
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on Migration and Human Security
  • Institution: Center for Migration Studies of New York
  • Abstract: Interactions between local, state and federal governments as regards immigration policies began to undergo a dramatic change with the passage of Proposition 187 in California in 1994. Seemingly settled issues over the relative prerogatives of different levels of government and even different branches of government have since been the subject of frequent contention in many venues and in many domains of immigration policy. During this period, especially in the last decade, a new dynamism has developed in immigration federalism that is evident in both policymaking processes and policy outcomes. In policy processes, this dynamism is characterized by an increasingly broad distribution of powers and responsibilities across all levels of government. As a result, an ever-broader array of actors has gained a say over immigration policies. These include not only elected office holders and government officials but also advocates and activists from many sectors of civil society including immigrant communities themselves. Finally, the different levels of government and policy actors do not operate in isolation but rather in vigorous interaction across multiple levels of government and among advocates of different sorts both in the formulation and implementation of policy. This new dynamism is reflected in recent scholarship that describes models of federalism based on discourse, intermediation and collaboration among governments rather than resting primarily on the longstanding constitutional arguments over the balance of power between the states and the federal government. The policy outcomes produced by this new dynamism are marked by highly divergent and varied results. The federal government devolved some powers over welfare and policing policies regarding immigrants, but implementation by state and local governments was largely dictated by local factors rather than Washington's intent. Meanwhile, many sub-federal governments have taken the initiative to assume powers on immigration matters. In some cases they have mitigated the punitive effects of being unauthorized under federal rules and have created pathways of civic inclusion for immigrants who otherwise suffer isolation from the body politic. Taking the opposite approach, other jurisdictions have adopted enforcement regimes meant to heighten the impact of federal exclusion. In effect, Washington still exercises exclusive power to determine an individual's immigration status, but many state and local governments have enacted policies that define the practical consequences of that status. The paper concludes by positing the likelihood of heightened differentiation on immigration policy on a state and local basis, particularly if Washington remains unable to enact a new policy regime in this area. Instead of a single, dominant federal policy, many state and local jurisdictions will create policies that condition the immigrant experience sufficiently to influence the size and content of migration flows. Across a highly variegated landscape of immigration policies, some places will be welcoming while others will be inhospitable, even hostile, to newcomers. This new dynamism in immigration federalism and the resulting variety of outcomes are products of large, deeply rooted trends in American society that are unlikely to change in the foreseeable future.
  • Topic: Immigration
  • Political Geography: California
  • Author: Sarah Drury, John Flanagan, Aaron Gregg, Pitchaya Indravudh, Abbie Taylor, Sanjula Weerasinghe
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on Migration and Human Security
  • Institution: Center for Migration Studies of New York
  • Abstract: Today, perhaps more than ever, humanitarian crises permeate the lives of millions, triggering increased human movement and repeatedly testing the international community's capacity to respond. Stakeholders within the international community have recognized that existing legal and institutional frameworks for protecting forced migrants are inadequate to address the diversity of movements and needs. This article examines the situation of noncitizens who are caught in violence, conflict, and disaster, and asserts that they are an at-risk population requiring tailored responses. Recent history has witnessed numerous humanitarian crises in which noncitizens have been among those most seriously affected. With more people than at any other point in history residing outside of their country of origin, the presence of new and sustained eruptions of violence and conflict, and the frequency and intensity of disasters predicted to increase, noncitizens will continue to be caught in countries experiencing crises. Destination countries, as well as origin countries whose citizens are caught in crisis situations abroad, must understand the challenges that noncitizens may encounter in accessing assistance and protection, and must formulate responses to ensure that their needs are adequately accommodated. While both citizens and noncitizens may encounter difficulties in any given humanitarian crisis, research on five recent crises—the Libyan uprising, the Tohoku earthquake, the tsunami and Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan, flooding in Thailand, Hurricane Sandy in the United States, and the on-going conflict in Syria—demonstrates that a range of factors create particular challenges for noncitizens. Factors related to the underlying environment in the country undergoing a crisis and the responses of different actors may exacerbate the vulnerability of noncitizens. Moreover, different groups of noncitizens manifest distinct protection needs due to specific attributes. In a given context, the interaction of these factors leads to varying levels of vulnerability for different groups, and the experiences of noncitizens in crisis situations implicate a range of fundamental human rights. Promising practices which may reduce the vulnerabilities of noncitizens and their exposure to harm during crises include: limiting immigration enforcement activities in favor of dispensing life-saving assistance; communication of emergency and relief messages in multiple languages and modes; facilitating entry and re-entry; and providing targeted relief services. These practices are not limited to countries experiencing crises; origin countries have also displayed judicious actions, undertaking bi-lateral negotiations to address specific needs and seeking external assistance in order to protect their citizens who are caught in crisis situations. This article seeks to inform ways to mitigate the vulnerabilities and address unmet assistance and protection needs of noncitizens caught in countries experiencing crises. It focuses primarily on vulnerabilities experienced during crises, acknowledging the importance of preventative action that targets the potential vulnerabilities and needs of noncitizens. It also acknowledges that assistance and protection needs often persist beyond the abatement of crises and warrant ongoing intervention. The observations presented in this paper are drawn from desk research on a limited number of situations, and therefore, the article is an introductory attempt to call attention to the issues at play when a crisis occurs, rather than an in-depth study of the subject. Nonetheless, it offers recommendations for alleviating the exposure of noncitizens, which include actions aimed at: addressing the underlying legal and policy landscape related to crises and relevant areas like immigration so as to account for the presence and needs of noncitizens; ensuring that all categories of noncitizens are able to access, understand and navigate information regarding emergency and relief assistance and are able to utilize them; and limiting the exposure of noncitizens to harm through targeted measures that address their particular needs and vulnerabilities.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Humanitarian Aid
  • Political Geography: Syria, Thailand
  • Author: Katharine M. Donato, Blake Sisk
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on Migration and Human Security
  • Institution: Center for Migration Studies of New York
  • Abstract: In light of rising numbers of unaccompanied minors at the Mexico- US border in 2014, this article examines child migration from Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua. Using data from the Mexican and Latin American Migration Projects that permit us to go beyond simple descriptive analysis about children apprehended at the border, we investigate the extent to which children from these countries: 1) enter without legal authorization to do so; 2) are more likely to cross the border now than in the past; and 3) are tied to their parents' migration. In theory, if immigration and refugee protections worked well for children and offered them legal pathways to reunify with their families, then we would expect low levels of unauthorized entry and no dramatic shifts over time. However, our examination of child migration shows that it is strongly linked to unauthorized entry, period of entry, and parents' US experience.The findings show that the migration of children is closely linked to their parents' migration history. Although the overall likelihood of a Mexican child making a first US trip is quite low, it is practically non-existent for children whose parents have no US experience. Thus, the increase in child migration from Central America, and the continued high levels of child migration from Mexico result from widespread migration networks and the United States' long-standing reliance on the children's parents as immigrant workers. The findings suggest that these children need protection in the form of family reunification and permanent legal status.
  • Topic: Migration
  • Political Geography: United States, Central America, Mexico
  • Author: Donald Kerwin, Robert Warren
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on Migration and Human Security
  • Institution: Center for Migration Studies of New York
  • Abstract: In December 2014, the Center for Migration Studies of New York (CMS) released a paper that provides new estimates of the US unauthorized resident population (Warren 2014). The paper describes the development of a new dataset which has detailed information about unauthorized residents, derived from data collected in the US Census Bureau's American Community Survey (ACS). The dataset will be useful to scholars, researchers, service-providers, and government officials in crafting, implementing, and evaluating programs that serve noncitizens, including the unauthorized. In addition, the new estimates provide an opportunity to examine the dramatic changes in unauthorized immigration in the past two decades and the assumptions that have shaped US policies and public opinion. The new dataset, recent estimates of the unauthorized (Warren and Warren 2013) and statistics on the noncitizen population from IPUMS-USA (Ruggles et al. 2010) highlight several trends related to the decline in the unauthorized population, particularly from Mexico, and the increasing salience of visa overstays in constituting this population. Some trends defy conventional wisdom and all of them have public policy consequences. In particular, we find that: The unauthorized resident population was about a million lower in 2013 than in 2007. The “Great Recession” was not the principal cause of population decline. Annual arrivals into the unauthorized population increased to more than one million in 2000, then began to drop steadily, and have now reached their lowest levels since the early 1980s From 2000 to 2012, arrivals from Mexico fell by about 80 percent. Between 2010 and 2013, the total unauthorized population from Mexico declined by eight percent. In 2006, the number of arrivals from Mexico fell below the total number of arrivals from all other countries (combined) for the first time. The number who stayed beyond the period authorized by their temporary visas (overstays) exceeded the number who entered across the southern land border without inspection (EWIs) in each year from 2008 to 2012. While the CMS estimates are based on sample data and assumptions that are subject to error, these trends are consistent with the best empirical information available. In November 2014 the Obama Administration announced an unprecedented set of executive action initiatives. At this writing, the Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) program and the expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which would provide work authorization and temporary reprieve from removal to eligible persons, have been preliminarily enjoined. The temporary injunction, which the US Department of Justice plans to appeal to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, comes in response to a legal challenge to the two programs by 26 states under Article II, section 3 of the US Constitution which requires the President to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed,” and under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). In addition, the Republican majorities of the 114th Congress have vowed to prevent the implementation of these programs. However, the administration has expressed confidence that it will ultimately prevail in court and in its battle with Congress over these programs. Meanwhile, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), community-based organizations (CBOs), and others continue to plan intensively for the DAPA and DACA programs, as well as for other executive action initiatives. This paper provides estimates of those who are potentially eligible for DAPA and DACA. However, it also looks beyond DAPA and DACA to make the case for broad legislative reform in light of long-term trends in unauthorized migration to the United States and the unauthorized resident population. In particular, it argues that substantial declines in the unauthorized population—a goal shared by partisans on both sides of the immigration debate—will require reform of the legal immigration system, legalization of a substantial percentage of the unauthorized, and a more effective response to nonimmigrant visa overstays.
  • Topic: Immigration
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Daniel E. Martínez, Robin C. Reineke, Raquel Rubio-Goldsmith, Bruce O. Parks
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on Migration and Human Security
  • Institution: Center for Migration Studies of New York
  • Abstract: This article analyzes numeric trends and demographic characteristics of undocumented border crossers (UBCs) who have perished in southern Arizona between 1990 and 2013 in the area covered by the Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner (PCOME) in Tucson, Arizona. Of 2,413 UBC decedents investigated during this period, 95 percent died after 1999 and 65 percent after 2005. The rate of UBC deaths in the Tucson Border Patrol Sector has been consistently high, with an average of nearly 163 deaths investigated per year between 1999 and 2013. The increase in border enforcement during the mid-to-late 1990s, which led to a shifting of unauthorized migration flows into more desolate areas, coincided with an increase in migrant remains investigated by the PCOME. Despite a decrease in the number of unauthorized crossers traversing the area as measured by the number of Border Patrol apprehensions in the Tucson Sector, the number of remains examined for every 100,000 apprehensions nearly doubled between 2009 and 2011. These findings suggest that migrants are being forced to travel for longer periods of time through remote areas in an attempt to avoid detection by US authorities, thus increasing the probability of death. The typical UBC decedent can be described as a male near the age of 30 from central or southern Mexico who perished in a remote area of southern Arizona after attempting to cross into the United States. Nevertheless, the share of non-Mexican UBCs in the region has increased notably over time. The findings show other important differences in UBC decedent characteristics across time periods, which speak to the dynamic nature of unauthorized migration as a social process. The authors contend that these deaths and demographic changes are the result of structural and political transformations over the past two decades. They argue that the tragic, yet mostly preventable, migrant deaths in southern Arizona constitute a form of structural violence.
  • Topic: Migration
  • Political Geography: Arizona
  • Author: Donald Kerwin, Tom K. Wong, Jeanne M. Atkinson, Mary Meg McCarthy
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on Migration and Human Security
  • Institution: Center for Migration Studies of New York
  • Abstract: Anecdotal evidence suggests that a significant percentage of unauthorized immigrants are potentially eligible for some sort of immigration relief, but they either do not know it or are not able to pursue lawful immigration status for other reasons. However, no published study that we are aware of has systematically analyzed this question. The purpose of this study is thus to evaluate and quantify the number of unauthorized immigrants who, during the course of seeking out legal services, have been determined to be potentially eligible for some sort of immigration benefit or relief that provides lawful immigration status. Using the recent implementation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program as a laboratory for this work, this study attempts to answer the question of the number of unauthorized immigrants who, without knowing it, may already be potentially eligible for lawful immigration status. In surveying 67 immigrant-serving organizations that provide legal services, we find that 14.3 percent of those found to be eligible for DACA were also found to be eligible for some other form of immigration relief—put otherwise, 14.3 percent of individuals that were found to be eligible for DACA, which provides temporary relief from deportation, may now be on a path towards lawful permanent residency. We find that the most common legal remedies available to these individuals are family-based petitions (25.5 percent), U-Visas (23.9 percent), and Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (12.6 percent). These findings make clear that—with comprehensive immigration reform legislation or eligibility for administrative relief — legal screening can have significant and long-lasting implications on the lives of unauthorized immigrants and their families.
  • Topic: Immigration
  • Author: Robert Warren
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on Migration and Human Security
  • Institution: Center for Migration Studies of New York
  • Abstract: Information about the unauthorized resident population is needed to develop and evaluate US immigration policy, determine the social and economic effects of unauthorized immigration, and assist public and private service providers in carrying out their missions. Until recently, estimates have been available only for selected data points at the national and sometimes the state level. The Center for Migration Studies (CMS) convened a meeting in September 2013 to assess the need for information about the unauthorized resident population. The meeting included leading academics, researchers, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that serve immigrants, and local, state, and federal government representatives. Based on the recommendations from that meeting, CMS initiated a project to derive estimates of the size and characteristics of the unauthorized population at the national, state, and sub-state levels, and to make the information readily available to a wide cross-section of users. A series of statistical procedures were developed to derive estimates based on microdata collected by the US Census Bureau in the 2010 American Community Survey (ACS). The estimates provide detailed demographic information for unauthorized residents in population units as small as 100,000 persons. Overall, the estimates are consistent with the limited information produced by residual estimation techniques. A primary consideration in constructing the estimates was to protect the privacy of ACS respondents.
  • Topic: Immigration
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Mark R. von Sternberg
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on Migration and Human Security
  • Institution: Center for Migration Studies of New York
  • Abstract: Both geographic and normative constraints restrict access to surrogate international human rights protection for those seeking a haven from serious human rights abuses. Primary among territorial restrictions has been the fall-out from the US Supreme Court's decision in Sale v. Haitian Council Centers in which the court explicitly ruled that nothing in US statutory law, or in the 1951 Convention on Refugees or its 1967 Protocol, precluded the interdiction of Haitian refugees in international waters and their return to the country of origin without an effective interview on their protection clams. This ruling is in transparent contradiction to the general international law norm of non-refoulement according to modern scholarship and emerging case law. This paper concludes that Sale should be overturned by statute as should related pre-screening practices. A new standard of “jurisdiction” should be adopted which does not depend on territorial access to a signatory state but on whether the state is exercising power in fact. Similar concerns exist with respect to safe third country agreements which often offend the international customary right of the asylum seeker to choose where his or her claim will be filed. This paper argues that the right of choice should be recognized and onward travel and admission to the country of destination allowed. This result is especially called for where return of the alien by the country of first contact raises serious concerns under the law of non-refoulement. Imbalances noted in this paper include those generated by the new terrorism related grounds of inadmissibility in the United States and the summary denial of children's asylum claims flowing from gang violence. Other questions are raised in this paper concerning work authorization and detention of asylum seekers. Access to an employment authorization Journal on Migration and Human Security document for those filing colorable claims should be recognized by statute to render US practice consistent with that of most other states. Release from detention, on the other hand, for asylum seekers has now been broadly recognized by the US Department of Homeland Security where the asylum seeker's identity can be ascertained and the claim is non-frivolous in nature. This approach is largely consistent with international law, although there have been unnecessary delays in implementing it. On the substantive law, the international customary norm of non-refoulment has been expanded considerably through the development of opinio juris by scholars and the practice of states. This paper traces efforts in Europe to develop a law of temporary refuge for those fleeing civil war situations characterized by humanitarian law violations. Similarly, case law under the European Convention of Human Rights has now come to focus on the harm the claimant would suffer as the result of conditions in the country of origin without identifying an explicit agent of serious harm. Related to these developments has been the notion of complementary protection under which relief can be conferred where the alien would suffer serious harm upon return to the home state but not for a Convention reason. These approaches have now received approval in the European Union Asylum Qualification Directive so that international protection may now be conferred either because the alien would suffer serious harm on account of the intensity of human rights violations taking place in the country of origin, or those conditions, taken in conjunction with the claimant's personal situation, support a finding that the claimant would be impacted. This paper argues that this latter standard has now been made a part of the customary norm of non-refoulement and that it should be recognized by statute as a basis for non-return and coupled with status where the new standard can be met. Such a measure would help restore the nation's commitment to human rights and humanitarian concerns.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Humanitarian Aid, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: J.Anna Cabot
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on Migration and Human Security
  • Institution: Center for Migration Studies of New York
  • Abstract: Violence in Mexico rose sharply in response to President Felipe Calderón's military campaign against drug cartels which began in late 2006. As a consequence, the number of Mexicans who have sought asylum in the United States has grown significantly. In 2013, Mexicans made up the second largest group of defensive asylum seekers (those in removal proceedings) in the United States, behind only China (EOIR 2014b). Yet between 2008 and 2013, the grant rate for Mexican asylum seekers in immigration court fell from 23 percent to nine percent (EOIR 2013, 2014b). This paper examines—from the perspective of an attorney who represented Mexican asylum seekers on the US-Mexico border in El Paso, Texas—the reasons for low asylum approval rates for Mexicans despite high levels of violence in and flight from Mexico from 2008 to 2013. It details the obstacles faced by Mexican asylum seekers along the US-Mexico border, including placement in removal proceedings, detention, evidentiary issues, narrow legal standards, and (effectively) judicial notice of country conditions in Mexico. The paper recommends that asylum seekers at the border be placed in affirmative proceedings (before immigration officials), making them eligible for bond. It also proposes increased oversight of immigration judges.
  • Topic: Immigration
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Mexico
  • Author: Maryellen Fullerton
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on Migration and Human Security
  • Institution: Center for Migration Studies of New York
  • Abstract: More than ten million people are stateless today. In a world of nation states, they live on the margins without membership in any state, and, as a consequence, have few enforceable legal rights. Stateless individuals face gaps in protection and in many cases experience persecution that falls within the refugee paradigm. However, US asylum policy does not adequately address the myriad legal problems that confront the stateless, who have been largely invisible in the jurisprudence and academic literature. Two federal appellate court opinions shed new light on the intersection of statelessness and refugee law in the United States. In 2010, Haile v. Holder examined the asylum claim of a young man rendered stateless when the Ethiopian government issued a decree denationalizing ethnic Eritreans. In a 2011 case, Stserba v. Holder, the court reviewed an asylum claim by a woman who became stateless when the Soviet Union collapsed, and the successor state of Estonia enacted citizenship legislation that included a language requirement. This article analyzes the opinions which suggest that state action depriving residents of citizenship on ethnic and other protected grounds warrants a presumption of persecution. This article also identifies additional circumstances in which stateless individuals may have a well-founded fear of persecution that qualifies them for asylum in the United States. In addition, this article notes that although far too many stateless individuals face persecution, not all of them do. Stateless persons who do not fear persecution, however, are also vulnerable. The absence of state protection condemns them to a precarious existence and their inability to obtain passports or other travel documents often prevents their return to states where they formerly resided. The refusal of most states to admit non-citizens frequently keeps stateless persons in limbo. Stateless individuals stranded in the United States live under a supervisory patchwork that serves neither their interests nor those of the United States. Rather than relying on incremental case law developments and inapposite regulatory schemes, the US State Department and the Department of Homeland Security should convene a task force to report on the size and composition of the stateless population in the United States and the need to develop legislative, regulatory, and other policy guidance concerning statelessness claims.
  • Topic: Law
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Michael T. Flynn
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on Migration and Human Security
  • Institution: Center for Migration Studies of New York
  • Abstract: From Mexico to the Bahamas, Mauritania to Lebanon, Turkey to Saudi Arabia, South Africa to Indonesia, Malaysia to Thailand, immigration-related detention has become an established policy apparatus that counts on dedicated facilities and burgeoning institutional bureaucracies. Until relatively recently, however, detention appears to have been largely an ad hoc tool, employed mainly by wealthy states in exigent circumstances. This paper uses concepts from diffusion theory to detail the history of key policy events in several important immigration destination countries that led to the spreading of detention practices during the last 30 years and assesses some of the motives that appear to have encouraged this phenomenon. The paper also endeavors to place the United States at the center of this story because its policy decisions appear to have played an important role in encouraging the process of policy innovation, imitation, and imposition that has helped give rise to today's global immigration detention phenomenon. Nevertheless, many US offshore practices have not received nearly the same attention as those of other important destination countries. More broadly, in telling this story, this paper seeks to flesh out some of the larger policy implications of the externalization of immigration control regimes. Just as offshore interdiction and detention schemes raise important questions about custody, accountability, and sovereignty, they should also spur questions over where responsibility for the wellbeing of migrants begins and ends.
  • Topic: Sovereignty
  • Political Geography: United States, Indonesia, Turkey, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Mexico, Mauritania
  • Author: Walter A. Ewing
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on Migration and Human Security
  • Institution: Center for Migration Studies of New York
  • Abstract: For the last two decades, the guiding strategy of immigration enforcement along the US-Mexico border has been “prevention through deterrence,” or stopping unauthorized immigrants from entering the country rather than apprehending those who have already crossed the border. “Prevention through deterrence” has entailed a massive concentration of enforcement personnel and resources along the border and at ports of entry. It has also led to the detention and removal of increasing numbers of unauthorized immigrants and far greater use of “expedited removal.” As gauged by the doubling in size of the unauthorized immigrant population over the same period, “prevention through deterrence” has not been a successful enforcement strategy. Moreover, it has funneled more migrants to their death in the deserts and mountains of the southwest as they (and smugglers) resort to increasingly dangerous routes to evade border enforcement. In addition, there has been public concern over ethnic profiling and the use of extraordinary authority by Border Patrol agents to conduct arbitrary searches within 100 miles of the border. Despite these problems, the federal government continues to spend billions of dollars each year on the “prevention through deterrence” strategy. A first step in overcoming the deficiencies of this border enforcement strategy is to strengthen accountability within the Border Patrol, so that allegations of excessive force and abuse are investigated and adjudicated promptly and appropriately. The culture of the Border Patrol must be transformed to foster respect for rights. More broadly, the mission of the Border Patrol should be to capture dangerous individuals and to disrupt the operations of the transnational criminal organizations that traffic people, drugs, guns, and money. In addition, providing more pathways to legal entry through immigration reform would enhance border security by attenuating the flow of unauthorized immigrants within which dangerous criminals or terrorists can hide. Finally, the US government should pursue economic policies to promote development in Mexico and Central American countries in order to address the underlying causes of migration.
  • Topic: Immigration
  • Political Geography: United States, Mexico
  • Author: Lauren Gilbert
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on Migration and Human Security
  • Institution: Center for Migration Studies of New York
  • Abstract: This paper uses New York City's consideration of an amendment to its charter that would extend voting rights to noncitizens in municipal elections as a case study in immigrant integration and local governance. It argues that New York City's biggest challenge in moving this issue forward is dealing successfully with two related questions: 1) why the New York City Council should be able to decide who “the People” are without approval from the state government in Albany and 2) whether it should attempt to enact the measure without a referendum. The analysis first examines the role of local government in regulating the lives of immigrants, contrasting enforcement-oriented strategies with those that are more integration-oriented. It then spotlights federal law obstacles to noncitizen suffrage, concluding that while neither federal criminal nor immigration law prevents state or local governments from extending the franchise to noncitizens in state or local matters, federal law imposes impediments that may deter some noncitizens from registering or that could carry serious immigration consequences for those who vote in violation of federal law. The article then focuses on state law obstacles, including New York's constitution, its state election law and its home rule provisions. It contrasts other recent experiences with noncitizen suffrage around the country, looking at both municipal and school board elections. Finally, it provides some thoughts on best practices in moving forward the issue of noncitizen suffrage in New York City and other locales. New York law is ambiguous enough that good arguments can be made for why neither Albany's approval nor a city-wide referendum is required. However, given New York City's historic relationship with Albany and the state legislature's power to preempt local law on election matters, if the city council attempts to expand the franchise to noncitizen voters without a referendum or comparable measure, it could trigger preemptive action in Albany or lengthy, divisive, and costly battles in the courts.
  • Topic: Immigration
  • Political Geography: New York
  • Author: Breana George
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on Migration and Human Security
  • Institution: Center for Migration Studies of New York
  • Abstract: With the passage of immigration reform legislation stalled in the House of Representatives, President Obama announced on June 30, 2014 that he was prepared to exercise executive authority on immigration if Congress had not acted by the end of the August recess. In early September, however the administration indicated that it would not move forward with issuing an immigration directive until after the November midterm elections due to polarization over the issue (Shear 2014). The administration argued that prolonging the time frame to act would allow the President to unveil a bolder and more sustainable policy to provide administrative relief to unauthorized immigrants (ibid.)
  • Topic: Immigration, Reform
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Robert Warren, Donald Kerwin
  • Publication Date: 11-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on Migration and Human Security
  • Institution: Center for Migration Studies of New York
  • Abstract: Naturalization has long been recognized as a crucial step in the full integration of immigrants into US society. Yet until now, sufficient information on the naturalization-eligible has not been available that would allow the federal government, states, localities, and non-governmental service providers to develop targeted strategies on a local level to assist this population to naturalize and to overcome barriers to eligibility. This paper remedies that deficiency by providing detailed estimates on the naturalization-eligible from data collected in the US Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS).
  • Topic: Government, Immigration, Reform, Naturalization, Census
  • Political Geography: United States of America
  • Author: Donald Kerwin, Daniela Alulema, Siqi Tu
  • Publication Date: 11-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on Migration and Human Security
  • Institution: Center for Migration Studies of New York
  • Abstract: This paper analyzes a dataset of every person in the custody of the US Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement (DHS-ICE or ICE) on September 22, 2012, and compares this data with an earlier analysis of a similar dataset on detainees in DHS-ICE custody on January 25, 2009. DHS-ICE provided the 2012 and 2009 datasets in response to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests from the Boston Globe and Associated Press. The paper sets forth findings related to: (1) the removal adjudication processes to which the detainees were subject; (2) the facilities in which they were held; (3) their length of detention; and (4) their criminal histories, if any.
  • Topic: History, Immigration, Prisons/Penal Systems, Reform, Homeland Security
  • Political Geography: Global Focus, United States of America
  • Author: Donald Kerwin
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on Migration and Human Security
  • Institution: Center for Migration Studies of New York
  • Abstract: In 2013, the Center for Migration Studies of New York (CMS) initiated a project to bring concentrated academic and policy attention to the US refugee protection system, broadly understood to encompass refugees, asylum seekers and refugeelike populations in need of protection. The initiative gave rise to a series of papers published in 2014 and 2015, which CMS is releasing as a special collection in its Journal on Migration and Human Security on the 35th anniversary of the Refugee Act of 1980. This introductory essay situates the papers in the collection within a broader discussion of state compliance with international law, impediments to protection, US protection programs, vulnerable populations, and due process concerns. The essay sets forth extensive policy recommendations to strengthen the system drawn from the papers, legislative proposals, and other sources.
  • Topic: International Law, Refugee Issues, Refugee Crisis
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on Migration and Human Security
  • Institution: Center for Migration Studies of New York
  • Abstract: Unlocking Human Dignity: A Plan to Transform the US Immigrant Detention System addresses one of the most troubled features of the US immigration system and highlights the need for fundamental changes to it. The report comes six years since the inception of the Obama administration’s detention reform initiative. In the interim, the number of immigrant detainees per year has risen to more than 400,000, the administration has opened immense new family detention centers, and the overwhelming majority of persons in the custody of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have remained in prisons, jails and other secure facilities where they are subject to standards designed for criminal defendants and, in many ways, treated more harshly than criminals.
  • Topic: Immigration, Prisons/Penal Systems, Border Control, Reform, Homeland Security
  • Political Geography: United States of America
  • Author: Elizabeth Carlson, Ann Marie Gallagher
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on Migration and Human Security
  • Institution: Center for Migration Studies of New York
  • Abstract: By the end of 2011, the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) began to see a steady rise in the number of Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) from Central America, particularly from the Northern Triangle countries— El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala—arriving to the US-Mexico border. The number of children entering the United States from these countries more than doubled during fiscal year (FY) 2012 and continued to grow through FY 2014. In FY 2013, CBP apprehended over 35,000 children. That number almost doubled to 66,127 in FY 2014, with Central American children outnumbering their Mexican counterparts for the first time. Research has identified high levels of violence perpetrated by gangs and drug cartels in the Northern Triangle countries and Mexico as a primary reason for this surge. Under the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) passed with bi-partisan support in 2008, children from Central America cannot be deported immediately and must be given a court hearing.
  • Topic: Political Violence, War on Drugs, Border Control, Children, Trafficking
  • Political Geography: Central America, United States of America
  • Author: Jeremy Slack, Daniel E. Martinez, Scott Whiteford, Emily Peiffer
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on Migration and Human Security
  • Institution: Center for Migration Studies of New York
  • Abstract: The Consequence Delivery System (CDS) is a suite of border and immigration enforcement programs designed to increase the penalties associated with unauthorized migration in order to convince people not to return (Rosenblum 2013). Despite its inauguration in 2011, many aspects of the CDS are not new. CDS does however, mark a shift from the deterrent strategy that, in the 1990s that relied heavily on the dangers of the natural terrain to dissuade unauthorized border crossers, to one that actively punishes, incarcerates, and criminalizes them. This article presents findings from the Migrant Border Crossing Study, a random sample survey of 1,100 recently deported migrants in six cities in Mexico conducted between 2009 and 2012. It examines the demographics and family ties of deportees, their experiences with immigration enforcement practices and programs under the CDS, and how these programs have reshaped contemporary migration and deportation along the US-Mexico border. The article covers programs such as criminal prosecutions of illegal entries under Operation Streamline, and the Alien Transfer and Exit Program (ATEP) or lateral repatriation program which returns immigrants to different locations from where they illegally entered. In relationship to these programs, it considers issues of due process and treatment of deportees in US custody. It also examines interior enforcement under Secure Communities, which, during the study period, comprised part of the overarching border security plan, and screened virtually everybody arrested in the United States against immigration databases.
  • Topic: Crime, Demographics, Immigration, Border Control, Reform
  • Political Geography: Mexico, United States of America
  • Author: Nicole Ostrand
  • Publication Date: 07-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on Migration and Human Security
  • Institution: Center for Migration Studies of New York
  • Abstract: The conflict in Syria between the government of Bashar al-Assad and various other forces, which started in the spring of 2011, continues to cause displacement within the country and across the region. By the end of 2014, an estimated 7.6 million people were internally displaced and 3.7 million Syrians had fled the country since the conflict began (OCHA 2014; UNHCR 2015a). The refugee situation caused by the Syrian conflict is dire, and it has placed enormous strain on neighboring countries. Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Egypt, and Turkey host massive numbers of Syrian refugees, and Syrians have been seeking protection beyond these countries in increasing numbers since 2011. This paper looks at the burdens and costs of the Syrian refugee crisis and considers how they have, or have not, been shared by the international community at large, and in particular by Germany, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States. It also considers to what degree Syrians have been able to find protection in states outside the region. Germany and Sweden, by the end of 2014, had provided protection to the largest number of Syrian refugees outside the region. Although Germany, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States differ in the level of protection provided to Syrians, all four states have increased protection to Syrians via resettlement and asylum (and in the case of the US temporary protected status) since 2012. Despite this, the degree of protection provided by the four states is modest in relation to that provided by neighboring countries to Syria, and far more could be done. This paper also argues that the international community as a whole has not sufficiently contributed toward alleviating the burden caused by the Syrian refugee influx, in terms of both financial assistance and refugee resettlement.
  • Topic: Civil War, Humanitarian Aid, Regional Cooperation, Authoritarianism, Refugee Crisis
  • Political Geography: Syria, Syria
  • Author: Thomas Ambrosio
  • Publication Date: 07-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on Migration and Human Security
  • Institution: Center for Migration Studies of New York
  • Abstract: While concerns about the loyalties of “hyphenated Americans” remain, the widespread acceptance of multiculturalism in American society has legitimized activities by ethnic groups to advocate within the US political system on behalf of their country of origin and its interests. This phenomenon is not new, but it has received heightened scholarly attention since the end of the Cold War for three reasons. First, given the level of American power, the United States has fewer constraints on its actions on the international stage and therefore its internal sources of conduct are more important — interest groups of all types could potentially influence US foreign policy to a greater degree than before. Second, the United States’ highly diverse ethnic composition means that nearly every event outside the country has an impact on at least some of its citizens; moreover, there are a multitude of ethnic groups vying for influence over US foreign policy. This diversity and mobilization has increased over the past few decades. Lastly, the decentralized nature of the American political system (and, in particular, the US Congress) allows for multiple points of entry into the policy-making process, which, in turn, grants these groups greater influence. Ethnic interest groups are a core part of this system and they must be taken into account when seeking to explain American foreign policy.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Cold War, Politics, Ethnicity
  • Political Geography: United States of America
  • Author: Charles Kamasaki, Susan Timmons, Courtney Tudi, Amelia Collins, Jack Holmgren, Donald Kerwin, Kerry O'Brien
  • Publication Date: 07-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on Migration and Human Security
  • Institution: Center for Migration Studies of New York
  • Abstract: Successful implementation of any broad-scale immigrant legalization program requires an adequately funded infrastructure of immigrant serving organizations. In 2014, President Obama announced an expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, as well as the Deferred Action for Parents of Citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program, which would make it possible for approximately five million people to attain lawful, albeit temporary, status and employment authorization. As the initial DACA program instituted in 2012 has already stretched the capacity of immigrant-serving organizations to their limits or even beyond them, the possibility of full implementation of DAPA and the expanded DACA programs presents a formidable challenge for these organizations.
  • Topic: Human Welfare, Humanitarian Aid, Immigration, Sociology, Reform
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: María E Enchautegui
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on Migration and Human Security
  • Institution: Center for Migration Studies of New York
  • Abstract: Experiences under the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) may prove to be a poor guide for understanding how smoothly today's unauthorized immigrants will integrate into the economy under reform proposals such as the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act (S. 744). While IRCA provided a relatively quick path to legal permanent resident status, S. 744 proposes a decade long process with much attendant uncertainty. This and other provisions in S. 744 may adversely affect immigrants' integration and economic mobility.
  • Topic: Economics, Immigration
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Susan Gzesh
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on Migration and Human Security
  • Institution: Center for Migration Studies of New York
  • Abstract: International human rights are "inalienable, indivisible, and universal." One cannot bargain away one's rights ("inalienable"); human rights are a whole with economic rights and civil rights being inter-dependent ("indivisible"); and human rights do not depend on citizenship or membership in a nation state ("universal"). A human being does not lose his or her human rights by crossing a border. However in state regulation of the entrance and stay of temporary migrant workers, the ideal of universal human rights clashes with the prerogatives of sovereignty and power.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Immigration
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Claire Bergeron
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on Migration and Human Security
  • Institution: Center for Migration Studies of New York
  • Abstract: Since 1990, the United States has offered hundreds of thousands of non-citizens who are unable to return to their countries of origin because of war or a natural disaster a vital form of humanitarian protection: temporary protected status (TPS). While a grant of TPS does not place a non-citizen on a path to permanent residence, TPS recipients receive protection against deportation and temporary permission to live and work in the United States. Nearly 25 years after the statutory creation of TPS, however, the use of the program has been the subject of some debate, largely because of concerns over whether TPS grants are truly "temporary."
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Donald Kerwin
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on Migration and Human Security
  • Institution: Center for Migration Studies of New York
  • Abstract: Temporary protection programs can provide haven to endangered persons while states and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) work to create durable solutions in sending, host and third countries. They have the potential to further the interests of forced migrants in protection, states in effective and coordinated migration management, and the international community in solidarity.
  • Topic: Immigration
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Susan Ginsburg
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on Migration and Human Security
  • Institution: Center for Migration Studies of New York
  • Abstract: The 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights affirmed in Article 13 that "[e]veryone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country." In response to the Soviet Union's and China's prohibitive controls over the travel of their citizens, Article 13 recognized the right of individual citizens to take trips to other countries willing to receive them, knowing that they may return home at the end of their foreign stays.
  • Topic: Globalization, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: United States, China
  • Author: Jacqueline Hagan, Jean Luc Demonsant, Sergio Chávez
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on Migration and Human Security
  • Institution: Center for Migration Studies of New York
  • Abstract: Most human capital and migration studies classify migrants with limited formal education as "unskilled," despite substantial skills developed through job and life experiences. Drawing on a binational multi-stage research project that involved interviews with 320 Mexican migrants and return migrants in North Carolina and Guanajuato, Mexico, we identify the lifelong human capital they acquired and transferred throughout their careers and discover that these include not only basic education and English, but also technical and social skills and competences acquired informally on and off the job throughout the course of one's life. We further find that the learning and transfer of skills is a lifelong, gendered process, reflecting the different social contexts and jobs in which men and women learn. In this paper we document several mobility pathways associated with the acquisition and transfer of skills across the migratory circuit, including reskilling, occupational mobility, job jumping, and entrepreneurship.
  • Topic: Immigration
  • Political Geography: Mexico, North Carolina
  • Author: Todd Scribner, Anastasia Brown
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on Migration and Human Security
  • Institution: Center for Migration Studies of New York
  • Abstract: World War II caused the displacement of millions of people throughout Europe. In response, the United States initiated a public-private partnership that assisted in the resettlement of hundreds of thousands of the region's displaced persons. For nearly 40 years after the War, the US commitment to refugee resettlement played out in an ad hoc fashion as it responded to emerging crises in different ways. During this period the government's involvement with resettlement became gradually intertwined with that of non-governmental resettlement agencies, which came to play an increasingly vital role in the resettlement process. The budding relationship that began in the middle decades of the twentieth century set the foundation for an expansive and dynamic public-private partnership that continues to this day. The Refugee Act of 1980solidified the relationship between resettlement agencies and the federal government, established political asylum in US law, and created the refugee resettlement program and a series of assistance programs to help refugees transition to life in the United States. This legislation marked a decisive turning point in the field of refugee resettlement.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Melanie Nezer
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on Migration and Human Security
  • Institution: Center for Migration Studies of New York
  • Abstract: There has been no significant legislation related to the asylum process enacted in Congress in nearly a decade. In 1996, the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigration Responsibility Act (IIRIRA) became law, rolling back protections for asylum seekers by including a one-year deadline for filing asylum applications, subjecting asylum seekers to "expedited removal" procedures, and expanding the detention of asylum seekers. In 2005, Congress enacted the REAL ID Act, which created additional legal barriers to asylum, including new requirements for proving an asylum claim.
  • Topic: Immigration
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Sandra Lazo de la Vega, Timothy Steigenga
  • Publication Date: 01-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on Migration and Human Security
  • Institution: Center for Migration Studies of New York
  • Abstract: As one of the most visible and vulnerable manifestations of the presence of Latino immigrants in "new destination" communities across the United States, day laborers have become a locus of conflict over the past fifteen years for local policy makers, advocacy organizations, and neighborhood residents. Communities have dealt with day labor in drastically different ways. Some have passed harsh anti-immigrant ordinances, hoping that a hostile environment will encourage immigrants to leave. Restrictionist state and local legislation, however, has proven costly to enforce, has been challenged in court, and has hindered immigrant integration. Other communities have gone against the restrictionist tide. This paper argues that organized day labor centers, such as the El Sol Resource Center in Jupiter, Florida, address many of the fundamental fears that polarize local policymaking and the national immigration reform debate. In Jupiter, El Sol has not only eliminated a controversial open-air labor market by bringing the process into a formal and organized structure, it has also provided access to English and civics classes, preventive health screenings and legal services in cases of wage theft. Furthermore, through El Sol the Town of Jupiter has opened a two-way process of immigrant integration. Jupiter's day laborers are no longer "hiding in the shadows," but rather are engaging in active citizenship and working with native-born community volunteers to run the center.
  • Political Geography: United States, Central America, Mexico
  • Author: Todd Scribner, Francesca Vietti
  • Publication Date: 01-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on Migration and Human Security
  • Institution: Center for Migration Studies of New York
  • Abstract: This article examines contemporary, mass migration from the perspective of human security. It tracks the development of the human security model of international relations, and compares it to the well-established state security model that has served as the dominant paradigm for international relations since the seventeenth century. The article argues that human security offers a more effective approach to many of the underlying problems and threats associated with mass migration, than does the traditional state-security model. It challenges national and international authorities to address threats to human security, in order to minimize forced migration and to create the conditions for migration by choice, not necessity.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, War
  • Political Geography: United Nations
  • Author: Donald Kerwin
  • Publication Date: 01-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on Migration and Human Security
  • Institution: Center for Migration Studies of New York
  • Abstract: Low-wage immigrants in the United States, particularly the 8 million unauthorized workers, suffer from widespread labor standards violations. Their protection represents a singular challenge for modestly-resourced federal and state regulators, particularly in an era of record immigration enforcement. Many employers hire the unauthorized, knowingly or unknowingly, because they cannot attract sufficient numbers of authorized workers. An enduring minority, however, prefer to employ unauthorized workers in order to suppress wages and working conditions and to gain an advantage over their competitors. Their business model depends on the exploitation of workers who are less likely to complain, organize or pursue other remedies for mistreatment. Exacerbating matters, the unauthorized work disproportionately in jobs to which certain labor standards do not apply, and they belong to labor unions at lower rates than the US workforce as a whole (Schmitt 2010). Employers, in turn, face intense competition and pressure to cut costs. In addition, intensive immigration enforcement can make employees more vulnerable to retaliation for exercising their rights and less likely to challenge abuses (Cho and Smith 2013).
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Maryann Bylander
  • Publication Date: 01-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on Migration and Human Security
  • Institution: Center for Migration Studies of New York
  • Abstract: Waiting for José uncovers the practices and motivations of those who form the ranks of the Minutemen — a U.S. anti -immigration movement that has garnered national attention over the past decade for its voluntary border patrols and anti -immigration campaigns. By liberal media accounts, the Minutemen are often depicted as xenophobic vigilantes; while in the eyes of the conservative media, they are heroic patriots. The Minutemen's website boasts their mission as "bringing awareness to the illegal alien invasion," and describes their efforts to protect American jobs, fight against fraud (they claim that "millions of illegal immigrants are getting a bigger tax refund than you"), and stop unlawful immigration. Whether readers are sympathetic to or enraged by the Minutemen's political bravado, they will be captivated by Harel Shapira's work helping us understand them.
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Josiah McC. Heyman
  • Publication Date: 01-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on Migration and Human Security
  • Institution: Center for Migration Studies of New York
  • Abstract: In July 2012, a diverse group of US residents living near the US-Mexico border met in El Paso, Texas for a conference entitled, We the Border: Envisioning a Narrative for Our Future. This paper describes their vision for the US-Mexico border that is at odds with the widespread view of the border as a threat to the United States. These border residents viewed their region as a set of human communities with rights, capacities, and valuable insights and knowledge. They embraced an alternative vision of border enforcement that would focus on "quality" (dangerous entrants and contraband) over "quantity" (mass migration enforcement). They called for investments in the functionality and security of ports of entry, rather than in between ports of entry. They noted the low crime rate in US border cities, and examined how policies of not mixing local law enforcement with federal immigration enforcement contributed to this achievement. They saw the border region as the key transportation and brokerage zone of the emerging, integrated North American economy. In their view, the bilingual, bicultural, and binational skills that characterize border residents form part of a wider border culture that embraces diversity and engenders creativity. Under this vision the border region is not an empty enforcement zone, but is part of the national community and its residents should enjoy the same constitutional and human rights as other US residents. The conference participants emphasized the necessity and value of accountability and oversight of central government enforcement operations, and the need for border communities to participate in federal decision-making that affects their lives.
  • Political Geography: United States, North America