Friday, June 21, 2024

New Report: “No Human Being Should Be Held Here”: The Mistreatment of LGBTQ and HIV-Positive People in Federal Immigration Jails

Important new report published this month by Immigration Equality, the NIJC, and Human Rights First: “No Human Being Should Be Held Here”: The Mistreatment of LGBTQ and HIV-Positive People in Federal Immigration Jails.

Based on interviews with people held in ICE and CBP custody who identified as LGBTQ and HIV-positive, researchers found:

  • One third reported sexual abuse, physical assaults or sexual harassment;
  • A majority received inadequate medical care or were denied care altogether, including the majority of individuals living with HIV;
  • About half reported new or increased mental health symptoms while in detention;
  • Nearly all reported verbal abuse or threats of violence and assault that were homophobic, transphobic, xenophobic, or racist;
  • Many struggled to access counsel.


Screenshot 2024-06-21 062403

June 21, 2024 in Data and Research | Permalink | Comments (0)

New Report by UCLA's Immigrants' Rights Policy Clinic

UCLA Law's Immigrants' Rights Policy Clinic has issued a new report: Cruel Indifference: Family Separation at the U.S.-Mexico Border Before and After Zero Tolerance.

The report addresses the common misconceptions that family separation started under the Trump administration and ended under President Biden.

The report follows on the heels of Biden’s newly-announced executive actions that promise to keep some families already in the United States together, while doubling down on policies that tear families apart at the border. 


Cruel indiffference

June 21, 2024 in Data and Research | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

New Publication: A Guide to Obtaining Release from Immigration Detention

Don't miss the National Immigration Project's new resource,  A Guide to Obtaining Release from Immigration Detention.

The Guide provides detailed coverage of the range of legal and procedural issues that arise in bond proceedings in U.S. immigration courts, including:

  • legal authorities governing immigration detention
  • strategies for seeking release
  • bond hearing procedures
  • how to prepare for a bond hearing
  • appellate issues

The Guide was first published in 2018 by Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC) before being updated by the National Immigration Project this year.



June 11, 2024 in Data and Research, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, June 6, 2024

New Research on EU Migration Featured in The Conversation

Natalia Letki, Dawid Walentek, Peter Thisted Dinesen, and Ulf Liebe have published an essay in the Conversation highlighting their recent research on EU Migration, "We polled EU citizens on what they want asylum policy to look like – their answers may surprise you."

Their research finds that citizens in the EU "are not as polarized" on the migration issue as their governments. Instead, "[a]cross member states, people have remarkably similar preferences, including being strongly in favor of asylum seekers being allowed to work."

They also find that in the countries with the highest rates of new asylum applicants--such as Germany and Spain--citizens express an interest in being "able to relocate new applicants to less burdened countries."

Those interested in learning more can read the full article, published in West European Politics.


June 6, 2024 in Data and Research | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, May 24, 2024

Fewer of Canada's Recent Immigrants Are Over-educated For Their Jobs

Here's an interesting statistic reported by the Toronto Star: The latest Canadian census revealed that just 26.7% of the country's recent immigrants were over-educated for their jobs in 2021, a reduction from the 31.1% of recent immigrants reported to be over-educated for their jobs according to the 2016 census. Over-education was defined by researchers as the employment of an individual with a bachelor’s degree in a position requiring only a high school education. As for the figure, 26.7%, it is not only lower than the 2016 figure, it is the lowest reported percentage in some 20 years.

The paper's reporting draws from this in-depth analysis by Statistics Canada.


May 24, 2024 in Current Affairs, Data and Research | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Report: Raiding the Genome: How the United States Government Is Abusing Its Immigration Powers to Amass DNA for Future Policing

Sponk, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Today, the Georgetown Law Center on Privacy and Technology published a new (108 page!) report entitled Raiding the Genome: How the United States Government Is Abusing Its Immigration Powers to Amass DNA for Future Policing. Here are the one-sentence versions of their seven key takeaways:

  1. Since 2020, DHS has added more than 1.5 million DNA profiles to a national law enforcement database.
  2. DHS misleads and intimidates people to get them to submit to DNA collection.
  3. DHS is collecting DNA primarily from people of color, creating new risks for already overpoliced communities.
  4. This massive expansion of federal DNA-collecting power is the result of several low-profile administrative sleights of hand.
  5. The government is exploiting its immigration powers to collect genetic material for policing at a pace that would not be possible using criminal policing powers.
  6. DHS’s DNA collection program violates the Fourth Amendment.
  7. Indefinite government retention of DNA samples poses major risks to individual rights and democratic self governance, given rapidly advancing technology and political instability in the U.S.

I am making my way through the full report. Looks like some excellent new material to include in my fall crimmigration course.


May 21, 2024 in Current Affairs, Data and Research | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, May 20, 2024

Policy Brief: Expanding the possibilities of working holidays

Caitlin Katsiaficas & Justyna Segeš Frelak have just published a policy brief entitled Expanding the possibilities of working holidays.

Here's the introduction:

Working holiday programmes and other youth mobility schemes offer a chance to live, work, travel, potentially train or study the local language, and more generally acquire experience in another country. Many working holiday programmes emphasise cultural exchange and tourism as their raison d’être, offering a chance for youth to gain international experience with the possibility of working to help finance their stay and travel. Other youth mobility schemes have a different focus, such as education or employability. Targeted at young people, these schemes can offer a range of benefits to participants, employers, destination countries, and origin countries alike. However, while EU Member States have initiatives in place to support such schemes, particularly work and travel, these remain limited in scope and scale. By contrast, programmes in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States are far larger in terms of participating countries, participating youth, and concurrently impact. Against this backdrop, this paper explores the potential benefits of strategically expanding mobility opportunities for third-country national youth to the EU and maps different options for making this possible. It additionally presents the potential trade- offs when it comes to programme goals and design and highlights key considerations for those looking to develop and launch new youth mobility schemes.

It comes with infographics. I love a good infographic.

Infographic_Expanding the possibilities of working holiday schemes



May 20, 2024 in Data and Research | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, May 17, 2024

New TRAC Report: Two-Thirds of Court Asylum Applicants Over Past Decade Found Legally Entitled to Remain

A new report published by TRAC today finds that over the past decade, 66% of all immigrants in removal proceedings who filed asylum applications were entitled to remain in the United States. This includes people who were granted asylum, but also others whose cases were closed in other ways.

The report finds: The latest Immigrant Court records show that over the past decade (FY 2014 to April 2024) Immigration Judges have adjudicated just over one million removal cases in which the immigrant filed an asylum application. Out of these 1,047,134 cases, Judges determined that 685,956 immigrants were legally entitled to remain in the United States because they merited asylum or another form of relief from deportation. Another 332,552 immigrants were ordered removed, and an additional 28,626 immigrants were issued voluntary departure orders. Thus, in total, only about a third (34%) of immigrants in removal proceedings who filed asylum applications were ordered deported while two-thirds (66%) were allowed to remain in the country."

See the latest report here:



May 17, 2024 in Data and Research | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, May 11, 2024

New Database of Commissary Pricing

Attention immprofs who are researching/writing on issues related to immigration detention.  The Appeal, a nonprofit news organization, has created the first national database of prison commissary lists. They've written up some of their findings in a piece called Locked In, Priced Out: How Prison Commissary Price-Gouging Preys on the Incarcerated.

Given that immigration detention facilities routinely outsource commissary services (see here and here), this database may be rich for future research.


May 11, 2024 in Data and Research | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, May 10, 2024

New TRAC Data: Nearly 1.3 Million Asylum Cases Now Pending in Immigration Court

As of April 2024, TRAC at Syracuse University reveals that the immigration court system is experiencing unprecedented levels, with nearly 1.3 million immigrants filing asylum applications amidst a total backlog of 3.6 million cases.

This year has seen a significant influx of over 1.3 million new cases, challenging immigration judges who have managed to complete 517,675 cases so far. Despite the judges' efforts to pace with the growing backlog, they are set to complete a record number of cases by year-end.

However, only 35.7% of cases result in removal or voluntary departure orders, and notably, just 13.9% of those ordered deported in April, including unaccompanied children, had legal representation. This data underscores the critical issues facing the immigration court system and the urgent need for legal support for immigrants. 

See TRAC's announcement with updated immigration court data here:
  • Immigration Courts recorded receiving 1,305,443 new cases so far in FY 2024 as of April 2024. This compares with 517,675 cases that the court completed during this period.
  • According to court records, only 0.38% of FY 2024 new cases sought deportation orders based on any alleged criminal activity of the immigrant, apart from possible illegal entry.
  • At the end of April 2024, 3,596,317 active cases were pending before the Immigration Court.
  • At the end of April 2024, out of the total backlog of 3,596,317 cases, 1,278,654 immigrants have already filed formal asylum applications and are now waiting for asylum hearings or decisions in Immigration Court.
  • Miami-Dade County, FL, has the most residents with pending Immigration Court deportation cases (as of the end of April 2024).
  • So far this fiscal year (through April 2024), immigration judges have issued removal and voluntary departure orders in 35.7% of completed cases, totaling 170,165 deportation orders.
  • Among Immigration Court cases completed in April 2024, immigrants in Colorado had the highest proportion ordered removed. Vermont residents had the lowest proportion ordered removed.
  • So far in FY 2024 (through April 2024), immigrants from Honduras top list of nationalities with largest number ordered deported.
  • Only 13.9% of immigrants, including unaccompanied children, had an attorney to assist them in Immigration Court cases when a removal order was issued in April 2024.
  • Immigration judges have held 15,548 bond hearings so far in FY 2024 (through April 2024). Of these 4,644 were granted bond.

May 10, 2024 in Data and Research | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, May 1, 2024

New Report: Expanding Temporary Protected Status

A new report from "Expanding Temporary Protected Status Significantly Benefits U.S. Citizen Family Members."

The report argues that TPS is "vital for the future well-being of U.S. citizen family members." The report cites research by Cecilia Menjívar, a Professor of Sociology at UCLA and immigration fellow, that reveals "that TPS can lift U.S. citizen family members out of poverty, provide new educational opportunities, and improve physical and mental well-being. This is because TPS offers increased security from the threat of deportation while also providing better economic opportunities through work permits for TPS holders."

The full report is available here.


May 1, 2024 in Data and Research | Permalink | Comments (2)

Friday, April 26, 2024

TRAC Announcement: Number of Immigrant Detainees Arrested by ICE Continues to Increase

TRAC updated its quick facts immigrant detention tools today. Their press release is available below:

The number of immigrants in ICE detention who were arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (typically representing 'interior enforcement') instead of Customs and Border Protection (typically at or near the US borders) has grown steadily to now over 12,000 for the first time since November 2020. In that month, similar data released by ICE reported 11,503 detainees at that time were arrested by ICE.

According to the latest data released by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), out of the 34,373 detainees held in detention, 12,083 (or 35%) were arrested by ICE. The rise in total number of ICE-arrested detainees comes even as the overall numbers of detainees nationally has fallen slightly from two weeks ago to 34,373, driven by fewer numbers of CBP arrests that result in detention.

The number of migrants who are electronically monitored by ICE's alternatives to detention (ATD) program remains remarkably steady and currently totals 184,318. Notably, however, the agency's use GPS smartwatches continues to increase, and now reaches a total of 1,441—up from under 1,000 two weeks ago. GPS ankle monitors, which had declined to under 5,000 in June 2023, also continues to increase and now stands at over 20,000 for the first time since May 2022.

Among all of ICE's areas of responsibility (AORs), the number of migrants monitored on ATD in El Paso has jumped most significantly since the end of last fiscal year. While many AORs—such as Miami, San Antonio, and Washington, D.C.—are monitoring fewer migrants than before, the El Paso AOR increased from a total of 2,935 migrants at end of September 2023 to 7,644 in the most recent data. This is much lower than the AOR's with most immigrants monitoring, including San Francisco at 18,630 and Chicago at 17,215, but represents a significant relative increase.

Note TRAC's previous reports that raise concerns about the quality of ICE's public ATD data, specifically related to the accuracy of data on the number of migrants on GPS ankle monitors.

Highlights from data updated in TRAC's Detention Quick Facts tool show that:

  • Immigration and Customs Enforcement held 34,373 in ICE detention according to data current as of April 21, 2024.

  • 20,852 out of 34,373—or 60.7%—held in ICE detention have no criminal record, according to data current as of April 21, 2024. Many more have only minor offenses, including traffic violations.

  • ICE relied on detention facilities in Texas to house the most people during FY 2024, according to data current as of April 15, 2024.

  • ICE arrested 7,544 and CBP arrested 14,557 of the 22,101 people booked into detention by ICE during March 2024.

  • South Texas Fam Residential Center in Dilley, Texas held the largest number of ICE detainees so far in FY 2024, averaging 1,829 per day (as of April 2024).

  • ICE Alternatives to Detention (ATD) programs are currently monitoring 184,318 families and single individuals, according to data current as of April 20, 2024.

  • San Francisco's area office has highest number in ICE's Alternatives to Detention (ATD) monitoring programs, according to data current as of April 20, 2024.

For more information, see TRAC's Quick Facts tools here or click here to learn more about TRAC's entire suite of immigration tools.


April 26, 2024 in Data and Research | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

New TRAC Analysis of Growing Deportation Orders

In the latest report by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), significant trends in immigration court deportations are detailed, emphasizing the increased number of removal orders and varying rates of legal representation among immigrants. Here’s a brief overview of the essential findings:

  • Increased Removal Orders: Over the first half of FY 2024, immigration judges issued 136,623 deportation orders, a 50% increase compared to the peak in FY 2019.

  • Top Locations for Deportations: New York City, Harris County (Houston), and Los Angeles County saw the highest numbers of immigrants ordered deported, with significant activities also in Dallas and Miami-Dade counties.

  • Representation Rates: Only 15% of immigrants ordered removed had legal representation, significantly affecting their ability to contest removals effectively.

  • Long Case Durations: Immigration court cases, especially those resulting in deportations, are taking longer, averaging over two and a half years to conclude.

  • Impact of Legal Representation: Immigrants with legal representation have markedly better outcomes, with a significant portion of represented individuals avoiding deportation, particularly among those filing for asylum.

For a detailed read on the topic, visit the TRAC report.


April 23, 2024 in Data and Research | Permalink | Comments (1)

Saturday, March 30, 2024

US Census Categories to include MENA, change Hispanic ethnicity


The US census will change its demographic categories to include a Middle Eastern / North African (MENA) category, separate from white / caucasian, and to classify as Hispanic / Latinx identity as a race and an ethnicity.

Reporting from Hansi Lo Wang, NPR, shows the questionnaire in the OMB statistical directive.

The Biden administration has approved proposals for a new response option for "Middle Eastern or North African" and a "Hispanic or Latino" box that appears under a reformatted question that asks: "What is your race and/or ethnicity?"

Going forward, participants in federal surveys will be presented with at least seven "race and/or ethnicity" categories, along with instructions that say: "Select all that apply."

The changes are responsive to community advocates and recommendations from data equity working groups seeking to monitor government programs that serve racial minority and other marginalized groups. The years of research and discussion by federal officials goes back to 2014 and was announced in a Federal Register notice before its official publication.


March 30, 2024 in Current Affairs, Data and Research | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, March 15, 2024

College applicants with immigrant parents caught in chaos of college admissions

The college admissions students brings perennial stress to high school seniors and their families. This year a snag with financial aid forms caused additional chaos and put families in the difficult position of needing to commit to attending schools without full information about the price tag for tuition, which is easily $50,000 / year at private schools.

A particular difficulty arose for student applicants from mixed status families, where US-born children have immigrant parents lacking a social security. The Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form is used by many schools to calculate eligibility for student loans and school-sponsored or private aid that makes up the tuition difference. The new online portal for FAFSA did not allow for submissions without signatures from a parent with a social security number. (In the past, signature forms could be mailed in after completing the rest of the form online.) Advocacy groups estimate that a half-million U.S. citizen students wit hundocumented parents are applying and could be megatively impacted.

The Education Department provided a nine-step workaround for the signature requirement alongside student eligibility requirements, but the new procedure would override paper applications already submitted and replace the earlier recorded date of submission.

The Wall Street Journal shares a story of Emannuel, a 17-year old student from Denver whose parents immigrated from Mexico in the 1990s and lack this information. In the story, Emannuel lamented that the delay updating his forms could mean that his state scholarship applications, that rely on FAFSA information even without funding, could be harmed by late processing.


March 15, 2024 in Current Affairs, Data and Research | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, February 12, 2024

Immigrants Paid $2 Billion in ICE Bonds Since FY 2017

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) often requires immigrants to pay a bond before releasing them from immigrant detention centers. In addition to Alternatives to Detention (ATD) monitoring, ICE uses bonds as a way of ensuring that immigrants attend their immigration court hearings and follow additional requirements set by ICE. Once a bond is posted, detained immigrants are typically released.

Based on new data obtained by TRAC through Freedom of Information Act requests, between the start of FY 2017 (October 2016) and the end of December 2023, immigrants or their supporters posted more than a quarter of a million bonds and paid Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) just over $2 billion in bond money. The median immigration bond paid was $6,000. Use of bonds peaked during FY 2019. Of the $2 billion, about one-fourth was posted during just that one year.

The number of bonds posted per month varied over time, but was not driven entirely by the total detained population. The total number of bonds and the aggregate bond amounts increased from FY 2017 to FY 2019, the first three years of the Trump administration, a time when detention numbers were also on the rise. The COVID-19 pandemic led to a decline in detention numbers overall as well as a decline in bonds posted.

However, the total bonds posted remained mostly low until February 2022 when they began to increase from around 1,000 per month to over 2,000 per month and peaked at over 3,600 in August 2022. Over this period, ICE’s detained population increased, but not enough to account for the increase in bonds. By the start of 2023, the total numbers of bonds dropped to just over 1,000 per month where they mostly remained throughout 2023, even though detention numbers substantially increased.

Typically, immigration bonds must be posted at one of ICE’s field offices. The location with the most detention bonds posted is ICE’s detention facility in Eloy, Arizona where over 22,500 bonds have been posted since FY 2017 for a total of nearly $185 million. The ICE office in Adelanto, California, received over 10,000 bonds in total. This was on par with other facilities in Miami, Oakdale, and Florence, but what made Adelanto stand out was the median bond amount of $15,000—far higher than at other facilities.

See the full report here:

February 12, 2024 in Current Affairs, Data and Research | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, February 6, 2024

New Report from Vera: People on Electronic Monitoring

There is a new report out today from Vera: People on Electronic Monitoring.

It includes comprehensive data collection on the use of electronic monitoring around the world, including by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

You can access the full report here.

Here is the abstract:

Electronic monitoring (EM) is a form of digital surveillance that tracks people’s physical location, movement, or other markers of behavior (such as blood alcohol level). It is commonly used in the criminal legal system as a condition of pretrial release or post-conviction supervision and for people in civil immigration proceedings who are facing deportation.

EM has been shown to carry substantial emotional and physical harms, place onerous restrictions on people’s lives, compromise people’s privacy, and present an ongoing threat of incarceration. However, in contrast to other aspects of incarceration and community supervision, there is no national survey or reporting requirement for the number of people on EM. This report fills a gap in understanding around the size and scope of EM use in the United States.

This figure from the report is striking and shows the rise of electronic monitoring in the civil immigration system, as compared to the criminal legal system.

Vera report


February 6, 2024 in Data and Research | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, February 2, 2024

Report: After a Decade of Decline, the US Undocumented Population Increased by 650,000 in 2022, by Robert Warren

The Center for Migration Studies of New York (CMS) has released a new report, After a Decade of Decline, the US Undocumented Population Increased by 650,000 in 2022, by Robert Warren. This report describes estimates of the undocumented population residing in the United States in 2022 compiled by CMS. The estimates are based on data collected in the American Community Survey (ACS) conducted by the US Census Bureau.

The report finds that the undocumented population grew from 10.3 million in 2021 to 10.9 million in 2022, an increase of 650,000. The increase reverses more than a decade of gradual decline. The undocumented populations from 10 countries increased by a total of 525,000. The report explains why undocumented population growth is much less than the number of apprehensions by the Department of Homeland Security. Finally, the Appendix provides a detailed description of the CMS methodology.


February 2, 2024 in Data and Research | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, January 29, 2024

GCM talk on Legal Identity in the Context of Return, Readmission and Sustainable Reintegration on February 1

The Global Compact on Migration (GCM) talk on Legal Identity in the Context of Return, Readmission and Sustainable Reintegration will take place on February 1, 2024 from 4 - 530 p.m. (CET) with interpretation in EN, FR, and SP.

The talk will explore obstacles to and options for securing proof of legal identity for persons in the process of return to their countries of origin and sustainable reintegration.  Speakers include Kathleen Newland, Senior Fellow and Co-Founder of the Migration Policy Institute.

Register here for the session.


January 29, 2024 in Data and Research | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Is a Border Deal in Congress on the Horizon?

Coat of arms or logo

For the last few days, there have been rumblings that Congress may reach a border deal.  NBC News reports that negotiations in the U.S. Senate to toughen the immigration and asylum laws have moved to working with key senators to finalize the funding provisions in the deal. "The immigration group is now working with the Senate Appropriations Committee on how to craft the funding language to match the policy changes the negotiators have largely agreed to."

“We’re at the point of drafting and finalizing text. We don’t have an enormous amount of work left to do,” Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., the chief Democratic negotiator, said yesterday.  “You can’t just change policy," Murphy said. "You’ve also got to fund the policy.”

The lead negotiators are Senators Murphy, Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.), and James Lankford (R-Okla.,).   

The devil will, as they say, be in the details.  According to Karoun Demerjian of the New York Times, "[m]uch of the recent haggling over the emerging agreement — and a point of contention for its critics — has been about how to limit the number of people who are granted parole, a status that allows migrants without visas to live and work in the United States temporarily."


January 23, 2024 in Data and Research | Permalink | Comments (0)