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)

Monday, January 22, 2024

National Conference of State Legislatures Immigration Legislation Database

National Conference of State Legislatures

An important resource for ImmigrationProfs out there is the Immigration Legislation Database compiled by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).

The database includes legislation from 2008 to the present. NCSL is currently tracking state laws on a range of immigration topics, including employment, health, and law enforcement.

The full database can be accessed here.


January 22, 2024 in Data and Research | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, January 11, 2024

Immigration Article of the Day: Emergency Medical Responses at US Immigration and Customs Enforcement Detention Centers in California by Annette M. Dekker, Jennifer Farah, Parveen Parmar, Atilla B. Uner, and David L. Schriger

The Immigration Article of the Day is "Emergency Medical Responses at US Immigration and Customs Enforcement Detention Centers in California" by Annette M. Dekker, Jennifer Farah, Parveen Parmar, Atilla B. Uner, and David L. Schriger.

The article was published on November 29, 2023 in JAMA and is available here.

The key points of this study are:

Question: What were the characteristics of medical emergencies at US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention centers in California from 2018 to 2022?

Findings: In this cross-sectional analysis of 3 detention centers, emergency medical services reported a median of 68 emergencies per center per year for a total of 1224 medical emergencies. The median number of monthly emergency medical services–reported emergencies across all 3 centers was 3, while that of monthly ICE-reported emergencies was 4.

Meaning: These findings suggest a need for an increased understanding of how medical emergencies are managed at ICE detention centers to ensure that the health care system meets the needs of detained individuals.

The research was also covered in the Los Angeles Times.


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

Thursday, December 28, 2023

Where Migrant Children Are Living in US

The New York Times has in-depth reporting on the increase in child migration to the US post-pandemic. The visual displays tell an eye-opening story.

The first figure shows the rise in the number of children are fleeing poverty in Central America. 

UAC1-increaseThe second figure shows their settlement locations, if not with relatives, in Texas and Florida among other places. Many are recruited and exploited into hard labor with large companies in violation of US workplace laws.


The immense database on unaccompanied children and visual report contains more nuanced pictures worth viewing in full.


December 28, 2023 in Current Affairs, Data and Research | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, December 23, 2023

Stanford Migration and Asylum Lab

Check out the Stanford Migration and Asylum Lab, which just launched its website.  Its mission statement reads as follows:

"The Migration and Asylum Lab seeks to inform immigration courts about country conditions in Latin America through the use of the most up-to-date and rigorous research on issues relevant to asylum cases. The scholars involved in the lab are supremely qualified to provide current and dependable information on country conditions in the context of asylum proceedings. They include political scientists, data analysts, historians, and international relations scholars. They have decades of experience in their field and are widely recognized for their work, which includes peer-reviewed books published by university presses and articles in the top academic journals. 

The Lab’s mission is to provide thorough, dependable country conditions information to help adjudicators to make well informed decisions as to the merit of claims for asylum protection. Our role as expert witnesses is not to act as advocates, but rather to conduct impartial analysis of country conditions based on a wide range of sources, including academic scholarship, government and non-government reports, and media reporting from inside the country and the international press."


December 23, 2023 in Current Affairs, Data and Research | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, December 15, 2023

New Human Rights First Factsheet on Dangers of Mandatory Detention

Human Rights First has published a new factsheet on how mandatory detention.

Some major points made in the factsheet include:

  • Mass detention of asylum seekers violates international human rights and refugee law the United States is bound to uphold that prohibits detention that is unreasonable, unnecessary, disproportionate, or otherwise arbitrary and bars governments from imposing penalties based on asylum seekers’ manner of entry or unlawful presence in a country.
  • Immigration detention is rife with sexual, physical, and verbal abuse, punitive use of solitary confinement, denials of basic necessities, and medical neglect even resulting in death, and separates families.
  • Immigration detention produces less fair outcomes, undermining the due process rights of people seeking asylum and their ability to fully pursue their claims.
  • Immigration detention is not necessary: In Fiscal Year 2023, 99.5% of all people whose asylum cases were decided by immigration judges appeared for their hearings, with only .5% of people seeking asylum in removal proceedings failing to appear for their hearings.
  • Detention costs taxpayers billions, which goes straight into the coffers of private prison companies. Instead, proven case support programs run by community-based organizations ensure the wellbeing of those fleeing persecution and harm by allowing individuals and families to safely live with family and friends while they attend court proceedings and best prepare their asylum cases.


December 15, 2023 in Data and Research | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Reforming the Exchange Visitor Program for Au Pairs

The State Department proposed a rule recently that would clarify the au pair program’s educational and cultural exchange goals by increasing education stipends, proposing new requirements to strengthen au pair protections, and offering a “part-time” program that limits childcare duties to 24 to 31 hours per week, among other changes. To compensate au pairs more fairly, the State Department proposed a national, tiered wage formula to promote wage consistency “across geographic regions and in areas with similar local economic conditions.” The State Department will accept comments on the proposed rule until January 28, 2024.

An essay in The Regulatory Review by Narintohn Luangrath, Carson Turner, and Julia Englebert describes the proposed regulation and its purpose of improved immigrant worker rights -- on par with American workers.

For more information on the J-visa on which au pairs rely, see Catherine Bowman's doctoral research and writing.


December 12, 2023 in Current Affairs, Data and Research | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, December 1, 2023

Immigration Article of the Day: Improving Lawyers & Lives: How Immigrant Justice Corps Built a Model for Quality Representation While Empowering Recent Law School and College Graduates and the Immigrant Communities Whom They Serve by Jojo Annobil & Eliz

Improving Lawyers & Lives: How Immigrant Justice Corps Built a Model for Quality Representation While Empowering Recent Law School and College Graduates and the Immigrant Communities Whom They Serve by Jojo Annobil & Elizabeth Gibson, Fordham Law Review (2023)


The late Judge Robert A. Katzmann of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit formed a study group in 2008 called the Study Group on Immigrant Representation to assess the scope of the problem and find a solution.  The study group determined that the representation crisis was an issue “of both quality and quantity” and that the two most important variables for a successful outcome in a case were having counsel and not being detained.  To address this need, the study group established two innovative programs:  the New York Immigrant Family Unity Project (NYIFUP), the first public defender program to provide universal representation to detained New Yorkers; and Immigrant Justice Corps (IJC), the first and only fellowship program exclusively dedicated to increasing representation to low-income immigrants and improving the immigration bar.

IJC, launched in 2014, recruits, trains, and mentors talented Justice Fellows (recent law graduates and law clerks) and exceptional Community Fellows (college graduates who become federally accredited legal representatives).  IJC then deploys the Justice and Community Fellows (together, the “Fellows”) in the immigration field to assist low-income immigrants in defending against deportation, seeking lawful status, or applying for citizenship.  The Fellows—the great majority of whom are bilingual or multilingual with lived experience of the immigration system—come from top law schools and colleges, and many have developed litigation skills in their schools’ immigration clinics, giving them a head start in mastering the law.

This Essay focuses on the work of IJC and discusses Judge Katzmann and the Study Group on Immigrant Representation’s efforts to find solutions to the representation crisis by developing innovative programs and tackling challenges along the way.


December 1, 2023 in Data and Research, Law Review Articles & Essays | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

2023 Map the Impact Report from the American Immigration Council

Map the impactThe American Immigration Council has announced the release of its 2023 Map the Impact report.

This interactive map (available here) is packed with data measuring the contributions of immigrants across the country.

Key findings include:

• 1 in 8 U.S. residents is an immigrant.
• Immigrants paid over $500 billion in taxes in 2021.
• 22% of all U.S. entrepreneurs are immigrants.




November 14, 2023 in Data and Research | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Webinar on Forthcoming Report: "False Hopes: Over 100,000 Immigrant Youth Trapped in the SIJS Backlog"

On December 4, 2023, The End SIJS Backlog Coalition and Tulane’s Immigrant Rights Clinic will release a new report on the SIJS backlog.


You may register at the link below to attend the webinar accompanying the launch of the new report.


When:     Monday, Dec 4, 2023,  1:00-2:00 pm ET/10:00-11:00 am PT

Where:     Zoom. Register here.


This report reveals never-before-seen data, obtained through FOIA litigation, on the current scope of the SIJS backlog which now impacts over 100,000 youth. It situates this data within the context of new administrative policies impacting SIJS youth, highlights the first-hand stories of SIJS youth, and makes key policy recommendations. This report is a follow-up to the End SIJS Backlog Coalition’s groundbreaking report, “Any Day They Could Deport Me” published in November 2021, and is jointly written and published by the End SIJS Backlog Coalition, a project of the National Immigration Project, and Tulane's Immigrant Rights Clinic



November 1, 2023 in Data and Research | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, October 20, 2023

White House H-2B Worker Protection Taskforce Publishes New Report

White House ReportYesterday the White House H-2B Worker Protection Taskforce published a report addressing the visa program that allows U.S. employers to temporarily hire noncitizens to perform nonagricultural labor. As the Report acknowledges, workers in the H-2B program "face structural disincentives to reporting or leaving abusive conditions, and often lack power to exercise their rights in the face of exploitative employment situations."

The new Report follows last month's issuance of proposed new rules for the H-2A and H-2B programs by the Department of Labor and the Department of Homeland Security that would incorporate protections for workers who take collective action to organize their workplace and introduce greater oversight of employers who take advantage of workers.

The Report cites to 2018 study by Centro de los Derechos del Migrante, Inc., and Penn Carey Law's Transnational Legal Clinic, Engendering Exploitation: Gender Inequality in U.S. Labor Migration Programs, which found that the majority of H-2A workers paid illegal recruitment fees. 

The Taskforce makes a number of policy recommendations, including improving workers' access to information and increasing transparency in the program.

A full copy of the Report, Strengthening Protections for H-2B Temporary Workers, is available here.




October 20, 2023 in Data and Research | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, October 2, 2023

New White Paper: Migration, Race & Criminalization: Federal Criminal Entry & Reentry Laws in the United States

image from pbs.twimg.comOn March 7, 2023, a coalition of organizations working on issues related to racism and human mobility in the Americas presented testimony at a hearing before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (“IACHR”).

A report detailing the findings presented during the hearing was submitted to the IACHR in June 2023.

Last week, the Center for Immigration Law and Policy (“CILP”) at the UCLA School of Law released a new white paper detailing coalition's findings of the racial animus behind the the criminalization of border crossing in the United States. The paper outlines how the modern law violates Inter-American human rights jurisprudence. Finally, the white paper argues that the entry and reentry laws should be proactively addressed by IACHR. 

You can read the full white paper here.



October 2, 2023 in Data and Research | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, September 25, 2023

Language attrition and immigrant assimilation: two sides of the story

A touchpoint experience for many first-generation immigrants is learning English. A touchpoint for the second-generation and later children of immigrant families is the struggle to retain their heritage language. Two recent articles and a Pew Poll (covered by Immprof blogger KJ) speak to the phenomenon of language attrition, or language loss in later generations of immigration: one related to Spanish-speakers and the other to Chinese-speakers (especially non-Mandarin speakers, like the Cantonese speaker in the story).

  • Some Latinos in US Shamed When They cannot Speak Spanish, USA Today (September 20, 2023) 
  • The Parents Trying to Pass Down a Language They Hardly Know, The Atlantic (September 25, 2023) 

These stories are told against a backdrop of playground teasing and grown-up nativism toward immigrants for not learning the English language or not learning it quickly (as Samuel Huntington famously set forth more than a decade ago).

Empirical data on immigrant assimilation and language from a report on Immigrant Assimilation in the US by the National Academy of Sciences shows that language acquisition and loss show itself in the third-generation, squaring the circle of the first-person narratives and Samuel Huntington's complaint against the immigrant and second-generation. The Pew Poll is here.


September 25, 2023 in Current Affairs, Data and Research | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

New Report by Human Rights First on Disability Access at USCIS

Human Rights First has released a new report, "I Felt Not Seen, Not Heard" Gaps in Disability Access at USCIS for People Seeking Protection (September 2023).

A copy of the report is available here.

The report recommends taking immediate access to improve disability access, including the following:

  • Designate disability access coordinators in each asylum office and make their contact information publicly available and easily accessible;
  • Provide increased and regular disability training for USCIS asylum officers and other staff;
  • Clarify and expand existing USCIS guidance on disability access including strengthening the process for requesting reasonable accommodations and appealing denials; and
  • Create policy requiring asylum officers to affirmatively inquire into whether an applicant has a disability during both asylum adjudication and credible fear interviews, engage in an informal, interactive process to provide accommodations, and ensure that people with disabilities are taken out of the expedited removal process and given an opportunity to apply for asylum.


September 19, 2023 in Data and Research | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, September 18, 2023

Immigration Article of the Day: Saving Agency Adjudication by Aaron L. Nielson, Christopher J. Walker, and Melissa F. Wasserman

The Immigration Article of the Day is Saving Agency Adjudication by Aaron L. Nielson, Christopher J. Walker, and Melissa F. Wasserman, just posted on SSRN.

Here is the abstract:

When discussing the federal judiciary, commentators typically fixate on the 800 or so “Article III” judges who are nominated by the President, confirmed by the Senate, and enjoy life tenure and salary protection. Yet most federal adjudication does not take place in federal courthouses at all. Instead, it occurs in nondescript hearing rooms in administrative agencies—if not telephonically. Indeed, the more than 12,000 agency adjudicators scattered across the federal government collectively issue millions of decisions per year on subjects ranging from Social Security and veterans benefits to immigration and patent rights. In recent years, however, scholars and agency adjudicators have raised alarms that agency adjudication may be reaching a crisis point. Following the Supreme Court’s lead, federal courts have begun holding that how agency adjudicators are appointed and removed violates Article II of the Constitution because these agency officials are not sufficiently subject to the President’s control. Political control, however, threatens the perceived legitimacy of the adjudicatory process, and perhaps sometimes its actual legitimacy as well. The more entrenched the unitary executive theory becomes, reformers argue, the greater the risk that decisional independence will collapse. Reformers therefore have advanced sweeping proposals to save agency adjudication, including most prominently creating a new “central panel” agency to house agency adjudicators, expanding the Article I courts, or even moving agency adjudication into Article III courts.

This Article examines these proposals to save agency adjudication and explains why none of them will work, at least as a general matter. Each of these proposed solutions ultimately will not solve the problem and could have significant unintended consequences—some potentially catastrophic to the millions of individuals who participate in agency adjudication each year. One purpose of this Article therefore is to save agency adjudication from these well-intentioned but ultimately misguided reforms. But just because these proposals will do more harm than good does not mean that reformers are wrong to worry about the threat Article II poses to agency adjudication. Instead of fundamentally restructuring agency adjudication, however, we argue that Congress and federal agencies can more creatively use certain independence-enhancing tools that the Constitution itself provides, including prospectively raising the political costs of presidential interference in adjudicatory decisions and adopting self-imposed restrictions on agency-head appointment and removal. Unlike more sweeping and untested proposals, these longstanding tools do not raise constitutional concerns and will not cause systemic disruption. Yet they will safeguard decisional independence, thus saving agency adjudication from both Article II and imprudent reforms.


September 18, 2023 in Data and Research | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Immigration Article of the Day: US Asylum Lawyering and Temporal Violence by Catherine L. Crooke

image from soc.ucla.eduThe Immigration Article of the Day is US Asylum Lawyering and Temporal Violence by Catherine L. Crooke, just published in Law & Social Inquiry.

The full article is available here.

Here is the abstract:

Research on the temporal dimensions of international migration focuses on how migrants experience time. This study instead turns attention to public interest lawyers, whose work plays a crucial role in ensuring favorable legal outcomes for immigrants, in order to consider time’s salience within the US asylum context. Based on twelve months of ethnographic fieldwork with Los Angeles-based public interest asylum attorneys, this article argues that lawyers confront both weaponized efficiency and weaponized inefficiency in the course of representing asylum seekers. Advocates must rush to keep pace, on the one hand, as various state actors accelerate asylum processes and, on the other, find ways to advance clients’ interests even as state agencies selectively slow procedures to a standstill. These findings affirm that temporal contradictions define the US asylum system. Further, they demonstrate that lawyers experience these contradictions not as natural phenomena but, rather, as temporal violence: in a range of contexts, government action mobilizes time—whether actively or passively—in the service of migration control.


September 13, 2023 in Data and Research | Permalink | Comments (0)