American Immigrant Policy Portal
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In This Issue

Research to Inform Policy and Practice   
on Migration-Related Issues
Policy-related reports, studies, and information about the challenge and promise of immigrant integration. Materials organized by collection topic.
Click on headlines for abstracts and links.

FeatureResearchFeatured Research

Law professors find that sanctuary policies are grounded 
in sound legal principles and reflect
responsible stewardship of local resources

Boston College Law Review, forthcoming 2018, 62 pp. Authors: Christopher N. Lasch et al

Produced by a group of law professors interested in the intersection of immigration enforcement and criminal law, this article asserts that "sanctuary" jurisdictions are following policies "informed by sound legal principles and considered policy judgments about how local resources should be used." The "Trump administration's reliance on white nationalist themes" and the false characterization of "sanctuary cities" as propagating immigrant crime have also raised concerns about discriminatory intent in the administration of immigration law and have forced local authorities to articulate their rationale for refraining from participating in immigration enforcement. The authors describe the "crosshatched shield" of policies designed to maintain the integrity of local law enforcement, including barring the investigation of civil or criminal immigration violations, limiting compliance with immigration detainers, limiting the disclosure of sensitive information, precluding participation in joint operations with the federal government, and preventing immigration agents from accessing local jails. The article then discusses the rationale for non-cooperation with federal immigration enforcement, including the constitutional separation of powers, lack of federal reimbursement for the cost of immigration enforcement and the need to shepherd local resources wisely, worries over the erosion of trust necessary for positive interaction between the police and local community members, concern that cooperation with detainer requests would lead to violations of the Fourth Amendment, and avoiding practices that might lead to racially-based profiling. As a complement to this article, the authors have created a public online library of all the sanctuary policies cited in the article and reviewed in their research.

Paper argues that sanctuary policies are complementary to the immigration justice system, filling a vacuum created by the removal of immigration courts from any role in adjudicating deportations and contesting against the Trump Administration's "one-size-fits-all" approach

Social Science Research Network, October 21, 2017, 64 pp.
Author: Jason A. Cade

When Congress in the mid-nineties removed the immigration court system from any role in reviewing deportation orders, it unintentionally created a vacuum in the justice system filled by the sanctuary movement. In this article, Professor Jason A. Cade of the University of Georgia Law School argues that when immigration agents, rather than adjudicators, took over responsibility for whom to target for deportation and how to remove them, the immigration system lost the ability to calibrate decision-making in individual situations, such as when otherwise law-abiding immigrants with family responsibilities are targeted for deportation.  Although sometimes "messy and contested," the attention to equity and justice has now moved "upstream," where local police officers, state prosecutors, and other local actors are intervening to ensure the proper administration of justice. Rather than viewing their actions as legal obstructions, it would be more accurate to describe them as "engines furthering legal norms in the face of the executive branch's mass, indiscriminate enforcement policy and less-than-faithful execution of the full body of our immigration law."  The author discusses in detail the actions of cities, churches, and campuses and suggests that these actions are on "solid legal footing to weather challenges from the federal and state officials who oppose them."

NewResearchNew Public Policy Research and Reports

State-Specific Studies

National Perspectives/immigration and Refugee Policy

lcLatest Commentary
A selection of recent OpEds from immigration researchers and major opinion leaders

November 24, 2017
Immigration reform won't stop ISIS
Robert A. Pape, The Boston Globe 
Read More

November 11, 2017
Trump immigrant rhetoric relies on statistical outliers
Abigail R. Hall & Michael Coon, Mercury News
Read More

November 8, 2017
The Alt-right's favorite academic
Shikha Dalmia, The Week
Read More

October 31, 2017
When policy is cut off from reality: Donald Trump's immigration problem
Elaine Kamarck & Christine Stenglein, Brookings
Read More

October 31, 2017
Professor's paper parses facts used to problematize immigration
Jennifer L. Williams, William & Mary News Release
Read More

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