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Annotated BibliographyStart Assignment summarize the source using the following as guides as to what to include: What are the main arguments?What is the point of this article?What topics are covered
Original Article An Overview and Critique of US Immigration and Asylum Policies in the Trump Era Paul Wickham Schmidt Georgetown Law Executive Summary This article provides an overview and critique of US immigration and asylum policies from the perspective of the author’s 46 years as a public servant. The article offers a taxonomy of the US immigration system by positing different categories of membership: full members of the “club” (US citizens), associate members (lawful permanent residents, refugees, and “asylees”), friends (non- immigrants and holders of temporary status), and persons outside the club (the undocumented). It describes the legal framework that applies to these distinct populations and recent developments in federal law and policy that relate to them. It also identifies a series of cross-cutting issues that affect these populations, including immigrant detention, immigration court backlogs, state and local immigration policies, and constitutional rights that extend to noncitizens. It ends with a series of recommendations for reform of the US asylum system, and a short conclusion. Introduction This article examines distinct categories of membership in the United States, a vibrant twenty-first-century democracy built on the not completely fulfilled promise of “liberty and justice for all.” Membership in this “club” remains among the nation’s most dif- ficult, fundamental, and contentious issues. Membership determinations involve often-conflicting human needs, such as belonging, self-determination, allegiance, loyalty, and even survival. In addition, the stakes are high. The US Supreme Court has said that expulsion from the nation can result in the “loss of everything that makes life worth living.” 1 The US immigration process affects those living in not only Texas, California, New York, Florida, and states along the US– Mexico border, but also other states with rich histories that continue to be shaped by immigrants, both documented and undocumented. In 2016, the United States had a very contentious national election in which immigration played a major role. The election’s winners presented a far more hostile and negative view of immigration than the nation has seen in recent history. In ways not wit- nessed by recent generations of Americans, the Trump administration has challenged both the US tradition as a haven for immi- grants and its traditional role in the international community as a beacon of freedom, liberty, and justice. We have seen instances of accelerated, harsh, and aggressive removals in many areas of the country. Some politicians, most administration officials, and their supporters praise these efforts as necessary and long overdue. A debate over funding to build a wall the length of the US–Mexico border led to an unnecessar y government shutdown from December 22, 2018, to January 25, 2019, which particularly hurt the US immigration court system (TRAC 2019). By mid-June 2019, the number of pending immi- gration court cases exceeded 900,000. At the same time, other politicians and many states and localities have attempted to protect and reassure vulnerable populations in their communities that President Trump cannot keep all of his campaign promises to wall off, deport, and bar the admission of certain groups of individuals on a grandiose scale. Corresponding Author: Paul Wickham Schmidt, Adjunct Professor of Law, Georgetown Law. Email: [email protected] 1Ng Fung Ho v. White , 259 U.S. 276, 284 (1922). Journal on Migration and Human Security 2019, Vol. 7(3) 92-102ªThe Author(s) 2019 Article reuse guidelines: sagepub.com/journals-permissions DOI: 10.1177/2331502419866203 journals.sagepub.com/home/mhs In most urban areas, local television news regularly features stories of scared families who believe that they could soon be forced out of their homes in the United States and sent to foreign countries where they have not been for years, perhaps decades. Some US citizen children who are part of these families face the prospect of exile to foreign countries they have never visited. Families seeking to apply for refuge under our laws were intentionally separated as part of a misguided and probably illegal “zero tolerance” program instituted by former Attorney General Jeff Sessions to punish and deter asylum seekers. The administra- tion has used a range of interception, border enforcement, and legal strategies to deny access to the US asylum system. The pres- ident has also mocked the US Constitution with threats to strip some US citizens of their birthright — citizenship under the Fourteenth Amendment — through unilateral and almost certainly illegal use of an executive order. Consequently, the issue of who should belong to our national club and how we treat those who are not welcome will continue to occupy our nation and its leaders. Categories of Membership in the US “Club” Full Members The “full voting members” of our nation are US citizens. A very small group of people are US “nationals” who owe permanent allegiance to, but are not citizens of, the United States. Under the Fourteenth Amendment to the US Constitution, persons born in the United States automatically become US citizens. The exceptions are children born to certain high-ranking foreign diplomats with immunity and rare individuals born on foreign public vessels who are not subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. US citizenship vests automatically, regardless of the US legal status of the mother or father. Although so-called birthright citizenship has become a very controversial topic recently, it has been a firmly established con- stitutional rule for more than a century. Because it is a constitutional rule, Congress cannot change it by statute, nor can the pres- ident change it by executive order. The great majority of scholars and lawyers agree that to do so would require a constitutional amendment or a radical reinterpretation of the US Constitution by the Supreme Court. In addition, certain individuals born abroad (i.e., whose parent or parents are US citizens who previously lived in the United States) can automatically acquire US citizenship at birth. “Citizenship by acquisition” is governed by statute, rather than the Con- stitution, and the rules have changed throughout the years. This issue came up in connection with the 2016 presidential race because one of the leading primary candidates, US Senator Ted Cruz, was born in Canada to a Cuban citizen father and a US citizen mother who had lived in the United States for at least 10 years prior to his birth. Consequently, by the then-applicable statute, he became a US citizen at birth. That does not necessarily answer the question of whether he is a natural-born citizen eligible under the Constitution to become president. In addition, children born outside the United States may under certain conditions automatically derive US citizenship on the naturalization of at least one parent or on being lawfully admitted to the United States to reside with a citizen parent. Finally, certain individuals lawfully residing in the United States may, if eligible, choose to apply to the Department of Home- land Security (DHS) for naturalization. This is, in effect, a way in which a prospective member of the club may apply for and receive full membership. While Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution gives Congress authority to establish “a uniform rule of naturalization,” and the Fourteenth Amendment provides that naturalized individuals shall be citizens, the Constitution does not specify rules for natura- lization. Theoretically, Congress could decide not to provide for naturalization at all. The rules for naturalization are set by statute and also have changed frequently throughout the years. They largely depend on lawful permanent residence, knowledge of the English language and basic civics, and good moral character. In other words, only naturalized citizens actually earn their status by some type of merit-based process. The rest of us are simply beneficiaries of extreme good fortune that we did nothing to deserve. There is a process for denaturalization of individuals who illegally obtained naturalization. Some of the most famous denatur- alization cases involved Nazi war criminals who concealed their atrocities during the immigration and naturalization processes. The current administration has instituted a vigorous program of reviewing applications of naturalized US citizens for evidence of past fraud that could lead to denaturalization. Otherwise, however, one may lose US citizenship only through “voluntary relinquish- ment.” 2In other words, Congress may not involuntarily strip an individual of legally acquired US citizenship. An “alien” is defined by law not as an “extraterrestrial being,” but rather as anyone who is not a citizen or national of the United States. Associate Members A second group might be characterized as “associate members” or “prospective members” of our club. In immigration terms, they are known as lawful permanent residents (LPRs) or “green card” holders. While LPRs cannot vote or participate in our political 2Afroyim v. Rusk , 387 U.S. 253 (1967). Schmidt 93 processes, they can reside here on a permanent basis, provided that they obey our laws. Generally, they can work here without much restriction and can travel relatively freely abroad. Eventually, most individuals in this category can attempt to meet the criteria to become US citizens, although significantly they are not required to do so. LPRs are by far the largest group of “associate members.” The US system of permanent legal immigration favors the admission of three groups: close relatives of US citizens and LPRs, persons with needed job skills, and refugees. The United States admitted approximately 1.1 million permanent residents in fiscal year (FY) 2017 (DHS 2017). Family and Employment-Based Immigrants Immediate relatives of US citizens — that is, spouses, minor children, and parents of adult US citizens — can immigrate without numerical limitation. Approximately 516,000 immediate relatives, 300,000 of them spouses, were admitted as immigrants in FY 2017 (ibid., table 6). Only parents of adult US citizens who are older than age 21, however, qualify for immediate relative status. Consequently, and contrary to popular opinion, the birth of a US citizen child confers no immediate immigration benefits on the parents. Two hundred and twenty-six thousand immigrant visas are allocated annually for other types of family reunification for adult children of US citizens, spouses and children of LPRs, and siblings of US citizens. The latter category, however, has a waiting list of nearly 13 years; and for intending immigrants from certain countries in oversubscribed preference categories, projected backlogs can extend for decades (Wheeler 2016; Kerwin and Warren 2019). Another 140,000 immigrant visas for employment-based immigrants are annually allocated, primarily to professionals and other skilled workers. “Members of the professions holding advanced degrees” and “outstanding professors and researchers” are within the preferred categories. Significantly, at present, only 10,000 immigrant visas are available annually to so-called unskilled workers whose services are needed by US employers; yet this category appears to be one in which US employers have a great need. “Unskilled” is a highly misleading term. Many of the so-called unskilled possess abilities and skills that few college-educated persons possess or would be willing to learn and perform on a regular basis (Hagan, Demosant, and Chave ´ z 2014). The Trump administration has chosen to characterize some aspects of legal family migration as “chain migration.” Accordingly, this administration and some legislators have proposed a reduction in overall immigration and a reallocation of some of the family- based visas to the employment categories. There is no basis for such changes in the law, however. Indeed, most studies show that US society, and particularly the economy, would benefit from more legal immigration across the board (Bier 2018; Orrenius 2018). Family immigration contributes to the success of the American economy and enriches our society, as does employment-based immigration. A more rational change would be to increase both family and employment-based legal immigration to better match the “market forces” of supply and demand, as well as to reduce the number of individuals seeking to migrate outside the legal system. The current administration also erects bureaucratic roadblocks — often in the guise of additional security measures — to slow the legal immigration process, and to discourage and block prospective immigrants from seeking permanent status. In particular, it has tried to severely restrict Muslim immigration, apparently to make good on campaign promises. While US law generally does not permit such specific religious exclusions and courts have enjoined the most severe forms of discrimination, the president nonethe- less enjoys significant discretion related to immigrant admissions. Refugees “Refugee” status can be granted to individuals who have been pre-screened abroad. While refugees — as well as asylees — do not immediately become green-card holders, they have a right to remain in the United States indefinitely, can bring into the country their spouses and minor children, and can work. In most cases, they eventually become eligible to receive green cards, which can lead to US citizenship. In recent years, refugees have become a political football, both internationally and in the United States. The humanitarian disas- ter in Syria has sent millions of persons, many of them women and children, pouring across the borders of neighboring countries in search of life-preserving safety. Many have found their way to the borders of Europe, prompting European Union leaders to search for solutions, including resettlement in third countries, integration into host communities, and measures to stem the tide of future arrivals. One of President Trump’s first actions in office was to cut US refugee admissions drastically. As a result, refugee admissions have fallen from 84,994 in FY 2016, to 53,716 in FY 2017, 22,491 in FY 2018, and 18,051 in FY 2019 through May 31 (DOS-PRM 2019). Between FY 2017 and FY 2019, the refugee admissions ceiling set yearly by the president fell from 110,000 to 30,000 (ibid.), the lowest ceiling since the creation of the US Refugee Admissions Program in 1980. In his first executive order on immigration, sometimes referred to as “Travel Ban I,” the president sought to indefinitely bar the admission of Syrian refugees. As a result of litigation before the US Supreme Court, this order was modified to some extent. The 94 Journal on Migration and Human Security 7(3) latest version, known as “Travel Ban 3.0,” was finally allowed to go into effect by the Supreme Court, over several vigorous dis- sents. Many observers believe that this partial success at the Supreme Court, along with his appointment of more conservative jus- tices, has emboldened the president to institute his highly questionable legal attack on the rights of asylum seekers at the border. Notwithstanding the minute number of Syrian refugees that the United States resettles, the rigorous pre-screening they receive, and the fact that most are women, children, or family units, various US state governors — including, notably, current Vice President Mike Pence when he was governor of Indiana — have made well-publicized attempts to slam the door on Syrian refugee resettle- ment in their respective states based on unsustainable national security concerns (Kerwin 2016). So far, federal courts have soundly rejected such efforts. 3 Nevertheless, a number of administration officials and members of Congress have expressed strong opposition to the current procedures for resettling refugees. Some legislators have introduced bills that would give states authority to block refugee reset- tlement, narrow the already limited refugee definition, and make it generally more difficult for refugees to be admitted, particularly those from Syria and the Middle East, while effectively giving preference to Christian refugees over Muslims and those of other religions (Human Rights First 2016). The president ultimately has great authority to determine the future of US overseas refugee programs. In theory, he could des- ignate any group of refugees as of “special humanitarian concern” to the United States or designate none at all. And, as shown in FY 2018 and FY 2019, he can reduce the number of legal refugee admissions to historic lows or even to zero. A popular myth about US refugee and asylum law is that the United States protects everyone who can show that they would be killed or placed in severe danger if returned to their home country. In fact, US and international refugee law applies only to those who face harm on account of one of five protected grounds: race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or the amorphous and highly controversial “membership in a particular social group.” This means that if, for example, your neighbor seeks to kill you and rape your daughter because you are a Christian or a member of a targeted political party and the police cannot or will not offer help, you qualify for refugee status. On the other hand, if your neighbor threatens to do the very same things to you and your family because of envy or lust or just plain old criminal behavior, you do not qualify. These are the arcane distinctions that appellate judges and policy makers far removed from the scene argue about endlessly. But to the refugee or asylum seeker, the exact reason why he or she is likely to be killed or harmed on return seems unimportant in relation to the very real danger. The nearly unprecedented retrenchment in our international humanitarian commitment to resettle refugees, at a time of histori- cally high numbers of forcibly displaced persons, has negatively affected large refugee populations such as Syrians, who are in dire need of resettlement opportunities. As of June 2019, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported that there were 5.6 million Syrian refugees and 6.6 million internally displaced within Syria. Many of the forcibly displaced are chil- dren. The United States accepted only 62 Syrian refugees in FY 2018. According to a report from Oxfam International, the US fair share would be 170,000 a year (Cowan 2016). Asylees “Asylees” typically enter or arrive in the United States with no status or with a temporary status, and they seek to establish their refugee qualifications while in the country. Asylum cases formed the bulk of my work as an immigration judge at the Arlington Immigration Court. Beyond seeking asylum in removal proceedings before an immigration judge, persons already in the United States or at our border who satisfy the “refugee” definition may be granted asylum by DHS’s US Citizenship and Immigration Ser- vice (USCIS) asylum officers. Approximately 20,500 persons were granted asylum in FY 2016, 4approximately 8,700 by the immi- gration courts 5and the balance by the DHS Asylum Office. The US asylum system is under unprecedented attack by the Trump administration. Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions and former DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen claimed without proof that this system has attracted too many fraudulent applicants and served as a magnet for undocumented migration. On February 15, 2019, President Trump declared a national emergency at the US–Mexico border, which has led to the deploy- ment of several thousand National Guard troops to the border. In addition, the president, with assistance from DHS and the US Department of Justice (DOJ), has issued a “proclamation” and “Interim Regulations” that would severely restrict the right of indi- viduals arriving at the border to apply for asylum. According to these measures, those who enter anywhere but at an official port of entry will be ineligible for asylum, even though most families turn themselves in to the Border Patrol in the immediate vicinity of the border. 3See, e.g., Kowalski (2016) and CBS News (2016).4USDOJ, EOIR, FY 2016 Statistical Yearbook [hereinafter EOIR 2016], table 16, available at www.usdoj.gov/eoir. 5EOIR (2016, J-1). Schmidt 95 A US district judge in San Francisco issued a temporary restraining order against the enforcement of this initiative. That order was upheld on appeal by a “split panel” of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Interestingly, the Ninth Circuit opinion was written by Judge Jay Bybee, a leading conservative jurist appointed by President George W. Bush. 6By a 5–4 vote, with Chief Justice John Roberts siding with his four so-called liberal colleagues, the Supreme Court rejected the administration’s irregular “emergency stay” request, thereby allowing the injunction to remain in effect pending further litigation in the lower courts (Liptak 2018). Moreover, the administration has provided inadequate facilities and too few USCIS asylum officers at the ports of entry (POEs), thereby artificially creating lengthy waiting periods for asylum applicants to be screened. Others are illegally turned away by US authorities when they try to apply at a POE. Not surprisingly, the administration’s actions have generated a spirited legal challenge from the American Civil Liberties Union and others, which is pending in a US district court. In addition, the administration has instituted a program disingenuously called the “Migrant Protection Protocols,” which requires certain individuals who have been found to have a “credible fear” of persecution to await their immigration court hearings in Mex- ico. 7This policy has been challenged in federal court. In June 2019, the United States and Mexico reached an agreement to expand this program beyond the POEs at San Diego, Calexico, and El Paso. A continuing controversy involves the mostly women, children, and families from Central America, who are fleeing violence and corruption. We face difficult questions regarding where, if anywhere, such individuals fit within our asylum and immigration systems. Will they be welcomed, or will they be returned to the danger zones from whence they fled? The Trump administration has pledged not only to restrict the right to apply for asylum but also to hold all undocumented border crossers, including asylum seekers and their families, in expanded detention facilities in remote locations along the United States’ southern border pending final determination of their asylum claims and to make it more difficult for those claims to be heard by US immigration judges. Also, the administration has so far been unsuccessful in blocking asylum applications by those who entered illegally. It has also made some asylum seekers wait for court hearings in Mexico, even though they have demonstrated a credible fear of persecution, which allows them to make an asylum claim in US immigration courts. Another myth is that those who enter illegally should simply “get in line” for a visa. Unless an individual fits into one of the three limited groups of permanent immigrants, there is no line to join. Even some of those who appear to be eligible for permanent immi- gration may face lengthy waits or highly technical requirements that preclude any realistic chance of legal immigration in the fore- seeable future. Finally, a high percentage of undocumented persons are already in the line but subject to multiyear visa backlogs (Kerwin and Warren 2017, 307). Friends A third membership category could be characterized as “friends” of the club, that is, individuals who are here with legal permission and may remain for a temporary period of time, sometimes quite lengthy, but who have no clear path to permanent residency or citizenship. The most numerous group in this category is nonimmigrants. A “nonimmigrant” is distinct from an immigrant. The term “immigrant” generally refers to those, whether legal or illegal, who seek to remain permanently in the United States. Nonimmigrants, by contrast, seek only temporary admission to the United States, not permanent residence. Visitors for business or pleasure, approximately 50 million in FY 2017 (DHS 2017, table 25), comprise the largest nonimmigrant category. An example of a “business visitor” might be a French national speaking at a conference and receiving no US compen- sation other than payment of expenses. Members of a German family coming to see the cherry blossoms or visit Colonial Williams- burg could be classified as “visitors for pleasure.” Another familiar category is nonimmigrant academic students with so-called F-1 status. In FY 2017, approximately 1.9 million such individuals with accompanying family members were admitted to the United States (ibid.). As reported in the Washington Post and other media, nonimmigrant student admissions have steadily declined since Trump’s election (Rampell 2018). This has hurt the many colleges and universities that have come to rely on them to maintain and boost enrollment. Many attribute the decrease to the administration’s anti-immigrant rhetoric and to bureaucratic roadblocks intended to slow down and discourage applicants applying for visas. There are numerous other classifications in the alphabet-soup world of nonimmigra nts. Because of very specific technical requirements and the general concept that a nonimmigrant is someone who is coming to the United States temporarily, however, these categories are seldom accessible to the undocumented immigrants who are already living, working, or studying in the United States. Nonimmigrant visas have also come into the limelight, because President Trump’s executive orders on immigration bar visa issuance to nationals of certain, predominantly Muslim countries. 6East Bay Sanctuary Covenant v. Trump , reported by Mark Joseph Stern (2018). 7See Chase (2019). 96 Journal on Migration and Human Security 7(3) Beneficiaries of temporary protected status (TPS) represent another group of “friends.” The secretary of DHS may make TPS designations for nationals of countries where there is an “ongoing armed conflict,” “where there has been a natural disaster,” or where “there exist extraordinary and temporary conditions in the foreign state that prevent aliens who are nationals of the state from returning to the state in safety.” 8 Individuals with TPS can temporarily reside and work in the United States. This status does not, however, lead to lawful per- manent residence or US citizenship, although some TPS recipients eventually qualify for green cards through the normal immigra- tion system. Three of the largest groups o f TPS beneficiaries are nationals of El Sa lvador, Honduras, an d Haiti. Because TPS designations are within the sole discretion of the Executive Branch, the administration can decide to terminate or revoke them, leaving former beneficiaries subject to removal if they cannot secure status in another way and fail to depart voluntarily. As of this writing, federal courts have enjoined the administration’s attempt to terminate TPS for nationals of El Salvador, Honduras, Haiti, Nicaragua, Sudan, and Nepal. Testimony in these cases has indicated that the administration ignored the recommendations of career officials and other experts in reaching these highly questionable termination decisions. Based on statements to date, the Trump administration is unlikely to grant any large groups TPS status in the future, no matter how dire their situation. It claims that TPS is widely abused and that the so-called temporary protection invariably morphs into permanence. In reality, TPS has been proven to be a practical, low-budget way of handling large numbers of humanitarian cases that might otherwise clog our asylum and court systems. The vast majority of those granted TPS make positive contributions to our society, and many have US citizen or LPR family members (Warren and Kerwin 2017). The relatively few TPS recipients who misbehave are arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), placed in detention, and usually promptly removed. Far from an eva- sion of law, TPS has proven to be one of the most successful, practical, and efficient US immigration programs. It fills gaps in our legal immigration and asylum systems that otherwise would be problematic. Terminating these long-standing grants of TPS, par- ticularly for those with long residence and ties to the United States, makes little if any sense. Outside the Club: The Undocumented The estimated 10.7 million US undocumented residents — 5.4 million from Mexico — are outside the club (Warren 2019, 20). This group consists of individuals who crossed the border surrep titiously or by fraudulent means, as well as a significant group who entered legally as nonimmigrants, but overstayed or other wise violated the terms of their admittance. A recent study by the Center for Migration Studies shows that overstays have significantly exceeded illegal entrants for each of the past seven years (ibid., 20–21). In some instances, the law permits individuals in the United States to change to “green card” status through a process known as “adjustment of status.” In FY 2017, approximately 550,000 individuals used this provision (DHS 2017, table 6). The stringent requirements for that relief, however, make it of little practical benefit to most of those who are here illegally (Kerwin and Warren 2019). Also, there is a smaller, yet highly visible, group of individuals who were granted LPR status, but who by their subsequent crim- inal misconduct forfeited that right and are therefore subject to expulsion from membership and removal from the nation. Most people would agree that the latter group presents plausible arguments for expulsion. Nevertheless, there may be circum- stances in which forgiveness based on an overall assessment of the equities, particularly the effects on US citizen and LPR family members, is warranted. Indeed, a limited form of discretionary relief called “cancellation of removal” is available to individuals whose criminal record is on the less serious end of the spectrum. 9 For many years, there has been an acrimonious debate on how to address the US undocumented population. Some say that these individuals possess characteristics, such as willingness to work hard in jobs most Americans do not want and US citizen or green card–holding relatives (particularly children), which make them strong candidates for membership in the club at some level. They also argue that mass removals of such individuals from the United States would be impractical and inhumane. The Trump administration avers that such individuals are lawbreakers and a drag on US society, and should be removed through active enforcement efforts, a strategy of attrition, or both. The attrition strategy depends heavily on aggressive and effective enforcement of the prohibition on hiring noncitizens who lack employment authorization. These laws also prohibit discrimination based on national ori gin or citizenship status against employees and job applicants authorized to work in the United States. The I-9 employment veri fication form is part of the process for enforcing these laws. To date, however, the so-called employe r sanctions laws have not effectively eli minated US employment opportunities for unauthorized workers. 8Immigration and Nationality Act § 244(b).9INA § 240A. Schmidt 97 Groups favoring removal have consistently blocked efforts at overhauling the immigration system. One such effort, referred to as comprehensive immigration reform, was supported by then-President George W. Bush and subsequently by a bipartisan group of US senators. It would have combined stronger border enforcement with earned legal status for many individuals now residing and working in the United States without status. It also would have provided more avenues for the legal admission of temporary workers to do “low-skilled” or “semiskilled” jobs. In reality, however, many of these jobs, which are demeaned by immigration restriction- ists and policymakers, involve skills that few possess and fewer still would be willing to obtain and carry out on a long-term basis. A second unsuccessful proposal — the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act (the “DREAM Act”) — would have made it possible for certain undocumented youth (many of them US high school graduates) who have lived in the United States since a young age to regularize their status by attending college, working in the United States, or joining the US military. Often, students who came with their parents at a young age might not become fully aware of their undocumented status until they fill out college application or financial aid forms and are asked to verify legal status in the United States. By one estimate, there are 1.25 million Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)-eligible individuals in the United States, making the issue of how to treat them a highly significant aspect of the immigration debate (Kerwin and Warren 2016). In the absence of congressional action, in 2012 the Obama administration implemented an administrative program, known as DACA, to allow some potential DREAM Act beneficiaries to remain in the United States. As of 2018, approximately 750,000 young people residing in US communities had registered under DACA (Kerwin and Warren 2016, 22). A similar program for parents of US citizens and green card hol ders known as Deferred Actio n for Parents of Americans (“DAPA”) was prevented from going into effect by an injunction issued at the request of Texas and other states that claimed that they would be harmed by this program. An evenly divided Supreme Court rebuffed the Obama administration and allowed this injunction to stand. At first, President Trump expressed “great sympathy” for the Dreamers and pledged to work with Congress to achieve a legis- lative solution to their plight. Later, however, he turned on the Dreamers after Democrats declined to accept his proposals to build the border wall, cut legal immigration, restrict family migration, and reduce the rights of children seeking asylum in return for granting Dreamers a path to citizenship. In September 2017, the Trump administration ended the DACA program, claiming that it was an illegal action by President Obama. Terminating DACA would strip beneficiaries of authorization to work or study and would throw them into US immigration courts, which are already in chaos with a pending docket that may soon reach an astounding 1 million cases. Fortunately, that ill-advised decision has been blocked on legal grounds by a number of lower federal courts. The Supreme Court recently turned down the administration’s request to intervene in the lower court actions. At present, there are no politically viable comprehensive immigration proposals pending before Congress, nor is there any cur- rent prospect of legislative relief for Dreamers. Cross-Cutting Issues Detention DHS holds many individuals in immigration detention. The possibility of long-term civil detention of individuals awaiting hearings or eventual removal is always a controversial aspect of immigration enforcement. Indeed, a dispute over the number of authorized detention beds for DHS was a major issue in the recent bipartisan border security package. In simple terms, however, the lives and suffering of the real human beings in often dangerous and substandard facilities have been dehumanized to the point at which they are portrayed as mere inanimate objects — “beds.” But we should never forget that those “beds” actually contain real men, women, and children, like the rest of us except for the bad hand that life has dealt them. A case involving the permissible scope of pre-hearing immigration detention was recently before the US Supreme Court. 10In a split decision that drew a stinging dissent from Justice Breyer, the court punted the case back to the lower federal courts. The Court’s majority did not appear to be sympathetic to the plight of persons facing indefinite “civil” immigration detention, however. Nevertheless, the lower courts have once again indicated an intent to slam, this time on Fifth Amendment grounds, the govern- ment’s position that indefinite detention without legal recourse pending immigration court hearings is acceptable. The administration has announced plans to dramatically increase the use of immigration detention, particularly along our south- ern border with Mexico. This is in addition to President Trump’s plans to build a wall along that border, which, as we know, has met with a mixed reception in Congress and has not been fully funded to date. Many view President Trump’s decision to send the military to the southern border to protect us from an alleged “caravan,” con- sisting largely of desperate women and children seeking refuge from uncontrolled violence in the Northern Triangle of Central America, to be largely a spiteful reaction to Congress’s failure to fully fund construction of the wall. The administration has also 10Jennings v. Rodriguez , 583 U.S. ___; 138 S. Ct. 830; 200 L. Ed. 2d 122 (2018). 98 Journal on Migration and Human Security 7(3) used family detention, as well as family separation and criminal prosecution of asylum seekers, to deter persons from seeking refuge under our laws. Immigration Court Backlogs The immigration court backlog has largely been caused by political interference and ever-changing priorities during the past three administrations. This kind of aimless docket reshuffling involves priority cases moving to the front of the docket, and relegating other cases, some many years old, to the end. Under former Attorney General Sessions, the court backlog rose astronomically, to the point at which it is now so large and out of control that there is no realistic plan to address it. Meanwhile, the role of US immigration judges under this administration has been reduced to what are essentially demoralized rubber stamps. State and Local Immigration Measures A number of states and localities have enacted or are considering immigration proposals. Some are restrictionist, aimed at discoura- ging the presence of undocumented immigrants. Examples include denying them in-state tuition, requiring local law enforcement to turn suspected undocumented individuals over to DHS for removal, denying services or housing to undocumented individuals, or revoking the licenses of businesses that hire undocumented workers. Such laws and regulations have had mixed success in federal courts (Chisti and Bergeron 2014). In a highly controversial countermove, some states and cities have enacted “Sanctuary City Laws,” which limit cooperation between local police and federal immigration enforcement agencies. The apparent rationale for such laws is that fear of being turned over to DHS might inhibit cooperation from ethnic communities in reporting crimes or cooperating with law enforcement in solving crimes. This, in turn, has led to threats to enact laws on the federal and state levels to withdraw funding from localities that have enacted such provisions, as well as suits brought by DOJ to force cooperation with DHS. In particular, former Attorney General Jeff Sessions and former DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen took an aggressive stance to strip various types of federal funding from “sanctuary jurisdictions.” Like the travel ban, however, these efforts have run into road- blocks in the lower federal courts, which have uniformly held them to be illegal. Constitutional Rights One often-misstated aspect of the current debate is the proposition that “aliens in the United States illegally have no rights.” Although it is true that such individuals might ultimately have no right to remain in the United States, while here, they do have a number of important rights under our laws. The Supreme Court, for example, recently reaffirmed that US “representatives serve all residents, not just those eligible or registered to vote.” 11 First and foremost is the right to fair treatment under the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to our Constitution. 12 Sometimes, the course of history can be changed by a single vote. One of those instances is a 5–4 decision by the US Supreme Court in 1982 in the Plyler v. Doe case. 13 The Court found that it was a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment for the State of Texas to deny undocumented school-aged children the free public education that it provides to US citizens and LPRs. In doing so, Justice Brennan, writing for the majority of the Court, observed that “education has a fundamental role in maintaining the fabric of our society. We cannot ignore the significant social costs borne by our Nation when select groups are denied the means to absorb the values and skills upon which our social order rests.” 14 The right to receive free public education does not, however, extend to higher education. In many states, notwithstanding long residence, undocumented high school graduates have a difficult time continuing their education because they are required to pay nonresident tuition and are denied access to most scholarships or other forms of financial aid. Not surprisingly, unlawful presence does not relieve an individual from compliance with local civil and criminal laws. Thus, for example, an undocumented couple from Uganda who seek to marry in Alexandria, Virginia, must comply with Virginia law rather than with Ugandan tribal customs. Another important obligation under our laws that does not depend on legal status is payment of taxes. Failure to pay taxes, and to be able to prove compliance, may prove to be a serious impediment for a foreign individual who otherwise qualifies to regularize his or her status in the United States. Under the federal Real ID Act, designed to improve security following the 9/11 attacks, in many states it is difficult or impossible for someone without legal status to obtain a driver’s license. 11Evenwel v. Abbott , No. 14-940 (March 4, 2016). 12Zadvydas v. Davis , 533 U.S. 678, 692-93 (2001); and Plyler v. Doe , 457 U.S. 202 (1982). 13457 U.S. 202, 221-22 (1982); see also Rabin, Combs, and Gonzalez (2008).14Plyler v. Doe, at 221-22 (citation omitted). Schmidt 99 Recommendations for Reform of the US Asylum System at the Border In November 2018, a Washington Post editorial argued for the need to send immigration judges, not the US military, to the US– Mexico border (Editorial Board 2018). While the solution is not quite so simple, taking this step would be a move in the right direc- tion. The following asylum reform proposals would largely use existing laws that recognize and are, in fact, designed to deal effi- ciently with larger-scale migration situations. DHS and USCIC should send far more asylum officers to conduct credible-fear interviews at the border. Law firms, pro bono attorneys, and charitable legal agencies should attempt to represent all arriving migrants before both the Asylum Office and the immigration courts. USCIS asylum officers should be permitted to grant temporary withholding of removal under the Convention Against Tor- ture (CAT) to applicants who would probably face torture if they were returned to their countries of origin. Immigration judges should put the asylum claims of those granted CAT withholding on the “back burner” — thus keeping them from clogging the immigration courts — while working with the UNHCR and other counties in the hemisphere on more durable solutions for those currently fleeing the Northern Triangle. Individuals found to have a credible fear should be released on minimal bonds and be allowed to move to locations where they will be represented by pro bono lawyers. 15 Contrary to Trump administration claims, almost all represented asylum applicants show up faithfully for their immigration court hearings. Asylum officers should be vested with the authority to grant asylum in the first instance, thus keeping some of the asylum cases out of immigration court. If the administration wants to prioritize the cases of recent arrivals in immigration courts, this can and should be done without creating more docket reshuffling, inefficiencies, and longer backlogs. To explain, hundreds of thousands of cases that unnecessarily clog immigration court dockets are for long-time residents who are eligible to apply for cancellation of removal for nonlawful permanent residents. The cancellation cases of persons without serious criminal records should be removed from the immigration court docket and sent to USCIS for initial processing. Those granted by USCIS should be put in a line for green card numbers maintained by USCIS, and those denied who have committed serious crimes (likely a small number) should be referred back to the immigration courts. The administration, in turn, should sponsor and Congress should pass legislation to provide legal status to those long-term residents who do not quality for cancellation. The immigration courts could then focus on the cases that should be its real priorities: detained cases, cases of recently arrived individuals with or without asylum claims, cases of immigrants who have committed crimes, and cases of other individuals who don’t fit within our legal system as properly administered. These recommendations do not align with the administration’s plans. Nonetheless, they offer a practical, legal solution that would be good for immigration enforcement, the legal system, and the country as a whole. In addition, until the recommended final step of legislation to legalize long-term residents is taken, this plan can be achieved under the current law. It would also cost less than some of the designed-to-fail and arguably illegal strategies being pursued by the administration. This is the case because appli- cations to legalization programs pay for themselves through ap plication fees — perhaps even turning a slight profit for the government. Conclusion This article has described how the rules governing permanent membership in the United States favor three groups — family, skilled workers, and refugees/asylees — while providing only limited opportunities for those who seek membership based on unskilled labor. The undocumented possess certain well-recognized rights, including the right to receive public primary and secondary education and the right to fair treatment with respect to expulsion from the club and/or removal from the premises. Mass deportation of the 10.7 million US undocumented residents is highly unlikely because all of these individuals have due process rights to a fair procedure prior to their removal. Moreover, it would be disastrous to US families, many industries, and com- munities. Nevertheless, the Executive Branch does have a great deal of discretionary power over immigration and could revoke executive protections granted by previous administrations, terminate or restrict overseas refugee admission programs, and step up arrests, detentions, and removals. While these actions are counterproductive and wasteful, they undoubtedly will be politically 15This reform would save the money currently spent on “tent cities” and other types of detention. 100 Journal on Migration and Human Security 7(3) popular with certain voting blocs. Therefore, immigration is likely to remain both highly controversial and in the public eye for the foreseeable future. Declaration of Conflicting Interests The author declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article. Funding The author received no financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article. 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Kerwin, Donald, and Warren Robert. 2016. “Pote ntial Beneficiaries of the Obama Administ ration’s Executive Action Programs Deeply Embedded in US Society.” Journal on Migration and Human Security 4(1):16–28. https://doi.org/10.1177/233150241600400102. ———. 2017. “National Interests and Common Ground in the US Immigration Debate: How to Legalize the US Immigration System and Per- manently Reduces Its Undocumented Population.” Journal on Migration and Human Security 5(2):297–330. https://doi.org/10.1177/233 150241700500205. ———. 2019. “Fixing What’s Most Broken in the US Immigration System: A Profile of the Family Members of US Citizens and Lawful Per- manent Residents Mired in Multiyear Backlogs.” Journal on Migration and Human Security 7(2):36–41. https://doi.org/10.1177/233 1502419852925. Kowalski, Daniel. 2016. “Court: Texas Cannot Block Syrian Refugees.” LexisNexus Legal Newsroom Immigration Law , February 8. http://www. lexisnexis.com/legalnewsroom/immigration/b/newsheadlines/archive/2016/02/09/court-texas-cannot-block-syrian-refugees.aspx. Liptak, Adam. 2018. “Supreme Court Won’t Revive Trump Policy Limiting Asylum.” New York Times , December 21. https://www.nytimes.com/ 2018/12/21/us/politics/ supreme-court-asyl um-trump.html?rref ¼collection %2Fbyline %2Fadam-liptak&action ¼click&contentCollec tion ¼undefined®ion ¼stream&module ¼stream_unit&version ¼latest&contentPlacement ¼1&pgtype ¼collection. Orrenius, Pia. 2018. “Too Many Immigrants? No, We Need More.” The Catalyst. Bush Institute. https://www.bushcenter.org/catalyst/immigra tion/orrenius-too-many-immigrants.html. 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Warren, Robert. 2019. “US Undocumented Population Continued to Fall from 2016 to 2017 and Visa Overstays Significantly Exceeded Illegal Crossing for the Seventh Consecutive Year.” Journal on Migration and Human Security 7(1):19–22. https://doi.org/10.1177/233150241983 0339. Warren, Robert, and Donald Kerwin. 2017. “A Statistical and Demographic Profile of the US Temporary Protected Status Populations from El Sal- vador, Honduras, and Haiti.” Journal on Migration and Human Security 5(3):577–592. https://doi.org/10.1177/233150241700500302. Wheeler, Charles. 2016. “Seriously, When Will My Visa Become Available? Providing Honest Advice in Family-Based Cases.” Washington, DC: Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. https://cliniclegal.org/seriously-when-will-my-visa-become-available-providing-honest-advic e- family-based-cases. 102 Journal on Migration and Human Security 7(3) Reproduced with permission of copyright owner. Further reproductionprohibited without permission.
Annotated BibliographyStart Assignment summarize the source using the following as guides as to what to include: What are the main arguments?What is the point of this article?What topics are covered
Original Article Fixing What’s Most Broken in the US Immigration System: A Profile of the Family Members of US Citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents Mired in Multiyear Backlogs Donald Kerwin Robert Warren Center for Migration Studies Executive Summary The US Department of State (DOS) reports that as of November 2018, nearly 3.7 million persons had been found by US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to have a close family relationship to a US citizen or lawful permanent resident (LPR) that qualified them for a visa, but were on “the waiting list in the various numerically-limited immigrant categories” (DOS 2018). These backlogs in family-based “preference” (numerically capped) categories represent one of the most egregious examples of the dysfunction of the US immigration system. They consign family members of US citizens and LPRs that potentially qualify for a visa and that avail themselves of US legal procedures to years of insecurity, frustration, and (often) separation from their families. Often criticized in the public sphere for jumping the visa queue, it would be more accurate to say that this population, in large part, comprises the queue. While they wait for their visa priority date to become current, those without immigration status are subject to removal. In addition, most cannot adjust to LPR status in the United States, but must leave the country for consular processing and, when they do, face three- or 10-year bars on readmission, depending on the duration of their unlawful presence in the United States. This population will also be negatively affected by the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) proposed rule to expand the public charge ground of inadmissibility (Kerwin, Warren, and Nicholson 2018). In addition, persons languishing in backlogs enjoy few prospects in the short term for executive or legislative relief, given political gridlock over immigration reform and the Trump administration’s support for reduced family-based immigration. Keywords family, immigration reform, backlogs, Trump administration In this paper, the Center for Migration Studies (CMS) offers estimates and a profile based on 2017 American Community Survey (ACS) data of a strongly correlated population to the 3.7 million persons in family-based visa backlogs: i.e., the 1.55 million US residents potentially eligible for a visa in a family-based preference category based on a qualifying relationship to a household member. CMS data represents only part of the population in family-based backlogs. In particular, it captures only a small percent- age of the 4th preference, brothers and sisters of US citizens. 1However, everybody in CMS’s data could be petitioned for, if they have not been already. Among this population’s ties and contributions to the United States, the paper finds that: Corresponding Author: Donald Kerwin, Center for Migration Studies, 307 East 60th Street, New York City, NY 10022, USA. Email: [email protected] 1CMS’s data shows a very high percentage of undocumented persons married to LPRs. However, CMS has omitted this finding because of the comparatively low number of persons in its data that are or could be in the 4th preference backlog. Journal on Migration and Human Security 2019, Vol. 7(2) 36-41ªThe Author(s) 2019 Article reuse guidelines: sagepub.com/journals-permissions DOI: 10.1177/2331502419852925 journals.sagepub.com/home/mhs Fifty-nine percent has lived in the United States for 10 years or more, including 23 percent for at least 20 years. Nearly one million US-born children under age 21 live in these households, as well as 111,600 US-born adults (aged 21 and over) who have undocumented parents. 449,500 arrived in the United States at age 15 or younger. 139,100 qualify for the DREAM Act based their age at entry, continuous residence, and graduation from high school or receipt of a GED. Seventy-two percent aged 16 and older are in the labor force, and more than two-thirds (68 percent) are employed; these rates exceed those of the overall US population. Two-thirds of those aged 18 or older have at least a high school diploma or its equivalent, including 25 percent with a bache- lor’s degree or higher, and 295,100 aged three and older are enrolled in school. The median income of their households is $63,000, slightly above the US median. More than two-thirds (68 percent) have health insurance, including 51 percent with private health insurance. Nearly one-third (32 percent) live in mortgaged homes, and 12 percent in homes owned free and clear. The paper provides several recommendations to reduce family-based backlogs. In particular, it proposes that Congress pass and the President sign into law legislation to legalize intending family-based immigrants who have been mired in backlogs for two years or more. In addition, this legislation should define the spouses and minor unmarried children of LPRs as immediate relatives (not subject to numerical limits), not count the derivative family members of the principal beneficiary against per country and annual quotas, and raise per country caps. The administration should also re-use the visas of legal immigrants who emigrate each year, particularly those who formally abandon LPR status. This practice would reduce backlogs without increasing visa numbers. Congress should also pass legislation to advance the entry date for eligibility for “registry,” an existing feature of US immigra- tion law designed to legalize long-term residents. In particular, the legislation should move forward the registry cutoff date on an automatic basis to provide a pathway to status for noncitizens who have lived continuously in the United States for at least 15 years, have good moral character, and are not inadmissible on security and other grounds. In fact, Congress advanced the registry date on a regular basis during most of the 20th century, but has not updated this date, which now stands at January 1, 1972, for 33 years. The Integrity of the Family: Why a Family-Based Immigration Program The right to the preservation, protection, and integrity of the family is a core human right. Article 16(3) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 2and Article 23(1) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights both recognize that the “family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.” 3In the United States, strong families have long been treated as a policy p anacea for goals as diverse a s educational achievement , increased longevity, and reduced criminality. Families also represent a source of laborers and entrepreneurs, an (understudied) economic unit, a safety net, and a key contributor to immigrant integration (Gubernskaya and Dreby 2017). The family also remains the social institution — however constituted — that most persons care about and depend upon more than all others. Since passage of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, 4family unity has been a guiding principle of US immigration law and policy. In his signing statement for the Immigration Act of 1990, 5for example, President George H.W. Bush praised the Act for supporting “the family as the essential unit of society” and maintaining the nation’s “historic commitment to family reunification by increasing the number of immigrant visas allocated on the basis of family ties” (Bush 1990). In 2017, 46 percent of all immigrants (permanent residents) obtained their status as “immediate relatives” — i.e., spouses of US citizens, unmarried children under age 21 of US citizens, and parents of US citizens who are at least age 21 years old (DHS 2018, Table 7). Another 21 percent obtained their LPR status through one of the family “preference” categories, which cover the: unmarried sons and daughters of US citizens (1st preference); spouses and minor children of LPRs (2A preference) and unmarried adult sons and daughters of LPRs (2B preference); married sons and daughters of US citizens (3rd preference); and brothers and sisters of US citizens (4th preference) (ibid.). While this system is often maligned for leading to “chain migration,” only select nuclear family members of US citizens and LPRs qualify for visas, and US citizen minors cannot petition for their parents. In addition, caps by preference category and nation- ality make the immigration of family members an attenuated process and, for some, an impossibility. 2Universal Declaration of Human Rights, G.A. Res. 217A (III), U.N. Doc. A/810 (1948).3International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Dec. 16, 1966, 999 U.N.T.S. 171.4Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, Pub. L. No. 89-236, 79 Stat. 911 (1965).5Immigration Act of 1990, Pub. L. No. 101-649, 104 Stat. 4978 (1990). Kerwin and Warren 37 Immigrant families have been under sustained pressure by US immigration laws and policies, particularly since 1996 (Kerwin 2018). The Trump administration has intensified this pressure by failing to establish meaningful enforcement priorities and by insti- tuting border enforcement tactics that tear children from parents and seek to consign families to indefinite detention (Kerwin, Alu- lema, and Nicholson 2018). Moreover, while the legal immigra tion system prioritizes family-b ased immigration, backlogs incentivize illegal entry, relegate intendi ng immigrants to long-term u ndocumented status, and prolo ng the insecurity of their mixed-status US families. Many intending immigrants opt to live with family but without status in the United States, rather than to live abroad and apart from their family members for years. The Senate-passed Border Security, Economic Opportunity, a nd Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 would have defined “immediate family” to include the spouses and minor children of LPRs. 6However, the heavily family -based US legal immigra- tion system has mostly come under attack in recent years. Immi gration reform bills have sought to limit family-based immigra- tion by defining “immediate relatives” to exclude the parents of US citizens, by eli minating the 2B, 3rd, and 4th preference categories, and by restricting family-bas ed immigration to the spouses and minor c hildren of US citizens and LPRs. The Trump administration supports the latter position ( White House 2017). In addition, persons in fa mily-based visa backlogs have not been included in recent bills that would legalize particular populations , including persons at risk of los ing Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and potential DREAM Act beneficiaries. 7 As for executive discretion, the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Res- idents (DAPA) program would have provided temporary protection from deportation to the parents of US citizens and LPRs. 8How- ever, court challenges prevented the program’s implementation and the Trump administration subsequently rescinded this program. At least in the short term, persons in family-based backlogs can expect little in the way of legislative or executive relief. Family-Based Visa Backlogs: Causes and Size There is no numerical limit on the number of visas granted each year to the “immediate relatives” of US citizens. However, as of November 1, 2018, nearly 3.7 million intending immigrants languished in waiting lists for family-based visa preference categories, including: 261,704 in the 1st preference; 145,861 in the 2A preference; 324,231 in 2B preference; 689,924 in 3rd preference; and 2,249,722 in the 4th preference (DOS 2018). These numbers do not include family-based immigrants waiting to adjust to LPR status in the United States. The in-country adjustment procedure is available primarily to persons who enter the United States legally (were inspected and admitted or paroled) and who are classified as immediate relatives, but it is also available to diminishing numbers of those who illegally crossed US borders and have visa priority dates of April 30, 2001 or earlier (Kerwin, Meissner, and McHugh 2011, 11-12). Backlogs in family-based visa categories result from the interplay between numerical limits for all family-based preference cate- gories (226,000) and each preference category, per country limits, existing backlogs, and ongoing demand (Wheeler 2019). Thus, backlogs are longest in oversubscribed preference categories for countries with the highest demand for visas. Each month, the US Department of State’s (DOS) Visa Bulletin reports on “current” visa priority dates — i.e., the date when USCIS deems the visa petition filed — by preference category and nationality. The listing of a current visa priority date that is 10 years in the past, however, does not mean that a visa petition filed today will become current in 10 years. The priority dates in the Visa Bulletin do not necessarily advance steadily month-by-month because the actual demand can exceed the anticipated supply; some months the dates do not advance and some months they actually move back- wards. 9The Visa Bulletin for May 2019, for example, lists the visa priority date for Mexican nationals in the F2B category (unmar- ried sons and daughters age 21 or older of LPRs) as February 15, 1998 (DOS 2019). Yet due to the modest number of visas available each year in this category (26,260 in fiscal year [FY] 2019) (DOS 2018), the large number of pending F2B visas from applicants from Mexico (139,673) (ibid.), and the small number of F2B visas available each year to Mexican nationals (due to per country caps), petitions approved by USCIS today for Mexican nationals may not be current for a farcical 60 or 70 years. 10 In such cases, the system strongly incentivizes illegal migration. 6Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013, S. 744, 113th Cong. (2013).7The American Dream and Promise Act of 2019, H.R. 6, 116th Cong. (1st Sess. 2019).8Of the potential DAPA beneficiaries, only the parents of adult citizens would separately qualify for a family-based visa. 9This latter phenomenon is known as visa retrogression.10For a fuller explanation of this system, see Wheeler (2019). 38 Journal on Migration and Human Security 7(2) Estimates and Profiles US Residents Potentially Eligible for an Immigrant Visa Based on a Family Relationship to a US Citizen or LPR in Their Household Notwithstanding the lack of a numerical limit on visas for the immediate relatives of US citizens, this group still faces barriers to securing visas, including the prohibitively high cost (for many) of application and attorney’s fees, fear of coming forward, the inability of most to adjust to LPR status in the United States, and bars on re-entry based on unlawful presence after they leave the country for “consular processing” (to secure a visa). However, immediate relatives still have a clearer and faster path to a visa than persons in preference cate- gories. For this reason, the paper focuses on intending immigrants who are potentially eligible for a visa in a preference category. The paper’s proxy for intending immigrants in family preference backlogs is undocumented residents living in households with a US citizen or LPR family member who could petition for them. To profile this population, CMS derived detailed estimates 11of the undocumented population in 2017 from data collected in the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. In the households that had one or more undocumented resident(s), it then examined household relationships to determine whether any household member would be eligible to petition for a family-based visa for the undocumented household member. Finally, it used information derived from these households to compile the array of social and economic information presented below. This group does not correspond in all aspects to persons in family-based preference categories. On one hand, this population does not include persons who have a US citizen or LPR family member who could petition for them, but who do not live with them. One would expect, for example, that only a small percentage of persons that might qualify for a visa in the 4th preference category would be living with their US citizen adult brothers or sisters. And, in fact, CMS’s estimates produce a very small number of household members in this category, compared to the number in the 4th preference backlog. On the other hand, CMS’s estimates include undocumented persons who have a family relationship that would potentially qua- lify them for a visa, but whose US citizen or LPR family members have not petitioned for them. Of particular interest, CMS’s esti- mates of household members who correspond to the 2A category and, to a lesser extent, the 2B category exceed the actual backlog numbers in these categories. This suggests that a significant number of LPRs who could petition for a spouse or minor child have not done so. In addition, CMS’s estimates include a modest (but unknown) percentage of persons who can adjust status in the United States. As stated, DOS does not count these persons in its backlog statistics. Despite these differences, the information shown in Table 1 shows a close correlation 12 between the US undocumented popu- lation, the total backlog, and undocumented persons who could be petitioned for by a household member. The strong statistical relationship between the backlog (column 2) and the potential visa beneficiaries (column 3) indicates that substantial numbers of those shown in column 3 are likely to be part of the backlog. Thus, the social and economic statistics shown here likely reflect the characteristics of a sizeable proportion of the backlogged population. Table 1. Relationship between the US Undocumented Population, Persons in Family-Based Visa Backlogs, and Undocumented Residents that Live with Family Members Who Could Petition for Them. CMS estimates of undocumented residents in 2017 Backlog in November 2018 15 Undocumented living with a relative that could petition for them Number Number Percent Country of origin (1) Rank (2) (3) (4) ¼(3)/(1) Mexico 5,291,200 1 1,229,500 550,700 10% El Salvador 672,400 2 64,900 77,100 11% India 629,200 3 298,600 141,800 23% China 304,200 6 231,500 83,900 28% Dominican Republic 190,000 7 146,200 41,400 22% Philippines 175,700 8 314,200 51,200 29% Haiti 122,700 14 94,500 24,500 20% Vietnam 82,300 17 231,500 28,500 35% Pakistan 49,700 22 115,600 16,100 32% Bangladesh 28,400 31 169,200 9,800 35% Source: Center for Migration Studies. 11The methodology that CMS used to estimate the undocumented population is described in Warren (2019).12The correlation between columns (1) and (2) is .96; between columns (1) and (3) is .99; and between columns (2) and (3) is .97. These correlation coefficients indicate a strong statistical relationship between the three sets of data in Table 1. Kerwin and Warren 39 Our proxy for persons in family-based visa backlogs — undocumented household members of US citizens and LPR family mem- bers who could petition for them — has strong and longstanding ties to the United States. In particular, the paper finds that 1.55 million undocumented US residents live in 1.1 million households with a US citizen or LPR family member who could or has already petitioned for them. Fifty-nine percent of this population has lived in the United States for 10 years or more, including 23 percent for at least 20 years. This population enjoys close family ties in the United States. By family relationship, group members could fall within the fol- lowing preference categories: 25,400 are the unmarried sons or daughters age 21 or older of a US citizen (1st preference); 842,700 are the spouses of LPRs (2A preference); 362,100 are the unmarried children of LPRs (2B preference); 24,700 are the married sons and daughters of a US citizens (3rd preference); and 293,400 are the brothers and sisters of US citizens at least age 21 (4th preference). This population is widely dispersed, but most live in California (405,000), Texas (202,600), New York (135,100), Florida (120,600), New Jersey (84,700), Illinois (62,400), Georgia (40,700), Virginia (40,200), Washington (35,100), and Arizona (34,700). Nearly one million (993,200) US-born children under age 21 live in these households, as well as 111,600 US born adults (aged 21 and over) with undocumented parents. 449,500 arrived in the United States at age 15 or before. An estimated 139,100 would qualify for the DREAM Act based their age of entry, continuous residence, and graduation from high school or receipt of a GED. The population works at high rates. Seventy-two percent aged 16 and older are in the labor force, compared to 63.2 percent of the overall US population (US Census Bureau 2018). More than two-thirds (68 percent) are employed, compared to 59.5 percent of the overall US population (ibid.). This group is also self-employed at slightly higher rates than the overall US population, 7.5 percent compared to 6 percent. The top five industries in which this population works are construction, restaurant and other food services, computer systems design and related services, services to buildings and dwellings, and landscaping services. In addition, 236,000 work in skilled occupations, including computer and mathema tical occupations (56,800), management occupations (37,100), healthcare support occupations (21,000), architectural and engineering occupations (16,900), educational occupations (16,800), arts, sports, and entertainment occupations (13,100), and as business operations specialists (12,800). Sixty-seven percent of those aged 18 or older have at least a high school diploma or its equivalent, including 25 percent with a bachelor’s degree or higher, and 295,100 aged 3 and older are enrolled in school. The median income of these households is $63,000, slightly above the US median household income of $61,400 in 2017 (Fon- tenot, Semega, and Kollar 2018, 4). More than two-thirds of this population (68 percent) has health insurance, including 51 percent with private health insurance. Nearly one-third (32 percent) lives in mortgaged homes, and 12 percent in homes owned free and clear. Sixty-six percent speak English well or very well. Recommendations This paper recommends that Congress pass and the President sign into law legislation that provides a path to permanent residence to persons in long-term backlogs (defined as two years or more). To significantly reduce backlogs, this legislation should increase per country caps, expand the availability of family-based visas in oversubscribed preference categories, and not count the derivative family members of the principal beneficiary against per country and annual quotas. It should also reissue the visas of legal immigrants who emigrate each year. The number of LPRs who apply to rescind their LPR status each quarter is modest (USCIS 2019). In the first quarter of FY 2019, for example, USCIS processed 3,886 Record of Aban- donment of Lawful Permanent Resident (I-407) forms (ibid.). However, Census data reveal that far larger numbers of legal non- citizens emigrate each year (Kerwin and Warren 2017, 318-19). Reissuing visas that have been formally abandoned and, if possible to track, those of LPRs who have emigrated without filing an I-407 would reduce backlogs without increasing family-based visa quotas. The legislation should also advance the cutoff date for the US registry program, 13 which provides LPR status to US residents with good moral character who arrived prior to a statutorily set entry date, and who are not inadmissible on security or other grounds or ineligible for citizenship (Kerwin and Warren 2017, 322-23). The registry cutoff date, which is now January 1, 1972, has not been moved forward since the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. 14 This makes registry a dead letter, available only to US undocumented residents of 47 years or more. The proposed legislation should automatically advance this date in order to provide 13Immigration and Nationality Act, § 249.14Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA), Pub. L. No. 99-603, 100 Stat. 3359 (1986).15See DOS (2018). 40 Journal on Migration and Human Security 7(2) US residents of at least 15 years with a path to LPR status. Such a provision would ensure that persons in long-term visa backlogs — many of which extend well beyond 15 years — would have another way to secure status. Of particular concern in our analysis is the high number of spouses and unmarried children of LPRs — 84 percent of our total. Thus, we strongly endorse past proposals to reclassify the spouses and minor children of LPRs as “immediate family” members, not subject to numerical limits. These measures will ensure that the extensive backlogs which exemplify the broken US immigration system do not recur. As such, they will help to restore credibility to the US immigration system, and (most importantly) to strengthen US families. Authors’ Note The authors would like to thank Charles Wheeler for his expert review, comments, and edits to this paper. They would also like to thank Mike Nicholson for his valuable assistance, technical expertise, and advice. Declaration of Conflicting Interests The author(s) declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article. Funding The author(s) received no financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article. References Bush, George H.W. 1990. “Statement on Signing the Immigration Act of 1990.” Washington, DC, November 29. https://www.presidency.ucsb. edu/documents/statement-signing-the-immigration-act-1990. DHS (US Department of Homeland Security). 2018. Yearbook of Immigration Statistics 2017 . Washington, DC: DHS. https://www.dhs.gov/immi gration-statistics/yearbook/2017. DOS (US Department of State). 2018. “Annual Report of Immigrant Visa Applicants in the Family-sponsored and Employment-based preferences Registered at the National Visa Center as of November 1, 2018.” Washington, DC: DOS. https://travel.state.gov/content/dam/visas/Statistics/ Immigrant-Statistics/WaitingList/WaitingListItem_2018.pdf. ———. 2019. “Visa Bulletin for May 2019.” Washington, DC: DOS. https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/legal/visa-law0/visa-bulletin/20 19/ visa-bulletin-for-may-2019.html. Fontenot,Kayla,JessicaSemega,andMelissa Kollar. 2018. “Income and Poverty in the United States: 2017.” Washington DC: US Census Bureau, Current Population Reports. https://www.census.gov/library/publications/2018/demo/p60-263.html. Gubernskaya, Zoya, and Joanna Dreby. 2017. “US Immigration Policy and the Case for Family Unity.” Journal on Migration and Human Security 5(2): 417–30. https://doi.org/10.1177/233150241700500210. Kerwin, Donald. 2018. “From IIRIRA to Trump: Connecting the Dots to the Current US Immigration Policy Crisis.” Journal on Migration and Human Security 6(3): 192–204. https://doi.org/10.1177/2331502418786718. ———, Daniela Alulema, and Mike Nicholson. 2018. “Communities in Crisis: Interior Removals and Their Human Consequences.” Journal on Migration and Human Security 6(4): 226–42. https://doi.org/10.1177/2331502418820066. ———, Robert Warren, and Mike Nicholson. 2018. “Proposed Public Charge Rule Would Significantly Reduce Legal Admissions and Adjust- ment to Lawful Permanent Resident Status of Working Class Persons.” CMS Essays . New York, NY: Center for Migration Studies. http://doi. org/10.14240/cmsrpt1118n2. ———, Doris Meissner, and Margie McHugh. 2011. “Executive Action on Immigration: Six Ways to Make the System Work Better.” Washington, DC: Migration Policy Institute. https://www.migrationpolicy.org/research/executive-action-immigration-six-ways-make-system-work-bet ter. ———, and Robert Warren. 2017. “National Interests and Common Ground in the US Immigration Debate: How to Legalize the US Immigration System and Permanently Reduce its Undocumented Population.” Journal on Migration and Human Security 5(2): 297–330. https://doi.org/ 10.1177/233150241700500205. US Census Bureau. 2018. “2017 ACS 1-year Public Use Microdata Samples (PUMS).” Table S2301. https://factfinder.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/ pages/searchresults.xhtml?refresh ¼t#. USCIS (US Citizenship and Immigration Services). 2019. “Immigration and Citizenship Data.” USCIS: Washington, DC. https://www.uscis.gov/ tools/reports-studies/immigr ation-forms-data?topic_id ¼All&field_native_doc _issue_date_value %255Bvalue %255D %255Bmonth % 255D ¼&field_native_doc_issue_date_value_1 %255Bvalue %255D %255Byear %255D ¼&combined ¼i-407&items_per_page ¼10. Warren, Robert. 2019. “US Undocumented Population Continued to Fall from 2016 to 2017 and Visa Overstays Significantly Exceeded Illegal Crossings for the Seventh Consecutive Year.” Journal on Migration and Human Security 7(1): 1–4. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/ 10.1177/2331502419830339 Wheeler, Charles. 2019. “Backlogs in Family-Based Immigration: Shedding Light on the Numbers.” Washington, DC: Catholic Legal Immigra- tion Network, Inc. https://cliniclegal.org/resources/backlogs-family-based-immigration-shedding-light-numbers . White House. 2017. “Establish Merit-Based Reforms to Promote Assimilation and Financial Success.” Washington, DC: White House. https:// www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/establish-merit-based-reforms-promote-assimilation-financial-success/. Kerwin and Warren 41 Reproduced with permission of copyright owner. Further reproductionprohibited without permission.
Annotated BibliographyStart Assignment summarize the source using the following as guides as to what to include: What are the main arguments?What is the point of this article?What topics are covered
The Mental Health of Hispanic/Latino Americans Following National Immigration Policy Changes: United States, 2014–2018 Emilie Bruzelius, MPH, and Aaron Baum, PhD Objectives.To examine the relationship between aggressive enforcement of anti- immigration policies and mental health among Hispanics/Latinos in the United States before and after major national immigration policy changes. Methods.Data were drawn from Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System surveys administered from 2014 to 2018. The exposure was the rate of immigration arrests in the 2 months before the survey date within the respondent’s state of residence. Outcomes included past-month reporting of (1) number of days of poor mental health, (2) at least 1 day of poor mental health, and (3) frequent mental distress. Results.There was no relationship between arrest rates and mental health among Hispanic/Latino respondents across the overall period. After consideration of policy changes, however, a 1-percentage-point increase in a state’s immigration arrest rate in the postpolicy period was signiﬁcantly associated with each mental health morbidity outcome. Conclusions.We found evidence supporting an association between worsening mental health among Hispanics/Latinos and increased arrest rates following the an- nouncement of several restrictive immigration policies. The potential public health effects of aggressive immigration enforcement must be better acknowledged and addressed in immigration debates. (Am J Public Health.2019;109:1786–1788. doi:10.2105/ AJPH.2019.305337) I mmigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has arrested more than 2 million immigrants living without authorization in the United States since 2008. 1Evidence suggests that immigration-related anxiety could have a detrimental impact on mental health, particularly among racial/ethnic groups that have been disproportionately targeted. 2In January and February 2017, a series of anti-immigration executive orders were announced that authorized a border wall with Mexico, banned US entry for people from several predominantly Muslim coun- tries, and modiﬁed ICE policies, sparking a period of increased immigration arrests, heightened anti-immigration sociopolitical rhetoric, and greater public awareness re- garding deportation. 3 We theorized that, in this ensuing climate, immigration arrests could be associated with poor mental health by increasingdeportation fears among undocumented individuals and their social or familial networks directly 4and by increasing dis- criminatory or exclusionary experiences among Hispanics/Latinos more generally. 5 We therefore sought to determine whether aggressive anti-immigration enforcement tar- geting undocumented immigrants worsens the mental health of Hispanic/Latino Americans in the general population and whether the highly publicized anti-immigration policies announced in early 2017 affected that relationship. METHODS Outcome and covariate data were drawn from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), an annual telephone survey of noninstitutionalized adults. In our primary analyses, we focused on participants who completed surveys between October 2014 and March 2018 (n = 1 055 088) and, in re- sponse to the question“Are you Hispanic, Latino/a, or Spanish origin?”self-identiﬁed as being of Hispanic/Latino ethnicity, regardless of race (n = 118 883 [17% after the survey design had been taken into account]). Mental health outcomes were based on the question “Now, thinking about your mental health, which includes stress, depression, and prob- lems with emotions, for how many days during the past 30 days was your mental health not good?”We operationalized mental health status as follows: (1) number of poor mental health days, (2) any indication of poor mental health (1 or more days), and (3) fre- quent mental distress (on 14 or more days). 6 Using interview dates, we matched survey responses to monthly state-level ICE arrest rates. Arrest counts were obtained from Transactional Records Access Clearing- house 1data made public following Freedom of Information Act requests. This clearing- house compiles data on“interior arrests,” which exclude arrests at US borders. We calculated arrest rates by dividing states’ monthly arrest counts by corresponding census denominators. We used quasi-Poisson regression to test the association between arrest rates in a ABOUT THE AUTHORSEmilie Bruzelius is with the Department of Epidemiology, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, NY. Aaron Baum is with the Department of Health System Design and Global Health, Icahn School of Medicine, Mount Sinai, New York, NY. Correspondence should be sent to Aaron Baum, PhD, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, 1216 5th Ave, New York, NY 10029 (e-mail: [email protected]). Reprints can be ordered at http://www.ajph.org by clicking the“Reprints”link. This article was accepted August 7, 2019. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2019.305337 1786ResearchPeer ReviewedBruzelius and BaumAJPHDecember 2019, Vol 109, No. 12 AJPHOPEN-THEMED RESEARCH respondent’s state of residence during the 2 months preceding the interview date and self-reported mental health outcomes. We then reﬁt the models, incorporating an in- teraction between arrest rates and a post-2017 policy indicator. We adjusted for established mental health risk factors including season- ality, age, gender, marital status, education, income, and employment. Models further included year-ﬁxed effects (in addition to the binary post-2017 indicator) as well as state- ﬁxed effects. All analyses accounted for the complex survey design of the BRFSS. Re- spondents with missing outcome (n = 2344) or covariate (n = 41 732) data were excluded. We conducted several robustness checks to examine the sensitivity of the results (see appendix tables andﬁgures, available as a supplement to the online version of this article at http://www.ajph.org). First, we included all BRFSS respondents and speciﬁed a 3-way interaction between Hispanic/Latino eth- nicity, arrest rate, and a postpolicy indicator. Second, we repeated the analyses after restricting the sample to respondents who completed the interview in a language other than English. Third, we explored heteroge- neity by state sanctuary laws. RESULTS More than a third of Hispanic/Latino respondents (34.08%) reported at least 1 poor mental health day in the preceding month, and 11.38% reported frequent mental distress. The mean number of past-month poor mental health days was 3.62 (SD = 0.05; Table A, available as a supplement to the online version of this article at http:// www.ajph.org). During the observation pe- riod, ICE made 440 601 arrests. Arrests in- creased sharply after the 2017 policy announcements (Figure A, available as a supplement to the online version of this article at http://www.ajph.org), with changes in arrest rates varying across states (Figure B, available as a supplement to the online version of this article at http://www.ajph.org). Mental health outcomes among Hispanic/ Latino respondents in states with higher arrest rates were similar to those among Hispanic/ Latino respondents in states with lower rates (Table 1, models 3, 7, and 11, and Table B, available as a supplement to the online versionof this article at http://www.ajph.org). How- ever, the association between arrest rates and each mental health outcome was signif- icant in a comparison of the postpolicy and prepolicy periods (Table 1, models 4, 8, and 12). Relative to the prepolicy period, a 1-percentage-point increase in the arrest rate in the postpolicy period was associated with worse mental health (poor mental health days, relative risk [RR] = 1.13; 95% conﬁdence interval [CI] = 1.03, 1.22; any indication of poor mental health, RR = 1.11; 95% CI = 1.04, 1.17; frequent mental distress, RR = 1.14; 95% CI = 1.02, 1.26). In sensitivity analyses in which a 3-way interaction model was used and the sample was restricted to respondents who completed the interview in a language other than English or lived in states with antisanctuary laws, results were consistent with or larger inmagnitude and direction than the primary results were but not consistently signiﬁcant (Tables C–E, available as a supplement to the online version of this article at http:// www.ajph.org). Of note, the statistical power of these tests was lower than that of our primary analysis. DISCUSSION Comparing changes in mental health after versus before anti-immigration policies, we found evidence that Hispanic/Latino Americans’mental health worsened more in states with larger increases in arrest rates. In models that did not account for these policies, arrest rates did not correlate with Hispanic/ Latino respondents’mental health. Although the magnitudes of the associations were TABLE 1—Relative Risks for Associations Between State-Level Immigration Arrest Rates and Poor Mental Health Among Hispanic/Latino Respondents Before and After Enactment of Anti-Immigration Policies: Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, United States, 2014–2018 ModelArrest Rate, RR (95% CI)Post-2017 Policies, RR (95% CI)Arrest Rate·Post-2017 Policies, RR (95% CI) No. of poor mental health days0.87 (0.69, 1.04) 1.13 (1.03, 1.22) Model 1 0.86 (0.73, 1.01) Model 2 1.13 (0.94, 1.38) Model 3 1.01 (0.92, 1.11) Model 4 0.91 (0.79, 1.04) Any indication of poor mental health0.93 (0.82, 1.05) 1.11 (1.04, 1.17) Model 5 0.90 (0.81, 1.01) Model 6 1.12 (0.98, 1.28) Model 7 1.03 (0.96, 1.09) Model 8 0.93 (0.85, 1.02) Frequent mental distress 0.86 (0.64, 1.09) 1.14 (1.02, 1.26) Model 9 0.83 (0.67, 1.03) Model 10 1.13 (0.89, 1.44) Model 11 1.01 (0.88, 1.13) Model 12 0.90 (0.73, 1.06) Note. CI = conﬁdence interval; RR = relative risk. All models present exponentiated results of quasi- Poisson regression models with robust variance estimations, interpretable as relative risks. Models 1, 5, and 9 present results for the pre-2017 period; models 2, 6, and 10 present results for the post-2017 period; and models 3, 4, 7, 8, 11, and 12 present results for the entire observation period (October 2014 to March 2018). All models controlled for season, age group, gender, marital status, education, income, and employment and included separate survey-yearﬁxed effects and state-ﬁxed effects with errors clustered at the state level. Additional analyses involving negative binomial regression to account for potential overdispersion (for each of the 3 outcomes) and logistic regression (for frequent mental distress) produced similar results. Placebo tests incorporating a 24-month lagged arrest rate variable were nonsigniﬁcant (results are available on request). As a result of the way the BRFSS is administered, some individuals in the 2017 wave were actually interviewed in 2018. AJPHOPEN-THEMED RESEARCH December 2019, Vol 109, No. 12AJPHBruzelius and BaumPeer ReviewedResearch1787 relatively small, it is important to note that our results captured aggregate associations. We probably underestimated the impact of arrest rates on mental health among those directly targeted by anti-immigration policies and those living in states where the salience of national anti-immigration rhetoric may have been especially pronounced. Our overallﬁndings are consistent with emerging evidence documenting the adverse effects of restrictive immigration policies. Studies examining Arizona Senate Bill 1070, a measure allowing law enforcement personnel to arrest individuals suspected to be un- documented, showed that self-reported health 7and use of health care services 8de- clined in response to the bill’s enactment, whereas adverse birth outcomes increased. 9 Analyses of single ICE raids have further revealed that the health effects of raids can extend beyond noncitizens. Similar to the results of our study, in which we did not restrict analyses according to citizenship or nativity, previous research has shown that living in a community that has been targeted by ICE can increase the risk of poor physical and mental health among US-born Hispanics/Latinos. 10,11 Several limitations should be considered when interpreting our results. For example, we relied on pooled cross-sectional data and cannot rule out unmeasured confounding, especially given that the conﬁdence intervals were close to null. Within-state changes in immigration arrest rates may be correlated with changes in a state’s proportion of un- documented residents or other policies affecting mental health, 12but we were unable to control for these factors. Another important issue we could not address is the mechanisms through which immigration arrests may inﬂuence mental health. For instance, we do not know the extent to which respondents experienced immigration-related discrimination; also, we do not have information on whether they were aware of immigration arrests and whether this awareness increased stress related to immigration status. Further research is needed to examine these possibilities directly, preferably with more granular geographical measures of ex- posure (e.g., neighborhood or county) that can support quasi-experimental methods such as interrupted time-series designs. Researchthat either directly measures immigration- related anxiety and discrimination experiences or better captures regional anti-immigration contexts is needed to examine plausible mechanisms and inform potential interventions. PUBLIC HEALTH IMPLICATIONS Additional research and, more important, public health action are urgently needed to mitigate the damaging effects of intensiﬁed anti-immigration enforcement measures and restrictive immigration policies on health. Given that immigration policy continues to be a deeply contested topic, ensuring that the health and social consequences of aggressive enforcement are identiﬁed and acknowl- edged within national debates is a key priority. CONTRIBUTORSBoth authors contributed equally to this article. ACKNOWLEDGMENTSA. Baum is supported by grants from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities. We thank Natalie Levy of the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University for providing methodological guidance regarding several of our sensitivity analyses. CONFLICTS OF INTERESTThe authors declare no conﬂicts of interest. HUMAN PARTICIPANT PROTECTIONNo protocol approval was needed for this study because de-identiﬁed public data sets were used. REFERENCES1. Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse. Immi- gration and Customs Enforcement arrests. Available at: https://trac.syr.edu/phptools/immigration/arrest. Accessed September 10, 2019. 2. Williams DR, Medlock MM. Health effects of dramatic societal events—ramiﬁcations of the recent presidential election.N Engl J Med. 2017;376(23):2295–2299. 3. Keller J, Pearce A, Andrews W. Tracking Trump’s agenda, step by step. Available at: https://www.nytimes. com/interactive/2017/us/politics/trump-agenda- tracker.html. Accessed September 10, 2019. 4. Hacker K, Chu J, Arsenault L, Marlin RP. Provider’s perspectives on the impact of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) activity on immigrant health.J Health Care Poor Underserved. 2012;23(2):651–665. 5. Chavez LR, Campos B, Corona K, Sanchez D, Ruiz CB. Words hurt: political rhetoric, emotions/affect, and psychological well-being among Mexican-origin youth. Soc Sci Med. 2019;228:240–251. 6. Bossarte RM, He H, Claassen CA, Knox K, Tu X. Development and validation of a 6-day standard for the identiﬁcation of frequent mental distress.Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol. 2011;46(5):403–411.7. Anderson KF, Finch JK. Racially charged legislation and Latino health disparities: the case of Arizona’s S.B. 1070.Sociol Spectr. 2014;34(6):526–548. 8. Toomey RB, Umaña-Taylor AJ, Williams DR, Harvey-Mendoza E, Jahromi LB, Updegraff KA. Impact of Arizona’s SB 1070 immigration law on utilization of health care and public assistance among Mexican-origin adolescent mothers and their motherﬁgures.Am J Public Health. 2014;104(suppl 1):S28–S34. 9. Torche F, Sirois C. Restrictive immigration law and birth outcomes of immigrant women.Am J Epidemiol. 2019;188(1):24–33. 10. Lopez WD, Kruger DJ, Delva J, et al. Health im- plications of an immigration raid:ﬁndings from a Latino community in the midwestern United States.J Immigr Minor Health. 2017;19(3):702–708. 11. Novak NL, Geronimus AT, Martinez-Cardoso AM. Change in birth outcomes among infants born to Latina mothers after a major immigration raid.Int J Epidemiol. 2017;46(3):839–849. 12. Hatzenbuehler ML, Prins SJ, Flake M, et al. Immi- gration policies and mental health morbidity among Latinos: a state-level analysis.Soc Sci Med. 2017;174: 169–178. 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