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May 22, 2008

Enforcement-without-Reform: Success or Failure?

Immigration Policy Center (IPC) ...providing factual information about immigration and immigrants in the United States.

May 21, 2008
Enforcement-without-Reform: Success or Failure?
12 Million Reasons to be Skeptical of Deportation-Only Policies
Two New IPC Fact Sheets Review Enforcement Build-Up

On Thursday, May 22, the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Border, Maritime, and Global Counterterrorism will hold a hearing on "The Border Security Challenge: Recent Developments and Legislative Proposals." As lawmakers evaluate the border-enforcement initiatives that have already been implemented by the Bush administration, and the various enforcement proposals now on the table in Congress, they would do well to keep in mind that an enforcement-only approach to border security has been tried - and failed - for more than two decades. In two new fact sheets, Money for Nothing: Immigration Enforcement Without Immigration Reform Doesn't Work and The Politics of Contradiction: Immigration Enforcement vs. Economic Integration, the IPC analyzes the escalating costs and fatal flaws of the enforcement-without-reform approach to border security. The reports point out that the number of undocumented immigrants in the United States has increased dramatically at the very same time the federal government has poured billions upon billions of dollars into border enforcement. Many U.S. taxpayers question the use of their tax dollars on failed deportation-only efforts, and are calling for fair and practical immigration reform.

Money Ill Spent: Since 1993, when the current border-enforcement buildup began, the annual budget of the U.S. Border Patrol has increased by 332 percent, to $1.6 billion, while the number of Border Patrol agents has grown by 276 percent, to 15,000. What has resulted from that build-up? The undocumented population has tripled in size over the past decade and a half, from roughly 3.5 million in 1990 to 12 million in 2006.

Border-Enforcement Backfire: U.S. border-enforcement efforts have accomplished the exact opposite of what they were supposed to achieve. Immigrants who in the past might have returned home to build a house or start a business after a few years of work in the United States are settling permanently and bringing their families with them. In fact, the Pew Hispanic Center estimates that approximately one-third of undocumented immigrants have lived in the United States for 10 years or more, 1.8 million undocumented immigrants are children, and another 3.1 million U.S.-citizen children have at least one undocumented parent.

Control Through Immigration Reform: The United States needs a legal immigration system for the 21st century that meets the needs of the U.S. economy and is consistent with U.S. values. The most practical and realistic way to dramatically reduce undocumented immigration is to bring U.S. immigration policy in line with economic and social realities. Only with comprehensive reform can the U.S. government effectively control, regulate, and monitor its borders.

Contact: Angela Kelley, Director
202-507-7511 (office)
202-441-5589 (cell)

Michele Waslin, Senior Policy Analyst
202-507-7521 (office)

Posted by VisaLawyer at May 22, 2008 09:42 AM


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