National Immigration Forum

Practical Solutions for Immigrants and America

Forum Publications

The Math of Immigration Detention

August 19, 2013

A backgrounder examining the cost to the taxpayer of detaining immigrants, most of whom have no criminal record and who could be placed in less expensive alternatives to detention. The paper also discusses ICE’s prosecutorial discretion policy, and its potential for reducing the number of immigrant detainees and the associated costs, if implemented broadly. There is also a brief examination of the growing role played by private prison corporations in detaining immigrants, and their political...

Deferred Action Program Moves Forward

September 14, 2012

After the first month of the implementation of the program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, more than 82,000 young immigrants who were brough to the U.S. as children have submitted their request. A handful have so far been approved. This paper explains what to expect in terms of the number who may apply and the number of individuals who may be approved in the first months of the program.

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) in the 112th Congress

July 20, 2012

This document summarizes the immigration-related provisions of the House and Senate versions of the Violence Against Women Act re-authorization bills and includes a brief update on the status of those bills.

Allowing Immigrant Youth to Stay and Work Makes Good Economic Sense for the U.S.

July 11, 2012

This brief paper explains how the Obama Administration’s decision to stop deporting certain young undocumented immigrants and allowing them to work will ultimately benefit the U.S. economy. Those benefits would be magnified if Congress acted to put these young people on a path to citizenship.

VAWA Reauthorization

May 10, 2012

This document briefly summarizes immigration-related provisions included in the House and Senate versions of the Violence Against Women Act reauthorization bills.

Entry without Inspection (EWI) & Family Unity Waiver in a Nutshell

April 06, 2012

This document briefly explains how immigrants trigger a bar to their re-entry to the U.S., and how the new proposed application process for the waiver to this bar to re-entry would reduce family separation.

Questions and Answers about Prosecutorial Discretion and Immigration Law Enforcement

March 19, 2012

This fact sheet answers key questions about the Department of Homeland Security’s use of its prosecutorial discretion to focus its immigration enforcement on threats to public safety. The papers explains what prosecutorial discretion is, how it is being implemented by DHS, and what its limitations are. The paper also lays out a set of concerns about how the policy has been implemented so far.

Cut Here: Reducing Wasteful Spending on Immigration Enforcement

November 15, 2011

This paper puts a spotlight on the amount of money our government currently spends on enforcing our broken immigration laws, and how much that spending has increased in recent years. Much of the spending is for programs that are not cost effective, and the government could save hundreds of millions of dollars if spending on these programs was reduced or eliminated. Billions more could be saved by reforming our immigration laws in a comprehensive, allowing enforcement resources to be focused on...

Summary of the HALT Act

August 02, 2011

A summary of H.R. 2497, the “Hinder the Administration’s Legalization Temptation” Act, introduced by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX).  The bill would take the unprecedented step of suspending several immigration law provisions relating to humanitarian relief for the remainder of President Obama’s first term, including Temporary Protected Status, cancellation of removal, parole, and waivers to certain bars to entry.  The bill would essentially prohibit the President from providing relief from...

Summary of June 17, 2011 DHS Enforcement Memos

June 22, 2011

This memo provides an analysis of two memos issued on June 17, 2011, by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director John Morton.  The ICE memos provide guidance on how ICE agents and attorneys may use their prosecutorial discretion to help the agency focus on agency priorities and to protect victims of or witnesses to crime.  According to the Forum’s analysis, the ICE memos have the potential to better align prosecutorial endeavors across DHS and to preserve resources now being wasted on...


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