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Deportation and Discretion: Reviewing the Record and Options for Change

October 17, 2014 Comments off

Deportation and Discretion: Reviewing the Record and Options for Change
Source: Migration Policy Institute

Since Congress revamped the immigration enforcement system in 1996, the United States has formally deported (“removed”) more than 4.6 million noncitizens, with about 3.7 million of these occurring since the creation of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in 2003. While the administrations of both George W. Bush and Barack Obama have actively increased formal removals and the criminal prosecution of immigration violations, the Obama administration in particular has undertaken a series of measures to focus enforcement efforts on certain high-priority cases.

The result has been an increase of removals within the interior of noncitizens convicted of crimes, with criminal removals accounting for 80 percent of interior removals during FY 2011-13. Another result of this focus has been a steep rise in border removals, which represented 70 percent of all removals in FY 2013.

This report provides analysis of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) database of all formal removals for fiscal 2003-2013 in which the agency played a role, as well as those carried out solely by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The report offers a profile of deportees and examines how removal trends changed during and between the Bush and Obama administrations as well as how closely the deportations adhere to current DHS enforcement priorities. It also outlines some of the scenarios for executive action said to be under consideration by the Obama administration, examining how potential changes to enforcement policy could affect the number of deportations.

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DHS — Refugees and Asylees 2013

October 14, 2014 Comments off

Refugees and Asylees 2013
Source: U.S. Department of Homeland Security

The United States provides refuge to persons who have been persecuted or have well-founded fear of persecution through two programs: one for refugees (persons outside the U.S. and their immediate relatives) and one for asylees (persons in the U.S. and their immediate relatives).

This Office of Immigration Statistics Annual Flow Report provides information on the number of persons admitted to the United States as refugees or granted asylum in the United States in 2013.

Diploma, Please: Promoting Educational Attainment for DACA- and Potential DREAM Act-Eligible Youth

October 13, 2014 Comments off

Diploma, Please: Promoting Educational Attainment for DACA- and Potential DREAM Act-Eligible Youth
Source: Migration Policy Institute

Two years after its launch, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program has provided temporary relief from deportation to more than 580,000 unauthorized immigrants who were brought to the United States as children. With an estimated 2.1 million young immigrants potentially eligible to benefit from the program now or in the future, many educators, community leaders, policymakers, and government officials are trying to understand how DACA and potentially DREAM Act criteria affect eligibility.

Several factors are thought to contribute to the reluctance of many unauthorized youth to sign up for the program, including the $465 application fee, fears of drawing attention to unauthorized family members, and general lack of knowledge about the program. But more significantly, DACA also requires that applicants who are not in school or who lack a high school diploma or its equivalent must enroll in an adult education or training program in order to qualify.

With the national adult education system showing a steep decline in capacity at precisely the time when hundreds of thousands need to enroll to qualify for DACA protections, the report makes clear the challenges facing educators and other stakeholders

The report explores the challenges to educational attainment facing three key subgroups of the DACA program: those under age 19, those age 19 and over without a high school diploma or equivalent, and those age 19 and older with only a high school diploma or equivalent. It provides a demographic snapshot of these groups and examines the impacts of DACA’s unprecedented educational requirement on potential beneficiaries and the programs that serve them. Finally, the report offers recommendations for actions that policymakers, education and training program managers, and other stakeholders can take to support the educational success of these youth.

Benign Neglect? Policies to Support Upward Mobility for Immigrants in the United Kingdom

October 13, 2014 Comments off

Benign Neglect? Policies to Support Upward Mobility for Immigrants in the United Kingdom
Source: Migration Policy Institute

Immigrants to the United Kingdom, a popular destination for migrants from within and outside the European Union, benefit from the country’s flexible labor market and skills system with multiple points of entry. But the United Kingdom’s “work-first” approach to professional development, coupled with limited opportunities to advance into middle-skilled jobs, has left many immigrants stuck on the lowest rung of the ladder.

New From the GAO

October 10, 2014 Comments off

New GAO Reports
Source: Government Accountability Office

1. Immigration Detention: Additional Actions Needed to Strengthen Management and Oversight of Facility Costs and Standards. GAO-15-153, October 10.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-15-153
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/666468.pdf

2. Nuclear Weapons: Some Actions Have Been Taken to Address Challenges with the Uranium Processing Facility Design. GAO-15-126, October 10.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-15-126
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/666458.pdf

CRS — Temporary Professional, Managerial, and Skilled Foreign Workers: Legislation in the 113th Congress (September 30, 2014)

October 8, 2014 Comments off

Temporary Professional, Managerial, and Skilled Foreign Workers: Legislation in the 113th Congress (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

The admission of professional, managerial, and skilled foreign workers raises a complex set of policy issues as the United States competes internationally for the most talented workers in the world, without adversely effecting U.S. workers and U.S. students entering the labor market. Legislative proposals that Congress has considered include streamlining procedures that govern the admission of professional, managerial, and skilled foreign workers; increasing the number of temporary professional, managerial, and skilled foreign workers admitted each year; requiring employers of professional, managerial, and skilled foreign workers to make efforts to recruit U.S. workers and offer wages and benefits that are comparable to similarly employed U.S. workers; extending labor protections and worker rights to professional, managerial, and skilled foreign workers to prevent abuse or exploitation of the worker; enabling professional, managerial, and skilled foreign workers to have “visa portability” so they can change jobs; and allowing professional, managerial, and skilled foreign workers to have “dual intent”; that is, to apply for lawful permanent resident (LPR) status while seeking or renewing temporary visas.

Adding to the complexity of the debate is the variety of temporary visa categories that enable employment-based temporary admissions for highly skilled foreign workers. They perform work that ranges from skilled labor to management and professional positions to jobs requiring extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics. These visa categories are commonly referred to by the letter and numeral that denote their subsection in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

Congress has focused on two visa categories in particular: H-1B visas for professional specialty workers, and L visas for intra-company transferees. These two nonimmigrant visas epitomize the tensions between the global competition for talent and potential adverse effects on the U.S. workforce. The United States struggles to support the recruitment of highly skilled professionals on H-1B visas and L visas without displacing U.S. workers or putting downward pressures on the wages and working conditions of U.S. workers and U.S. students entering the labor market. Achieving this end through a process that both meets the expeditious needs of U.S. business and preserves employment opportunities for U.S. workers is a challenge, and there are critics of the current H-1B and L policies on each side of the issue. Congress is also weighing reforms of other professional and outstanding worker visas as well as treaty-specific visas.

Homeland Security OIG — Improvements Continue at Detention Centers

October 8, 2014 Comments off

Improvements Continue at Detention Centers (PDF)
Source: U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General

The latest in a series of spot inspections by the Office of Inspector General (OIG), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), found overall improvement, several recurring problems and declining populations at detention facilities for unaccompanied alien children (UAC) operated by Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

+ Full Report (PDF)

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