Pre-Reform Immigration: New study on the current U.S. immigration enforcement program

Has the immigration reform bill piqued your interest in the nation’s current immigration policy? Noted on the excellent BeSpacific blog, a “new and well-documented view of the nation’s massive immigration enforcement program has been made possible as a result of a Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) analysis of millions of detailed records obtained from the Immigration Courts (EOIR) under the Freedom of Information Act.”

These administrative courts, part of the Justice Department, are a key part of the government’s program to deport or remove undocumented aliens as well as noncitizens who have been granted legal status to be in this country. The massive study of the administrative actions in the immigration courts has been supplemented by a separate examination of other records collected by the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys (EOUSA) that document criminal prosecutions in U.S. federal district courts.
The over 4 million EOIR [Executive Office for Immigration Review] records that TRAC obtained stretch back for many decades. The work of classifying the charges into comparable immigration, criminal, national security and terrorism categories, however, has been completed for the fifteen year period from FY 1992 to date and is the primary focus of the accompanying report.

TRAC’s TRACFED database, which provides a wide range of information about federal enforcement activities as well as detailed information about federal staffing, federal funds, and the diverse characteristics of counties, federal districts, and states is available to Harvard law students and faculty through a Law Library subscription. For off-campus access, or more information, see the instructions here.

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