Welcome to the roundup of notable coverage and announcements from the Niskanen Center for the weeks before the 4th of July.
As the 2016 race gathers candidates and steam, so does the rhetoric around immigration policy. Niskanen Center Research Associate Matthew La Corte digs into the question of how much a policy of mass deportation would cost. The answer is hardly conservative. The total bill for border security and deportation would be at least $415 billion over 20 years, about $21 billion per year. Moreover, the move would be widely unpopular, even with Republican primary voters. His piece was featured by Young Voices.
Since this type of extreme action is both unjust and impractical, what sensible steps can policymakers take? Niskanen immigration policy analyst David Bier tackled those questions in The Hill in light of the ‘Mansion Murders’ committed by Daron Wint, an immigrant from Guyanna with a varied criminal past. Given his past acts, why was Wint able to stay in the United States?
Bier explains that despite the Administration’s claims that it engages in targeted deportations, it “continues to deport people for traffic violations and place thousands of small children and mothers in jail-like detention centers. It still apprehends hundreds of thousands of ordinary people at the border who seek to work or reunite with family here.” This misguided focus, coupled with the fact that immigrants have lower incarceration rates and are less likely to commit crime than average Americans, means that Congress and the Administration should concentrate on real threats, rather than criminalizing those who seek to better their situation.
Legal immigration reform would go a long way towards improving current conditions. Yet as Bier explained in another piece, the current path for the spouses of American citizens became steeper in recent days, as the Supreme Court ruled in Kerry v. Din that foreign spouses of US citizens can be denied the ability to form a family within the United States without due process.
Finally, not only have non-citizens had their rights threatened in recent weeks, Americans have too in the form of CISA, the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act. After making some reforms to the surveillance state through the USA FREEDOM Act, advocates for ever-expanding intelligence gathering are attempting again to grant broad, discretionary power to the agencies USA FREEDOM sought to reign in.
Writing in The Hill Niskanen civil liberties policy analyst Ryan Hagemann explains that “[t]hose of us concerned about beating back the ever-expanding Orwellian surveillance state must be constantly vigilant in the face of the intelligence community’s attempts at couching their surveillance powers in the language of ‘cybersecurity.'”