Many aspects of U.S. immigration law enforcement were modeled after the criminal justice system and created in response to perceived threats raised by immigrants arriving in the U.S. Over the years, these reactive policies have created a system that has criminalized and dehumanized immigrants, both documented and undocumented.
The most widely recognized example of the overlap between criminal justice and immigration enforcement is the widespread use of detention for immigrants. Similar to our criminal detention system, we have expanded the use of detention for immigrants and created a sweeping private detention industry that profits off of detaining immigrants for minor offenses.
In this series, we will explore how the criminal justice system overlaps with the immigration system. From initial encounters with immigration enforcement agencies, to detention, to the need for an independent immigration court system, this series lays out an evidence-based approach to provide U.S. immigration law and criminal justice reform solutions.
This series will focus on each aspect of immigration enforcement that can impact immigrants living in the United States, including:
Immigrants & the Criminal Justice System
- Crime-based inadmissibility and deportability (historical: race-based exclusions vs. criminal-based exclusions)
- Admissions versus convictions
- Overview of of the 4th & 5th & 6th Amendment to immigration
- Moral turpitude
Arrests & Enforcement
- ICE & CBP growth and enforcement (since 1980)
- Border patrol operation in interior of the U.S.
- Geographical protections (sanctuary cities and sensitive locations)
- Discretionary detention (CBP/ICE)
- Deeper dive into the 4th Amendment
- Deeper dive into the 6th Amendment and direct/collateral criminal conviction consequences
- Categorical removals based on state conviction statutes
- Cooperation between law enforcement and the undocumented community (T & U visas)
- Civil versus criminal detention
- How other countries detain immigrants
- Growth of private detention facilities and lawsuits
- Alternatives to detention
From initial encounters with immigration enforcement agencies, to detention, to the need for an independent immigration court system, this series on U.S. immigration law and criminal justice reform lays out an evidence-based approach to analyze and provide policy solutions to these complex issues.