Americas Program, Center for International Policy (CIP)
Americas Program Policy Report
There is broad agreement that the immigration system is broken. But reaching a political consensus on how to fix the system has in recent years proved impossible. In the absence of a comprehensive immigration reform, the government has adopted a "get-tough" posture on immigration designed to "restore integrity to the immigration system" and "uphold the rule of law."
Immigrants are being arrested, imprisoned, and deported in record numbers. Acknowledging the short-term inability to remove all estimated 11-12 million unauthorized immigrants, the federal government has prioritized the imprisonment and removal of "criminal aliens—legal and unauthorized immigrants who have run afoul of the law." However, in the search for "criminal aliens" and "fugitive aliens," the government has cast an alarmingly wide and tightly woven net.