Border Security

Throughout most of American history, border security has centered on the issue of immigration rather than the threat of invasion. And, despite having been known as "the land of immigrants", from its early days the United States has had restrictions in place on whom it let into its borders, on the basis of national allegiance and securityracecountry of originphysical health, mental, moral and economic fitness; and political ideology.

Today, most public policy debates surrounding border security focus on illegal immigration at the Southern border, primarily from Mexico, and its economic, social and political effects (e.g. displacement of American workers, strain on the welfare system, higher crime rates, diminution of American values); drug trafficking and the associated violence perpetrated by the drug cartels; and potential terrorist threats.

These issues have prompted some to demand greater law enforcement capabilities and activities, including building a border fence, increasing border enforcement resources, further limiting legal immigration on the basis of country of origin, education and job training levels, and actively pursuing deportation of those who enter the country illegally.

On the flip side, there have been increased calls for granting legal status to certain illegal aliens currently present in the U.S. (the DREAM Act is a most recent example), and for expanding legal immigration, for instance through more easily obtainable work visas and guest worker programs. This, so it is argued, would help focus border security on the true dangers presented by criminals and potential terrorists.

Dealing with border security issues on an immediate and daily basis but finding assistance from the federal government wanting, has prompted some states such as Arizona and Utah to take matters into their own hands, raising constitutional questions about the division between state and federal obligations and powers in the process.

In light of these issues, this topic traces the historical, political, legal, and social developments affecting American border security and immigration policy. It also includes the various ideological viewpoints informing the public policy debates on border security, and provides information on their underlying philosophies.  

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According to this article, the repercussions of Arizona's controversial immigration bill go beyond affecting the hispanic community. Tranquility has been disrupted by pro- and anti-immigration demonstrators. Concerts, conventions and tourism have decreased in Arizona, some of it directly related to the immigration law. Finally, many Latinos have left Arizona for either Mexico or other states....

This piece discusses the 287(g) program which "relinquishes, with no meaningful oversight, immigration enforcement power to local law enforcement and corrections agencies." As the title suggests, those who condemned the Bush administration for its use of this program were equally chagrined at the Obama administration's extension of the same.

An Alabama law to tackle illegal immigration is coming under fire from some business leaders in the state, who say the measure is undermining Alabama's economy even before it takes effect.

This piece describes American public opinion on various immigration issues. Conducted during the time of Arizona's controversial illegal immigration law, the piece declares that a majority of Americans think immigration is a good thing.

This article announces the passage of the controversial Arizona immigration bill. This bill allows police officers, under reasonable suspicion, to determine someone's immigration status. This article explains how divided the country is on this issue. Some proponents claim this bill provides police tools to prosecute individuals breaking the law, trafficking drugs, or engaging in kidnapping....

"An Arizona sheriff says he has been flooded with calls and emails of support from local and federal agents who back his claims that the U.S. Border Patrol has effectively ordered them to stop apprehending illegal immigrants crossing the U.S.-Mexican border."

This article provides a brief background to US naturalization from the 1790's-1950's. It discusses relevant laws, agencies, procedures, and restrictions.

This article describes George W. Bush's issuance of clemency for two border patrol agents. The agents were convicted of shooting an illegal alien at the Mexican border.

"C-TPAT was launched in November 2001 with just seven partners in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks and represents the commitment of government and business to secure and protect the United States from international terrorism. Today C-TPAT members include almost all major U.S. importers and cover over 50 percent by value of maritime cargo. C-TPAT is a joint government-business initiative...

"Every American knows that Dec. 7, 1941 -- the date that Japanese planes attacked the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor -- is 'a date which will live in infamy.' But few Americans remember a second infamous anniversary that is just around the corner: May 30.

Three months after the attack on Pearl Harbor, President Franklin D....

Ryan McMaken argues that anti-immigration activists push government regulation of immigration to protect cheap foreign labor and the "American" worker from corporate America. But many of the regulations end up harming all three categories. For instance, laws requiring landlords to verify the immigration status of prospective lessee cost the landowner time and money. Invariably, some of these...

This article describes the connections between American immigration quotas and the Eugenics movement in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Among other things, some Eugenicists "argued that the 'American' gene pool was being polluted by a rising tide of intellectually and morally defective immigrants – primarily from eastern and southern Europe."

"A year after suing Arizona over its tough immigration law, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. told Congress on Tuesday that his department is prepared to sue Utah for going the other way and creating its own guest-worker program - though he is giving the state some time to change its law.


Utah Gov. Gary R. Herbert earlier this year signed a package of immigration bills,...

"House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith, a Texas Republican, released a new report on Monday outlining why he believes the Obama administration's Department of Justice 'has become more partisan than ever.'

The report details how President Barack Obama's DOJ — led by Attorney General Eric Holder — has been 'stalling' the congressional investigation into Operation Fast and Furious...

A critic of Arizona's controversial immigration bill was the Mexican government. Yet, according to Michelle Malkin, they have stronger enforcement mechanisms than the contentious Arizona legislation. She claims Mexico is doing the job America should do -- "putting its people first."

This article explains that illegal immigrants pay taxes, yet are barred from most welfare services. As a result, they provide net gains to government tax revenue. Contrary to Congressman Tom Tancredo's dire warnings, this article argues illegal aliens are far from a "colossal drain on the nation's hospitals, schools and welfare programs." Ms. Dalmia concedes some illegal immigrants are drains...

The best way to curb illegal immigration is to offer a legal alternative, argues Cato's Daniel Griswold. He examines the Bracero program, a 1950's guest worker program with Mexico. Like today, there was a huge illegal immigrant problem prior to the Bracero program. The problem dissipated as workers entered legally through the Bracero program. Griswold claims that workers want to enter legally...

How should the U.S. treat illegal immigrants' children? When it comes to higher education, Georgia and California have extremely different perspectives. Georgia recently barred all illegal immigrants from the state's five most popular universities. A new state bill proposes banning illegal immigrants from all public universities. In contrast, Californian courts have recently ruled that all...

Federal immigration law determines whether a person is an alien, the rights, duties, and obligations associated with being an alien in the United States, and how aliens gain residence or citizenship within the United States.

Immigration debates often settle around the economics of immigration -- is it a net gain or drain? Mr. Hanson wants to question the morality of illegal immigration. He points out that illegal immigrants willfully break the law. He asks whether illegal immigration harms the American poor, whether it is unfair to legal immigrants, and whether remittances are moral.

A federal judge temporarily blocked enforcement of Alabama's new law cracking down on illegal immigration, ruling Monday that she needed more time to decide whether the law is constitutional.

The Obama administration is challenging a new Alabama law that would let the police detain people stopped for traffic offenses who are suspected of being in the country illegally, a law described as one of the toughest of its kind nationwide.

"Reporter Ronald J. Hansen has compiled the basics on Arizona's new employer-sanctions law, which is scheduled to take effect Jan. 1. U.S. District Judge Neil Wake heard arguments for and against the law Nov. 14 and is expected to rule in the case before the end of the year. ...

The sanctions law, known as the Legal Arizona Workers Act, is intended to ensure that no businesses in...

The controversial Arizona immigration law recently met a roadblock in court. U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton blocked key provisions that were designed to combat illegal immigration at the state level. This article explains that both sides believe this case will end up in the Supreme Court. The main argument is whether immigration is purely a federal issue or whether states and other...

While there are many contentious issues with immigration, the Economist believes one piece of legislation should be an easy sell -- the DREAM Act. This legislation provides citizenship to young, illegal immigrants who either serve in the armed forces for two years or attend university for two years. In addition, they must have a clean criminal background.

I have received many questions and requests for assistance in the wake of Pres. Obama's announcement on August 18, 2011 of prosecutorial discretion.

There has been much discussion and confusion over the recent policies and memoranda from US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) concerning 'prosecutorial discretion.' Some people mistakenly believe that it is some sort of 'amnesty.'

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced federal officials would focus their deportation efforts on 'criminal aliens, those who pose a threat to public safety and national security, repeat immigration law violators' and known gang members.

The champion of modern day conservatism, Ronald Reagan, was an ardent supporter of free immigration. Mr. Griswold explains that Reagan believed immigrants were not criminals but workers looking to better their lives. Reagan's view of America was one that was open to all people -- a city on the hill with its doors open. This view differs from the majority of present conservatives' immigration...

Walter Williams, while not addressing illegal immigrant smuggling specifically, discusses the causes and consequences of smuggling -- a significant activity associated with illegal immigration. Focusing on commodities, Dr. Williams explain smuggling occurs when government bans a desired good (or service). Smugglers meet this demand outside of the law. The negative results of smuggling include...

If anyone had any doubt about President Obama's lack of respect for the Constitution, the separation of powers or the rule of law, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano dispelled that doubt on Aug. 18.

It is rare in the immigration debate for big business to come together with civil rights groups to challenge the constitutionality of legislation.

In light of the The U.S. Court of Appeals' affirmation of the lower court's "decision preventing implementation of [Arizona's] immigration law," Jennifer Rubin dissects conservative Judge John Noonan's concurring opinion. Rubin claims that federal law takes precedence over state law with regard to immigration. She thinks Noonan's opinion "should cause conservatives to rethink their fondness...

One of the frequent arguments used by immigration critics is that immigrants "take our welfare." Art Carden does some quick math and concludes that immigrants, after taxes, consume roughly one to two percent of government expenditures. He argues these costs are "small relative to the benefits from larger markets."

This critique of the Kennedy-McCain immigration reform bill contends that the bill was an amnesty proposal. It argues that amnesty is a reward for breaking the law, and that it encourages in illegal immigrants the hope of future amnesty. Instead, Krikorian says, the government needs to pursue an attrition policy with illegal immigrants.

What is the libertarian position on immigration? Mr. Bylund lays out two competing arguments. The Open Borders Argument stipulates that movement is a natural right, therefore government cannot infringe on any person's right. The second argument, the Pro-Property Argument, claims that immigration is simply moving into a new community -- everything is conducted individual to individual under a...

This article argues that illegal immigration is not an economic problem -- there is significant demand for immigrant labor. Instead, it is a political problem. The problem is, "when the illegal immigrants expect goods and services from the state that existing residents must pay for. These come in many forms: hospitalization, cash payments, affirmative action privileges, public schools (that's...

Outsourcing immigration enforcement to an ill-trained and poorly supervised assortment of state and local law enforcement agencies creates a lot of problems.

"The sixth quarterly meeting of the 10th term of The Departmental Advisory Committee on Commercial Operations (COAC) took place on Friday, May 9 in the Ronald Reagan Building. The COAC meeting agenda highlighted a variety of trade facilitation topics. Commissioner Basham reiterated this emphasis on trade issues stating, 'We know that we’re going to have to focus more of our energies on trade...

This piece reports on Utah's attempt to create a unique piece of immigration legislation.

The Utah legislature concocted an interesting bill when they combined increased illegal immigration enforcement with a guest worker program.

Is immigration beneficial to the United States? Byron York, pointing to new research, argues it is not -- at least economically. Because immigrants tend to be poorer, they receive government benefits without contributing as much in taxes. Therefore, they use up more resources than they consume. While York acknowledges that they may offset this by offering significant value in the private...

What to do with non-criminal illegal immigrants? Pablo Alvarado believes we should be lenient. He tells a story about a woman who called the police to report domestic violence. ICE deported this woman, despite her having a clean record. ICE's goal is to remove "high-level threats." Yet how can this woman be high-level? And this case is not an aberration. Critics of this program worry that...

Chart or Graph

Using less-educated as a proxy for illegal immigrants, this graph demonstrates that illegal immigration is decreasing. The author argues this is because of enforcement.

This chart depicts the age distribution of workers that had been approved for H-1B visas in the 1999 fiscal year. During this year, the median age was 28.3, with over eighty percent of the workers being under the age of 35.

This graph demonstrates that persistent immigrants will find a way into the US.

According to this chart, increased apprehensions seem to correlate with decreased migration. While this correlation is not perfect, it appears stronger in the last few years of this chart.

This graph shows that despite significant increase in border protection, apprehensions have not noticeably increased.

Over the past two decades, border enforcement has increasingly become a priority, with the Border Enforcement budget increasing sevenfold from 1980 to 1995 and then more than tripling from 1995 to 2003.

This table shows the "distribution of H-1B recipients in fiscal year 2001 across major countries and some characteristics of these workers." As can be seen from the chart, the majority of those receiving the H-1B Visa are born in India, while those from Canada and the United Kingdom have the highest median income.

This chart demonstrates the percentage of the total share of illegal immigration each region sends to the US. It demonstrates that the largest share of illegal immigration comes from Mexico and other countries in Latin America.

The foreign-born population includes naturalized citizens, lawful permanent residents (LPRs), certain legal nonimmigrants (e.g., persons on student or work visas), those admitted under refugee or asylee status, and persons illegally residing in the United States.

In 2009, a total of 1,130,818 persons became LPRs [Legal Permanent Residents] of the United States (see ... Figure 1). The majority of new LPRs (59 percent) already lived in the United States when they were granted lawful permanent residence.

"[Above] is a photo of one of the 15 billboard signs which had been erected in Pinal County. The signs were recently taken down and replaced with 'Visitor Information' signs. Citizens of Pinal County are now met with 'Normandy' style barriers which are located 70 miles north of the U.S. - Mexico Border."

Available data suggest slower growth in the stock of immigrants. In January 2009, CPS counted about 37.1 million immigrants in the United States, slightly down from 37.4 million in January 2008.

"CRS analysis of USBP [United States Border Patrol] data reveals that apprehensions along the Northern border have remained relatively stable throughout the past five years. While the data in Figure 6 shows a slight dip in 2002, it is not as dramatic as the decline along the Southwest border."

This chart shows the distribution of H-1B visas by occupation. Traditionally, H-1B visas have been referred to as "high tech" visas because the largest percentage are issued to workers in the field of computers and technology.

This graph shows that Mexican illegal immigrants are choosing to stay in the U.S.

Americans remain more likely to say immigration should be decreased (45%) rather than kept at its present level (34%) or increased (17%), but the gap between the two most popular options has narrowed from a year ago.

When asked "about the likelihood of potential terrorist attack targets in the United States," Gen-Y and Moms generally believe that it is very likely.

This graph demonstrates illegal immigrants' increasing share of the U.S. labor force.

This graph depicts the financial cost of deporting all illegal immigrants.

When a survey group consisting of Moms and individuals from Gen-Y was asked about their greatest national security concern, America's dependency on foreign oil was one of the highest.

Of the 179,831 companies that imported in 2009, 19.6% were manufacturers, 45.6% were wholesalers, 33.3% were classified as other, and 1.5% were unclassified; 129,551 companies imported in both 2009 and 2008, while 50,280 companies only imported in 2009.

Analysis Report White Paper

This paper stakes out a libertarian philosophy on immigration. Starting from Rothbard's non-aggression axiom, it address emigration, migration, and immigration. It finds that as long as people do not violate property rights, all immigration should be allowed.

Part III of this paper examines human rights abuses of illegal immigrants by Border Patrol agents at the Mexico-U.S. border. This examination focuses on several Border Patrol abuse cases, and it explains the legal rights possessed by illegal immigrants who find themselves the victims of abuse by Border Patrol agents.

"In this case, the Supreme Court will determine whether the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 preempts the Legal Arizona Workers Act. If the Court agrees with the United States Chamber of Commerce and finds that federal law does preempt Arizona's law, it will become more difficult for states to independently regulate illegal immigration."

Border enforcement has increased in the last few years. This has forced illegal immigrants to take more dangerous routes, generally through inhospitable land. Even as fewer migrants are entering the country, more are dying at the borders. Also, due to increased enforcement, smuggling activity has increased.

"Homegrown terrorists are making headlines — most recently in Bandera County, where the sheriff’s office issued a warning to citizens last month after the shooting death of an officer and in Hempstead, where a man awaits trial after attempting to aid al-Qaeda."

Included in the report are statistics on the historical nature of immigration, information on illegal immigration, and other data relating to this issue.

The paper concludes that the recent drop in illegal immigrant population is due to increased enforcement activity and a depressed economy. However, it contends that increased enforcement could lead, counter to some arguments, to disproportionately larger drops in illegal immigration.

This article examines why illegal immigration occurs, evaluates the success of border enforcement, and proposes policy changes to quell the illegal immigration problem. It finds that illegal immigration occurs because of two factors: The absence of a "bilateral labor and migration agreement" and wage differentials.

"This research examines the workings and effects of Operation Hold the Line, starting with its inception in late September 1993 and running through April 1994, the latest release date for relevant data as of the writing of this report. The main goal of the Operation was to slow illegal flows."

"Immigration flows to the United States have noticeably slowed in the last year, raising fundamental questions for policymakers and analysts about the effect the current economic crisis is having on inflows and return migration. These questions appear particularly daunting because there has been no comparable crisis in recent memory."

This brief article highlights the differences between U.S. and French immigration policy.

This interactive timeline examines the last 60 years of immigration policy. It examines eight specific periods, discussing guest workers, illegal immigration, public benefits to migrant workers, border security, and homeland security.

Under the 1996 immigration reforms, a program was created that devolved federal border control to local and state based agencies. This statue was termed 287(g). This paper claims 287(g) has "harmed, not served, our public safety." While it was advertised as a crime-reducer, race issues have caused the program to grow.

The largest immigrant population in the United States is from Mexico. Lately, Mexicans have significantly decreased their emigration to the United States. However, there is no evidence Mexican immigrants living in the U.S. have departed.

"After September 11, 2001, a great deal of public and policy attention has been devoted to border security, passports, and the global mobility regime. This article examines the context of the global regulation of movement of individuals and the evolution of the passport in particular."

According to Dr. Hinojosa-Ojeda, amnesty and a guest worker program could increase U.S. GDP by 1.5 trillion dollars over ten years. In his paper, he examines the costs of an enforcement-only strategy -- namely the loss of life, smuggler fees, billions of dollars in wasted government spending, etc.

The authors explain why immigration is helpful by examining the capital, U.S.-employment, public-expenditure, and macro-price effects caused by changes in the labor supply resulting from changes in immigration.

This report provides a variety of charts and statistics gleaned from a survey of Moms and individuals from Generation Y. The research gives a glimpse into some of the deepest concerns American citizens are facing in 2011, including the economy and national security.

This report examines the wage data in Labor Department records for Fiscal Year 2004. It compares wages in approved Labor Condition Applications (LCAs) for H-1B workers in computer programming occupations to wage levels of U.S. workers in the same occupation and location.

The authors of this paper argue that the cost of a strong, enforcement- only immigration policy, including deportation of most illegal immigrants, is prohibitive. Instead, they prefer enforcement and immigration reform -- amnesty and accessible legal immigration channels.

This study was commissioned to discover Hispanics' economic impact on North Carolina's economy. This group includes native-born Hispanics, and Hispanics who immigrated legally and illegally. Indeed, a large sample of the population emigrated illegally.

The researchers evaluated the efficacy of border control. In doing so, they discovered some unintended consequences of tougher border enforcement. First, border control has not been successful. The increased border-crossing difficulty has not had a "significant effect on the intent to migrate."

Employment in the information technology (IT) field rose rapidly during the late 1990s. Many IT employees are foreign born and are working in the United States with H-1B visas-temporary non-immigrant visas issued for terms of up to six years. Critics of the H-1B program contend that it reduces job opportunities and wages for native workers.

Many supporters of free trade often support free immigration. Hans-Herman Hoppe argues there is a significant difference between these positions, despite similar economic benefits. Countries should adopt free trade but restrict immigration.

This article address the political economy behind the Mexican Farm Labor Program (Bracero).

Very few modern political issues have proven more divisive, polarizing, and difficult to solve than the illegal immigration problem. It has divided Republicans and Democrats along stark partisan lines, but the divisions run much deeper. Proposals to reform the nation's immigration system have also divided traditionally aligned factions: labor unions and civil rights groups, business associations and conservatives.

This paper discusses the demographics of the illegal immigration population. It examines illegal immigrants' countries of origin, labor input relative to legal immigrants, and trends in the illegal immigration population. It also discusses the methodology and difficulties related to counting illegal immigrants.

After reaching a peak, illegal immigration has dropped. This report emphasizes where those losses occurred in the United States. It also explains that Mexican emigration has significantly slowed.

The report begins by focusing on the complaints raised by 204 persons released into Mexico after being apprehended by agents of the U.S. Border Patrol, the INS, U.S. Customs, and other law enforcement agencies.


"On April 7, 2008, six days after the FY 2009 H-1B application process opened up, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services had received approximately 163,000 H-1B petitions, exceeding the cap for H-1B visas for the fiscal year of 2009. Of those 163,000 applicants, only 85,000 will receive an H-1B visa, chosen by a computer generated random selection process. As a...

Senator Pierce argues that citizenship granted by being born in the U.S. incentivizes illegal immigrants to cross the border and attempt to use their children to gain access to the welfare state. He believes situations like this arises from a misunderstanding of the 14th Amendment. He claims the Arizona law is a step in the right direction -- providing tools to enforce the laws of the land.

This clip shows Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signing Arizona Senate Bill 1070. She cites the safety of the state as a key motivator for signing and confirms her commitment to enforcing law as well as avoiding racial profiling.

"Panelists spoke about immigration and customs practices, and balancing border security with privacy and civil liberty concerns. Among the topics they addressed were search procedures, identification requirements, and legal ambiguities in the area of searches conducted at border points for electronic data and information. Tim Sparapani moderated. 'The Changing Course: Privacy, Civil Liberties...

Jason Riley debunks multiple myths about immigration. He claims there are no good reasons to prevent immigration -- only bad ones.

Lou Dobbs debates the merits of immigration. He believes low-skilled immigrants cost the U.S. too much money. Therefore, allowing mass immigration is unwise.

President Obama's second major speech on immigration. He lays out his vision for a new immigration plan.

"Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo discusses and signs his timely book In Mortal Danger: The Battle for America's Border and Security.

Tancredo has been one of the only consistent voices in our government warning Americans of the dangers of failing to secure our borders and fix the nation's immigration system. In Mortal Danger outlines his prescription for beginning to repair the damage...

In the wake of a fatal shooting in Acapulco, Mexico, this video discusses the possibility that Mexican drug cartels are obtaining some of their weapons from the United States.

Witnesses testified about U.S. border security and how border patrol operations on federal lands might be impacted by environmental laws.

"Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano testified at a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on the Obama administration's border security efforts along the U.S. northern and southern borders. Several senators said the terror threat level should 'immediately' be raised. Other topics included a Government Accountability Office report on visa overstays and the...

Homeland Security officials testified about challenges facing the Homeland Security Department in securing the U.S. southwestern border and the fiscal year 2011 budget requests for Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Primary Document

"This testimony compilation is from the hearing, 'Confronting the Cartels: Addressing U.S.-Mexican Border Security,' before the U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Appropriations. From the statement of Mariko Silver: 'It is important to put our border challenges in context. The situation in Mexico is undeniably serious. The transnational criminal organizations operating there are...

Immigration quotas revolving around Asian immigrants in the early 20th century brought this case to the Supreme Court. The high court determined that the Indian gentleman bringing the case was "not a 'white person'" and therefore could not be naturalized in the U.S.

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside.

Any alien, being a free white person, who shall have resided within the limits and under the jurisdiction of the United States for the term of two years, may be admitted to become a citizen.

This act was the first attempt at standardizing immigration and naturalizing foreign citizens. It was done under threat of war with France.

This act allowed the President at any time to order any aliens he deemed dangerous to be deported.

The Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress approved an act banned transportation of 'coolies' in ships that were either owned or not owned by citizens of the United States of America.

The Senate and House Representations of the United States of America in Congress approved a law stating that any immigration of Chinese, Japanese, or any Asian country, to the United States must be free and voluntary.

An act in which the State Commission and officers were in charge of checking the passengers upon incoming vessels arriving in the U.S.

"The 1885 Contract Labor Law forbade American individuals or organizations from engaging in labor contracts with individuals prior to their immigration to the United States, and forbade ship captains from transporting immigrants under labor contracts."

The 1891 Immigration Act was a revised version of the 1882 Immigration Act. As in the 1882 Immigration Act, this act declared that certain classes of individuals were unfit to become American citizens.

The 1917 Immigration Act, also known as the Asiatic Barred Zone Act, was a law passed by Congress that restricted the immigration of 'undesirables' from other countries...

Enacted in 1921, this law sought to limit immigration flow into the United States. The law declared the following: "the number of aliens of any nationality who may be admitted under the immigration laws to the United States in any fiscal year shall be limited to 3 per centum of the number of foreign born persons of such nationality resident in the United States as determined by the United...

"This Act held that whenever any American diplomatic or consular officer knew or had a reason to believe that any alien sought to enter the United States for the purpose of engaging in activities which will endanger society they could refuse any visa or temporary work visa, thereby denying admission to the US."

This act repealed the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, established quotas for Chinese immigration, and allowed Chinese nationals in the U.S. to become naturalized citizens.

The McCarran-Walter Act moved away from excluding immigrants based simply upon country of origin. Instead it focused upon denying immigrants who were unlawful, immoral, diseased in any way, politically radical.

The Hart-Cellar Act abolished the national origins quota system that had structured American immigration policy since the 1920s, replacing it with a preference system that focused on immigrants' skills and family relationships with citizens or residents of the U.S.

This act addresses many aspects of immigration (both legal and illegal), and the responsibilities placed upon not only immigrants, but those enforcing legal immigration.

The Act was passed in order to unify the intelligence and law enforcement agencies of the United States.

The ACLU writes to the Committee on Homeland Security regarding the "Role of State and Local Enforcement in Immigration Law." It contends that state and local enforcement is ineffectual, unconstitutional, lacks oversight and promotes racial profiling.

To prohibit certain subversive activities; to amend certain provisions of law with respect to the admission and deportation of aliens; to require the fingerprinting and registration of aliens; and for other purposes.

This law was enacted to "deter terrorism, provide justice for victims, provide for an effective death penalty, and for other purposes.

This controversial bill was passed to help reduce illegal immigration to Arizona. It grants police authority to check immigration documents "under reasonable suspicion." It also forbids racial profiling.

This report examines alternative methods to secure the southwest border against "drug smuggling and illegal immigration." It finds that drug smuggling and illegal immigration "pose a serious threat." Pointing at a 1993 study, this report presents a new method to secure the border. Historically, border enforcement focused on apprehending illegal aliens once in the country. This study suggests a...

This article provides the history of U.S. border patrol surrounding the Mexican border. It highlights the major changes in policy, administrations, and outside factors (prohibition).

This highly controversial bill passed the House, but stalled in the Senate. It proposed much stricter legislation against illegal individuals, including some aspects which criminalized citizens for aiding or hiring illegal aliens.

The USBP’s primary mission is to detect and prevent the entry of terrorists, weapons of mass destruction, and illegal aliens into the country, and to interdict drug smugglers and other criminals along the border

The Bracero agreement provided "For the Temporary Migration of Mexican Agricultural Workers to the United States as Revised on April 26, 1943, by an Exchange of Notes Between the American Embassy at Mexico City and the Mexican Ministry for Foreign Affairs." This agreement allowed Mexican workers to emigrate, temporally, to the United States for agricultural work. There were numerous...

"The Appropriations for Farm Labor of 1943 law was put into effect to aid the agricultural economy. It made appropriations to support the 1942 Bracero Agreement. Congress passed the law, which distributed a total of $26.1 million to states who were in need of labor assistance. The money was to be used for services such as recruitment...

"C-TPAT is a voluntary government-business initiative to build cooperative relationships that strengthen and improve overall international supply chain and U.S. border security. C-TPAT recognizes that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) can provide the highest level of cargo security only through close cooperation with the ultimate owners of the international supply chain such as...

Following the implementation of the Chinese Exclusion Act, the Chinese gentleman represented in this case attempted to return to the United States under his original authorization.

"The Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) makes it 'unlawful for a person or other entity . . . to hire, or to recruit or refer for a fee, for employment in the United States an alien knowing the alien is an unauthorized alien.' ... Employers that violate that prohibition may be subjected to federal civil and criminal sanctions. IRCA also restricts the ability of States to combat...

The coming of Chinese laborers to the United States be, and the same is hereby, suspended; and during such suspension it shall not be lawful for any Chinese laborer to come.

Like Zadvydas v. Davis et al., this case revolved around several law-breaking immigrants who were facing deportation because of their convictions. Their deportation was not able to be accomplished, however, and they subsequently insisted that their...

The CBO estimates the Secure America Through Verification and Enforcement Act of 2007 would cost the federal government billions of dollars annually. Most costs are related to increased personal, detention, tax losses, and judicial processing.

The CBO estimates the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007 would cost $32-38 billion over a ten year period. It notes the highest single expenditure is due to new tax credits included in this plan.

The debate in both the House of Representatives and the Senate over the first 'Quota Law' restricting immigration into the United States, became an occasion for the legislators to define the meaning of America.

This piece of legislation is cited as "AN ACT To adjust the status of Cuban refugees to that of lawful permanent residents of the United States, and for other purposes."

One element to border security is the control of the flow of goods, both legal and illegal, into the country. The Customs Modernization and Informed Compliance Act updated the nation's customs and duties law. It provided regulation for electronic data, ensured that goods are inspected, and assessed penalties for failure to declare controlled substances or falsifying manifests. It became Title...

"Semi-structured interviews were conducted during July 2006 to pretest questions that had been developed from the data obtained during the SME Workshop. U.S. Custom and Border Protection provided a list of 27 potential contacts that were know[n] to be active participants in the C-TPAT program. The list was also designed to include a variety of business sizes and representation from all of the...

"The U.S. Department of the Interior and U.S. Customs and Border Protection have completed the first InterAgency Agreement under the 2009 Memorandum of Agreement to fund environmental mitigation projects that will benefit several species of fish and wildlife affected by border security projects in the Southwest. Signed September 28, the agreement will fund $6.8 million in projects and...

The immigration reports include statistical reviews, emigration and immigration conditions in Europe and other parts of the world.

Cited as "An Act To enhance the border security of the United States," this law dealt with Visa regulations and other components of border observation and enforcement.

"Public Law 78 was an amendment to the Agricultural Act of 1949 in an effort to include agricultural workers within the act. This was significant because the Act was extended to workers from Mexico. The act was an effort to increase the amount of labor help during World War II, but included strict limitations for both the farmer and the farm worker. One of the limitations in regards to both...

The 287(g) program was enacted to help curtail illegal immigration. This website provides a historical background of 287(g) and explains its current practices. The 287(g) program has been criticized for placing federal responsibility into hands of unqualified state and local officers.

In his first state of the union address, Calvin Coolidge briefly addressed the issue of immigration. Suggesting that "America must be kept American," Coolidge urged "a policy of restricted immigration."

"On the record in this case, the evidence adduced at the administrative hearings was sufficient to support a finding that petitioner, a resident alien, had been a 'member' of the Communist Party from 1944 to 1946, and therefore was deportable under § 22 of the Internal Security Act of 1950 even though he may not have known the full purposes or program of the Communist Party."

This report, produced by the U.S. General Accounting Office, outlines the "H-1B program's implementation and implications for the American workforce," using charts, graphs, statistics, and analysis to explain "the jobs that H-1B workers are filling in the United States and the characteristics of those workers, the adequacy of the H-1B visa program's implementation...

This bill is enforcement-only. It requires the mandatory use of the E-verify system, increases personnel around the border, and authorizes aerial surveillance.

The DREAM Act provides illegal immigrants who moved to the U.S. while under the age of 16, with the possibility of permanent resident status if they meet certain moral and education standards.

"Prohibits the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture (USDA) from taking action on public lands which impede the border security activities of the Secretary of Homeland Security (DHS) (Secretary). States that the Secretary shall have immediate access to any public land managed by the federal government in order to conduct activities that assist in securing the border (...

"This working paper presents selected decennial census data on the foreign-born population of the United States from 1850 to 1990. This paper updates and expands data on the foreign-born population published in 1975 in Historical Statistics of the United States, Colonial Times to 1970."

The Immigration Act of 1924 sought to limit the immigration of aliens into the United States, and for other purposes.

Starting in 1991, every year the Attorney General, decides from information gathered over the most recent five year period the regions or country that are considered High Admission or Low Admission States.

The INA is divided into titles, chapters, and sections. Although it stands alone as a body of law, the Act is also contained in the United States Code.

"The Immigration Reform and Control Act was passed and signed into law on November 6, 1986. The purpose of this legislation was to amend, revise, and reform/re-assess the status of unauthorized immigrants set forth in the Immigration and Nationality Act. The content of this bill is overwhelming and is divided into many sections such as control of unauthorized immigration, legalization and...

“In this survey of Jewish immigration to the United States for the past thirty years, my purpose has been to present the main features of a movement of population that is one of the most striking of modern times. The causes of Jewish emigration from Eastern Europe, the course of Jewish immigration to the United States and the most important social qualities of the Jewish immigrants are studied...

Senator McCain lays out his position on immigration in support of immigration reform. America must be safe but inviting. He believes new laws are needed -- both to fix our broken immigration system and strengthen our borders.

"In the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the Border Patrol has experienced a tremendous change in its mission. With the formation of a new parent agency, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the Border Patrol has as its priority mission preventing terrorists and terrorist weapons from entering the United States. The Border Patrol will continue to advance its...

This congressional report highlights the relevant agencies, laws, and problems associated with legal aliens overstaying their visas and becoming illegal aliens.

This website provides context to CBP's border enforcement effort. It contains both information on border agents deployed and immigrants processed and apprehended.

"On October 1, 1994, the Border Patrol's San Diego Sector introduced a new border control plan at Imperial Beach Station. Previously the Sector had operated with no coherent strategic plan and no real aim other than to apprehend as many illegal immigrants as possible. The Sector was not adequately staffed, and its agents lacked proper equipment to contend with the flood of aliens who overran...

Operation Wetback was a repatriation project of the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service to remove illegal Mexican immigrants ('wetbacks') from the Southwest.

This case concerned an appeal for citizenship from a Japanese man. Although born in Japan, Mr. Ozawa had lived, worked, and raised a family for many years in the United States.

This report addresses these three questions through two competing models for conceptualizing a border protection system, through the analysis of existing documentation and data, and through the presentation of various legislative options.

The illegal aliens who are plaintiffs in these cases challenging the statute may claim the benefit of the Equal Protection Clause, which provides that no State shall deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

This document gives a brief synopsis of U.S. imports and exports during 2008 and 2009.

The 9/11 Commission made immigration and document security recommendations after completing their investigation in 2004.

This document contains President Bush's remarks about the Border Security Act of 2002.

Respondent resident aliens filed this suit, claiming that petitioners, the Attorney General and other federal parties, targeted them for deportation because of their affiliation with a politically unpopular group....

Unfortunately, federal land managers are using environmental regulations to prevent Border Patrol from accessing portions of the 20.7 million acres along the U.S. southern border and over 1,000 miles of the U.S.-Canada border.

The Kennedy-McCain Immigration bill attempted to fix the illegal immigration problem. It contained enforcement procedures and paths to citizenship. In addition, it contained a guest worker program.

This bill "Expresses the sense of the Senate that Congress should: - strengthen our commitments to border security; - pass legislation, such as the DREAM Act, supporting national and economic security....

The Secretary of Homeland Security shall take all actions the Secretary determines necessary and appropriate to achieve and maintain operational control over the entire international land and maritime borders of the United States.

The ultimate aim of these hearings is: one, to do oversight on what we’re getting in return for the considerable federal investment in border security; two, to see what we can do to improve it.

This snapshot outlines U.S. Customs and Border Protection's mission, culture, and leaders. It provides a timeline regarding U.S. custom laws. Figures are provided regarding border traffic, drug smuggling, and Customs and Border Protection's demographics.

When operating on federal lands, Border Patrol must comply with the requirements of several federal land management laws, including the National Environmental Policy Act, Wilderness Act, and Endangered Species Act.

Admitting that they had violated the "Legal Arizona Workers Act," this document presents a "Consent Agreement and Judgment ... to resolve current and potential matters in dispute between" the state of Arizona and Waterworld.

In an interview, Tom Tancredo presents his argument for enforcement-first immigration policy. He also views immigration as accelerating the demise of the American identity.

This report addresses the performance of 287(g) agreements between Immigration and Customs Enforcement and state and local law enforcement agencies.

Due to the difficult economic times of the Great Depression, President Hoover announced that immigrants "who may prove to become public charges" would not be allowed into the United States anymore.

The commission investigated migrant's social and economic conditions. This report occurred during a temporary suspension of the Bracero program.

This manifesto seeks solidarity with America's immigrants and encourages an immigrant-friendly immigration policy in the state of Utah.

President Obama presents his plan to fix immigration. These are the main highlights of his immigration vision....

This document is commonly known as the Adams-Onis Treaty. The treaty basically established the southern border of the United States.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) today announced several parameters for a nationwide private sector Registered Traveler (RT) program....

A legal permanent resident (LPR) or 'green card' recipient is defined by immigration law as a person who has been granted lawful permanent residence in the United States. Permanent resident status confers certain rights and responsibilities.

The defendants were convicted for assault, discharge of a weapon in the commission of a crime of violence, tampering with an official proceeding, and deprivation of civil rights.

This report describes the findings of Amnesty International’s research into human rights concerns along the United States’ border with Mexico, primarily recent allegations of brutality by officers of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS).

In an agreement with Mexico, the United States laid down a variety of stipulations for environmental issues along the border.

This opinion maintained the lower court's opinion that parts of the Arizonan law violated the Constitution. Mainly, they found that border control was a federal and not state issue.

This Court found that Arizona's controversial immigration law preempted the federal government's enforcement of border security. As a result, the judge prevented S.B. 1070 from entering into force.

This bill modifies state law and enacts the Illegal Immigration Enforcement Act. Among other things, this legislation seeks to create stricter standards for dealing with illegal immigrants in Utah.

In a statement regarding immigration policy during the Great Depression, President Hoover noted the number of immigrants recently rejected due to their potential to "become a public charge."

This case revolved around several immigrants who had committed crimes and were being deported. The countries they were being deported to, however, refused to take them, thus resulting in indefinite imprisonment in the United States.




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To: The President and the Congress of the United States of America Whereas: Congress, the Department of the Treasury, and the Executive Branch have increased the United States’ national debt to over $14 trillion by 2011. Whereas: The national debt doubled in less than ten years and is expected to double again in the next ten years. Whereas: Each American’s share of the national debt is $45,684,...
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Do you have a great idea on how Intellectual Takeout or others can help raise awareness about the national debt? If so, we want to hear from you! Simply comment below and if we think there's something there, we'll promote the idea on our site, Facebook, Twitter, and more. Be sure to leave your name and city/state if you'd like to get credit for the idea!  


In a highly regulated society such as ours, it's very easy to get yourself in trouble with the law. Learn more about how to protect yourself with the 5th Amendment and how to interact with the police.
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Are you concerned your child isn't getting the education necessary to compete in the global economy or even, perhaps, to carry on the lessons and learning of Western Civilization? If so, you have a number of choices. You could, of course, consider changing schools to a charter school, private school, or even homeschooling. If that's overwhelming for you right now, you can always supplement your...
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Know your rights with Flex Your Rights guide to the "10 Rules for Dealing with Police."
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Let's face it, most of us love to watch TV and movies. A wonderful way to spread ideas is to embrace our love of the cinema by hosting a movie night with friends and family.  There are numerous documentaries that do a fantastic job of sharing the ideas of liberty. You can pull a small group of friends together at your house or even consider asking a local restaurant or tavern to let you...
Before we can solve a problem, we need to understand it. That’s why we’re asking you to use your creativity to help us open the eyes of our generation by creating a video raising awareness about the national debt. In ninety seconds or less, address any or all of the following questions: What does the National Debt mean to you? How will the National Debt impact your future? How would you...
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Okay, so we don't expect you to drive a wooden stake into your flat screen. Plus, we're total hypocrites since we watch some TV. But here's the point: People waste a ton of time watching TV. If you're cool with government taking over your future, than keep watching Dancing with the Stars. If you consider yourself to be a free man or woman and want to live in a free society, then watch what you...
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On Campus

We've built Intellectual Takeout to provide you with quick, easy access to information. In time, we hope to become your one-stop-shop for the ideas of freedom. If your professor allows you to bring your laptop to class (if not, you can use an iPhone), we recommend keeping a tab open to Intellectual Takeout. As we continue to generate new content on the site, you will be able to fact check the...
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If you're not happy with the direction of the country and you want to take back your future, at some point you will have to do something. It's not enough to just know that we're going in the wrong direction. You actually have to step out and get involved. Most college campuses have conservative and libertarian student groups. Find one of them to join. Below is a list of some of the larger non-...
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