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Crossing the Border: How Disability Civil Rights Protections Can Include Disabled Asylum-Seekers

August 24, 2022

This report provides an overview of the impacts of the U.S. asylum system on disabled children and adults; explores legal issues at the intersection of immigration and disability; and offers recommendations for applying existing disability civil rights protections, such as the ADA, to assist disabled asylum-seekers through the process of gaining permanent legal status.

Immigrants and Asylum-Seekers Deserve Humane Alternatives To Detention

July 13, 2022

Each year, hundreds of thousands of individuals fleeing persecution arrive in the United States and begin the process of claiming asylum, while other undocumented immigrants in the United States encounter Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Although many of these individuals end up in ICE detention, a large subset of them are released and enrolled in the Alternatives to Detention (ATD) program as they await a decision on their case or deportation. As opposed to remaining in a physical detention center, those enrolled in the ATD program are electronically monitored through ankle monitors, telephone calls, and smartphone applications.As the Biden administration has worked to reform an immigration system impeded by Trump-era policies that criminalized undocumented immigrants and asylum-seekers and expanded immigration detention, the ATD program has rapidly grown. In fact, as of June 2022, a record number of almost 280,000 undocumented immigrants and asylum-seekers have been enrolled in ATD, and the Biden administration plans to double this number by the end of 2023.This is an important step toward reducing the country's costly reliance on immigration detention, which severely harms immigrants and asylum-seekers by separating them from their families, communities, and critical services as they fight their legal cases to remain in the country.However, the expansion of the ATD program raises a new set of privacy and civil liberty concerns. Namely, there is growing concern that enrolled immigrants and asylum-seekers may experience the program as "e-carceration," or a different form of detention, due to its invasive surveillance measures and mobility restrictions.To address this, the Biden administration must reconsider how it implements the ATD program as it works to build a more fair, humane, and functional immigration system that respects due process and the dignity of immigrants and asylum-seekers. Specifically, less restrictive, community-based approaches to administering the ATD program hold the most promise for providing immigrants and asylum-seekers with support, while also promoting voluntary compliance with immigration authorities. Instead of relying on electronic monitoring, which has become synonymous with the ATD program, the alternatives detailed in this report operate using case management models that offer wraparound social and legal support to immigrants and asylum-seekers as they resolve their cases.

What the European Union and United States Need to Do to Address the Migration Crisis in Ukraine

March 1, 2022

As the United States and other countries formulate military and diplomatic responses to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, they should also be focusing on how to protect the growing number of people who are being forcibly displaced because of the conflict. Since the invasion began, more than 500,000 people have fled Ukraine into nearby EU member states, including Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, and Romania. That number will undoubtedly continue to rise.The number of people in Ukraine who are vulnerable to displacement ranges widely—from 1 million to 5 million—and could be the largest forcible displacement in Europe in the 21st century. This article provides recommendations for how the European Union and the United States can respond to this migration crisis.

Why Immigration Relief Matters

February 1, 2022

Undocumented immigrants make significant economic contributions and are integral members of communities across the United States; immigration relief is necessary to continue growing the economy and strengthening communities nationwide, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic.