Skip to Content


Special Reports

Our most in-depth publication, Special Reports provide detailed analyses of special topics in U.S. immigration policy.

The Lessons of 9/11: A Failure of Intelligence, Not Immigration Law

In the hours following the deadly terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the United States government took the extraordinary step of sealing U.S. borders to traffic and trade by grounding all aircraft flying into or out of the country and imposing a lock-down on the networks of transportation and commerce that are the lifeblood of our economy and society. Given the uncertainty over what might happen next, these emergency procedures were a necessary and appropriate short-term response to the attacks.

Published On: Mon, Dec 01, 2003 | Download File

Minority Newcomers: Fair Comparisons of Immigrants and the Native Born

Comparisons of the mostly “minority” foreign-born and mostly “white” native-born populations that fail to account for the socioeconomic impact of ethnicity incorrectly suggest that place of birth, rather than minority status, is the primary factor explaining disparities between immigrants and natives. However, a more accurate – and fair – comparison of immigrants and natives within the same ethnic group suggests otherwise.

Published On: Sat, Nov 01, 2003 | Download File

Immigrant Success or Stagnation?: Confronting the Claim of Latino Non-Advancement

Latinos experience substantial socioeconomic progress across generations compared to both their immigrant forefathers and native Anglos. But this fact is lost in statistical portraits of the Latino population which don’t distinguish between the large number of newcomers and those who have been in the United States for generations. Advocates of restrictive immigration policies often use such aggregate statistics to make the dubious claim that Latinos are unable or unwilling to advance like the European immigrants of a century ago.

Published On: Wed, Oct 01, 2003 | Download File

Mexifornia: A State of Confusion

It is not surprising that Victor Davis Hanson’s latest book, Mexifornia: A State of Becoming has transformed him into the new darling of the anti-immigrant movement. Unencumbered by the references, footnotes, facts and figures which clutter most books about immigration, Hanson relies largely upon personal anecdotes and emotional tirades to create a pastiche of fearful imagery. In general, Hanson’s arguments are wildly inconsistent, informed more by stereotype than substance, and characterized by a remarkable unfamiliarity with Mexican history and culture.

Published On: Tue, Sep 30, 2003 | Download File

The Global Battle for Talent and People

America’s strength lies in its openness and dynamic character. Current concerns about the U.S. economy should not distract from an understanding that in the long term America’s economic success requires the nation to attract 1) skilled professionals from across the globe to increase the competitiveness of American companies and 2) workers at the lower end of the skill spectrum to fuel the growth of the U.S. labor force, filling jobs created by the aging of the population.

Published On: Mon, Sep 01, 2003 | Download File

A Study in Distortion: FAIR Targets Immigrant Children

In a somewhat meandering August report, Breaking the Piggy Bank: How Illegal Immigration is Sending Schools Into the Red, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) attempts to make the argument that the cost of educating undocumented immigrant students in public elementary and high schools is a major cause of the budget deficits currently facing most states and precipitating cuts in school funding. However, the report’s own statistics do not support this claim. Even if the report is correct in its assertion that the cost to states was $7.4 billion in 1999-2000, this represents only 1.9 percent of the $381.8 billion spent nationwide on public elementary and secondary education and a miniscule fraction of the roughly $1 trillion in total spending by state governments. Moreover, the report neglects to mention that the estimated 1.1 million undocumented K-12 students in 2000 comprised a mere 2 percent of the total student population and that many state governments – including California’s – were running budget surpluses at that time. It is no more plausible to claim that undocumented students are somehow largely to blame for current budget deficits than it is to claim they deserve most of the credit for the budget surpluses of three years ago.


Published On: Fri, Aug 22, 2003 | Download File

Lives in Limbo: Mismanagement of a Bad Policy Leaves Asylees in No Man's Land

Victims of persecution who make it to the United States and are granted asylum from their persecutors must wait 12 years to become lawful permanent residents and 16 years to become U.S. citizens because of arbitrary numerical caps and federal mismanagement. This state of affairs not only is inhumane, but undermines the original intent of Congress to help those who have escaped persecution to integrate quickly into U.S. society.

Published On: Sat, Aug 02, 2003 | Download File

Who Reports to Whom?: Immigration in the New Department of Homeland Security

The new Department of Homeland Security divides into three separate agencies immigration functions that previously were combined. This reorganization raises questions about who is in charge of immigration policy as a whole and how immigration services will fare in a department heavily tilted towards enforcement.

Published On: Fri, Aug 01, 2003 | Download File

Migrating to Recovery: The Role of Immigration in Urban Renewal

Policymakers in states from Iowa to Utah and in cities from Albuquerque to Boston have realized that immigration is a key source of long-term economic vitality, particularly in urban areas experiencing population loss, shrinking labor pools and growing numbers of retirees. Immigration, if properly cultivated, can be a key ingredient in urban economic development and recovery.


Published On: Tue, Jul 01, 2003 | Download File

Cuban Migration: Averting a Crisis

Increased repression by the Castro regime and limitations on the admission of Cubans into the United States create the risk that desperate refugees will look for more dangerous, unauthorized means of escaping persecution. The Bush administration must reform immigration policies towards Cubans to forestall such a crisis.

Published On: Mon, Jun 02, 2003 | Download File