NDN Blog

New ICE Data Finds Big Changes In Who Is Getting Deported From US

Given the very public discussion about the Obama Administration’s immigration enforcement and deportation strategy in the last few weeks, we’ve spent some time going through a new ICE report on deportations, and frankly, it had some surprising findings in it. 

At NDN, we have long argued that despite both very real operational and political challenges, the Obama Administration has done a very good job in managing one really important piece of the enforcement puzzle - our border with Mexico.   Crime is down substantially on the US side of the border, and net migration of unauthorized migrants from Mexico has dropped from 700,000 per year to zero today.  While the border has been toughened up, we have also seen a huge increase in cross border trade with Mexico, which has almost doubled since 2009.  Despite this increased security, Mexico is now our 3rd largest trading partner and 2nd largest export market in the world. 

The new FY 2013 report from ICE, which offers a more detailed look at our deportation strategy than was available in previous years, shows similar success.   While the report shows that deportations of unauthorized migrants remain at near historic highs, it also chronicles how smart Obama Administration policies putting greater priority on the removal of criminal migrants and border crossers has dramatically altered the composition of who gets deported.  Over the past few years, we’ve seen a steady increase in these high-priority deportations; almost all of those deported in 2013 were either convicted criminals or people caught at the border attempting to enter the country illegally.  Remarkably, only 10,336 non-criminal, non-border-crossers were removed from the country in FY 2013.  In 2009, based on one estimate, this number was closer to 150,000.  The percentage of those deported who are convicted criminals has risen from 35% in 2009, to 59% in 2013.    

These numbers should bring some comfort to the critics of the Obama Administration deportation policies.  For those wanting a more humane system, we’ve seen the near elimination of the deportation of run of the mill non-criminal unauthorized migrants.  For those calling for even tougher policies, the explosion of deportation of border-crossers and criminals should be welcome news.  Prioritizing criminals for deportation is clearly the best use of our limited deportation resources, and leaves the nation far safer than in the day of Bush era workplace raids. 

But rather than doing an even deeper analysis of the ICE report, we think it should speak for itself.   We end with some of the more interesting charts and graphs in the report, and look forward to hearing from others well versed in this tough and important issue. 

          
           Source: FY 2013 ICE Immigration Removals

           
           Source: FY 2013 ICE Immigration Removals

See the full "FY 2013 ICE Immigration Removals" report here.

Emma Buckhout also contributed to this post.

Invite: Thur, Mar 20th - "Now I Know Who My Comrades Are" w/Emily Parker

Please join us for a special event next Thursday - a discussion with noted author and former State Department official, Emily Parker.  Emily will be discussing her new book, “Now I Know Who My Comrades Are,” which features her own on the ground reporting on Internet-based activists challenging the authoritarian regimes in China, Cuba and  Russia. For more on this terrific and timely new book, please see below.  

Our book talk will take place next Thursday at NDN, 729 15th St, NW 1st floor.  Lunch will be served at noon, and the discussion will begin at 12:15p.  You can RSVP here.   I hope you will join us for what will be an insightful discussion. 

Praise for “Now I Know Who My Comrades Are” –

"Emily Parker’s book Now I Know Who My Comrades Are: Voices from the Internet Underground is a rigorously researched and reported account that reads like a thriller . . . It’s been a while since I have read a book that is so entertaining, not to mention one so encouraging for the culture of liberty.”—Mario Vargas Llosa, Nobel Prize–winning author

“Although dissident use of the Internet is already part of the twenty-first-century story, Parker goes beyond the obvious headlines to the grinding daily battles of people and situations that receive only passing media notice. . . Some of what she reveals is stunning (2012 estimates find that only 5 percent of Cubans have regular access to the web), but the book’s greatest strength is the intimacy with which she describes the lives of her subjects. . .Parker profiles fascinating people and effectively shows why, in hands like theirs, social media is one of the most important tools for conducting positive political and social change around the world.”—Colleen Mondor, Booklist (starred review)

 “Now I Know Who My Comrades Are is a timely and necessary book. Story by story, Emily Parker shows how the Internet has changed lives and social realities in three oppressive countries. The clarity, honesty, and intelligence of her writing make this book both admirable and enjoyable.”—Ha Jin, National Book Award–winning author of Waiting and War Trash

"Emily Parker tells us enthralling and beautifully detailed stories about bloggers and Internet activists in China, Russia, and Cuba, showing us the power of human connection even as she describes and analyzes it. The combination of her humanism and keen insight illuminates dimensions of the Internet that we so often miss, the ways it can create the personal ties and trust that are the foundation of collective action. A great read for both the nightstand and the scholar's shelf.”—Anne-Marie Slaughter, president and CEO of the New America Foundation

“The heroes of this terrific book are ‘Internet foot soldiers,’ not the usual foreign ministers and businessmen, and those soldiers are changing Russia, China, and Cuba . . . and the world. Emily Parker is among a handful of the most promising new foreign policy commentators who weave together technology, culture, society, and politics with hard facts and clear analysis.”—Leslie H. Gelb, president emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations

“This book is about twenty times better reported or written than any book ever written about the Internet, period.”—Tim Wu, author of The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires

“In this fascinating book, Emily Parker shows that the Internet affects politics by affecting the psychology of its users. Now I Know Who My Comrades Are demonstrates how much it can matter for citizens to have a voice, and to discover that they are not alone.”—Clay Shirky, author of Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations

Invite: Thurs, 7/17 - "Raising Our Game" - A Presentation About the US Economy in the 21st Century

For the past 4 years, I’ve been fortunate to make presentations on the US economy to important policy makers here in Washington.   Every time I’ve been asked to present, I’ve always come back to a power point presentation I first presented at a meeting at the House Democratic Caucus in the fall of 2009 called “Raising Our Game.”  It is a big sweeping look at what has happened to the American economy over the past generation, and it offers some ideas on how policy makers can best address what has been far too tough a time for every day Americans.   At the core of the presentation is an effort to create a rallying cry, a narrative which can guide us in the years ahead: “The rest of the world is raising its game; it is time for us to raise ours.”  

This work draws heavily on the economic work Dr. Rob Shapiro has been doing here at NDN and other venues for years.   To get a better sense of where we are going with this, please review this backgrounder which showcases the Time Magazine piece which talked about the influence of this deck and it’s analysis on politics in the US and the UK. Be sure to also read my most recent essay which connects the President’s current effort to expand exports and liberalize trade to the work of FDR and Truman in building the current global economic system, one which has done so much good for so many.

I've been making this presentation in 2014 each month at our Washington, DC offices.  The next presentation will take place on Thursday, July 17th, from noon to 1:15 p.m. here at NDN, 729 15th St, 1st floor. Please reserve your spot here.  And feel free to invite colleagues or staffers to come along as well.

Beyond the Sabre Rattling, Will Russia or the West Bail Out Ukraine?

The crisis over Ukraine is quickly becoming a geostrategic conflict. As Vladimir Putin maneuvers to restore Russia’s right to behave with a superpower’s impunity, particularly in its own backyard, the West pushes back. But economic forces also have shaped this confrontation, especially Ukraine’s record as the world’s worst-performing industrial economy over the last twenty years. It was popular discontent with this disastrous performance that drove the recent dissent, which in turn triggered such a bloody response from Viktor Yanukovych — and that response consolidated the opposition and cost Yanukovych his job. Beyond this week’s political and military maneuvers, the outstanding question is, who will bail out the Ukrainian economy — Russia, or the EU and the United States — as the price of drawing the country into its trading system?

Stated simply, Ukraine is the economic equivalent of a failed state. After gaining independence in 1991, the country moved briefly to liberalize its economy along the same lines as most of Eastern and Central Europe. But Ukraine soon jettisoned its reforms in favor of the state-oligarch model also evolving in Russia. Some twenty years later, Ukraine’s GDP has shrunk 30 percent.  Even Russia’s sorry economy is 20 percent bigger than it was in 1991 — and Poland’s economy, which looked much like Ukraine’s in 1991, grew 130 percent over the same period. Ukraine’s economic performance has been so terrible, for so long, that its sovereign debts are now considered the equivalent of junk bonds. Even before the crisis, Ukraine’s credit rating was worse than Greece’s — no small feat — and no better than that of Argentina, a global financial pariah for its mismanaged debt defaults and summary expropriations of foreign-owned companies.
 
Ukraine’s debts soon come due, with some $15 billion in sovereign bonds maturing this year and another $15 billion in 2015. With a current account deficit equal to 8 percent of its GDP, Ukraine cannot pay off and refinance those debts without large-scale aid — some $20 billion to $25 billion — and affiliating itself with a larger trading system. An economic and trade alliance with Russia would deliver the bailout, but with little prospects of improving the underlying economy. The EU and the United States (through the IMF) also are prepared to provide the bailout, if the Ukrainian government will accept far-reaching economic reforms. The EU-US/IMF reforms should lead to better economic times down the road. But they also would mean more short-term hardships for ordinary Ukrainians. That’s why Yanukovych sided with Putin: He feared that he could lose his grip on power if times got even worse — and yet, of course, he lost power anyway.
 
With a new, pro-Western government in charge in Kiev, Ukraine’s fate may well lie in the hands of Europe and the United States. Their choice is simple to state, if difficult to execute — namely, do they put sufficient economic and diplomatic pressure on Putin, to convince him to pocket his own bailout and let the West pick up the pieces.
 
This post was originally published on Dr. Shapiro's blog

Event Re-cap: Forum on US-Mexico w/ Shannon O'Neil and Eric Farnsworth

On February 27th, NDN and the New Policy Institute hosted a public forum to reflect on a significant month of US-Mexico engagement, the developments of the last 2 decades, and a vision for the relationship going forward.  Nelson Cunningham of McLarty Associates will moderated a fascinating discussion with leading experts on Mexico, Shannon O’Neil, Senior Fellow for Latin America Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, and Eric Farnsworth, Vice President of the Council of the Americas and Americas Society.

In case you missed it, the video of the event is available here.

For more information on the deepening and modernizing US-Mexico relationship, see the following materials from NDN/NPI:

 

Invite: Fri, 4/4 - "Raising Our Game" - A Presentation About the US Economy in the 21st Century

For the past 4 years, I’ve been fortunate to make presentations on the US economy to important policy makers here in Washington.   Every time I’ve been asked to present, I’ve always come back to a power point presentation I first presented at a meeting at the House Democratic Caucus in the fall of 2009 called “Raising Our Game.”  It is a big sweeping look at what has happened to the American economy over the past generation, and it offers some ideas on how policy makers can best address what has been far too tough a time for every day Americans.   At the core of the presentation is an effort to create a rallying cry, a narrative which can guide us in the years ahead: “The rest of the world is raising its game; it is time for us to raise ours.”  

This work draws heavily on the economic work Dr. Rob Shapiro has been doing here at NDN and other venues for years.   To get a better sense of where we are going with this, please review this backgrounder which showcases the Time Magazine piece which talked about the influence of this deck and it’s analysis on politics in the US and the UK. Be sure to also read my most recent essay which connects the President’s current effort to expand exports and liberalize trade to the work of FDR and Truman in building the current global economic system, one which has done so much good for so many.
 
We will offer this presentation on Friday, April 4th, from noon to 1:15 p.m. here at NDN, 729 15th St, 1st floor. Please reserve your spot here.  And feel free to invite colleagues or staffers to come along as well.

Brownstein: "Why What’s Good for Mexico Is Good for Us"

Esteemed political journalist Ronald Brownstein published the article "Why What’s Good for Mexico Is Good for Us" in today's copy of the National Journal.  It begins: 

"Follow their roots and two of Washington's most polarizing debates twist back into the same contested ground: the complex U.S. relationship with Mexico. Both the congressional stalemate over immigration reform and the rapidly hardening impasse over trade policy are grounded in exaggerated concerns about this country's interaction with its neighbor to the south.

That's how Simon Rosenberg, founder of NDN, a centrist Democratic group that tracks border issues, perceptively sees things. On overhauling the nation's immigration laws, conservatives are peddling fear; on trade, it's liberals raising alarms. But in each instance, the case against Mexico is "more theological than fact-based," as Rosenberg says. Unless these inflated fears are dispelled, the United States will fail to seize the opportunities for further economic integration that President Obama, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper touted during their brief summit in Mexico this week."

Read the complete article here.

Under Obama, Trade Deficits Way Down

In 2013, our trade deficit was $472b, down from $535b in 2012.   The total trade deficit represents 2.8% of US GDP, a number far lower that what saw a decade ago.  These new number speaks to an important trend – that under President Obama the trade deficit has come way down (see the chart below).  

For comparison, the average trade deficit under President Bush was $592b, or 4.5% of GDP.  Under Obama the trade deficit has averaged $489b, or 3.1% of GDP.  And it is dropping.

Source: You can find this data at the US Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis. 

The US and Mexico: 2 Events, 4 Backgrounders

This month, President Obama travels to Mexico for the North American Leaders’ Summit on February 19th, and Secretary of Commerce Pritzker led her first trade mission there in Mexico February 3rd-7th.  Mexico continues to play a vital role in current US policy debates including immigration reform and trade.  In response to this growing bilateral engagement, NDN and the New Policy Institute have prepared the following events and informational backgrounders on our vital and modernizing US-Mexico partnership.

Please join us for two events at NDN and NPI:

For more information on how Mexico and the US-Mexico relationship are growing, deepening, and modernizing, see the following materials from NDN and NPI:

We hope you find these materials helpful, and we look forward to discussing more in the upcoming weeks.

Invite: Thurs, Feb 27th- A Forum on US-Mexico w/ Shannon O’Neil and Eric Farnsworth

Updated February 27, 2014

On February 27th, we invite you to a public forum reflecting on a very significant month of US-Mexico engagement. Leading experts on Mexico, Shannon O’Neil, Senior Fellow for Latin America Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, and Eric Farnsworth, Vice President of the Council of the Americas and Americas Society, will offer their assessment of President Obama’s trip to Mexico, as well as the status and future of the US-Mexico bilateral partnership.  Nelson Cunningham of McLarty Associates will moderate the discussion, leaving time for audience questions.  Please join us!

"A Forum on US-Mexico w/ Shannon O’Neil and Eric Farnsworth"
Thurs, Feb 27th, 12pm-1:15pm
Lunch served at 12 noon, Presentation will begin at 12:15pm
NDN Event Space: 729 15th St NW, 1st Floor, Washington, DC 20005
Please 
RSVP here

Mexico is one of our most important bilateral relationships and plays a vital role in current US policy debates, including immigration reform and trade.  President Obama traveled to Mexico yesterday for the North American Leaders’ Summit, and Secretary of Commerce Pritzker’s first trade mission took place there February 3rd-7th. The key deliverables from yesterday’s summit focus on our shared prosperity through travel and trade, increasing joint innovation and education, as well as issues of energy, climate, security, and regional engagement. Before landing in Mexico, President Obama signed a new executive order on “Streamlining the Export/Import Process for America’s Businesses,” which will strengthen our bilateral trade and travel.  This followed the February 18th DHS and GSA announcement of $61.6 million to expand and modernize the Laredo border crossing.

For more information prior to the event see these backgrounders and recent piece from NDN/NPI:

Also see Shannon O’Neils’s widely-acclaimed book on US-Mexico and recent article:

And Eric Farnsworth’s recent congressional testimony and article:

We hope you find these materials helpful, and we look forward to discussing more on the 27th.

Note: For those who cannot attend the event in person, it will be livestreamed here, and the video recording will be posted later.

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