The Cost of Citizenship Denied

Artwork by Thomas Wimberly. Courtesy of Amplifier & MoveOn.

Part 1: The Abject Failure of an Enforcement-Only Approach to Immigration

Instead of creating a path to citizenship for 11 million aspiring Americans, we’ve built a colossal, expensive, and ineffective deportation apparatus that breathes new life into America’s prison industrial complex.

The United States spends more on immigration enforcement than all other federal law enforcement agencies combined.

One of the most pernicious elements of this apparatus are the private prison operators, who lobby for anti-immigrant policies, make substantial contributions to politicians who champion those policies, and depend on government contracts for roughly half of their profits. The result is a symbiotic relationship between anti-immigrant politicians who stymie pathways to citizenship while pushing increasingly punitive measures and the companies seeking to profit by incarcerating human beings.

Black immigrants account for just seven percent of the noncitizen population but 20 percent of those in deportation proceedings on criminal grounds.



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Marshall Fitz

Marshall Fitz

Managing Director of Immigration at the Emerson Collective. Advocate for humanity, sports junky, 1/2-assed Buddhist, proud papa and spouse. Views obv my own.