About Michele Waslin

Michele Waslin, Ph.D., is the Senior Policy Analyst at the Immigration Policy Center. She has authored several publications on immigration policy and post-9/11 immigration issues. Ms. Waslin appears regularly in English and Spanish-language media. Previously, she worked as Director of Immigration Policy Research at the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) and Policy Coordinator at the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights. She received her Ph.D. in 2002 in Government and International Studies from the University of Notre Dame, and holds an M.A. in International Relations from the University of Chicago and a B.A. in Political Science from Creighton University. (mwaslin@ailf.org)

Border Patrol Oversteps Role on Canadian Border

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Michele Waslin: Collaboration between Border Patrol and police terrifies local immigrant communities who are now fearful of calling the police or an ambulance or the fire department.

Immigrant Detention and the Private Prison Industry

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Michele Waslin: Immigration detention has been steadily increasing over the last two decades. A new report by Justice Strategies suggests this increase is largely due to the efforts of private prison companies.

California TRUST Act Awaits Governor’s Signature

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Michele Waslin: Passage of the TRUST Act would be an important step toward mitigating the harmful impact of the Secure Communities Program (S-Comm). Immigrant advocates from across the country are calling on Gov. Brown to sign the bill into law.

Can Deferred Action Beneficiaries Get Driver’s Licenses?

driver app

Michele Waslin: As the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals initiative begins accepting applications this week, many are wondering whether beneficiaries of the program will be eligible to obtain a state driver’s license. At this point the answer is: it depends.

Demand for H-1B High Skilled Worker Visas Spread Unevenly

skilled worker

Michele Waslin: Brookings found that 106 metropolitan areas in the U.S. account for 91 percent of all H-1B requests, yet these areas contain only 67 percent of U.S. jobs.

Secretary Napolitano Clarifies President’s Deferred Action Plan…Again

janet napolitano

Micehele Waslin: Several members of Congress praised Napolitano for providing undocumented youth who had been brought here at a young age with hope for the future.

Clearing the Air on Immigrants, the Military, and Deferred Action

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Michele Waslin: There are serious questions about whom and how many would qualify for deferred action through the military route. The answer is close to zero.

Deportations: Filling Quotas or Setting Priorities?

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Michele Waslin: It should raise eyebrows when ICE claims it’s falling behind on deportations and needs to deport more people.

Law Professors Push White House to Grant Administrative Relief to DREAMers

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Michele Waslin: This week, DREAMERS got a huge boost from 96 law professors who sent a letter to President Obama outlining the extensive authority under law that his administration holds to halt deportations of DREAMers.

Proposed Waiver Rule Expansion Could Keep More Families Together

latino mother daughter

Michele Waslin: Expanding eligibility to additional family members and individuals in removal proceedings, as well as allowing immigrants to appeal their denials and apply from inside the U.S. would be an improvement.

House VAWA Bill Threatens Protections for Immigrant Women and Children

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Michele Waslin: VAWA is an important piece of legislation that deserves to be free from partisan battles over immigration issues.

Homeland Security Report Ducks Secure Communities Concerns

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Michele Waslin: Reports failed to address serious concerns including racial profiling, the impact on community/police relations, and the deportation of individuals with no criminal background.

ICE Deported 46,000 Immigrants with U.S. Citizen Children Last Year

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Michele Waslin: The impact of the deportation of a parent can be devastating for kids and their parents. It can also be expensive for taxpayers.

Silicon Valley Leaders Fund Effort to Help DREAM Students

Laurene Powell Jobs

Michele Waslin: A group of technology leaders from Silicon Valley are providing scholarships, career advice and legal assistance to undocumented students through a campaign called Educators for Fair Consideration

“Self-Deportation” Devastates Families and Communities

building walls

Michele Waslin: Attrition through enforcement — “self-deportation” — has gone from being a catchy phrase coined by immigration restrictionists to a frightening reality in many parts of the U.S.

Romney Adopts Hard-Line Anti-Immigrant Campaign Posture

romney self deportation

Mitt Romney: GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney stole a page from the restrictionists’ playbook this week when he promoted the idea of “self-deportation” during a presidential debate.

$1.4 Billion to Houston from Immigration Legalization

houston texas

Michele Waslin: If all unauthorized workers in the Houston region were legalized and they and their employers paid Social Security, Medicare, unemployment insurance, and federal income taxes, additional tax revenues would exceed $1.4 billion.

US Immigration Seeking to Unify Families Facing Separation

uniting families

Michele Waslin: The Obama administration is proposing a rule change that will partially ameliorate one of the most contradictory rules of immigration law, thereby encouraging legal immigration and helping to keep U.S. families together.

Children of Immigrant Entrepreneurs Excel Educationally, Report Finds

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Michele Waslin: Like many American families, the immigrant entrepreneurs highlighted in this study want their children to excel and have opportunities that they themselves did not have.

Anti-Immigrant State Senator Recalled

russell pearce

Michele Waslin: Today, many in Arizona and across the U.S. celebrate Pearce’s defeat as a victory for practical solutions over extremist rhetoric and anti-immigrant proposals.

Remembering the Benefits of IRCA, 25 Years Later

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Michele Waslin: The benefits of IRCA—as well as the bipartisan support needed to pass it—should give our current congressional leaders something to think about.

Secure Communities Has Devastating Impact

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Michele Waslin: The problems with Secure Communities are so wide spread that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) appointed a task force to recommend fixes for the program.

Raising Per Country Immigration Caps

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Michele Waslin: H.R. 3012 would make small but significant changes to the way green cards are distributed by eliminating per country numerical limits on employment-based green cards and raising the limits on family-based green cards which go to immigrants from each country.

Redefining Criminality: Untangling DHS’s Record High Deportation Numbers

ice deportation

Michele Waslin: Because ICE categorizes criminal offenses so broadly, minor offenses can appear to be serious crimes. For example, drug-related crimes can include everything from dealing large amounts to simple possession;

Lamar Smith’s E-Verify Arguments Defy Logic

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Michele Waslin: Studies have shown that E-Verify is deeply flawed. Not only does it fail to detect unauthorized workers over half of the time, but it would erroneously flag millions of U.S. citizens and legal workers as not being work authorized.

Ten Years After 9/11, Is the U.S. Deporting Those Who Threaten to Do Us Harm?

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Michele Waslin: Confirming what advocates had reported, while the overall number of deportations has increased, the actual numbers of deportations of terrorists, national security threats, and criminals have declined.

Immigrant Laborers Strengthen American Workforce, Economy

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Michele Waslin: While immigration restrictionists have long tried to demonize immigrant workers and blame them for high unemployment rates and other economic woes, the facts make it clear that immigrants actually create jobs and businesses and boost the wages of native-born workers.

Immigration Case Backlog At All-Time High

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Michelle Waslin: The growing backlog means that more immigrants are being kept in detention for longer periods of time. Making matters worse, a bill by Rep. Lamar Smith (H.R. 1932) to allow the U.S. to detain immigrants indefinitely is currently making its way through the House of Representatives.

U.S-Mexico Border Residents Feel Safe

border-residents

Michele Waslin: As residents who live along the U.S. side of the border have known for years, the border is actually a very safe place, and reports of “spillover” violence from Mexico are unfounded.

Mandatory E-Verify Will Not Magically Solve Immigration Woes

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Michele Waslin: Immigration restrictionists argue that imposing a mandatory employment verification system will ensure that unauthorized workers are not able to get jobs in the U.S. and will choose to leave, leaving millions of jobs wide open for unemployed U.S. citizens. Of course, this ignores the facts.

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