The United States of America is the primary destination for more members of the global migrant population than any other country. To handle the constant influx of foreign individuals - both legally-authorized and otherwise - across the borders, the federal government relies on a handful of agencies to funnel foreign visitors and residents in and out of the country. The Freedom of Information Act and equivalent state laws can help to shed some light into how the immigration system on all levels is working - or not.
The best records requests are specific, so if you want to know how the Trump administration’s aggressive immigration enforcement tactics are impacting your area, why not ask your local institutions?
The task of enforcing our country’s immigration laws has become a sprawling responsibility in the United States, and the mechanisms by which non-citizens are detained and removed are facing a lot of strain: practically, financially, and socially.
Lots of lip service has been given to ending private prisons, but with state and immigration contracts keeping hundreds of for-profit prisons still operating, many would remain in business even without help from the federal government.
Millions of people and billions of dollars have passed through the detainee-deportation machine, which has been an active aspect of U.S. immigration policy for over a century. But while immigration reform will be hotly debated in the public sphere through the next federal election year, the infrastructure serving the system is largely private.