Bordering on Criminal: The Routine Abuse of Migrants in the Removal System (Part 2: Possessions Taken and Not Returned)

Washington, DC: American Immigration Council Special Report, December 2013

11 Pages Posted: 20 Jul 2015

See all articles by Daniel Martinez

Daniel Martinez

University of Arizona - Department of Sociology

Jeremy Slack

University of Texas at El Paso

Date Written: July 19, 2015

Abstract

This report focuses on the issue of repatriated migrants’ belongings being taken and not returned by U.S. authorities. Overall, we find that the taking of belongings and the failure to return them is not a random, sporadic occurrence, but a systematic practice. One indication of this is that just over one-third of deportees report having belongings taken and not returned. Perhaps one of the most alarming findings is that, among deportees who were carrying Mexican identification cards, 1 out of every 4 had their card taken and not returned. The taking of possessions, particularly identity documents, can have serious consequences and is an expression of how dysfunctional the deportation system is. Our study finds that migrants processed through Operation Streamline, or held in detention for a week or longer, are most likely to have their possessions taken and not returned.

Keywords: unauthorized migration, abuse, enfocement, deportation

Suggested Citation

Martinez, Daniel and Slack, Jeremy, Bordering on Criminal: The Routine Abuse of Migrants in the Removal System (Part 2: Possessions Taken and Not Returned) (July 19, 2015). Washington, DC: American Immigration Council Special Report, December 2013, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2633144

Daniel Martinez (Contact Author)

University of Arizona - Department of Sociology ( email )

United States

Jeremy Slack

University of Texas at El Paso ( email )

500 W University Ave
El Paso, TX 79902
United States

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