The website has some other interesting reports, listed here.
The best source I know for commentary on migration and immigration law, however, remains the Phoenix blogspot "Chaparral Respects No Borders". She covers stuff you wouldn't otherwise even think of , but that needs to be a part of the national dialogue.
A national think-tank report released Thursday blames the deaths of thousands of people who died trying to cross the U.S.-Mexican border on the failure to reform immigration law and asserts that congressional inaction has empowered violent human-smuggling organizations.
The Virginia-based National Foundation for American Policy Reform says the lack of a legal entry system for immigrant workers "has contributed to more than 4,000 men, women and children dying while attempting to cross to America since 1998."
The foundation is a non-profit, nonpartisan organization formed in 2003 to conduct public-policy research on trade and immigration.
Its report, written by Executive Director Stuart Anderson, points out that immigrant deaths increased last year despite a drop-off in the number of arrested immigrants. Fewer people are trying to cross the border due in part to America's recession and increased security.
It concludes that, because the border is more difficult to penetrate, immigrants wind up hiring criminal guides at high prices to lead them on long and dangerous treks into the United States.
"The only plausible way to eliminate immigrant deaths at the border, as well as reduce illegal immigration in the long term, is to institute a new program of temporary visas or portable work permits for foreign workers," Anderson writes. "Strong evidence exists that the current 'enforcement-only' policy has strengthened criminal gangs."
Other border researchers, including the southern Arizona group No More Deaths, have condemned border-security programs designed to push illegal immigration into remote desert areas. In 2008, the Congressional Research Service issued a paper that said "border crossings have become more dangerous since the 'Prevention through Deterrence' policy went into affect in 1995, resulting in an increase in illegal migrant deaths."
Steven Camarota, director of research at Center for Immigration Studies, which advocates immigration reductions, said Anderson correctly assails U.S. policy, but for the wrong reasons.
Camarota said all the research shows that the flow of undocumented immigrants would plummet if a workplace-enforcement program was made mandatory, thereby shutting down the jobs that lure illegal immigrants.
Regardless of the policy in place, Camarota said those who risk death to cross the border unlawfully must take responsibility for their fates.
"The illegal immigrants themselves are partly to blame," he said.
According to Border Patrol data, approximately 1.5 million illegal border crossers were apprehended in 1998, when 263 deaths were reported. Last year, 541,000 immigrants were captured; there were 417 deaths.
Meanwhile, Anderson says, "current (enforcement) efforts seem to have produced the unintended consequence of swelling the illegal immigrant population" because those who safely enter the United States - fearful they could never make it through the border again - seldom return home.
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