The Unintended Effects Of The Three- And Ten-Year Unlawful Presence Bars
THE UNINTENDED EFFECTS OF THE THREE- AND TEN-YEAR UNLAWFUL PRESENCE BARS
KRISTI LUNDSTROM 0 1
0 Copyright © 2014 by Kristi Lundstrom. This article is also available at
1 J.D. Candidate , 2014 , Duke University School of Law. Executive Editor of Law and Contemporary Problems Volume 77. 1. Pub. L. 104-208, 110 Stat. 3009-546 (codified as amended in scattered sections of 8, 18, and 28 U.S.C.). 2. S. Bernard Schwarz, Unlawful Presence Unlawfully Interpreted, 79 I
2 1182(a)(9)(B) , 2006
The bars also contribute to widespread economic challenges and weighty
detrimental impacts on families of both immigrants and citizens.
Of course, a harsher approach to immigration legislation, like that embodied
in IIRIRA, has many supporters. For example, some argue that more punitive
immigration legislation is necessary “to provide an incentive for prospective
immigrants to play by the rules and resist the temptation to flout immigration
law en route to a green card.”5 These persons often object to immigrants who
“cut in line,” rather than waiting and applying through the consular process
abroad.6 There is much legitimate discussion on these issues, but the general
immigration debate is well beyond the scope of this note. The immediate point
is that regardless of one’s political leanings, the evidence indicates that the ULP
bars fall utterly short of achieving their purpose and are also harmful to
American citizens (in addition to immigrants).
Even supporters of harsher immigration laws are not pleased with the ULP
bars, and for largely the same fundamental reason: The bars are unable to reach
immigrants who evade them by simply remaining inside the United States.7 This
massive loophole incentivizes longer stays and creates significant social,
economic, and familial harms to Americans generally, without deterring illegal
immigration. That the ULP bars do not deter immigration appears well
accepted by most; for some, the correct response is to advocate for stricter
enforcement measures, while others push for a softer approach. Either way, the
bars are clearly ineffective.8 No matter one’s perspective on immigration policy,
the ULP bars fail to achieve their desired goals, contravene long-standing
national immigration policy, and perpetuate or even worsen these unintended
and problematic outcomes. It is therefore imperative that Congress repeal the
ULP bars and replace them with a legislative scheme that more effectively
achieves its policy goals.
A. Legal Background
Under IIRIRA, undocumented immigrants are barred from reentry into the
United States for three years if they accrue more than 180 days but less than
one year of unlawful presence and voluntarily depart the United States prior to
the commencement of removal proceedings.9 Additionally, undocumented
immigrants accruing more than one year of unlawful presence are inadmissible
5. Jessica Vaughan, Bar None: An Evaluation of the 3/10-Year Bar, CENTER FOR IMMIGR. STUD.
(July 2003), http://www.cis.org/EvaluatingIIRAIRA.
7. See, e.g., id. (arguing that the law “only applies to those illegal aliens who don’t know enough
not to leave”).
8. Compare, e.g., id. (“The point of the [ULP bars] was to punish and deter illegal
immigration . . . . By every measure, [they have] failed to make a difference.”), with Cain W. Oulahan,
The American Dream Deferred: Family Separation and Immigrant Visa Adjudications at U.S. Consulates
Abroad, 94 MARQ. L. REV. 1351, 1356 (2011) (arguing that the bars break up American families
without significantly deterring illegal immigration).
9. INA § 212(a)(9)(B)(i)(I), 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(9)(B)(i)(I) (2006).
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for ten years after the date of departure.10 In both cases, the unlawful presence
must be accumulated in one “stay” in the United States, which resets any time
the immigrant leaves the country.11
Although a waiver of the ULP bars is available, it is both limited in scope
and difficult to obtain. To qualify, the immigrant must show that imposition of
the ULP bar to reentry would “result in extreme hardship” to the immigrant’s
spouse or parents who are citizens or lawful permanent residents.12 Notably, the
extreme-hardship waiver does not account for the immigrant’s citizen children.
Also, the standard for “extreme hardship” is high. Section 212(h) of
Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), which utilizes the same standard as the
ULP waiver, indicates that “extreme hardship” in selecting family members
who are citizens may constitute a waiver to inadmissibility.13 Courts have
interpreted the language of section 212(h) to mean hardship beyond difficulties
that would normally be associated with deportation or removal to a new
country, and to exclude more minor hardships such as finding new work,
uprooting family, or loss of financial support.14 Additionally, no court has
jurisdiction to review the denial of a waiver of the ULP bars.15
The most powerful effect of the bars, however, is manifested in their
interaction with the process for gaining status as a lawful permanent resident.
Before IIRIRA, undocumented immigrants living in the United States with the
possibility of acquiring legal permanent resident (LPR) status16 could leave the
country for consular processing upon qualification for a visa and then return
with LPR status.17 However, that option is no longer available once an
immigrant triggers one of the ULP bars. Because undocumented immigrants
are generally out of status (often because of overstaying a visa or entering
10. Id. § 212(a)(9)(B)(i)(II), 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(9)(B)(i)(II) (2006).
11. Neufeld Memorandum, supra note 3, § 4(A). Additionally, a permanent bar is triggered when
an immigrant accrues more than one year of unlawful presence in total and attempts to reenter the
United States without admission. INA § 212(a)(9)(C), 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(9)(C) (2006). Thus, if the
immigrant leaves and returns multiple times, he may not trigger the three- or ten-year bars if his stays
are each less than 180 days, but could still be subject to the permanent bar if, in the aggregate, he
accrues more than one year of unlawful presence. Neufeld Memorandum, supra note 3, § 4(B).
12. INA § 212(a)(9)(B)(v), 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(9)(B)(v) (2006).
13. INA § 212(h), 8 U.S.C. § 1182(h) (2006) (waiver for some criminal-related grounds of
14. See, e.g., U.S. v. Arce-Hernandez, 163 F.3d 559, 564 (9th Cir. 1998); Shooshtary v. INS, 39 F.3d
1049, 1051 (9th Cir. 1994).
15. INA § 212(a)(9)(B)(v), 8 U.S.C.§ 1182(a)(9)(B)(v) (2006).
16. An immigrant becomes a legal permanent resident upon receiving a “green card.” The process
can be complicated and is beyond the scope of this note, but for more information, see generally Green
Card (Permanent Residence), U.S. CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGR. SERVS., http://www.uscis.gov/greencard
(last updated May 13, 2011).
17. For more information on the process for consular processing of LPR status, see generally
Consular Processing, U.S. CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGR. SERVS., http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/
2ca60aRCRD&vgnextchannel=62280a5659083210VgnVCM100000082ca60aRCRD (last updated Apr.
without admission), they are not eligible for adjustments of status from within
the United States.18 But after IIRIRA, consular processing outside the United
States is no longer an option for undocumented immigrants with sufficient
unlawful presence to trigger the ULP bars, because departing the country is
precisely what triggers the bars.19 If immigrants leave to process applications for
adjustment of status abroad after acquiring sufficient unlawful presence to
trigger the bars, they will be barred from reentry for three or ten years.
Therefore, the ULP bars effectively prevent undocumented immigrants who are
otherwise eligible for a visa from obtaining lawful status.
Previously, Congress had made available, in INA section 245(i), another
option for those who would otherwise qualify for adjustment of status but for
the ULP bars. This provision allowed immigrants to apply for adjustment of
status from within the United States with the payment of a fee of $1000
submitted with their application.20 However, the section 245(i) provision expired
in January 1998. It was briefly revived through the Legal Immigration Family
Equity (LIFE) Act Amendments of 2000, which extended it through April 30,
2001, so that petitions pending before that date were also eligible for
consideration.21 Attempts at temporary extensions were raised in various bills in
the House and the Senate, but did not extend past the end of 2001, leaving
undocumented immigrants with no way to legalize their status from within the
B. The ULP Bars’ Current Reach
Because many immigrants seeking adjustment of status are undocumented,
it can be difficult to determine how many people the ULP bars affect. The
government and others have tried to track the situation over the last several
decades, which provide us with some idea of the extent of the problem. The
United States leads the world in total immigrants, with 40.4 million immigrants
in 2011 (both documented and undocumented), making up thirteen percent of
the population.23 Although 40.4 million is the highest number of immigrants
ever residing in the United States, immigrants made up a greater percentage of
the population in the period from 1890 to 1920, when fifteen percent of the
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EFFECTS OF UNLAWFUL PRESENCE BARS 393
population was composed of immigrants.24 Thus, the current immigration rate is
not unusually high, even though the total number of immigrants living in the
country has grown.
Estimates for the number of undocumented immigrants in the United States
in 2011 range from 11.1 million as reported by the Pew Hispanic Center25 to 11.5
million as reported by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).26 A
comprehensive report by the Pew Hispanic Center based on 2010 data indicates
that since 2007, the total number of undocumented immigrants residing in the
United States has decreased, as has the number of undocumented immigrants in
the workforce.27 Another report, which isolated data for arrivals and departures
of undocumented immigrants using a slightly different methodology, reached a
different conclusion. It reported that since 2000, a growing number of
undocumented immigrants exited the United States, while a decreasing number
of undocumented immigrants arrived, resulting in a net loss of undocumented
immigrants since 2008.28 The decrease in immigrants is mostly due to fewer
Mexican immigrants entering the United States.29
However, even with a net loss in unauthorized immigrants, the imposition of
the ULP bars still affects millions of people. Another Pew Hispanic Center
study found that in 2010, eighty-five percent of undocumented immigrants had
been in the United States for five years or longer.30 Many of these immigrants
are very likely to have accrued more than one year of unlawful presence in their
five or more years in the United States, and would therefore trigger the ten-year
bar if they depart. Additionally, the percentage of the foreign-born population
that is undocumented has grown since IIRIRA was passed.31 In 1995, before the
ULP bars went into effect, twenty percent of the foreign-born population was
undocumented, but in 2005, nine years after IIRIRA, thirty-one percent of the
foreign-born population was undocumented.32 Therefore, after IIRIRA, a
greater number of immigrants are out of status, likely accruing unlawful
presence, and potentially subject to the ULP bars.
Another noteworthy characteristic of the undocumented immigrant
population is the significant number belonging to mixed-status families, in
which some member of the family is a citizen or lawful permanent resident and
another is undocumented. The Pew Center estimates that over nine million
people lived in mixed-status families in 2010.33 Mixed-status families are
especially affected by stricter immigration enforcement, because such
enforcement can have very detrimental financial and emotional effects on U.S.
citizens, especially if a three- or ten-year bar to reentry is imposed on a family
member. And the ULP bars could affect a large percentage of immigrant
families. Of babies born in the United States from March 2009 to March 2010 to
at least one undocumented immigrant parent, over ninety percent of the
parents arrived before 2008.34 The large majority of these parents, who are very
likely to have accrued more than one year of unlawful presence in their several
years living in the United States, would thus trigger the ten-year bar upon
CONGRESS’S INTENDED EFFECTS IN PASSING IIRIRA
Historically, U.S. immigration policy is centered on family unification and
meeting national employment needs.35 The Immigration and Nationality Act
(INA),36 the foundational federal immigration statute passed in 1952, set up a
system of preferences based around employment and family.37 Congress
continues to demonstrate its support of family unification in immigration
legislation. For example, as discussed above,38 in 1994 Congress passed INA
section 245(i), which created a path for immigrants to adjust their status from
within the United States, thus avoiding indefinite separation from family during
the processing of a visa at a consulate.39 Congress has never explicitly indicated
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EFFECTS OF UNLAWFUL PRESENCE BARS 395
its intent to move away from a policy favoring families and employment needs.
Under the current system, green-card eligibility40 is still based around several
preference categories, most notably family-based, job- or employment-based,
and refugee- or asylum status–based categories.41
The passage of IIRIRA42 in 1996 brought about major changes in the United
States’ previously profamily immigration policy, although the current
preferences system did not change. IIRIRA, instead of focusing on family
reunification, focused on deterrence of overstays and punishment for
immigration violations, setting up steep penalties through the ULP bars for
being unlawfully present in the United States.43 In evaluating Congress’s intent,
it is important to note that when IIRIRA was originally passed, INA
section 245(i) was available to dramatically soften the effect of the new ULP
IIRIRA’S CURRENT STATE: THE UNINTENDED EFFECTS
From the time the ULP bars went into force in 1997, they have in practice
worked almost completely counter to the United States’ long-standing
familyunification and employment immigration policies, as well as IIRIRA’s more
specific goals of deterring overstays and enforcing immigration law more
effectively. Due to the large number of undocumented immigrants currently
residing in the United States who would likely be subject to the ULP bars upon
departure, these effects are not limited to a select number of immigrants or
mixed-status families, but reach to American society as a whole. To illustrate
these perverse effects, I examine the current state of immigrants in the United
States as it relates to immigrants’ length of stay, the ULP bars’ effect on the
perceptions of immigrants in their communities and throughout the United
States, economic and employment effects of the ULP bars, and effects of the
bars on family.
The root cause of this array of harmful effects is that the ULP bars prevent
immigrants from (1) legalizing their status, or (2) freely departing the United
States without the imposition of stiff penalties. This leads to possibly the most
pernicious effect of the ULP bars—the creation of a mutually reinforcing cycle
of negative community perceptions toward immigrants, as well as harsher
immigration legislation. This cycle makes it more difficult for immigrants to
LIFE Act provisions in 2001).
40. A green card grants an immigrant legal permanent residence. See supra note 16.
42. Pub. L. 104-208, 110 Stat. 3009-546 (codified as amended in scattered sections of 8, 18, and 28
43. Zoe Lofgren, A Decade of Radical Change in Immigration Law, 16 STAN. L. & POL’Y REV.
349, 355 (2005) (describing IIRIRA as “draconian”); Mercer, supra note 22, at 300; Schwarz, supra note
2, at 515.
assimilate or participate positively in their communities,44 exacerbates the
economic harms described below,45 and greatly harms citizens belonging to
mixed-status families.46 Despite these risks, immigrants with strong familial or
other ties to the United States will likely choose to stay. But to avoid
deportation or other penalties, they will be forced into a shadow culture,
isolating themselves from mainstream society.47
A. The ULP Bars’ Effect on Immigrants’ Length of Stay
Despite Congress’s intent to deter immigrants from overstaying their visas,
the ULP bars actually incentivize longer stays.48 Undocumented immigrants
strongly prefer to remain under the government radar, making it very difficult
to gather data on how long they remain in the United States. The most logical
conclusion, though, is that the majority will extend their time in the country,
particularly those immigrants with strong ties to the United States. The U.S.
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) reported that over eighty-five
percent of the undocumented immigrant population in the United States in
January of 2011 arrived before 2005.49 Because the ten-year ULP bar is
triggered upon departure after the accrual of just one year of unlawful presence,
the large majority of these immigrants, and many of those arriving after 2005,
cannot leave without triggering a ten-year bar to reentry. Immigrants with
spouses, children, or other strong ties to the country are very unlikely to
voluntarily depart under these circumstances. Instead, they stay even longer
because the stakes are too high to leave. And because the ULP bars incentivize
staying but offer no opportunity to legalize status, they effectively create an
underclass of immigrants who cannot assimilate into their communities and the
United States generally, or who choose not to try, for fear of attracting
unwanted government attention. The ULP bars’ creation and maintenance of
this isolated underclass is the driving force behind the other negative effects
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Before the ULP bars, immigrants could voluntarily depart the United States
at any time without compromising their ability to reenter, although other
standard admission policies and procedures still applied upon returning. This
allowed undocumented immigrants with strong ties to the United States, like
citizen spouses or children, to remain until they were eligible to apply for legal
permanent residency, at which time they could return to their home country for
consular processing of their visas. Undocumented immigrants thus had an
incentive to work toward legalization of their status; although some spent time
in the United States out of status, a process existed by which they could become
legal permanent residents. But with the imposition of the ULP bars,
undocumented immigrants with sufficient unlawful presence cannot leave the
United States through legal means without triggering the bars, even for
consular processing. Illegal trips across the border are particularly risky for
undocumented immigrants with strong ties to the United States, because the
bars raise the stakes if the immigrants are caught or unable to return,
potentially keeping them out of the country and ineligible for a visa for a
minimum of three or ten years. Thus, they are likely to choose to remain in the
United States, or, if they do leave, to return quickly because of their close ties
to the United States.
Congress was supportive enough of the pre-ULP process that it passed
section 245(i) in 1994,50 which helped undocumented immigrants legalize their
status by allowing them, for a fee, to apply for adjustment of status from within
the United States. From October 1994 to February 1995, forty-five percent of all
applications for permanent resident status received by the INS51 were
section 245(i) applications, raising $49.1 million, or eighty percent of all
application fee revenue.52 This benefitted both immigrants and U.S. citizens:
Immigrants were saved the time and expense of travel, and U.S. taxpayers
gained additional revenue.53 Unfortunately, this option is no longer available
and the ULP bars instead act as a strong incentive for immigrants to extend
The situation is further complicated by the frequent confusion surrounding
the ULP bars, particularly for undocumented immigrants, who are unlikely to
seek out or have access to legal counsel. Some immigrants may unwittingly
trigger one of the bars upon departure and be unable to return for the specified
duration, even if they have spouses or children in the United States.54 Other
immigrants may be aware of the ULP bars but not fully understand the law,55
and so they may be afraid to leave for fear of triggering the bars and continue
accruing unlawful presence. The high-stakes nature of the bars—the potential
for years of separation from family and communities or interference with
employment—only exacerbates the problem.
Finally, because this area of the law changes periodically, undocumented
immigrants may decide to wait, hoping new legislation or a change in policy will
offer either a method for adjustment of status from within the United States or
a new waiver before they are forced to depart and trigger one of the ULP bars.56
Section 245(i),57 the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
program,58 and the new provisional waiver for unlawful presence59 are all
examples supporting this position. The success of these programs is also
evidence of undocumented immigrants’ willingness and desire to take the
necessary steps to move toward legal status when that path is available. For
example, from August 15, 2012—when United States Citizenship and
Immigration Services (USCIS) first released the necessary forms for DACA
applications—to March 14, 2013, USCIS received an average of 3261 DACA
requests per day.60 This strong response is even more impressive considering
that although DACA confers important benefits, including work eligibility, a
stay on accrual of unlawful presence, and a deferral of removal actions, it is an
executive policy (not a law),61 does not grant legal status, and must be renewed
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EFFECTS OF UNLAWFUL PRESENCE BARS
after just two years.62 Clearly, many undocumented immigrants are willing to
expend time and money, and even risk registering with the government, to be
able to live and work legally in the United States for just two years. But while
the ULP bars remain in effect, undocumented immigrants are forced into the
difficult position of choosing between continuing and indefinite undocumented
status and years of separation from family. This results in longer stays without
status, contrary to Congress’s intent.
B. The ULP Bars’ Effect on Community Perceptions
Undocumented immigrants thus increasingly remain in the United States for
longer periods of time, which contributes to increasingly negative attitudes
toward immigrants. Negative attitudes lead to harsher immigration legislation
like IIRIRA, which in turn generates more negative perceptions. Although the
United States is commonly described as a nation of immigrants, in reality
Americans have always needed time to adjust to newcomers,63 and the ULP
bars are another manifestation of this tendency. In part, this is because
assimilation itself requires time, both for the immigrants coming to the United
States and for the American people who are already in the country. Immigrants
may struggle with learning English, finding work, developing ties in the
community, and dealing with a myriad of other issues. Thus, the assimilation
process may take a full generation to wholly develop.64 Immigrants may
understandably gravitate toward others of their own culture or country of
origin, creating further divisions.65 Americans, on the other hand, may be afraid
of or uncertain about unfamiliar people, cultures, languages, and customs.66
Together, these differences and fears can create tension between the two
groups, as witnessed throughout most of the United States’ history. The result is
a situation today where immigrants are often isolated and even perceived as
A brief look at American history helps to illustrate this development.
Americans in the 1920s were concerned about immigrants from eastern and
(N.D. Tex. July 31, 2013)
, ECF No. 75. As this note goes to print, the case is on appeal to the Fifth
Circuit. See Notice of Appeal, Crane v. Napolitano, No. 3:12-cv-03247-O (N.D. Tex. Jan. 17, 2014),
ECF No. 86.
62. Frequently Asked Questions, U.S. CUSTOMS AND IMMIGRATION SERVICES,
a60aRCRD (last updated Jan. 18, 2013).
63. NAT’L RES. COUNCIL, THE NEW AMERICANS: ECONOMIC, DEMOGRAPHIC, AND FISCAL
EFFECTS OF IMMIGRATION 365 (James P. Smith & Barry Edmonston eds., 1997).
65. Id. at 365–66.
66. See Nicole Newman, Note, Birthright Citizenship: The Fourteenth Amendment’s Continuing
Protection Against an American Caste System, 28 B.C. THIRD WORLD L.J. 437, 437–38 (2008); Robert J.
Shulman, Children of a Lesser God: Should the Fourteenth Amendment Be Altered or Repealed to Deny
Automatic Citizenship Rights and Privileges to American Born Children of Illegal Aliens?, 22 PEPP.
L. REV. 669, 675–76 (1995).
southern Europe, and passed legislation restricting their ability to immigrate.67
Reasons for opposing immigration were based on fears that the new immigrants
would not be able to assimilate into American culture, and even included
language of Anglo-Saxon racial superiority.68 Over time, fears relating to
immigration transferred from European immigrants to Latino, largely Mexican,
immigrants. In the 1940s the United States instituted the Bracero program,
which brought Mexican farmworkers to the United States to mitigate labor
shortages after WWII.69 However, in 1954, more than a million of these workers,
including documented workers, were deported in “Operation Wetback.”70
Despite persistent negative attitudes toward various immigrant groups
throughout American history, immigration offenses were generally not
considered criminal until the 1980s. The Immigration Reform and Control Act
(IRCA) of 198671 instituted criminal penalties for knowingly hiring
undocumented workers,72 and Congress also made fraudulent marriage to evade
immigration laws a criminal offense.73 This shift toward criminal penalties for
immigration violations has continued to grow, with stronger enforcement
policies and more criminal proceedings against immigrants.74 Long-standing
negative attitudes of many Americans toward immigrants, as evidenced by the
xenophobia in the 1920s, and official policies or actions removing immigrants or
treating them as criminals, such as the ULP bars, are mutually reinforcing, and
so the trend continues.75 The most tragic part of this cycle is that the stereotypes
are generally wrong, and the policies and perceptions reinforce harmful and
America’s difficult history with immigration was further accelerated by
various terrorist attacks over the past twenty years, including the Langley,
Virginia CIA shooting in January of 1993,77 the World Trade Center bombing in
February of 1993,78 and most notably the terrorist attacks of September 11,
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EFFECTS OF UNLAWFUL PRESENCE BARS 401
2001.79 Enforcement of immigration law has become an even greater priority,
and much of immigration law has merged with national-security concerns.
Examples of legislation directed at immigrants and national security include the
Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA) in 199680 and the
U.S.A. PATRIOT Act in 2001.81 Additionally, and importantly in the context of
the ULP bars, a further extension of INA section 245(i), which would have
provided a method for immigrants to attain legal status without triggering the
ULP bars, failed to pass shortly after the attacks of 9/11.82 Over time, the
attachment of immigration to terrorism as well as crime has worsened the
mutually reinforcing nature of immigration policy and general attitudes toward
immigrants in the United States. The ULP bars are a particularly important
manifestation of that connection because they serve to maintain undocumented
immigrants in what many perceive negatively as their “unlawful” or “illegal”
This mutually reinforcing cycle of public perception of immigrants and
immigration policy is particularly evident today with Latino, and specifically
Mexican, immigrants. Although they are not the only immigrant population to
face negative community stereotypes or immigration policies, Mexicans are the
largest and one of the most visible groups of undocumented immigrants, and
are regularly seen as a major source of the “immigration problem.”84 A
significant reason for this perception is the sheer number of undocumented
Mexican immigrants in the United States. In 2008, Mexicans accounted for
fiftynine percent of the total population of undocumented immigrants, with over
seven million undocumented immigrants in the United States.85 These
immigrants are most highly concentrated in the western part of the country: In
2008, ninety percent of the undocumented immigrant population of Arizona,
New Mexico, and Wyoming were Mexican immigrants.86 Because there are so
many undocumented Mexican immigrants, it is also highly likely that millions
have accrued sufficient unlawful presence to be subject to the ULP bars upon
departure, and so are forced to either stay in the country without
documentation or leave for a minimum of three or ten years. These
undocumented immigrants are subject to the myriad of economic and familial
challenges discussed below.87 For example, in 2007, Mexican undocumented
immigrants’ median income was even lower than other undocumented
immigrants, and they also had received less education.88 This further reinforces
the negative community perceptions of undocumented Latino immigrants.
Most stereotypes of Latino immigrants are both harsh and inaccurate.
Latino immigrants are often characterized or perceived as “crime-prone,
antiassimilationist (i.e., refusing to speak English), and determined to demolish
American cultural values and reclaim territory that was once their own.”89 For
example, results of the 2000 General Social Survey by the National Opinion
Research Center indicate that most Americans connect immigration with
increased crime, sixty percent of Americans believe immigrants lead to the loss
of American jobs, and fifty-six percent believe immigrants contribute to
problems of national disunity.90 Many of these stereotypes play directly on fears
held by native-born Americans that immigrants are a threat to their safety,
economic well-being, and national culture.91 Thus, “[f]ear may trump facts, even
as facts debunk enduring stereotypes.”92 The ULP bars reinforce and perpetuate
these false stereotypes, preventing undocumented immigrants with strong
American ties from truly assimilating and positively influencing American
culture and society.
One especially egregious and long-standing public misconception of
undocumented immigrants, particularly Latino immigrants, is that they have
higher crime rates than American citizens. In 1926 a scholar commented that
“[m]ost of our attention to crime among immigrants has not been due to a
desire to try to understand crime. Our judgments have been colored by our
UNAUTHORIZED IMMIGRANTS IN THE UNITED STATES 21 (2009) [hereinafter PASSEL & COHN, A
PORTRAIT OF UNAUTHORIZED IMMIGRANTS], available at http://www.pewhispanic.org/files/reports/
86. Id. at 21–22.
87. See discussion infra Parts III.C, III.D.
88. PASSEL & COHN, A PORTRAIT OF UNAUTHORIZED IMMIGRANTS, supra note 85, at 22.
89. Longazel & Fleury-Steiner, supra note 69, at 47; see also id. at 48 (examples of rhetoric used in
describing Latino immigrants).
90. Dingeman & Rumbaut, supra note 47, at 365 (citing Rubén G. Rumbaut & Richard D. Alba,
Perceptions of Group Size and Group Position in “Multi-Ethnic United States,” Presentation Before
the Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association (Aug. 2003)).
91. See, e.g., Dingeman & Rumbaut, supra note 47, at 365–67; Longazel & Fleury-Steiner, supra
note 69, at 43–44.
92. Dingeman & Rumbaut, supra note 47, at 383.
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EFFECTS OF UNLAWFUL PRESENCE BARS
prejudices . . . and evidence to the contrary is neither sought nor welcome.”93 In
the 2000 General Social Survey by the National Opinion Research Center,
almost three-quarters of Americans, when asked whether “more immigrants
cause higher crime rates,” saw a causal connection.94 However, despite this
common belief, evidence indicates there is generally a negative correlation
between immigration rates (especially undocumented-immigration rates) and
crime rates over the last twenty years.95 Additionally, a study by the National
Academy of Sciences published in 1997 found that noncitizens actually have a
lower rate of incarceration for violent crimes and property crimes.96 Of course,
there are serious limitations to evaluating crime rates by the number
incarcerated,97 but it is noteworthy that if anything, the evidence indicates that
immigrants commit fewer crimes than citizens, and certainly does not support
the conclusion that increased immigration increases crime.
The effects of the enforcement-based immigration policy exemplified by the
ULP bars, which reinforce many of the incorrect and unfavorable community
perceptions of undocumented immigrants, are harmful to all involved.
Undocumented immigrants are forced under the radar to minimize the
likelihood of removal, which makes it more difficult for them to assimilate and
participate positively in their communities, and may even lead to their
alienation.98 Concerns about deportation—either their own or that of a friend or
family member—affect over half of all Latino adults in the United States,
regardless of citizenship status.99 The ULP bars have undoubtedly increased the
severity of this worry by raising the stakes: When someone is deported, that
person is unable to return for a significant period of time, greatly affecting
friends and family remaining in the United States.
Some scholars go even further and argue that fears that immigrants will not
be able to assimilate appropriately into American culture, although incorrect,
fuel anti-immigration sentiment.100 A 1992 study shows that generally, children
of immigrants self-identify as American more frequently as they acculturate
linguistically, culturally, and economically, and as they experience less
LAW AND CONTEMPORARY PROBLEMS [Vol. 76:389
discrimination.101 Two years after this study, the people of California adopted
proposition 187, thus enacting a harsh immigration enforcement regime that
even went so far as to deny access to schools for undocumented immigrant
children, although this denial of education was later declared unconstitutional.
Then, in a 1995
follow-up study focused on the national self-identification of the
same immigrant children, it was found that despite the children’s assimilation
into American society, including linguistic and cultural assimilation, their
selfidentification had moved back toward their native ethnic groups.103 In what was
probably a reaction to the harshness of the widely publicized California
immigration initiative and the accompanying discrimination, immigrants were
pushed away from mainstream American culture and further marginalized by
an initiative motivated principally by misplaced fears and stereotypes. The ULP
bars, passed the following year, likely exacerbated this effect.
C. The ULP Bars’ Economic Effects
The economic effects of the ULP bars on the U.S. economy as a whole have
also run counter to U.S. interests. There is much dispute over the economic
effects of immigration generally and illegal immigration in particular, with
economists firmly on both sides of the issue.104 Most agree, however, that it is
not a small problem. In March 2010, there were eight million undocumented
immigrants working in the United States, making up 5.2% of the workforce,
down from a peak of 8.4 million in 2007.105 In particular, when viewed from the
perspective of the ULP bars, which tend to lengthen undocumented
immigrants’ duration of stay while preventing them from legalizing their
status,106 the economic effects are more clearly opposed to U.S. policy and
economic interests. Although there are a variety of reasons for this negative
economic effect, most are related to the maintenance of undocumented
immigrants in an illegitimate underclass in which they are unable to progress or
even live openly because they fear removal.
Several well-respected reports published over the last fifteen years indicate
that immigration has a generally positive effect on the U.S. economy. In 2007,
the White House Council of Economic Advisors published a report in which
they found that “immigrants not only help fuel the Nation’s economic growth,
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EFFECTS OF UNLAWFUL PRESENCE BARS 405
but also have an overall positive effect on the income of native-born
workers.”107 The report points to the benefits of more workers producing goods,
the higher entrepreneurial tendencies of immigrants, and immigrants’
netpositive contributions into government programs like Social Security and
Medicare.108 A report published by the National Research Council in 1997 that
deals extensively with the economic effects of immigration echoes this
conclusion, stating that “immigration produces net economic gains for domestic
residents.”109 In 2005 the Congressional Budget Office authored a report stating
that as baby boomers exit the workforce, “it is likely that most of the growth in
the U.S. labor force will come from immigration by the middle of the
Of course, these are overall economic gains, and some individual American
citizens or smaller groups may still be negatively affected. For example,
highschool dropouts are more likely to be affected by competition from
undocumented immigrant workers, who frequently compete with these citizens
for jobs targeting low-skilled workers.111 As a result, high school dropouts more
frequently experience undercut wages or unemployment.112 Even then, however,
this competition may also result in increased jobs and wages for higher-skilled,
complementary work.113 And for low-skilled American workers, the effect of
competition from immigrants is relatively small.114 A blanket policy discouraging
immigration to benefit low-paid native-born workers would be an overly broad
solution to a fairly specific problem.115
Additionally, because the ULP bars prevent undocumented immigrants
from achieving legal status, their own economic well-being is limited, ultimately
hurting the U.S. economy as a whole. This is most clearly demonstrated by
studies of the immigrants who gained legal status after the passage of IRCA in
1986.116 Studies found that once immigrants gained legal status, their wages
increased, thereby increasing their state and local taxes and their buying power,
LAW AND CONTEMPORARY PROBLEMS [Vol. 76:389
while at the same time decreasing dependence on public assistance programs
(for mixed-status families) as well as immigration enforcement costs.117
Although increased wages can result in increased prices for goods due to
increased production costs, this effect is small.118 Additionally, most of the
benefit of lower prices based on lower wages paid to undocumented immigrant
workers goes to more educated families, who are more likely to consume those
products and services.119 Finally, significant ethical considerations make
intentionally maintaining an undocumented, underpaid class of workers outside
the protections of the law in order to maintain lower prices an unacceptable
The economic consequences of the ULP bars also directly affect American
taxpayers through the more than nine million people living in mixed-status
families,120 in which some member of the family is a U.S. citizen and is thus
potentially eligible for public assistance. In such cases, when the undocumented
family member is the breadwinner or the primary caretaker of the children, the
family may require public assistance if the undocumented family member is
deported, placing a further burden on American taxpayers.121 Even if the
undocumented family member is not deported, without the ability to earn a
living wage due to the lower wages typically earned by undocumented
immigrants, government assistance may still be necessary. For example, in 2007,
households with at least one undocumented immigrant spouse had a median
income of just $36,000, compared to a median income of $50,000 for households
with no undocumented immigrants.122 Twenty-one percent of undocumented
immigrant households are living in poverty.123 Households with undocumented
immigrants are also less likely than other households to make economic gains
over time.124 Thus, the ULP bars, which effectively block an undocumented
immigrant’s ability to gain legal status, even if married to an American citizen,
ultimately hurt U.S. taxpayers by increasing the potential need for public
benefits paid to mixed-status families.
The ULP bars also contribute to much higher healthcare costs due to an
incredibly inefficient healthcare system for undocumented immigrants. The
majority of undocumented adult immigrants were without health insurance in
2007.125 The children of these immigrants often were also without health
insurance, including twenty-five percent of children who were U.S. citizens by
117. See IMMIGR. POL’Y CTR., AN IMMIGRATION STIMULUS: THE ECONOMIC BENEFITS OF A
LEGALIZATION PROGRAM (2013), available at http://www.immigrationpolicy.org/just-facts/
118. NAT’L RES. COUNCIL, supra note 63, at 143–44.
119. HANSEN, supra note 114, at 232–33.
120. See supra text accompanying note 33.
121. Cruz, supra note 19, at 167; Mercer, supra note 22, at 317.
122. PASSEL & COHN, A PORTRAIT OF UNAUTHORIZED IMMIGRANTS, supra note 85, at 16.
123. Id. at 17.
125. Id. at 18.
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EFFECTS OF UNLAWFUL PRESENCE BARS 407
birth and forty-five percent of children who were immigrants themselves.126
Because many immigrants are uninsured, they are unlikely to have access to
preventative care or a primary-care physician, and their only remaining access
to medical care is through emergency-care services. Under the Emergency
Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA),127 hospitals must
provide emergency care regardless of citizenship or ability to pay. Although it is
difficult to know how much of the cost of uncompensated medical care is
attributable to undocumented immigrants,128 in 2011 the American Medical
Association estimated that the total uncompensated care cost was $41.1 million,
making up 5.9% of the total expenses of registered hospitals.129 Much of this
cost is likely attributable to undocumented immigrants, who made up 47.4% of
the almost 48 million people without health insurance in 2011.130
Finally, the administrative costs of enforcement of the ULP bars are high
and rising. In fiscal year 2012, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
(ICE),131 U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP),132 and US-VISIT,133 a
program providing the biometric technology used for border protection under
the Department of Homeland Security, spent nearly $18 billion.134 This is more
than the combined total spent by the FBI, DEA, Secret Service, U.S. Marshal’s
Service, and ATF.135 The spending levels are not just high; they are rising. Even
accounting for inflation, in 2012 spending levels were fifteen times what they
were for the INS in 1986 when IRCA was passed.136 Increased enforcement
measures with significant negative effects, such as the ULP bars, are certainly
not worth the extensive resources necessary to enforce them. Additionally,
there is evidence that an option like section 245(i) would alleviate many of
these perverse effects while concurrently raising significant revenue for the
LAW AND CONTEMPORARY PROBLEMS [Vol. 76:389
D. The ULP Bars’ Effect on Family
In addition to the economic losses incurred by the imposition of the ULP
bars, the bars have also had severe negative effects on families, in direct
opposition to the United States’ longstanding and well-established
familyreunification immigration policy. Congress has recognized over the past fifty
years of immigration legislation that family unity is a vital feature of
immigration policy, and brings with it benefits to American society as a whole.138
In 1981, the Select Commission on Immigration and Refugee Policy stated,
[Family] reunification . . . serves the national interest not only through the
humaneness of the policy itself, but also through the promotion of the public order
and well-being of the nation. Psychologically and socially, the reunion of family
members with their close relatives promotes the health and welfare of the United
The Supreme Court has also forcefully articulated the importance of families in
immigration policy, stating in a case reversing a deportation order that
“deportation is a drastic sanction, one which can destroy lives and disrupt
families.”140 The ULP bars illustrate a departure from this long-recognized
The ULP bars disrupt this important policy objective by placing
undocumented immigrants who have families in the United States but who are
subject to the ULP bars in a position in which they must choose between either
facing the consequences of remaining without status in the United States, or
separating themselves from their families for a minimum of three or ten years.141
This choice can be especially difficult if the undocumented immigrant is the
primary breadwinner of the family or if there are young children at home. In
such cases, many would agree it is the more ethical choice to stay with and
support one’s family, even if that means living without legal status.142
Unfortunately, the undocumented immigrants with the strongest familial pull to
remain in the United States are likely those who belong to a mixed-status family
and, absent the ULP bars, would otherwise have an eventual legal route to
status because they belong to one of the visa preference categories.143 However,
because they cannot adjust their status from within the country144 or leave
without triggering the bars, they are left without a process by which they can
benefit from their preferred status. And although a waiver to the ULP bars
based on extreme hardship to citizen spouses or parents of undocumented
immigrants is available to possibly soften the impact of the bars on immigrant
138. See Colon-Navarro, supra note 48, at 496–97.
139. U.S. SELECT COMM. ON IMMIGR. & REFUGEE POL’Y, U.S. IMMIGRATION POLICY AND THE
NATIONAL INTEREST: THE FINAL REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE SELECT COMMISSION
ON REFUGEE POLICY WITH SUPPLEMENTAL VIEWS BY COMMISSIONERS 112 (1981).
140. Gastelum-Quinones v. Kennedy, 374 U.S. 469, 479 (1963).
141. See Mercer, supra note 22, at 306–07 (relating specifically to mixed-status marriages).
142. Cruz, supra note 19, at 167.
143. IMMIGR. POL’Y CTR., supra note 37.
144. See supra text accompanying notes 18–19.
families, the waiver is difficult to obtain and cannot be relied on in such a
The obvious solution to the far-reaching, unintended, and harmful effects of
the ULP bars is to remove the bars. This would allow undocumented
immigrants to return home when they are eligible for legal status to process
their visas and return as legal residents. This is not a shortcut; immigrants would
still have to qualify for a visa and would be subject to all other visa
requirements. Although it would be time consuming and a financial burden on
immigrants to return to their home country to process their applications, it is
very likely they would be willing to do so. Acquiring legal status would help
them avoid or minimize the many challenges facing undocumented immigrants
illustrated throughout this note, and undocumented immigrants have
demonstrated their willingness to pay fines or filing fees under previous
opportunities for legal status, such as DACA and INA section 245(i). As legal
residents, they would be more able to avoid the negative economic and familial
effects of the ULP bars as well as to more fully assimilate into American culture
and self-identify as Americans. Thus, this softening of immigration policy could
go far in reversing the widespread negative perceptions of immigrants and in
diminishing the negative economic and familial effects on American society
Surprisingly, a search for supporters of the ULP bars yields few, if any,
results. Scholarly literature presents many challenges to the bars,146 but
supporters are difficult to find, even among anti-immigration groups.147 Yet even
without clear supporters and despite evidence of significant and harmful
consequences to American citizens, the ULP bars remain law. A significant
reason for the bars’ staying power may lie more in the politics surrounding this
controversial issue than in any debate on the merits of the law itself. Supporters
of harsher immigration legislation would be expected to support such a law, and
so are likely hesitant to support the repeal of the bars, because of the associated
political cost. This is true even though people on both sides of the debate agree
the law is ineffective,148 and the harmful effects of the law stretch beyond
immigrants to American citizens. Until the issue is correctly framed as a
straightforward evaluation of consequences, rather than a political statement, or
the harmful effects become so severe they can no longer be ignored, the
problems will likely continue.
145. See supra text accompanying notes 12–15.
146. See, e.g., Colon-Navarro, supra note 48, at 495–96; Cruz, supra note 19, at 167–68; Mercer,
supra note 22, at 319.
147. Even the Center for Immigration Studies, which generally supports harsher immigration laws,
last wrote about the ULP bars ten years ago, in 2003. See Vaughan, supra note 5.
148. See supra text accompanying note 8.
LAW AND CONTEMPORARY PROBLEMS [Vol. 76:389
Because the bars do not deter immigration, but instead encourage
undocumented immigrants to extend their stays in the United States, they
create significant cultural, economic, and familial harm to American citizens (in
addition to the harm to the immigrants themselves). Of course, repealing the
bars does not solve America’s immigration problem. Much more extensive
work is necessary to address the full reach of the immigration issue in the
United States. But the ULP bars are counterproductive to national (and party)
goals and detrimental to American society, no matter where one is on the
political spectrum, and should thus be repealed.
In the event it is not feasible to repeal the bars, attempts to soften or work
around them may be possible. Two possibilities for working around the bars are
INA section 245(i), a statutory solution, and I-601A, a regulatory response. As
discussed earlier, section 245(i) would allow undocumented immigrants who
qualify for visas to pay a fee to process their visas from within the United States,
instead of at a consulate abroad.149 By not departing the country, immigrants can
avoid the harsh effects of the ULP bars. Additionally, the revenue from the fees
can be substantial.150 Of course, Congress would need to reinstate this
legislation. This is likely to be more feasible than a simple repeal of the bars,
however, in part because in paying a fee, the immigrants are punished for their
unlawful presence, allowing proponents of harsh immigration policy to save
The I-601A provisional waiver, which was instituted in regulations issued by
USCIS, is similar to the traditional ULP waiver,151 but it allows undocumented
immigrants who qualify for a visa to apply for a provisional waiver to the ULP
bars before leaving the country.152 Although immigrants must still travel to their
home countries and go through the consular process (often at great
inconvenience and expense), they know the ULP bar will be waived upon their
return. However, the I-601A waiver is very limited in its application. Like the
traditional waiver, the provisional waiver has a high bar. For example, the
immigrant must be an immediate family member (spouse, child, or parent) of an
American citizen and must demonstrate that removal would cause extreme
hardship to a citizen spouse or parent, and the ULP bar must be the only bar to
admission.153 Like the traditional waiver, the provisional waiver does not
account for extreme hardship to children.
Because the provisional waiver was first made available on March 4, 2013,154
it is still unclear how useful it will be in providing undocumented immigrants
with a method for legalizing their status, but early reports indicate a high level
of denials to I-601A waiver applications.155 The benefit of this approach is that it
negates the harshest effects of the ULP bars, but still requires immigrants to
travel abroad for consular processing to receive a visa. Like section 245(i), this
may seem like an appropriate punishment for undocumented immigrants, but in
this case the economic benefits of the “punishment” do not flow to the United
States. Also, as a regulation, the I-601A provisional waiver has less legitimacy
and staying power than a law, further contributing to the uncertainty already
present in immigration law.
In addition to legislative or regulatory options, the Obama administration
has also recently adopted DACA, a new policy that softens the effects of the
ULP bars. DACA is beneficial because it temporarily suspends the accrual of
unlawful presence, which is particularly useful for undocumented immigrants
who have just turned eighteen and would otherwise begin accruing it. However,
its influence is limited because DACA only applies to certain undocumented
immigrants who meet very specific qualifications. For example, the applicant
must have arrived in the United States before her sixteenth birthday, have been
under the age of thirty-one and present in the country on June 15, 2012, and not
have been convicted of a felony or significant misdemeanors.156 Additionally, a
DACA application requires registration with the government, but only defers
potential prosecution and the accrual of unlawful presence for two years.
Finally, although it is subject to renewal, the terms of the renewal have not yet
been detailed.157 Although helpful, because DACA is a policy change and
policies are less stable and particularly vulnerable to changes of administration,
it is not an effective long-term solution. For example, DACA was announced
on June 15, 2012, less than five months before the presidential election.158 Many
potential DACA applicants expressed concern over the consequences to the
policy if Obama lost the November election.159 Additionally, it may be
vulnerable to constitutional challenges claiming the policy is outside the bounds
of the executive’s constitutional authority.160
LAW AND CONTEMPORARY PROBLEMS [Vol. 76:389
The challenges of establishing effective and beneficial immigration law and
policy are unlikely to disappear anytime soon, but removing the ULP bars and
their accompanying harmful effects is a good place to start. Such a change
would benefit Americans economically, socially, and culturally, and would
provide valuable help to immigrants as well. Because the ULP bars incentivize
undocumented immigrants to lengthen their stay in the United States, repealing
them could break the cycle of negative community perceptions and harsh
immigration legislation, decreasing the harmful economic and familial
consequences for both immigrants and American citizens. When combined with
other important immigration reforms, such a policy could decrease tensions
between different ethnic groups in the United States without sacrificing
national security or the well-being of American citizens.
18. INA §§ 245 ( a ), (c) , 8 U.S.C. §§ 1255 ( a ), (c) ( 2006 ) ; see also 8 C.F .R. § 245 .1 ( 2011 ) (specifically denying adjustment of status under section 245(a) to immigrants who are out of status unless they are immediate family members of U.S. citizens ).
19. Evelyn H. Cruz , Because You're Mine I Walk the Line: The Trials and Tribulations of the Family Visa Program, 38 FORDHAM URB . L.J. 155 , 168 ( 2010 ).
20. INA § 245 ( i ), 8 U.S.C. § 1255 (i) ( 2006 ).
21. 8 U.S.C. § 1255(i)(1)(B ) ( 2006 ).
22. See Julie Mercer, Comment, The Marriage Myth: Why Mixed-Status Marriages Need an Immigration Remedy , 38 GOLDEN GATE U. L. REV . 293 , 302 - 03 ( 2008 ) (explaining the progress of the attempts to extend the LIFE Act provisions in 2001 ).
23. PEW HISPANIC CTR ., A NATION OF IMMIGRANTS 2 ( 2013 ), available at http://www.pewhispanic.org/files/2013/01/statistical_portrait_final_jan_29.pdf.
24. Id .
25. Jeffrey Passel & D'Vera Cohn , Unauthorized Immigrants: 11 . 1 Million in 2011, PEW HISPANIC CTR . (Dec. 6 , 2012 ), http://www.pewhispanic.org/ 2012 /12/06/unauthorized-immigrants- 11 -1 - million-in2011/.
26. MICHAEL HOEFER , NANCY RYTINA & BRYAN BAKER, ESTIMATES OF THE UNAUTHORIZED IMMIGRANT POPULATION RESIDING IN THE UNITED STATES : JANUARY 2011 , at 1 ( 2012 ), available at http://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/statistics/publications/ois_ill_pe_ 2011 .pdf.
27. JEFFREY PASSEL & D'VERA COHN , PEW HISPANIC CTR ., UNAUTHORIZED IMMIGRANT POPULATION: NATIONAL AND STATE TRENDS , 2010 , at 2 ( 2011 ) [hereinafter PASSEL & COHN, UNAUTHORIZED IMMIGRANT POPULATION] , available at http://www.pewhispanic.org/files/reports/ 133.pdf.
28. Robert Warren & John Robert Warren, Unauthorized Immigration to the United States: Annual Estimates and Components of Change, by State , 1990 to 2010 , 47 INT'L MIGRATION R . 296 , 314 - 15 ( 2013 ) (“After 2000, the number [of unauthorized immigrants] moving to the U.S. declined sharply, dropping by seventy-two percent from its peak in 2000 to about 400,000 in 2009 .”).
29. PASSEL & COHN, UNAUTHORIZED IMMIGRANT POPULATION , supra note 27, at 10.
30. PAUL TAYLOR, MARK HUGO LOPEZ, JEFFREY S. PASSEL & SETH MOTEL, PEW HISPANIC CTR ., UNAUTHORIZED IMMIGRANTS: LENGTH OF RESIDENCY, PATTERNS OF PARENTHOOD 3 ( 2011 ), available at http://www.pewhispanic.org/files/2011/12/Unauthorized-Characteristics.pdf.
31. JEFFREY S. PASSEL, PEW HISPANIC CTR., GROWING SHARE OF IMMIGRANTS CHOOSING NATURALIZATION , at i ( 2007 ), available at http://www.pewhispanic.org/files/reports/74.pdf.
32. Id .
33. TAYLOR ET AL., supra note 30 , at 6.
34. PASSEL & COHN, UNAUTHORIZED IMMIGRANT POPULATION , supra note 27, at 12.
35. LARRY M. EIG & WILLIAM J. KROUSE , CONGRESSIONAL RES . SERV., IMMIGRATION: ADJUSTMENT TO PERMANENT RESIDENT STATUS UNDER SECTION 245(I), at 2 ( 1998 ), available at http://www.policyarchive.org/handle/10207/bitstreams/487.pdf; RUTH ELLEN WASEM, CONGRESSIONAL RES . SERV., PERMANENT LEGAL IMMIGRATION TO THE UNITED STATES: POLICY OVERVIEW 1 ( 2012 ), available at http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/homesec/R42866.pdf.
36. INA, Pub . L. No. 82 - 414 , 66 Stat. 163 ( 1952 ) (codified as amended at 8 U .S.C. §§ 1101 - 1537 ( 2006 & Supp . V 2011) ) .
37. See IMMIGR . POL'Y CTR., HOW THE UNITED STATES IMMIGRATION SYSTEM WORKS: A FACT SHEET ( 2010 ), available at http://www.immigrationpolicy.org/just-facts/ how-united-statesimmigration-system-works-fact-sheet.
38. See supra text accompanying notes 20-22.
39. See Mercer, supra note 22 , at 300-01 (explaining the progress of the attempts to extend the
44. See discussion infra Part III .B.
45. See discussion infra Part III .C.
46. See discussion infra Part III.D.
47. See M. Kathleen Dingeman & Rubén G. Rumbaut, The Immigration-Crime Nexus and PostDeportation Experiences: En/Countering Stereotypes in Southern California and El Salvador, 31 U. LA VERNE L. REV . 363 , 385 ( 2010 ).
48. Bryn Siegel , Note, The Political Discourse of Amnesty in Immigration Policy , 41 AKRON L. REV. 291 , 299 - 300 ( 2008 ) (arguing that “[b]ecause any attempt to exit the country or apply for status might trigger the bars, an undocumented immigrant successfully avoids the bars by remaining in the United States,” giving immigrants “every incentive to avoid alerting authorities of their presence”); see also Fernando Colon-Navarro, Familia e Inmigracion: What Happened to Family Unity?, 19 FLA . J. INT'L L . 491 , 495 ( 2007 ) (“Rather than returning to their country and filing for a waiver, they choose to forego the process and remain in the United States with their families, even if it means remaining in illegal status .”). Even those advocating stricter enforcement of the ULP bars have recognized the perverse incentives for undocumented immigrants to stay longer, stating that “in practice, [the ULP bars have] not only failed to penalize or deter most illegal aliens but [have] actually encouraged illegal aliens to remain here . ” Vaughan, supra note 5.
49. HOEFER ET AL., supra note 26 , at 3.
50. INA § 245 ( i ), 8 U.S.C. § 1255 (i) ( 2006 ).
51. The INS was replaced by three different agencies operating under the Department of Homeland Security upon the enactment of the Homeland Security Act of 2002, Pub . L. No. 107 - 296 , 116 Stat. 2135 ( 2002 ) (codified as amended at 6 U .S.C §§ 101 - 557 ( 2006 ) ) . These included U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) . DORIS MEISSNER , DONALD M. KERWIN , MUZAFFAR CHISHTI & CLAIRE BERGERON, MIGRATION POL'Y INST., IMMIGRATION ENFORCEMENT IN THE UNITED STATES: THE RISE OF A FORMIDABLE MACHINERY 22 ( 2013 ) ; see also Our History, U.S. CUSTOMS AND IMMIGRATION SERVS ., http://www.uscis.gov/about-us/our-history (last updated May 25 , 2011 ).
52. GEN. ACCOUNTING OFFICE , GAO/GGD-95 -162FS, INS: INFORMATION ON ALIENS APPLYING FOR PERMANENT RESIDENT STATUS ( 1995 ), available at http://www.gao.gov/assets/90/ 89890.pdf; Mercer, supra note 22, at 300.
53. Mercer , supra note 22, at 299.
54. Jill E. Family , Administrative Law Through the Lens of Immigration Law , 64 ADMIN. L. REV. 565 , 597 - 98 ( 2012 ).
55. The method used for calculating unlawful presence is not contained in a statute or regulations, but rather in an interoffice memorandum issued by USCIS . See Neufeld Memorandum, supra note 3 . This is not only confusing but raises some administrative-law concerns that are beyond the scope of this note . See Family, supra note 54 , at 597-98.
56. Lenni B. Benson , The Invisible Worker, 27 N.C. J. INT'L L . & COM . REG. 483 , 488 - 89 ( 2002 ).
57. INA § 245 ( i ), 8 U.S.C. § 1255 (i) ( 2006 ).
58. Press Release, U.S. Dep't of Homeland Security, Secretary Napolitano Announces Deferred Action Process for Young People Who Are Low Enforcement Priorities (June 15, 2012 ), available at http://www.dhs.gov/news/2012/06/15/secretary-napolitano -announces-deferred-action-process-youngpeople-who-are-low.
59. Provisional Unlawful Presence Waivers , U.S. CUSTOMS AND IMMIGR . SERVS., http://www.uscis.gov/family/family -us-citizens/provisional-waiver/provisional-unlawful-presencewaivers (last updated May 6, 2013 ) [hereinafter U.S. Customs and Immigration Servs ., Provisional ULP Waivers].
60. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Process, U.S. CUSTOMS AND IMMIGR . SERVS., http://www.uscis.gov/U.S.CIS/Resources/Reports%20and %20Studies/Immigration%20Forms%20Data /All%20Form%20Types/DACA/DACA2-15-13.pdf (last visited Apr . 24 , 2013 ).
61. DACA 's constitutionality was recently challenged by ICE employees in Crane v . Napolitano. Complaint at 1-2 , Crane v. Napolitano, No. 3 : 12 -cv-03247 -O (N.D. Tex . Aug. 23 , 2012 ), ECF No. 1. The district court judge dismissed the case, holding that although “Plaintiffs were likely to succeed on the merits of their claim that the Department of Homeland Security has implemented a program contrary to congressional mandate[,] . . . Congress has precluded Plaintiffs from pursuing their claims in this Court by enacting the [Civil Service Reform Act] . ” Order at 2 , Crane v. Napolitano, No. 3 : 12 -cv-03247-
67. NAT'L RES. COUNCIL , supra note 63, at 364.
68. Id . at 364 n.2.
69. Jamie Longazel & Benjamin Fleury-Steiner , Exploiting Borders: The Political Economy of Local Backlash Against Undocumented Immigrants , 30 CHICANA/O-LATINA /O L. REV . 43 , 46 ( 2011 ).
70. Id .
71. Pub . L. No. 99 - 603 , 100 Stat. 3359 ( codified as amended in scattered sections of 8 U .S.C.).
72. Juliet Stumpf , Fitting Punishment, 66 WASH. & LEE L. REV . 1683 , 1721 ( 2009 ) (citing IRCA, 100 Stat . 3359 ).
73. Id .
74. Id . at 1722-25.
75. T. Alexander Aleinikoff & Rubén G. Rumbaut, Terms of Belonging: Are Models of Membership Self-Fulfilling Prophecies?, 13 GEO . IMMIGR. L.J. 1 , 21 ( 1998 ).
76. Id .
77. See Tim Weiner, Pakistani Convicted of Killing 2 Outside C.I.A. Headquarters , N.Y. TIMES , Nov. 11 , 1997 , at A19.
78. STEVEN A. CAMAROTA, THE OPEN DOOR: HOW MILITANT ISLAMIC TERRORISTS ENTERED AND REMAINED IN THE UNITED STATES, 1993 - 2001 , at 6-7 , 15 ( 2002 ), available at http://www.cis.org/ sites/cis.org/files/articles/2002/theopendoor.pdf (tracing immigration status of conspirators of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing ).
79. Mercer , supra note 22, at 303; see also CAMAROTA, supra note 78, at 5 , 16 .
80. Pub . L. No. 104 - 132 , 110 Stat. 1214 ( codified as amended in scattered sections of the U .S. Code). Among other things, AEDPA addressed immigration consequences for terrorists and immigrants who have committed crimes . CHARLES DOYLE , AM. L. DIV., CONGRESSIONAL RES. SERV., ANTITERRORISM AND EFFECTIVE DEATH PENALTY ACT OF 1996: A SUMMARY ( 1996 ), available at http://www.fas.org/irp/crs/96- 499 .htm.
81. Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (USA PATRIOT) Act of 2001, Pub . L. No. 107 - 56 , 115 Stat. 272 ( codified as amended in scattered sections of the U .S. Code). The controversial act, which was enacted after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 , “ significantly increased the surveillance and investigative powers of law enforcement agencies” without “provid[ing] for the system of checks and balances that traditionally safeguards civil liberties in the face of such legislation .” Introduction, U.S. A Patriot Act, ELEC . INFO. PRIVACY CTR., http://epic.org/privacy/terrorism/usapatriot/#introduction (last visited Apr . 24 , 2013 ).
82. Cruz , supra note 19, at 168; Mercer, supra note 22, at 303.
83. Audrey J.S. Carrión & Matthew M. Somers , A Case for the Undocumented Immigrant , MD. B.J., July 2011 , at 30 , 32 - 33 ( 2012 ) (arguing that use of language such as “illegal” and “unlawful” to refer to immigrants who entered the U.S. without documentation contributes to public perceptions of undocumented immigrants as criminals).
84. See , e.g., Jeffrey M. Timberlake & Rhys H. Williams , Stereotypes of U.S. Immigrants from Four Global Regions, 93 SOC. SCI. Q . 867 , 887 ( 2012 ) (reporting results of a study that indicate news and other media have created a perception of undocumented immigrants, and in particular Mexican immigrants, as a threat to national security and national identity).
85. JEFFREY S. PASSEL & D'VERA COHN , PEW HISPANIC CTR ., A PORTRAIT OF
93. Id . at 363 (quoting Carl Kelsey, Immigration and Crime, 125 ANNALS AM . ACAD. POL. & SOC. SCI. 165 , 166 ( 1926 )).
94. Id . at 365 (citing Rubén G. Rumbaut & Richard D. Alba , Perceptions of Group Size and Group Position in “Multi-Ethnic United States,” Presentation Before the Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association (Aug . 2003 )).
95. Id . at 372-74.
96. NAT'L RES. COUNCIL , supra note 63, at 388.
97. Id . at 386-87.
98. Dingeman & Rumbaut, supra note 47, at 385.
99. PEW HISPANIC CTR., 2007 NATIONAL SURVEY OF LATINOS: AS ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION ISSUE HEATS UP, HISPANICS FEEL A CHILL 1 ( 2007 ), available at http://www.pewhispanic.org/ files/reports/84.pdf.
100. See Aleinikoff & Rumbaut, supra note 75, at 7-10 ( arguing that Americans fear that assimilation of immigrants cannot be successful, thus affecting their “model of membership,” or the people to whom the United States allows legal entry).
101. Id . at 16-17.
102. See League of United Latin Am . Citizens v. Wilson, 908 F. Supp . 755 ( C.D. Cal . 1995 ), amended by 997 F. Supp . 1244 ( C.D. Cal . 1997 ) (including the full text of the initiative and a summary of its history).
103. Aleinikoff & Rumbaut, supra note 75, at 19.
104. See , e.g., Steven A. Camarota, Immigration and the U.S. Economy, Testimony Prepared for House Judiciary Committee , Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security and International Law, CTR. FOR IMMIGR . STUDIES (Sept. 30 , 2010 ), http://www.cis.org/node/2294; cf., e.g., Immigration's Economic Impact, COUNCIL OF ECON . ADVISORS (June 20 , 2007 ), http://georgewbushwhitehouse.archives.gov/cea/cea_immigration_062007.html.
105. PASSEL & COHN, UNAUTHORIZED IMMIGRANT POPULATION , supra note 27, at 17.
106. See discussion supra Part III.A.
107. Immigration's Economic Impact , COUNCIL OF ECON. ADVISORS (June 20 , 2007 ), http://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/cea/cea_immigration_062007.html.
108. Id .
109. NAT'L RES. COUNCIL , supra note 63, at 4.
110. CONG. BUDGET OFFICE , THE ROLE OF IMMIGRANTS IN THE U .S. LABOR MARKET 25 ( 2005 ), available at http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/ftpdocs/68xx/doc6853/ 11 -10-immigration.pdf.
111. See NAT'L RES. COUNCIL , supra note 63, at 7; PASSEL & COHN, A PORTRAIT OF UNAUTHORIZED IMMIGRANTS, supra note 85, at 14 (comparing the percentage of U.S. and undocumented immigrant workers in low-skilled jobs).
112. NAT'L RES. COUNCIL , supra note 63, at 7, 137 .
113. Id . at 137-39.
114. GORDON H. HANSEN , MIGRATION POL'Y INST ., THE ECONOMICS AND POLICY OF ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION IN THE UNITED STATES 9-11 ( 2009 ), available at http://www.migrationpolicy.org/ pubs/hanson-dec09. pdf; see also NAT'L RES. COUNCIL , supra note 63, at 137-39.
115. Immigration's Economic Impact , COUNCIL OF ECON. ADVISORS (June 20 , 2007 ), http://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/cea/cea_immigration_062007.html.
116. Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) of 1986, Pub . L. No. 99 - 603 , 100 Stat. 3359 ( codified as amended in scattered sections of 8 U .S.C.).
126. Id .
127. EMTALA § 9121 ( b ), 42 U.S.C. § 1395dd ( 2006 ).
128. It is notable, however, that undocumented immigrants make up seventeen percent of uninsured Americans, “more than three times their representation in the population.” PASSEL & COHN, A PORTRAIT OF UNAUTHORIZED IMMIGRANTS , supra note 85, at 19.
129. AM. HOSPITAL ASS'N, UNCOMPENSATED HOSPITAL CARE COST FACT SHEET 3 ( 2013 ), available at http://www.aha.org/content/13/1 -2013-uncompensated-care-fs .pdf.
130. SETH MOTEL & EILEEN PATTEN, PEW HISPANIC CTR., STATISTICAL PORTRAIT OF THE FOREIGN-BORN POPULATION IN THE UNITED STATES 2011 , at tbl. 38 ( 2013 ), available at http://www.pewhispanic.org/files/2013/01/PHC-2011 -FB- Stat-Profiles. pdf (Persons Without Health Insurance, by Age , Nativity, and Citizenship: 2011 ).
131. Overview , ICE, http://www.ice.gov/about/overview/ (last visited Apr. 24 , 2013 ).
132. About CBP , CBP.GOV, http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/about/ (last visited Apr. 24 , 2013 ).
133. Office of US-VISIT, U.S. DEP'T OF HOMELAND SEC ., http://www.dhs. gov/us-visit-office (last visited Apr . 24 , 2013 ).
134. MEISSNER ET AL., supra note 51 , at 22.
135. The combined total for these agencies was $14.4 billion . Id.
136. Id .
137. Supra text accompanying note 52.
149. See supra text accompanying notes 20-22.
150. See supra text accompanying notes 51-53.
151. See supra text accompanying notes 12-15.
152. 8 C.F.R. § 212 .7(e) ( 2013 ) ; see also U.S. Customs and Immigration Servs ., Provisional ULP Waivers, supra note 59.
153. 8 C.F.R. § 212 . 7(e)(3)-(4) ( 2013 ) ; see also U.S. Customs and Immigration Servs ., Provisional ULP Waivers, supra note 59 , at Eligibility Requirements.
154. U.S. Customs and Immigration Servs ., Provisional ULP Waivers, supra note 59.
155. Ann Cun, I -601A Provisional Waivers a Tough Sell to USCIS , LAWLOGIX (Sept. 4 , 2013 ), http://www.lawlogix.com/blog/i601aprovisionalwaiverstoughselluscis; USCIS Denying Many I-601A Provisional Waiver Requests Because of Possible Other Grounds of Inadmissibility, NOLO (July 2, 2013 ), http://www.nolo. com/legal-update/uscis-denying-many-i-601a-provisional-waiver-requestsbecause-possible-other-grounds-inadmissib.
156. Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Process, U.S. CUSTOMS AND IMMIGR . SERVS., http://www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/consideration-deferred -action-childhood-arrivalsprocess (last updated July 2, 2013 ) [hereinafter U.S. Customs and Immigration Servs ., Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Process].
157. U.S. Customs and Immigration Servs ., Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Process, supra note 156 , at Renewing Deferred Action Under This Process.
158. U.S. Customs and Immigration Servs ., Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Process, supra note 156.
159. Stacey Delikat , Local 'DREAMers' Have Questions on New Immigration Policy and Romney's Stance, AZFAMILY . COM (June 22 , 2012 ), http://www.azfamily.com/news/local/Local-Dreamers- havequestions-on-new-immigration-policy-and- Romneys- stance- 159971825 .html.
160. DACA may also be vulnerable to constitutional challenges . See supra note 61.