Alternatives to Detention Are Cheaper than Universal Detention

President Trump’s new executive order requires the children of border crossers to be detained with their family members. Although a slight improvement over family separation, Trump’s decision raises different questions of whether detaining families together violates the 1997 Flores Settlement, whereby children have to be released after 20 days, which would necessitate family separation. According to Cato scholar Alex Nowrasteh, the potential Flores problem could be mitigated entirely by Trump if he relied on alternatives to detention (ATD) programs instead of uniform detention of all border crossers.

War State, Trauma State: Why Afghanistan Remains Stuck in Conflict

Afghans have endured 40 years of uninterrupted war, and there is no plausible argument that war will soon end. In all the debate about troop surges or maintaining the status quo, two critical questions rarely get asked: Why have Afghans been at war for so long, and why can’t the United States and the international community end it? In a new paper, Cato scholar Erik Goepner argues that 40 years of war have fundamentally changed Afghans, and offers recommendations for U.S. efforts in Afghanistan now and for other high-trauma civil war states in the future.

How Labor Regulation Harms Unskilled Workers

The academic and public policy communities generally discuss the effects of government interventions into labor markets piecemeal, teasing out the effects of a particular regulation (such as an increased minimum wage) in isolation. In the new issue of Regulation, entrepreneur and business owner Warren Meyer surveys the field of labor regulation to demonstrate how the accretion of many different, presumably well-intentioned rules to protect workers can, in total, have exactly the opposite effect, making it difficult for companies to profitably employ unskilled labor and for those workers to develop and advance.

Reasons for Optimism from the North Korea Summit

The summit between United States President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un took place last week in Singapore. While the meeting with Kim had great visuals, there was no real deal struck and certainly no pledge of denuclearization from the North. And this isn’t the first summit to cause hopes to soar for inter-Korean reconciliation. However, Cato scholar Doug Bandow says that the pessimism is overdone.

Recent Commentary

Alternatives to Detention Are Cheaper than Universal Detention

The potential Flores problem could be mitigated entirely by Trump if he relied on alternatives to detention (ATD) programs instead of uniform detention of all border crossers.  This would allow President Trump to claim that he ended catch and release without detaining migrant families at taxpayer cost.


June 25

The Clash of Generations? Intergenerational Change and American Foreign Policy Views

Featuring Dina Smeltz, Senior Fellow, Chicago Council on Global Affairs; Will Ruger, Vice President of Research and Policy, Charles Koch Institute; and Trevor Thrall, Senior Fellow, Cato Institute and Associate Professor, Schar School of Policy and Government, George Mason University; moderated by Christopher Preble, Vice President for Defense and Foreign Policy Studies, Cato Institute.

11:00AM to 12:30PM EDT
Hayek Auditorium, Cato Institute

July 12

To Err Is Human

Featuring Carolyn M. Clancy, MD, Executive in Charge, Veterans Health Administration; David A. Hyman, Professor of Law, Georgetown University; Adjunct Scholar, Cato Institute; Coauthor, Overcharged; and Michael F. Cannon, Director of Health Policy Studies, Cato Institute.

5:00PM to 7:15PM EDT
Hayek Auditorium, Cato Institute

Of Special Note

Frederick Douglass: Self-Made Man

Frederick Douglass: Self-Made Man

Born into slavery in 1818, Frederick Douglass rose to become a preeminent American intellectual and activist who, as statesman, author, lecturer, and scholar, helped lead the fight against slavery and racial oppression. Unlike many other leading abolitionists, Douglass embraced the U.S. Constitution, believing it to be an essentially anti-slavery document guaranteeing that individual rights belonged to all Americans, of all races. This biography from Cato scholar Timothy Sandefur takes a fresh look at the life and inspirational legacy of one of America’s most passionate and dedicated thinkers.

Special! 10 Copies for $10

Cato Pocket Constitution

To encourage people everywhere to better understand and appreciate the principles of government that are set forth in America’s founding documents, the Cato Institute published this pocket-size edition.

Now Available

Home Study Resources

The Cato Institute offers a wealth of online educational audio and video resources, from self-paced guides on the ideas of liberty and the principles of economics, to exclusive, archived lectures by thinkers such as Milton Friedman and F. A. Hayek. Browse through some highlights of our collections, for personal study or for use in the classroom.

Cato University: College of History and Philosophy

History is indispensable to understanding and defending liberty under our constitutionally limited, representative government. And at the core of that history are the philosophical beliefs and values on which the American republic was founded. Cato University’s College of History and Philosophy, August 2-4 in San Diego, brings these two powerful subjects together to explore the foundations of liberty and justice, of wealth and poverty, of individual rights and the rule of law.