Walling Off Liberty: How Strict Immigration Enforcement Threatens Privacy and Local Policing

During his campaign, Donald Trump vowed to aggressively ramp up immigration enforcement by implementing “extreme vetting,” building a wall along the southern border, cracking down on so-called “sanctuary cities,” and creating a “deportation force.” A new paper by Cato scholar Matthew Feeney argues that there are ample reasons for concern over how such efforts will impact America’s law enforcement agencies and Americans’ civil liberties. Feeney suggests that policymakers can mitigate the risks of the immigration agenda by strengthening legal protections on the border and limiting federal involvement in state and local policing.

Birthright Citizenship: An American Idea That Works

President Trump has announced that he plans an executive order that would remove the right to citizenship for babies of noncitizens and unauthorized immigrants born on U.S. soil. In addition to being constitutionally questionable, such an order would harm all Americans, not just the children or grandchildren of noncitizens, according to Cato scholar David Bier. “Birthright citizenship is good for the United States,” says Bier. “It guarantees that everyone who is born in America believes that they are Americans, which is the single best policy for promoting assimilation.”

U.S. Citizens Targeted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Texas

Texas law SB 4 imposes jail time on local police who fail to detain anyone whom federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) requests. A new bulletin from Cato scholar David Bier examines almost twelve years of data from Travis County, Texas, and shows that ICE targets large numbers of U.S. citizens. The rate of wrongful detainer issuances in Travis County implies that ICE targeted at least 3,506 U.S. citizens in Texas and 19,873 nationwide with detainers that were subsequently canceled. Supporters of expanded enforcement laws like SB 4 need to create better safeguards to protect the rights of American citizens from ICE detainers.

Cato Studies

Immigration and Redistribution

By Alberto Alesina, Armando Miano, and Stefanie Stantcheva. Research Briefs in Economic Policy No. 135. October 17, 2018.

Of Special Note

The Beautiful Tree: A Personal Journey Into How the World’s Poorest People Are Educating Themselves

The Beautiful Tree: A Personal Journey Into How the World's Poorest People Are Educating Themselves

In The Beautiful Tree, James Tooley braids together personal experience, community action, and family devotion, and takes readers to the very heart of education. Tooley journeys from Africa to China, sharing insights from children, parents, teachers, and entrepreneurs who taught him that the poor are not waiting for educational handouts. They are building their own schools and learning to save themselves.

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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.

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Cato Home Study Course

When was the last time you were truly energized by ideas? Cato’s self-paced, home study program enables you to spend time with brilliant minds wherever and whenever you have an opportunity to listen and think.


HumanProgress.org: Following the Forward March of Human Progress

By most measures, there has never been a better time in history to inhabit our planet. A growing body of evidence points to dramatic improvements in human well-being. Meticulously created and managed, HumanProgress.org is a new, free, innovative website that steadily follows and documents the forward march of human progress. This new site closes the gap between the often pessimistic public perception and a more optimistic reality, and is a comprehensive new research tool that provides data in an easily accessible manner.