Immigration Laws and the Expanding I.N.S. Jail ComplexMichael Welch
In 1996, Congress passed expansive laws to control illegal immigration, imposing mandatory detention and deportation for even minor violations. Critics argued that such legislation violated civil liberties and human rights; correspondingly, in 2001, the Supreme Court ruled that many facets of the 1996 statutes were unconstitutional. Michael Welch shows how what he calls "moral panic" led to the passage of the 1996 laws and the adverse effects they have had on the Immigration and Naturalization Service, producing a booming detainee population and an array of human rights violations. Detained: Immigration Laws and the Expanding I.N.S. Jail Complex offers sensible recommendations for reform along with an enlightened understanding of immigration. In an epilogue, Welch examines closely the government's campaign to fight terrorism at home, especially the use of racial profiling, mass detention, and secret evidence.
Recently, the INS, particularly its enforcement and detention operations have expanded dramatically. This book will offer many readers their first look inside that system. It will be an invaluable guide to thinking through whether the system is fit to take on the additional responsibilities being asked of it in the post-September 11th world.
"Michael Welch offers not just a comprehensive review of the devastating impact of U.S. anti-immigrant laws and policies since 1996, but a compelling explanation for how a nation of immigrants could adopt an 'us versus them' attitude toward newcomers. This book should be required reading for policy makers and citizens concerned about our nation's just treatment of immigrants."
—Donald Kerwin, Executive Director, Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc.
"Welch shows in riveting detail how American immigration law and policy have increasingly relied on incarceration, locking up thousands of immigrants not because they pose any real danger, but as a collective expression of moral panic and hostility toward perceived outsiders. In the wake of September 11, as government officials exploit immigration law for criminal law ends, Welch's cogent analysis could not be more timely and important. This is critical reading for anyone concerned with how this nation of immigrants treats immigrants in the years to come."
—David Cole, professor, Georgetown University Law Center, and legal affairs correspondent, The Nation
"In 1996, Congress passed expansive laws to control illegal immigration, imposing mandatory detention and deportation for even minor violations. Welch argues that 'moral panic' led to the passage of the 1996 laws, and that the laws have had adverse effects on the Immigration and Naturalization Service, producing a booming detainee population and an array of human rights violations."
—Law and Social Inquiry, Book Notes
"The book is most useful in recounting (the detainee's) plight to a new and wider audience."
—International Migration Review
"...offers invaluable insights that extend our understanding of both recent immigration policy and criminal justice policy."
—Athan Theoharis, Political Science Quarterly
"(Welch) provides insight into a topic that has been driven by fear, anecdotes, impressions, and stereotypes. Against the backdrop of September 11, the analysis in Detained is quite powerful....given the void in the literature and the many positive contributions it offers to sociologists, Detained moves the immigration and crime literature one major step forward in shattering the stereotypes of the crime-prone immigrant."
Visit Professor Welch's homepage,www.professormichaelwelch.com, for more information about his publications.