Policing and Immigrants

In the majority of U.S. states, the number of foreign-born residents increased by 30 percent or more over last decade, with many of these new arrivals settling in suburban areas once virtually untouched by immigration. Local police agencies are challenged to serve sometimes-vulnerable residents whose culture and language don’t match those of their line officers. Meeting obligations related to homeland security adds yet another layer of complexity.

To address these challenges, we pioneered the growing field of language access and led the way in building bridges between police and Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian communities. We’ve also trained police in using the U-visa, a safety net for immigrant crime victims that cooperate with police, and published guidebooks written by police, for police in how to build trusting relationships with diverse communities.

Related Work

Compassion, Not Confinement

How States and Localities Can Help Ensure Humane Housing for Unaccompanied Immigrant Children Awaiting Family Reunification

In the first five months of 2021, about 65,000 children were apprehended by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) after arriving in the United States unaccompanied by a parent or legal guardian. These children come to the United States seeking protection, stability, and a chance to reunite with their families, but are instead processed at federa ...

Publication
  • Shaina Aber, Lauren Esterle, Derek Loh
June 16, 2021
Publication

Implementing the Vision at the Local and State Level Summary

Advancing Universal Representation: A Toolkit for Advocates, Organizers, Legal Service Providers, and Policymakers

Universal representation—a public defender system for all immigrants facing deportation—is based on the fundamental belief that everyone deserves due process under the law. While a growing movement works toward a legally mandated and federally funded representation system, several counties, cities, and states have stepped up to fund deportation def ...

Publication
April 13, 2021
Publication

One Year Later, We Still Don’t Know How Many People in ICE Detention Have Been Exposed to COVID-19

Despite Vera’s efforts to track what ICE reports on COVID-19 in detention, the agency’s limited reporting remains insufficient for understanding the scope of this crisis and its implications for the treatment of people subject to detention in the future. Critical information—such as the total number of people at risk within facilities, who have bee ...

Blog Post
  • Noelle Smart
    Noelle Smart
  • Adam Garcia
    Adam Garcia
April 08, 2021
Blog Post