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TRAC unveils new Web site as resource on immigration control
TRAC unveils new Web site as resource on immigration controlApril 05, 2006Sara Millersemortim@syr.edu
The Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) launched a new Web site Tuesday, April 4, that provides extensive information about one of the most important and politically sensitive subjects in America today–immigration control. The Web site, found at http://trac.syr.edu/immigration, developed with the support of the JEHT Foundation, the Ford Foundation and Syracuse University, offers one-stop shopping for authoritative information about what is now one of the largest single enforcement and control efforts in the United States.
The purpose of the site–developed on the basis of TRAC’s data collection efforts and expert data analysis skills–is to provide the American people, Congress, immigration groups, reporters and others with authoritative information to judge the performance of the government in this critical area.
The first edition of TRAC’s new site, among other features, includes:
- separate clearly written reports on important immigration matters
- a special TRAC tool that gives users one-click access to the latest monthly data on criminal enforcement of the immigration laws, along with a clear explanatory text
- an extensive library of immigration reports by the GAO, CRS and inspectors general
- a plain English glossary of frequently used words and acronyms
Some key findings in the initial reports were that long-term and regional data raise questions about the assertion that adding Border Patrol agents results in increased apprehensions (inspections of the hundreds of millions of people seeking entry to the United States at the 300-plus designated ports of entry result in less than one-tenth of 1 percent being refused entry) and that government staffing data show that the events of 9/11 had only modest impact on the overall size of the Border Patrol and the distribution of its agents around the country.
Also available is a special area of the Web site with data about long-term trends and regional variation on such subjects as Border Patrol apprehensions, staffing and criminal enforcement of the immigration laws. Other data describe the government’s inspections activities at the designated ports of entry.
The Web site is expected to go through several editions and updates to offer a range of additional reports and studies on various immigration subjects, including the exercise of discretion within the immigration courts. These reports and the latest agency data will be posted as they become available.
TRAC is a data gathering, research and distribution organization associated with SU. Established in 1989 as a research center at the University, its offices are on campus and in Washington, D.C. TRAC’s core purpose is to make information about the federal government’s enforcement and regulatory effort more accessible to the public. An essential step in this process is TRAC’s systematic and informed use of the Freedom of Information Act. The co-directors of TRAC are Susan Long, a statistician and professor in SU’s Martin J. Whitman School of Management, who, as a FOIA pioneer, has specialized in federal enforcement issues for more than 25 years; and David Burnham, an associate research professor in the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and an investigative writer and former New York Times reporter, who has covered local, state and federal enforcement issues since 1966.