Deportation Research Clinic

Research Updates


  • "One Dollar Per Day: The Slaving Wages of Immigration Jail, 1943 to Present," Georgetown Immigration Law Journal, vol. 25, issue 3, spring 2015 (published spring 2016 due to delayed journal production schedule). Special thanks to Farrell Fellow and Clinic assistant Hayley Hopkins, Northwestern '17, for associated web pages with contract links and summaries.
  • ICE document release responsive to Clinic FOIA litigation supports Clinic Director Jacqueline Stevens' legal analysis: previously withheld INS General Counsel memorandum in 1992 finds 8 USC § 1555 requires Congress to set rates of wages for those in custody under immigration laws, undermines private prison authority to set wages at one dollar/day. Litigation ongoing for two years. Status hearing April 6, 2016. 
  • April 14, 2016, Deportation Research Clinic prevails in Rule 60 motion for FOIA litigation attorney fees—retired judge had denied fees without hearing, plea for reconsideration with assent of U.S. Attorney granted. (Director obtains email from State Department officials who encounter deported U.S. citizen Mark Lyttle in Honduras and Guatemala.)
  • April 5, 2016, GEO lawsuit on track, Colorado Judge denies certification of interlocutory appeal, depositions begin!


  • June 1, 2015.  Analysis of U.S. Citizens ICE Unalwfully Detained or Banished Since January 1, 2011
    • New Release of Immigration Court Data Reveals ICE Still Systematically Detaining U.S. Citizens
    • U.S Citizen Andres Robles, Deported to Mexico, Returns, Wins Record $350,000 Settlement and Government Agreement to Expunge Records
      • Clinic FOIA Attorney Andrew Free Represents Robles, case first reported by Clinic Director Jacqueline Stevens.
  • Clinic research assistants Ary Hansen and Elizabeth Meehan analyze immigration judge misconduct data.  Agency supervisors ignore serious complaints if not from government.  Responses take hundreds of days, and recommend "oral counseling" or no response. Professor Heather Schoenfeld, School for Education and Social Policy and Legal Studies to co-author research article with J. Stevens.


  • Clinic research triggers lawsuit challenging unlawful dollar-per-day payments by private prisons to people in custody under immigration law. 
  • "Citizenship In Question: Forensic Challenges of Birth, Blood, and Bureaucracy," co-edited with Benjamin Lawrance, based on conference convened by co-editors at Boston College Law School and co-sponsored and organized with Dan KanstroomRachel Rosenbloom, and Rogers Smith. Contributors narrate failures of signification for passports, certificates, and databases from Australia to Togo. Introduction draws on Jacques Derrida to suggest failures of a-scription and to reveal narrative strategies that empower arbitrary authorities at the expense of the people populating the identities government creates.
  • Remembered Intimacies and the Bona Fide Marrriage, funded by the Sexualities Project at Northwestern, IRB-approved sutdy, Charles Clarke, co-principal investigator.  Study compares rate and character of non-matching answers on spousal green card interviews with rate and character of non-matching answers on "The Newlywed Game" television show.  (Premise of government interview is that non-matching answers about shared experiences reveals marriage fraud; premise of "Newlywed Game" is that bona fide couples will have non-matching answers.)
  • Long-term study of misconduct in deportation proceedings, with site visits to immigration courts and detention facilities.