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Professor Jennifer Koh, "Downsizing the Deportation State" -- Harvard Law and Policy Review

Professor Jennifer Lee Koh's article "Downsizing the Deportation State," (SSRN) is published in the Harvard Law and Policy Review, 16 Harv. L. & Pol'y Rev. 85 (2021). The essay is part of a symposium on the administrative state, and offers recommendations for the immigration enforcement bureaucracy, based on the early months of the Biden administration.

Abstract of "Downsizing the Deportation State"

The contemporary deportation state – referring to the federal administrative infrastructure for enforcing the immigration laws through deportation and detention –has grown significantly over the past several presidential administrations. During the Trump era, the deportation state engaged in spectacles of cruelty against immigrants and received encouragement from blatantly anti-immigrant rhetoric from the president. However, its overall growth also reflected an extension of past practice from prior administrations. In this Article, I argue that the Biden Administration should not only pursue an immigration agenda that seeks to reverse Trump-era immigration policies and enact legislative immigration reform—which it has expressed a commitment to doing—but should also seek to downsize the deportation state. To do so, it should place particular emphasis on how agency funding, management of the bureaucracy, and relationships with subfederal and private entities might impact successive presidents’ capacity to engage in mass deportation and detention.