The decade since 9/11 has seen a remarkable transformation of U.S. immigration law and policy. In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, the federal government linked immigration screening and enforcement to the protection of national security.
During the last ten years, an emphasis on national security has seeped into U.S. immigration laws, policies, and agencies. In particular, the government has scrutinized individuals of Muslim, Arab, and South Asian (MASA) descent and expanded the definition of “terrorist activity” to include a breathtakingly broad spectrum of conduct. The responses by the federal government to 9/11 have led to an unprecedented increase in detentions and deportations and unease and confusion within immigrant communities.