Adam Serwer

Adam Serwer is a writing fellow at The American Prospect and a graduate of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He also blogs at Jack and Jill Politics and has written for The Village Voice, The Washington Post, The Root, and the Daily News.

Recent Articles

A BFD On Immigration Enforcement

The Obama administration's decision to defer deportation of undocumented immigrants who don't post a threat to public safety is really a huge deal : What changed? Obama’s poll numbers among Latino voters began to slip. Both on the local and national level, immigration reform advocates upped the pressure, even protesting at the Obama administration’s headquarters in Chicago. While the debate over the administration’s aggressive enforcement policy largely occurred under the radar in the mainstream media, Obama was getting pilloried in the Spanish-language press for breaking his promises. All the while, the administration was getting no credit from the right for its aggressive enforcement policies, even as deportations rose, the number of illegal immigrants dropped, and more resources were deployed at the border. Heading into 2012 with little in the way of progress to show on immigration reform, the administration likely felt that it had to do something to show that its...


For the Clinton contrarians . Smoke weed and lose your kids. The buck still stops with the Syrians. The GOP's shifting school reform agenda.

More On Coburn

Greg Sargent gets the full transcript of Senator Tom Coburn's remarks on Obama and surmises that: I think what Coburn means here is that African Americans are more likely to need such programs than whites are, and by his own lights, Coburn actually thinks he’s being charitable to Obama here. He’s essentially saying that Obama’s life experience quite naturally dictated that he would view the safety net as a good thing, because it helped poor African Americans. I think that's probably true--one of the reasons liberals support the social safety net is that it helps reduce the impact of centuries of legalized discrimination. But acknowledging that these programs do a great deal of good before calling them "goofy" and "wrong" is more than a little weird, as is the implicit suggestion that somehow, it's only people of color who benefit or find these programs valuable. What’s funny to me about this whole episode is that it reveals how challenging it is for the saner...

Bachmann Staffer Once Accused Of Terrorism

Reading this story on Peter E. Waldron, a staffer for Michele Bachmann in Iowa who was arrested on charges of terrorism in Uganda (the charges were later dropped) I can't help but think of how fortunate he was that he was not immediately assumed to be guilty, placed in indefinite military detention, and then forced through a trial process biased towards the government's claims. Yet that's exactly what Bachmann, would do with any Muslim in U.S. custody accused of terrorism, because she doesn't believe foreigners have the same due process rights as American citizens.

Can DHS Prioritize?

The American Immigration Lawyers Association has released a report on DHS immigration enforcement efforts ( via The Economist ), arguing that the tools DHS is using to reduce illegal immigration conflict with its stated priorities of focusing on undocumented immigrants who are a threat to public safety. Essentially, their argument is that the use of programs like Secure Communities, which mandates local law enforcement in covered jurisdictions forward the identifying information of anyone they arrest to ICE, ensures that "prioritization" can't happen. The deportation numbers offer some evidence for this claim--the vast majority of those deported are guilty of minor offenses beyond being in the country illegally or none at all. The report though, offers something much more compelling than dry statistics: Detailed examples of individuals who were removed after being identified by police through relatively innocuous behavior. In April 2011, a man was a passenger in a car that was pulled...