Date: February 1, 2016
Host: Jim Schneider
Guest: Mark Krikorian
Much of the our nation’s attention on Immigration lately has been on the settling of Syrian refugees. On the other hand, the matter of illegal immigration continues to impact our resources. Even greater than that is its impact upon our nation’s rule of law.
To discuss this and other immigration related matters, Jim welcomed Mark Krikorian. Mark is a nationally recognized expert on immigration issues and serves as executive director at the Center for Immigration Studies. The center is an independent, non-partisan research organization in Washington D.C. which examines and critiques the impact of immigration on the United States. Mark has frequently testified before Congress and has published numerous articles.
Mark began by describing how in November of 2014, President Obama issued a series of executive actions. The president attempted to give work permits, Social Security numbers and (at the state level) driver’s licenses to all illegal aliens who have U.S. born children. This is estimated to be around 4 million people.
26 states sued in court to stop this. At the lowest court level, the judge issued an injunction indicating that until this is fully worked out in the courts to determine whether it’s constitutional, we can’t let this proceed. According to Mark this was a good move because if you let the action of the president in this case move forward and he’s later found to be guilty of acting illegally, how do you undo it?
The president wasn’t just saying he wasn’t going to deport these individuals. He has the authority to use prosecutorial discretion (how and when you’re going to apply the law) but according to Mark, that’s not what he was doing or proposing to do. He was proposing to give them benefits.
In the end the appeals court agreed with the lower court that things need to be put on hold. The federal government appealed to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court said they’d take the case to see whether this should go forward. The hearings are expected to take place in April with a decision expected in June. That means this issue should have a significant impact upon the presidential campaign.
The president did, however, get away with a program that allowed amnesty for about 700,000 illegal immigrants who came here before they turned 18. Congress never did anything about it. In fact, it took a year for Congress to come up with a resolution saying that they didn’t think this was constitutional. There was no law to stop it so President Obama got away with it.
Do states really have a right to file a lawsuit in this matter? Is this case just about Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) or does it have implications beyond that? What about some of the presidential candidates and their positions on immigration? What news does Mark have related to the topic of sanctuary cities? These questions and more are answered on this vital edition of Crosstalk.