Immigration issues have been front and center over the past few days. This past weekend President Trump indicated that the time for a deal on DACA has passed. Meanwhile we are told of an approaching caravan of more than 1,000 Central American illegal aliens heading through Mexico to the United States. Also, so-called ‘sanctuary cities’ are continuing to defy the federal government.
Joining Jim to address these and related issues was Judge Andrew Arthur. Judge Arthur is a Resident Fellow in Law and Policy at the Center for Immigration Studies, a research institute that examines the impact of immigration on American society.
His legal career began as a clerk to Administrative Law Judge Joseph McGuire in the Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Office at the U.S. Department of Justice. He later worked as a trial attorney in District Counsel’s Office of the former Immigration and Naturalization Service and was promoted as associate general counsel and later acting chief of the INS National Security Law Division. He has also advised the attorney general, deputy attorney general and the INS commissioner on issues related to national security. He later became a counsel on the House Judiciary Committee and later appointed to the immigration bench serving 8 years as an immigration judge. He left the bench and went back to Capitol Hill where he served as staff director of the National Security Subcommittee at House Oversight and Government Reform before retiring from federal service in 2016.
Jim and Judge Arthur began their discussion by looking at DACA. On Sunday, the president made it clear that he’s not a fan of the nonsensical catch-and-release border patrol program that was established under President Obama. The judge noted two court cases, one out of San Francisco and the other out of Brooklyn have put the rescission of the DACA program on hold. That’s taken a lot of pressure off of Congress to act. He thinks the Democrats believe they have a chance to reclaim the House of Representatives in 2018 and for that reason they have no interest in certain items the president was in favor of: cutting chain migration, ending the diversity visa lottery and strengthening the border. On the other hand, the Republicans are concerned that any action they take with respect to 680,000 current DACA recipients (or a potential 1.8 million recipients) would be viewed as amnesty among those in their voter base.
Judge Arthur indicated that there is serious discussion concerning the Securing America’s Future Act. That would provide some sort of status for DACA recipients but it also contains many needed improvements to the current U.S. immigration system with respect to the border, as well as immigration benefits that are being abused.
Did the Democrats really blow it on DACA. Judge Arthur believes they did and that this could cost them in the upcoming elections for their failure to do anything for DACA recipients.
What about the caravan of illegals heading from Mexico to the U.S.? According to Judge Arthur, this is not the first time this has happened. In fact, this is about the 5th consecutive year something like this has happened around Holy Week. The intentions of those involved aren’t entirely clear. According to the Mexican government some of them have purportedly been deported by the Mexicans. While he doesn’t have any inside information, judging from statements by the president, he believes the administration is probably preparing for a potential humanitarian response. This would include an expansion of detention space along with the assignment of additional resources including immigration judges, asylum officers and immigration attorneys to the border.
Judge Arthur sees detention taking place if they are brought to the U.S although that may be the intention of the promoters behind the caravan. They may want people to see pictures of mothers and children in detention as that’s what the press will focus on while omitting the adult men who are on their way here as they talk about the heartless policies of President Trump. In the end he sees those truly deserving of asylum getting it while the vast majority of individuals will be returned.
What is the ‘credible fear process’? What about illegals crossing our northern border? What about the possible use of troops along the southern border? What are we to make of legal guidance workshops being provided for the caravan members? These and other questions concerning the caravan and immigration in general are dealt with on this important Crosstalk broadcast.
Center for Immigration Studies