July 20, 2021


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“A U.S. federal judge in Texas on Friday blocked new applications to a program that protects immigrants who were brought to the United States as children from deportation… U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen sided with a group of states suing to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, arguing that it was illegally created by former President Barack Obama in 2012.” Reuters

“Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., the lead author of a sweeping immigration bill that reflects President Joe Biden's vision, said [last] Thursday that Democrats are exploring immigration changes worth $120 billion in the budget reconciliation measure, which can pass without Republican support. Menendez said Democrats will seek to allow a path to legalization and green cards for certain ‘Dreamers,’ farmworkers, essential workers and people on Temporary Protected Status.” NBC News

“Federal officials have logged more than 1.1 million apprehensions at the U.S.-Mexico border this fiscal year, after another busy month in June, Customs and Border Protection said in a news release [last] Friday… Officials are on track to make at least 1.5 million apprehensions this fiscal year, which runs from Oct. 1, 2020, to Sept. 30. Apprehensions surpassed 1.6 million in 2000, an all-time high.” Washington Post

Here’s our prior coverage of DACA and the border. The Flip Side

See past issues

From the Left

The left calls for Congress to tackle immigration reform and argues for more humane immigration policies at the border.

Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-NY) writes, “Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, 96 percent of DACA recipients were employed or enrolled in school, slowly but surely entering our workforce pipeline to become our future educators, health care professionals, lawyers, innovators, public servants and community leaders. Nearly 25 percent of recipients also have children who are U.S. citizens, and without swift, decisive action, these families will remain at risk of being torn apart…

“We should use every tool in our legislative and parliamentary toolbox to provide a real pathway to citizenship… And that includes using the budget reconciliation process… it is not unprecedented for reconciliation legislation to include immigration reforms, either. In fact, a Republican-controlled Senate did it in 2005 when changes to immigration policy were included as part of a larger budget reconciliation package.”
Adriano Espaillat, The Hill

“‘The Democrats want to include a massive amnesty in that legislation,’ [stated] Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.). ‘That will simply act as a bigger magnet for more illegal immigration into this country.’ This is nonsense. First and foremost, the population eligible for legalization would likely be restricted to people who’ve already been here for some minimum period of time, rather than those contemplating coming, say, tomorrow. This is how that broader, Biden-backed bill works, and how previous legalization proposals have been structured…

“The country needs more immigration pathways that are fair, humane, fast, adequately screened, with clear and consistent eligibility criteria, and deliberately crafted to be in the country’s economic and national security interests. Such an overhaul requires an act of Congress, which has refused to do its duty for decades.
Catherine Rampell, Washington Post

“A strong majority of eligible voters favor a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants including farmworkers and essential workers. Support for DACA enjoys the support of an even greater majority of eligible voters, even from most Republicans. To the extent that immigration is an issue that Latino voters care about, Latino political scientists have argued that it’s a ‘golden opportunity for Democrats’ because four-fifths of Latino voters support the whole suite of Biden’s immigration proposals…

“But following Obama’s own thinking that politics is the art of the possible, Democrats like [Cecilia] Muñoz may be right that, short of including immigration in a budget reconciliation bill, which may or may not be permissible, the best option right now is a proven-to-be-ineffective, Frankenstein-like compromise such as comprehensive immigration reform: a combination of enforcement, naturalization, and adjustments to the number of available visas, in which everybody gets some of what they want, but nobody gets everything.”
Geraldo Cadava, Slate

Regarding the influx at the border, “The human rights case for ending immigration detention is clear… Yet the economic case is similarly compelling…

“A short-lived [alternative to detention program] piloted in the U.S., the Family Case Management Program (FCMP), provided 952 asylum-seeking families with referrals to medical and legal services, English classes and assistance with documentation, among other social supports. In addition to maintaining family unity and treating migrant families humanely, FCMP costs just $38.47 per family, per day, compared to between $237.60 and $318.79 for family detention — all while achieving a 99 percent compliance rate with immigration court requirements…

“If we cut what we’re spending on immigration detention by 80 percent and reallocate half of the remaining budget to programs like FCMP, we can ensure the integrity and effectiveness of our immigration system while also respecting migrants’ humanity.”
Jody Heymann and Aleta Sprague, The Hill

From the Right

The right agrees with the decision striking down DACA, arguing that it is a matter for Congress, and criticizes Biden’s border policies.

The right agrees with the decision striking down DACA, arguing that it is a matter for Congress, and criticizes Biden’s border policies.

“Barack Obama erred in creating the DACA program. The increased politicization of the issue short-circuited any chance that our dysfunctional Congress could come together to solve the problem and poisoned the well for a much-needed compromise on immigration. Although I favor the intent of DACA, I opposed President Obama’s unilateral action and I do believe that President Trump had the authority to end the program…

“Personally, I think that the Supreme Court should hear and uphold today’s ruling, but at the same time, I also believe that the Biden Administration should seek to make DACA permanent by legislative action. This is the way the Founders intended such decisions to be made.”
David Thornton, Racket News

At the same time, “​​There are well-established guardrails for reconciliation, the so-called Byrd rule, to keep it from becoming an end-run around the filibuster for whatever a Senate majority wants to pass. Among other things, the Byrd rule, which is written into statute, says that provisions that don’t have a budgetary impact or merely have an incidental budgetary impact can’t be included in reconciliation…

“This obviously should rule out the kind of amnesty Democrats are talking about, which would cover ‘Dreamers,’ those eligible for Temporary Protected Status, and ‘essential workers.’ Democrats have advocated a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants for decades now, but never have they said that we must create one primarily as a budgetary matter — as if the status of illegal immigrants is a question comparable to the level of Medicare hospital reimbursements or unemployment benefits…

“If the amnesty-via-reconciliation would be a bad process, it would also be terrible on the merits. At least previous so-called comprehensive immigration bills made a show of emphasizing enforcement as the trade-off for an amnesty, whereas Democrats now want only amnesty. It would flash another green light to would-be migrants to come here illegally.”
The Editors, National Review

“Biden has ordered U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement ‘to focus on arresting and deporting immigrants assessed to pose a risk to national security; migrants recently apprehended along U.S. borders; and those convicted of certain crimes who have been released from federal, state or local jails.’ Since it will take years for these asylum cases to be settled, and the migrants making these claims will almost all be living far away from the border, unless they commit a major crime, Biden has already promised they can stay forever…

“Migrants in Central America know this. And word is spreading around the world. Illegal immigrant apprehensions on the southern border from countries other than Central America or Mexico have skyrocketed from 7,890 in December to 47,224 this June… the crisis at our southern border is a direct result of his open borders policies.”
Conn Carroll, Washington Examiner

“The number of migrants illegally entering through the Sonoran Desert normally decreases during the searingly hot summer months, even in years with relatively high numbers of entrants. But this year, the number apprehended at our border keeps rising month after month despite the heat…

“There are some pretty simple solutions to the problem if someone wants to solve it. End ‘catch and release.’ Build sufficient temporary shelters to house those who come here without authorization. Dramatically expand hiring for the U.S. Border Patrol. And, most importantly, institute mandatory use of E-Verify by employers so that only people legally in the country can work. Change wouldn’t happen overnight, but within a few months, people who want to come north would learn the golden ticket to prosperity is out of reach. The fact that Biden is unwilling to entertain any of these options speaks volumes.”
Henry Olsen, Washington Post

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