The president wields immense power to shift immigration policy and shape the lives of nearly 11 million undocumented immigrants who live in the shadow of the U.S. immigration system. Regulatory and demographic changes over the last century have resulted in a large undocumented population in America, particularly from Mexico and Central America. Without a path to legalization, undocumented immigrants remain deportable at any time and subject to the discretion of the enormous immigration enforcement bureaucracy. In part 1 of this 2-part series, Professors Adam Cox and Cristina Rodriguez, co-authors of The President and Immigration Law, explain the changes that have led to this massive shadow immigration system. They explore how the president came to sit atop a supersized enforcement bureaucracy and trace how deportation enforcement priorities have increasingly dominated U.S. immigration policy under recent administrations.
Watch Part 2 of Shadow Immigration and the Power of the Presidency.