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 2 of this 2-part series, Professors Adam Cox and Cristina Rodriguez, co-authors of The President and Immigration Law, discuss the authority of executive policy-making regarding immigration and signature initiatives sponsored by the past two administrations, including the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and the Trump administration’s travel bans. They then explore the historical role of the courts and delve into a handful of surprising and controversial recent opinions. With the advent of a new administration, they discuss avenues for reforms to bring the shadow immigration system into the light.
Watch Part 1 of Shadow Immigration and the Power of the Presidency.