Thursday, December 5, 2013
Can Obama unilaterally ban deportations?
In an op/ed in the Los Angeles Times, Professors Karthick Ramakrishnan (UC Riverside) and Pratheepan Gulasekaram (Santa Clara) explain the legal and political constraints on President Obama with respect to issuing some kind of order halting future deportations, something that immigrant activist Ju Hong demanded at an immigration reform rally in San Franciscco a couple of weeks ago. The professors' analysis political and legal analysis seems quite right. However, in my estimation, what is important about Ju Hong's public questioning of the President is that undocumented immigrants, and many immigrant activists, are tired of hearing about "political and legal constraints" to passing immigration reform, reducing detentions, stopping deaths on the border, ending racial profiling in immigration enforcement, etc. Patience is wearing thin as deportations have skyrocketed in the last few years and improvements for immigrants have been relatively few and far between.