This week’s episode of Parsing Immigration Policy is an immigration roundup, discussing two issues in the news. The conversation highlights the recent extension of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for multiple countries, and how the anti-enforcement efforts of Vice President Kamala Harris when she was in the Senate contributed to a child migrant labor explosion, and the present opportunity to change that policy in the forthcoming DHS funding bill.
The Trump administration attempted to allow the “temporary” protection (including work permits) for illegal immigrants from El Salvador, Honduras, Nepal, and Nicaragua to expire, because the natural disasters that had been the reasons for that designation had long passed. It was stopped from doing so by the courts. (Hurricane Mitch, the reason that illegal aliens from Honduras and Nicaragua who were in the U.S. when it struck their home countries received this status, happened more than a quarter century ago.) Elizabeth Jacobs, the Center’s director of regulatory affairs and policy, explains in this week’s episode that the Biden administration has rescinded the Trump policy and renewed the “temporary” protection yet again.
For his portion of the show, Jon Feere, the Center’s director of investigations, brings attention to the increase of child labor brought on by the longstanding policy of handing over unaccompanied alien children (UACs) apprehended at the border to sponsors – who are often in the country illegally -- without effectively vetting them. Under the Trump administration, ICE began arresting sponsors who were here illegally. In response, then-Senator Kamala Harris put forth a bill that prohibited the arrest of these sponsors, thus potentially placing children in the care of questionable adults and encouraging the trafficking of children to our border. Feere says, “I’ll put it bluntly – if you’re a random illegal alien somewhere in the United States, you can go down to the border and pick up a kid and basically disappear.” A slightly modified version of Harris’s bill has been attached to DHS funding bills, and the Republican majority in the House has an opportunity to remove it.
In his closing commentary, host and executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies Mark Krikorian details a recent email the Center received from an illegal immigrant asking whether he’s better off going to the border and asking for asylum rather than remaining in the U.S. and waiting for a long-promised amnesty.
Mark Krikorian is the Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies.
Jon Feere is the Director of Investigations at the Center for Immigration Studies.
Elizabeth Jacobs is the Director of Regulatory Affairs and Policy at the Center for Immigration Studies.
Voices in the opening montage:
- Sen. Barack Obama at a 2005 press conference.
- Sen. John McCain in a 2010 election ad.
- President Lyndon Johnson, upon signing the 1965 Immigration Act.
- Booker T. Washington, reading in 1908 from his 1895 Atlanta Exposition speech.
- Laraine Newman as a "Conehead" on SNL in 1977.
- Hillary Clinton in a 2003 radio interview.
- Cesar Chavez in a 1974 interview.
- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaking to reporters in 2019.
- Prof. George Borjas in a 2016 C-SPAN appearance.
- Sen. Jeff Sessions in 2008 comments on the Senate floor.
- Charlton Heston in "Planet of the Apes".