A panel on Friday at the University of Colorado’s Norlin Library discussed immigration in the United States and what to possibly expect from President-elect Donald Trump once he takes office.
Four panelists took the mic during the event held in the British Studies Room, which included discussions of sanctuary cities, recent problems surrounding immigration and what policies could come out of President-elect Donald Trump’s administration.
The first to speak was Mark Krikorian, the executive director for the Center for Immigration Studies. CIS has the slogan “Low-immigration, pro-immigrant” displayed on its website. Its slogan reflects their belief that fewer immigrants should be allowed into the country, but those who do come should have a “warmer welcome.”
Krikorian, speaking from the conservative view, talked about what he expects from Trump’s immigration policies. He anticipates a repeal of Obama policies on immigration, most noticeably the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals executive action. Right now, it grants a two-year period where immigrants that came to the U.S. as children and meet certain guidelines will not be removed from the country.
The next issue Krikorian touched on was “sanctuary cities.” These are cities that do not comply with federal authorities in enforcing immigration law against undocumented immigrants.
He said he believes there will be federal funding ramifications for sanctuary cities during the Trump administration, listing Chicago and “California” as places that could possibly have federal funding revoked. He referred to the major cities in the state, including Los Angeles, which have already said that it would continue its sanctuary policy. Chicago has also given similar promises.
Krikorian also went on to say he believes some cities would willingly take the financial hit, like Chicago. He said he does not know what response this action would warrant, but suggested a lawsuit to comply could be the likely next step to take for those who want to end sanctuary policies.
The next speaker to talk was Sarah Song, who is a professor of law at the University of California Berkeley. She started by discussing how immigration played a part in the 2016 election cycle, with a major tenet of the Trump campaign being its anti-immigration stance.
Song said she did not know where the president-elect will fall on the issue exactly. Though Trump was hard-line on immigration during his campaign, Song mentioned a recent interview in which he promised to “work something out” for immigrants who came to the U.S. as children — a large reversal from his earlier rhetoric.
The next speaker was Adam Cox, professor of law at New York University. Cox started off by mentioning how in his view, to this point, Congress had been mentioned very briefly in the discussion of immigration. He went on to talk about how the legislative branch has relatively little power in this situation.
Cox said three things combined to get to this point: One factor was the switch from immigration being monitored as a small system, only checked at ports of entry, to a “large law enforcement bureaucracy” that is observed across the country.
There was also a change in how immigrants’ character is scrutinized, Cox said. The law enforcement’s focus used to be on who an immigrant was when they arrived in the U.S. If an immigrant was approved then, he stayed in that country a majority of the time, Cox said.
Now, the focus is on what the immigrant becomes. If there is a flaw discovered later on, the immigrant may be deported. This led to the creation of a deportation state, Cox said.
The final thing to mix with these two ideas was the rise of unauthorized immigration. Cox said it created a “shadow population.”
Rogers Smith, professor of political science at University of Pennsylvania, was the last speaker to have the mic. He talked about the divide in the country that was seen within the election.
Smith talked about the U.S.’s duty. He said it should benefit its people first, but shouldn’t just have their focus as the only idea in mind. Smith also said America should put America first, but shouldn’t ignore who is second, or third and so on.
Contact CU Independent Copy Editor Jake Mauff at email@example.com.