This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 12th (it came out in 2015), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

If you are a user of my textbook and would like to suggest a blog post idea, please email me at: john.weeks@sdsu.edu

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Trump Administration Quietly Reforms Immigration

If there is one thing that the U.S. Congress has consistently been unable to agree upon for the past two decades, it is immigration reform. There have been no major changes to the immigration system since 1996, and this has left the last three administrations (Bush, Obama, and now Trump) to use administrative measures to cope with the changing circumstances and politics of immigration. The Obama administration was active on this front, as I noted back in 2015, and we have to keep in mind that Obama was sometimes called "deporter-in-chief."

The Trump administration has been doing its own "tweaking" of the immigration system, as summarized in a recent story by CNN. Many of these policy shifts seem generally to be mean-spirited and nothing else. What else would explain this:
President Donald Trump opted to not extend work permits and protections for approximately 840 Liberians who have been living and working in the US for at least 16 years and in some cases decades. Previous presidents had extended the permits on humanitarian grounds.
...or this: 
Immigrations and Customs Enforcement announced it would no longer default to releasing pregnant immigrants from detention, paving the way for more pregnant women to be held in lengthy custody awaiting immigration proceedings.
...or the hypocrisy and cruelty of this (from another CNN story on this topic):
The move follows controversial efforts by the Department of Health and Human Services to keep unaccompanied minor immigrants in custody rather than releasing them to obtain abortions, a policy that has been the subject of intense litigation and criticism from the advocacy community.
Everyone (and especially Native Americans) understand that the United States is a nation of immigrants. Given that fact, the ugly history of immigration policies (both legislative and administrative) has been pretty amazing. 

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