Thursday, August 14, 2014

Presidents Have a Habit of Suspending the Deportations of Immigrants

Matt Yglesias has put together a post reminding us of three other times when Presidents have unilaterally suspended the deportation of illegal aliens: Eisenhower and Kennedy did so for Cubans who came during and after Castro's takeover; Reagan did it for Poles after Solidarity was suppressed in 1981; and this one, which I had completely forgotten about:
Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast in 2005, at a time when immigration reform was still a major priority for the George W. Bush administration. The destruction of the hurricane disrupted many area residents' access to legal papers, and also led to a vast surge in post-hurricane construction activity. The Bush Department of Homeland Security issued a memo suspending employer-verification rules in the area, prompting a backlash from some of the more conservative members of congress.
So there's nothing very radical or dictatorial about Obama's executive order Dream Act.

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