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Immigration Law

Expert: Courts Driving Immigration Policy

Camilo Montoya-Galvez, CBS News, July 22, 2022

"Steve Yale-Loehr, a professor at Cornell University who studies U.S. immigration law, said federal policy-making on immigration is now primarily dictated by federal courts, not Congress or the executive branch. "I think every major policy initiative by Biden that they plan to roll out in the next year is going to be certainly challenged in the courts, and the conservative states have done a good job of judge-shopping to find judges that are likely to agree with these conservative states," Yale-Loehr said. ... Yale-Loehr said he expects lawsuits will continue to shape federal immigration policy, bedeviling Mr. Biden and future presidents, unless Congress inhibits the power of judges to block nationwide initiatives or passes a broad reform of the U.S. immigration system, a prospect that has remained elusive for decades amid intense partisanship. However, "that's not the way our government is supposed to run," Yale-Loehr added, saying the role of the federal court system should be limited to determining whether the actions of the president and Congress are lawful and constitutional. "From the American public's perspective, when people disagree with a policy, theoretically they can vote that person out of office, whether it's a member of Congress or the president," Yale-Loehr said. "But when the judges are making a policy decision that the public disagrees with, they cannot vote that judge out of office.""