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Experts: New Administration Should Eliminate Chaos in Immigration System

November 12, 2020 (1 min read)

Gunisha Kaur, M.D., and Stephen W. Yale-Loehr, Nov. 12, 2020

"The 400-plus changes to U.S. immigration law over the past three and a half years have caused substantial confusion among attorneys, medical evaluators, and immigrants. The fact that many of these changes have been challenged in court has only exacerbated misunderstandings. This may be the very point of poorly drafted and convoluted executive orders and agency rules: to deter individuals from immigrating, applying for asylum, or remaining in the United States. The Trump administration has used chaos as a deliberate immigration tactic, and it has been effective. Immigrants have faced repeated threats in multiple arenas, including repeated travel bans, jeopardy to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Temporary Protected Status programs, raids by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, and aggressive asylum restrictions. While some of the changes have been well thought-out and crafted, many have been haphazard, with a clear understanding that they would be challenged in court. As one immigration expert told Vanity Fair, Trump immigration advisor Stephen Miller “doesn’t actually care if something is held up by the courts. He actually prefers the chaos that this creates.” ... Chaos as an immigration strategy has had substantial harmful impacts on our economy, our health, and our safety as a nation. Recognizing this, President-elect Biden must reverse this detrimental practice. None of this will be easy, given competing demands. But it is necessary."

Gunisha Kaur is Director of the Global Health Initiative and an assistant professor at Weill Cornell Medicine Anesthesiology. Follow her on Twitter @gunishakaur

Stephen Yale-Loehr is Professor of Immigration Law Practice at Cornell Law School. Follow him on Twitter @syaleloehr