Immigration, blood source of the United States, its motor of development, has been rocked by judicial pronouncements of late. The Obama administration had put much stock in reforming the general approach to immigration in 2014, ostensibly employing a wide reading of executive power against the possible deportation. It was always going to be haphazard, merely another periodic panacea in a continuing problem.
On November 20, 2014, the President announced that there would be a unilateral suspension of immigration laws applicable to 4 million of the roughly 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States.
The reasons were simple enough, and reflect a problem typical of the US imperium. Presidents over the last half century have found themselves providing patch remedies for those at risk of mass deportation. In 1987, the Reagan administration exempted two hundred thousand Nicaraguans from deportation, and legalising their entitlement to work. (There were, of course other political motivations as well.)
Closest to the Obama administration’s mark in terms of precedent remains the 1990 Family Fairness program of President George H.W. Bush, designed to expand the previous administration’s Immigration Reform and Control Act. The latter’s defect lay in excluding the spouses and children of those placed on the path to legalization. The policy resulted in relief for 1.5 million family members pending formalisation by Congress.
At stages, xenophobic spikes…