Democratic presidential candidates have criticized president Trump’s immigration policies, and offered some specific proposals. “What most of them haven’t done, however, is explain how they plan to fix an immigration system badly in need of reform,” writes Bloomberg’s Editorial Board. Without offering concrete alternatives, Democrats are not developing a mandate for real solutions. Democratic candidates “have to explain to voters how they’ll shift to a system that gives more emphasis to skills and economic necessity while dealing fairly with the large backlog of family-based applicants.”
Our questions for reporters on the trail here.
Welcome to Monday’s edition of Noorani’s Notes. Have a story you’d like us to include? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
BORDER MORALE – In the Trump era, the “Border Patrol, whose agents have gone from having one of the most obscure jobs in law enforcement to one of the most hated, is suffering a crisis in both mission and morale,” per an in-depth New York Times profile. Through interviews with dozens of former and current agents, the Times finds that numerous agents “have grown defensive, insular and bitter” as they carry out one of the most significant immigration crackdowns in U.S. history.
“RODEO WITHOUT BORDERS” – Antonio Aguilar slept on benches after arriving in Los Angeles from Mexico in the 1940s, without papers, before becoming a “ranchera legend” with an “espectáculo” stage show about his family which featured music, rodeo and Mexican culture. Today, his son Pepe has become a phenomenon as he leads Jaripeo Sin Fronteras (Rodeo Without Borders), Gustavo Arellano reports in the Los Angeles Times: “No other Mexican musical act touches the binational, multigenerational gestalt at the heart of the Mexican American experience.” Pepe’s career has become a “reminder of the power of knowing your roots — and a challenge for others to do the same.” Which reminds me of growing up in Salinas, California, and buying this poster for my office at the Round Top Flea Market.
REFUGEES, IN CONTEXT – “By almost any metric, America’s refugees tend to succeed, or at least their children do. Whatever they do to enrich themselves, they enrich the country a great deal more,” Bret Stephens writes in a moving New York Times column. Stephens traces the journey his own grandmother and mother took as they escaped tyranny and came to the U.S., and relates it to the larger story of America opening its doors — until President Trump — to those seeking a new start. Meanwhile in Foreign Policy, David Kampf argues that President Trump’s efforts to reduce the number of refugees in the U.S. “will paradoxically increase the long-term security threat posed by forced migration.” Simply put, failing to admit displaced people destabilizes “strategically and economically important regions,” and weakens allied nations. Former Ambassador Ryan Crocker made similar points on our press call last week.
ASYLUM RULING, EXPLAINED – Last week, the Supreme Court stayed a preliminary injunction against the “safe third country” asylum rule — which, practically speaking, will result in denying asylum to significant numbers of individuals at the southern border. It’s a complicated and consequential issue, and Peter Margulies at Lawfare has a helpful explainer on the topic. Meanwhile, Ken Cuccinelli, acting head of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), praised the Supreme Court decision on CBS’s Face the Nation. As we said last week, this ruling means that instead of the courts, cartels will determine asylum seekers’ fate.
LIFE-THREATENING ILLNESSES, DEPORTED – Under a new policy, immigrants — including kids — who are battling life-threatening illnesses might be deported from the U.S. Tom Foreman at CNN has an excellent segment laying out the stakes. It’s just under three and a half minutes, and it’s worth a watch.
JOHNSON OPENS (SOME) DOORS – Last week, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that foreign students will be permitted to remain in Britain for two additional years after their degrees are completed while they work or look for a job — an increase from the current four months, reports The Economist. The new policy “is the most significant attempt yet by a [pro-Brexit] Leaver to follow through on the commitment to create an outward-looking ‘global Britain’ after Brexit. Exporting education boosts Britain’s soft power around the world.”
Thanks for reading,