Trump Administration, Donald Trump, Obama Administration discussed on The New Yorker Radio Hour
Then, I actually think on the whole that level of commitment to the issue of immigration. It really didn't didn't abate at any point in the last four years. I mean, if one thing, Khun B said Of the Trump administration is that this administration on the issue of immigration came in with a laser like focus and didn't really deviate at all. I mean the president. Sure he's been ranting and raving. But there were people in key positions at the Justice Department in the White House, the department Homeland security who were really advancing the agenda, sometimes without the broader public, even fully understanding the extent of it, John, can you just walk me through the highlights of what Trump has achieved? When it comes to immigration. It's been huge, and it's been a resounding success for the nativists. The White House has passed over the last four years over 400 executive actions on immigration. On pretty much every level of immigration policy. So you know the kind of big ticket stuff the administration has decimated the refugee resettlement program. I mean, decimated it brought it from, you know, a country that used to settle, you know about 80,000 people a year in the U. S to less than 7000. So far in the current fiscal year, they've completely Undone the asylum system at the border through a combination of measures, but most notably in the form of shunting 60,000 people into Mexico, where they're just stuck waiting. For asylum hearings that now because the pandemic will never happen. They have cut deals with governments in the region to try to actually outsource the responsibility of providing asylum to Central American governments rather than the US itself. They've chipped away at legal immigration in the form of green cards and visas. I mean, the list goes on and on, and it's going to be extremely hard to undo and to reconfigure. Why's that? Let's say, Let's say Joe Biden winds. Why is it hard to reconfigure and reverse that? For one thing, Just the sheer volume of things the Trump administration has done has made it difficult. They're just gonna be a lot of stuff for a new administration to undertake, but most specifically The Trump Administration got smarter over the last four years. You know, it began with all of the pageantry and high drama of executive orders. Those are relatively easy to undo. But over time the White House got more sophisticated and how it unveiled certain policies. So, for example, they started to move to rule changes. Regulations kind of layered rule changes across different government departments kind of CLA. Huge policy for this White House has been a thing called the public Charge Rule, which pretty much isn't just an assault on legal legal immigration in the U. S. It is actually a wholesale re imagining. Who is allowed to become a legal immigrant in the US, The public charge rule would use immigrants financial status to determine whether or not they qualify for green cars and eventually citizenship in 2017. How would Trump of wanted to do this? He would have wanted to pass an executive order signed it with a Sharpie kind of made a big show of it. But in fact, by the time this thing came out in 2019, in the form of Ah, regulation basically proposed by the department, Homeland Security, there were also three or four other Forms of this policy being pushed around different levels at the State Department, the Social Security Administration, housing and Urban Development, various presidential proclamation that also layered in different aspects of this policy. But why can't they be reversed? I think all of them, you know, rules and regulations are harder to undo, especially if they've been set in motion in the right way. Some of these things require notice and comment period. You know, things have to be taken under advisement. And what's also happened simultaneous to all of this is, of course, the president has named a vast number of judges to the appellate bench. So in the past in the early years of the Trump administration, you have federal judges at least putting the brakes on some of these policies. Now you don't even have that. And they've actually decimated the department's themselves that are supposed to be carrying out this work. One of the talking points I see all the time on social media in particular. Is that deportations were remained much higher during the Obama administration during the Trump administration is that simply because they're just far fewer people getting into the country in the first place? Yeah, to combat. It's a combination of things, and it's a complex and interesting question. I mean, for one thing because the Obama administration had priorities for who it went after who was going to arrest Why I was going to rest those people people with criminal records. People had recently arrived in the country as opposed to people who spent many years here on that families. There was more efficiency and built into the system. This has been by comparison, a kind of chaos. One of the first things the Trump Administration did. In 2017 wasn't eliminated priorities for who I was supposed to go after. And so if no one's a priority than everyone's a priority, which leads to a kind of chaos, and so what you saw in the early years of the Trump administration was arrests, Sword. Mom and specifically arrests of people who did not have criminal backgrounds. The number of people in ice detention shot up but the deportations themselves didn't you also had A major border boy major border crisis, and that meant that ice officers who ordinarily would be policing the interior suddenly had to go to the border on were tasked with dealing with families arriving in sickness island so that set them back a bit. You've also had more of an organized resistance to the Trump administration. Can you ever really did under Obama? So, for example, sanctuary jurisdictions, cities, municipalities, localities, states have banded together and refused to cooperate with federal immigration authorities. You didn't have that level of coordination during the Obama years. And actually, that accounts for a significant number of deportations. Because in effect, you know if, if a if a city or state is cooperating with federal immigration authorities, it makes it much easier for ice to arrest people. They just go tojail. These people are already in detention, and they just take them in to cut into ice custody. So there are all of these different things that have led to the deportation numbers being lower under Trump. So, John, how significant of a loss For Trump was the fight on DACA. Of course, it's hugely embarrassing to the administration, especially because they came into office. These guys, this is Jeff Sessions, who then was the attorney general, and Stephen Miller, the top White House counselor. All with the fantasy of ending Dhaka. And so here you have them. Basically, you know, starting in on one of the signature policies they wanted to undo and you know, they basically whiff after three years of it. I do think that the fate of dreamers remains very much in the balance. And so the reason why I hesitate to say it's a total loss for Trump is if if the intention was to inflict pain, and I think people in his administration who wanted to end AKA wanted to end doctor to send a message and to put this population back in legal limbo. And in that sense, they succeeded because this population is now very much waiting on pins and needles to see to see what happens with the new administration whether Congress can actually codify protections in law for them. You know. Importantly, after that Supreme Court ruling, DHHS came around and said, Look, we will continue to process the applications that had already been filed, but we will not accept new applications. The language of the Supreme Court ruling makes pretty clear that the government has to accept new applications. So even after that Supreme Court ruling, it was quite shocking. And I think pretty typical of where the department Homeland Security is now that the response from the administration.