Corporate Virtual Meeting: Trump, Immigration, and COVID-19
Thank you so much and thank you to everyone for joining us this afternoon I'm Alexandra. Starr I cover immigration issues primarily for National Public Radio and I also Spencer Fellow at Columbia Journalism School. With me this afternoon. Is Kathleen Camp? Walker? She's an immigration attorney with Dickinson right and former national president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and we have Ted Alton. Who is Bernard Schwartz Senior Fellow at the Council on organizations. So. There's been a lot of news on the immigration front. Typically in the last week or so I thought we could start by talking about the administration's announcement this week. That there would be no more H. One B. Visas. For this year. So, Ted! Do you WanNa? Start with that and talk about the consequences that might have for American businesses and American competitiveness. Yet behalf to thanks for a challenge dairy here. To be here with Kathleen I was actually just prior to as meeting going back to the project the Kathleen and I worked on together many years ago now. In two, thousand, eight and nine in it was the immigration. Casper's independent task. Housing Foreign Relations on immigration oxidative chaired by a project Bush in McLarty and I was looking back at summerbee. Time and we were talking about. In need for the United, states to reform supervision law people on the. Air will remember back in Xhosa and again. In twelve thirteen, there was a major effort a comprehensive immigration before. We, this is just by way of of backer before I'm GonNa Answer your question directly. We wrote. The stakes are too high to fail. If the United States continues to mishandling immigration policy, it will damage one of the vital underpinnings of American prosperity security and could condemn the country to a long decline. In its status in the world in I'm afraid to some extent what we are seeing, play out today, the continued consequences of the failure to reform our immigration laws when when we had these opportunities. Particularly with the trump administration I think. Has Christ. Some people little bit is is that the administration has been focused not just on cracking on immigration cannot just fun concerns over silence seekers, but is quite suspicious of legal immigration of the high-skilled immigrants and others that the research shows pretty clearly bring enormous benefits to the United States and so we saw in April. The Cova crisis a used as a pretext for shutting off most forms of employment based green cards in any aspects of family immigration as well and then with this most recent. This week administration is suspend the end of the year issuance of. is which are used for high school workers many of them in the tech industry. Elvis, which are intra company transfer, so allowed foreign multinationals with operation. Move There! On Jimmy temporary visas in Summer Camp Donald Slurs cares there some university applications and an. And then. find. The main traffic there was not one of the categories well. Kathleen will fill edge to buy. A. Yeah so sorry. crispell. Is. The Board Chuck Outta We can talk us was only. Be. Taken. Can you dial in because we're having a little? We're having issues with your connection. I will try again. Thanks, I'll turn over Kathleen covered. Fine. So where would you like me to pick up? Alexander? Tajeh's gave us so much information WHY DON'T WE START With the H. One B., that's the most recent piece of news that we got right I'm interested in your take on what impact that will have, and whether you can address the issue that the trump administration. Puts forward that this quote steals jobs from American workers. That's why they feel obligated to take that step as time. Okay let let me start with just sort of a recap on the categories, because I was having trouble hearing as well so what we're talking about as far as this proclamation that was issued on June twenty two, and it became effective as to not these non immigrant categories, the four of them, only as well as to their dependence. They are the H., one B. The age to be the L. One. and the J. One. As to the H. One B., let's just talk about what the impact is, but it's also applicable to these other four categories for just mentioned. What is doing is it's saying that? There are three factors. That you have to meet. And if you meet those factors then. You will not be able to enter the United States in those four categories between. The effective date, which is the twenty fourth of June and December thirty first, so what we're talking as a pause in the ability to enter the United States, which is governed by the customs and Border Protection officers. And pause and the ability to get visas. Stories from the State Department which of the Consular officials. So okay. What does it mean regarding for example, the typical H., one B., and what are these three main factors, which I think are really hard, and I love to hear what Ted thinks about how it's worded because we've been debating it since it's been issued within the American immigration, Lawyers, association and have. Several different updates on it on the interpretation so far. So the three factors and my outside of the United States on June twenty four, and we're talking about whether or not I'm subject to this ban on the ability to get in and to get the visa. Am I outside of the United. States on June twenty four. Do I not have a valid nonimmigrant diese. We're not sure if it can be an any category yet. That's an unknown. Or is it just the four were talking about and finally? Do I not have any travel document? What the is that? It's now been defined by one CD representative, as it's not a seven nine seven approval notice that allows you to remain in the US. It's not an I ninety four admission record what it is, it's a boarding a four foil. Pardon me a transportation letter. Or Advanced Parole noser. All technical things which we can discuss if you wish. But so, what does it mean for me? If I'm outside of the United States and I've gotten this approval in the lottery this year for an H.. One B. Cap subject. Category approval. It means that I'm not going to be able to get an H. One B. Appointment to get a visa to enter the United States between June. Twenty, four and December thirty one. Less somehow I meet a national interest waiver. use waiver loosely. Or if somehow I might be engaged in the food supply chain so. Unstuck and and so is my employer I have several clients in that circumstance. So. We're all put on a pause in those circumstances through the end of the year and we're struggling to figure out. Do we have alternatives to be able to bring the individual into the US? So that's a lot of disruption. And then for those that are with in the United States remember those three factors that are in the conjunctiva with an and. Within the United States the. The travel document. So if I'm within the United States and I'm trying to move for example like a lot of students on f one from F., into H. One B.. Effective October one if I'm lucky in the lottery. Then, I'm going to be able to remain in the united. States because I transitioned from APT H. But, as far as my ability than to leave the United States and go get a visa by wanted to be able to travel. We've got a debate going on. Can I get the beasts in that circumstance or a not going to be able to? And that's a problem, and then the other problem is renewals and we'll talk about that later if you wish so. This is one of those mnuchin immigration things. That affects a lot of different ways that makes it really complicated to explain. Yeah. I think what might be helpful for our listeners is to sort of get a primer as to what these visas which category applies to you which person? So, do you intend to divide them up? I ten prefers. which do you want to take? Kathleen Kathy why don't you go ahead? Because you know the categories in much more detail than I do I can talk about some of the general impact. But why don't you just run down the big ones insurance kitchen? Okay, we'll rip through it real fast, so H. One B. Specialty occupation. You'd think that would be simple It's not I got a degree. The job requires a degree and is the employer's going GonNa pay the higher, the actual or the prevailing wage for the area of intended Employment WanNa. Make sure and say that because you asked me Alexandra earlier to address the issue. Taking jobs away I have to pay almost three grand in order to apply for this thing, this H., one B. Category and I have to make sure that I meet those requirements on the payment of that wage, and that's a big investment for an employer if I'm complying with the law as it exists. the L., one intercompany transferee. In order for me to be able to do this as an employer. I'm typically showing how I'm growing my business and I'm employing US workers. And I'm bringing experienced individuals from my related company abroad to help me expand my business in the United States part of that business plan is normally creation of jobs similar to the visa in some ways, and we have lots of multinational companies with thousands of employees in the United States. using the old category one of my. Companies that I work with employees twenty thousand people in the United States, the vast majority are not for nationals. the J. One category exchange visitors now there's a bunch of different subcategories. The one that we're talking about that are affected here our. Interns Trainees Teachers Camp Counselors payers and the summer work travel program as well as dependence. So those are the categories impacted and again the J. Program. That's stupid minister through the ACA. Department of the Department of State. Has A lot of restrictions on insurance where the person is going to be what the person is going to be paid, and you can look that up on the Internet, just J. One department state. You could find out a lot of information about it. Finally the age to be category not for agricultural workers. This is for non-agricultural workers in a variety of different physicians that are temporary in nature, transitional recomend and there's a lot of requirements regarding what's the wage? Where are you going to work? And what are you going to be doing in your subject to oversight on your site from the government? So that's the quick rundown. Let me if I if I could just add Alexandra mean in in terms of the broader theme of economic competitiveness that H H. One B., the L. Visa in particular are absolutely critical to the success of US companies in the tech sector of foreign companies investing in the United States I mean the. The thing that that makes the United States still quite unique among the advanced economies. We got this incredible pipeline that kind of works through our universities, so you have foreign students largely in science and engineering coming in studying the best universities and we've got this path that runs through the optional practical training program with this administration also wants to curb to the H. One B. Visa in eventually the with. With very long waits particularly people from India to a green card, and it's been a powerful pipeline which has attracted the lion's share of talented scientists and engineers from around the world I mean there was a study for macro Polo the think tank of the Pulse Institute Chicago last week or week before I don't remember exactly looking at at researchers, working on artificial intelligence and China is graduating. Graduating far more of those researchers than any other country, but almost half of them are coming to graduate work in the United, states and then ninety percent of those are staying here in the United, states, so the real danger here is that we severed that pipeline in bright potential immigrants, thinking about the United States versus other places may say this is just getting too risky to try to build A. A life for myself in the United States, I mean on the l one visa side. Every state in the country wants to attract foreign investments critical for job. Creation companies are going to be really reluctant to invest if they can't bring any of their own executives over to work in the united. States and there is an international competition for that investment, so each of these steps little by little erodes. Competitive Position in in the world economy and I think to some extent because this administration has rolled these things out over very long period of time. It's kind kinda snuck up on us a little bit, but if you look at the current situation, it's it's by far the most restrictive. We've seen in the United States since. Nineteen twenties maybe I. Don't know what the appropriate comparison. Time when we've been in a similarly restrictive position regarding immigration. Actually end I think a follow on to that which we haven't discussed in detail is the extended van on Green Cards that was first announced a few months ago and now we've been told will extend through the year. What kind of impact you think that is going to have on the attractiveness of the United States you know as a place to attempt to relocate you. Talk about as highly sought after workers, and then I guess also keping I'd be interested in your perspective on how this affects your clients just on, you know these are real people right to some. Was Lowest we're. We're playing with people's lives and creating unpredictability and uncertainty, and often what happens. Is You know for example something as simplistic as Theon the right now? the proclamation was issued as to immigrant bases able twenty three. It doesn't specifically state that K. ones. which it's kind of this hybrid kind of visa for Fiancee's. It's sort of like a nonimmigrant visa, but they have immigrant overtones on how you get it. and. Basically if you have fiance, these already petitioned approve. You're stuck unable to get appointments because the the appointments are suspended I wanNA make sure correct. At least from my my perspective, the word or phrase Green Card because the permanent resident card it's issued done by US citizenship and immigration services, and what we're talking about our people applying consular posts, so they're taking the path being outside of the United States trying to get a visa lawfully integrate to the United States. They've already gone through this preliminary process with US citizenship and immigration to say hey, I qualify. And they're stuck in interminable limbo right now. Not Knowing how they can emigrate, this does not apply to certain immediate relatives like. You know I'm spouse of a US citizen. however parents of US citizens are in this limbo. So what's happened? Is that People's lives are totally disrupted. immigration lawyers dealing with changes on a day to day basis on what an interpretation may be. We checked every day about whether or not certain consular appointments available on the nonimmigrant cy, the part that just was affected in June or the immigrant side, and we have the overlay from March twenty consular services have been suspended both immigrant and non immigrant. So we've already been dealing with the ability to get these appointments. And now we have this on top of it, so it's an insane world that we are trying to deal with. techy one address the issue of decision to suspend green cards. And the broader impact that might have. I! Mean I think I? Think what's important. Recognize when when talking about. The trump administration's approach is just philosophically how different this is from every administration Republican Democratic for the last four or five decades, so the trump administration under mentally sees immigrants as competition for US workers jobs that are being taken by immigrants are not available for us workers, and so you know the suspension of employment based green cards or the suspension of H. One BS, it all comes out of that same philosophy that well we're in a jobs crisis, which we are clearly right now is as a result. We should save all the jobs that are going to be created for Americans. The problem is everything we know about. The modern US economy suggests that that's not the way job creation operates. The A lot of the jobs are being created a dynamic companies, many of them technology companies that are on the leading edge of the sectors in which there working and having talk, great people both Americans and people from the rest of the world is critical, the expansion of those companies you look at immigrants in terms of entrepreneurialism I know you worked on this, Alexandra? They start a lot more companies on a on a sort of person basis than than Americans do so. The evidence on this is just absolutely clear. Clear that these immigrants are creating a lot more jobs in the United States than they are taking away from other people who might occupy those chairs, but this administration categorically does not believe that it has been looking for the past several years to find ways to restrict legal immigration across the board both temporary visas and permanent in terms of the green cards and the crisis. The crisis is really given the administration the opportunity it wanted but I think it's pretty clear that that it will not achieve what the administration hopes. It will achieve in terms of preserving jobs for Americans and will harm an economy that is already in deep trouble rate were were already facing a long slow recovery. I'm afraid. The J. One I know you looked a lot at that visa and the impact. It has for US universities. Is. We know a lot of universities are going to be in a lot of trouble, given the virus and enrollment rates and It struck me was honestly maybe I shouldn't have been I was sort of surprised to see that on the list. I mean I don't want to overstate it. But what kind of impact do you think it's going to have? been. Kathleen could elaborate on this a little more I think, the the J. One is more for. Visiting professors and other things, and I think there may even be some exceptions there. She can go into the details. What was not included on this list? Fortunately was the F one visas for international students, and again that pipeline I talked about the foreign students come to the United States. That's sort of the the first step on that pipeline, so so the FTC's are not directly affected. However were already I. Mean What we've been seeing for the past several years so I'm going to back up one more step if you look at foreign students coming to the United, states going as far back as we've got data to the you know into the eighties and Seventies. Steady upward trend year after year after year we have more foreign students coming to the United States, there was a little bit of a blip after nine eleven that I wrote about in my book, but then it recovered well since two thousand fifteen. We have seen a small but steady decline in the number of new foreign students come to the United. States is down about ten percent since two thousand fifteen by comparison, those numbers are up fifty percent in Australia and Canada. So it's not that foreign students aren't going abroad. They're just coming less. Less to the United States, so I think we'd already seen the effect of previous restrictions discouraging students coming from the United. Maybe some of that also has to do with the cost of higher education here, but the numbers have been dropping this fall. and I think this is just an effect of the of the pandemic situation higher education on teaching now and we're going to be mostly online in the fall, and so the calculations for students are really different, but the universities are anticipating probably a twenty five percent decline in foreign students. The other challenge on the visa fronts is going to be in Lincoln, may be talked about this. A little more US citizenship and immigration services depends on fees to operate. Their fee revenue is way down and. US is about to furlough about two thirds of its staff, so the processing of student visas which are particularly important in terms of timeliness. You've gotTA. Have the bees adjudicated in process before your academic year starts I'm expecting real problems. This fall with people thought they were to be able to come and study in the United States. They're gonNA find out. They don't get their views in a timely fashion. And that's really because of the suspension of. Visa Processing State Department so. You're issued at I. Twenty from the schools form, and then what happens is he didn't take that your documents and you go apply for a visa. Will how the heck you GonNa do that. The State Department yesterday. in its F accused issued. Concerning this lovely proclamation indicated that they're going to think about the problem. They've got with the ability of students to get in now. Does that mean they're going to get stamping? The Furlough of the US CIS officers is going to kill us concerning the ability of people to change status. when they have to because. Right now our processing times or take several months. They just restored premium processing in some categories, but This is the way to strangulate End To end legal immigration without changing the law. You take, away staff. You take away by. These proclamations the ability to do your normal day to day tasks. and. That's pretty easy to stop immigration without having to lift a pen to change the law or to go through the administrative procedures act change regulation, and that's what's happening. We're getting changes by Fiat. Not by the normal process through the administrative procedures act to get new regulations, etc.. and. Things happen overnight like this week on this particular proclamation. I. Don't see how that makes us competitive. That makes us sort of like number one ranked on the ability to be unpredictable for an employer or business. In and just you know to reinforce Kathleen spot I think it's impossible to overstate how contrary this is the way the United States normally operates right. You know we we. Have a long history of either making these changes through through legal changes through acts of Congress or through a transparent regulatory process that allows for noticing comment from all the parties that might be affected, but the administration is seizing on the economic situation as crisis that you know it believes empowers. To to do these things and the courts have been fairly differential talk about other court cases on this. Horse have been pretty differentially, said you know at the end of the day. The administration has a lot of authority in terms of who is admitted to the United States, but that doesn't take away from the fact that it's a blatant abuse of the way. US governments have historically operated in this area. I mean getting back to the business connections one of the things that has made the United States a very attractive place for both domestic companies and foreign companies that are legal administrative and regulatory processes. Processes have been quite transparent and predictable. You can't say that anymore. They've become non-transparent unpredictable, and that's a tremendous challenge for business I mean you talked to company executives and they will tell you I, you know I see this a lot in trade space, which I work on as well that they can adapt almost anything if they know what the rules are, and they have time to adjust, but these actions that come down in unpredictable ways very very difficult for companies to respond to this daft effectively. Your comments about. And the role it plays I think we have a little bit of time before I opened it up to questions, and that seemed good segue to talk decision. Look Down So. which we popularly purchased daca deferred action for early childhood arrivals as Supreme Court, ruled that the way the administration had attempted to do away with the program. Did Not Pass Muster, so some seven hundred thousand immigrants who came to the United States when they were underage. We'll be able to renew their status into your increments. Even, though you know I, guess, there's the question there. Apparently sixty six thousands of these kids who were not able to buy when the administration when this process worked its way through the courts Can you talk a little bit about? The impact of that rolling, and you know again American competitiveness how we treat this cohort of people like the broader ramifications that has. You want me to take a step Alexandra. Please! Okay so just briefly so the good side is that it creates this alleged open door to be able to renew for those who already had doc authorisation, and also is sort of transporting his back in time to twenty twelve, Daca took place so that we believe certain people that did not apply may still be able to as initial cats. And, we don't have that guidance yet. And what we have, unfortunately as a quick statement from the administration that they plan to end, find a way to end Daca by urine and I thought and I love to hear what you think about it on June nineteenth when US citizenship and immigration services and agency under the Department of Homeland Security posted a press release regarding the docket decision of the Supreme Court. And USCIS stated the decision has no basis in law and merely delays the president's lawful ability to end the illegal deferred action for childhood arrivals and misty. They used that word, which is not. Not Applicable, but anyway the amnesty program so I found that just astounding to how the agency make that statement, and if I'm sitting here, trying to advise people what to do, I I know that in December of Twenty nineteen that I started reopening administratively close deportation cases for Dr Recipients. And scheduling them for, removal. I know that in April twenty twenty. There was a freedom of information. ACT Response received by. Entity PROPUBLICA APPLICA- whichever you pronounce it. indicating that ice had very broad access to the duck. And the EMBIID, the information about where people are etc.. And you worry about that from an enforcement perspective, the two thousand twelve Guidance for people applying for Dhaka says I'm supposed to be protected. The information I provided supposed to be protected and not utilized in an enforcement context except. More extreme circumstances where there's a enforcement issues related to the individual that. have basis in fact. So. While we have an open door, I think that anybody trying to advise. Someone is GonNa. Have a hard time explaining here are the pros and cons. Here's what I think you should do and people should be cautious. LemMe Lemme. Just add I just like to reinforce what what Kathleen is saying about the normal personal impacts. Of all of these decisions have been you put. Individuals in an almost impossible situation in terms of making life altering choices Do you apply for Dhaka now, and and and somehow expose yourself to the possibility of deportation, but again just to back up and to put into context how far we have moved as as a country I mean I was following the immigration reform debates very closely under George W Bush in that under President Obama. It was a widespread. Consensus into Congress across both parties that legal status for young people who were brought here by their parents, aren't they had no moral agency in the decision to come here That was something of a no brainer I. mean the dream if it if it could have stood as a standalone piece of legislation, and it got caught up in all the complexities of trying to fix the whole immigration system, and there's a lot of the new fix it, but it would have passed quite easily on its own I think any time during the two thousands and even. Even, perhaps into the early part of of this decade, the two thousand and intends, but now you've got an administration which indicate remember the president for some time after his campaign indicated, this wasn't a step he wanted to take is now determined to double down even after the court's ruling and try to find some legal way to shove this through You know we know again. Lot of these DACA, eligible young people are working in the health industry in in one way or another. You know they've been doctors on the front line of the Cova crisis. They know they're Americans on everything but paper. They don't know their home countries for the most part it's just it's morally quite outrageous, and yet we find ourselves as a country in that position, and can debate the particulars of the Supreme Court decision. It was a pretty narrow regulatory action Kathleen can. Operate on that, but you know the fundamental issue is. Why would we want to deport these people? On what grounds a terrible thing for our economy, terrible thing for moral standing in the world, terrible them as individuals. It's just a morally indefensible action, and the fact that it's still on the table here in in two thousand twenty s pretty shocking. That sobering notion I'm going you happy now. I'm going to. Up for questions. Ladies and gentlemen as a reminder to ask a question, click on the raise hand icon zoom window when you're called on fleeces up the UNU- now button and proceed with your name affiliation followed by your question. We'll take the first question from Eric Pelewski. Thank you very much for doing this I guess. I had a couple of. Quick questions. On the ones that are already existing in this country are they allowed to come and go, or does their departure from the US even for vacation jeopardy. To the these two questions, servants fired by what you were commenting on. Given a lot of Ford. Students pay full freight. Is this put a lot of our universities and colleges into more economics? Stress in? They're already going to be. In three you mentioned about the fiancee's not being get interviews I guess I wonder. What is the explanation for? Delaying those kinds of visas inasmuch as. I guess I would assume that the folks at the White House or not expecting those people to find a more appropriate American Thank you. If you don't mind, I'll take the the first one on on the L.. So what we know at the moment is within the United States on June. Twenty Four. I have a valid visa. I travel outside of the United States and I return. I'm eligible to be admitted. Because I've got a valid. Ellison and I'm not subject to the proclamation. Here's the tricky part. What if I in the United States with a valid visa on June twenty fourth? My these than expires. And I depart the United States and I have to get a new base among going to be able to get a new L. Unqualified for it. We believe the answer to that one is yes, but get this State Department yesterday issued an Faq with an example of somebody. Outside of the United States slowdown with an L.. On June twenty. And they come into the United States. The visa expires. Are they going to be able to leave and be renewed and right now the answer seems to be. No. So we're really going to have to hang on and just be very cautious before you engage in international travel to get some better. Information. On the second part that's really more Ted with the issue of students and the logistics and logic, if there is any in this decision, the impact on. Universities which he borey said Ted is negative. I don't think it's going to improve it. Yeah I mean you know there's there's very clearly going to be a significant financial hit for the universities. The fact that foreign students pay you know for instance at public universities much higher tuition rates than the in state tuition that is paid by American. Students is is an important source of financing for many public universities across the country, and and we are. We are going into this fall looking at the biggest financial crisis that the universities of ever face, you'll be focused on the public university there you know some of the private universities have big endowments, and they probably ride this out, but but the knows a result of rising unemployment falling tax revenues Most states are looking at having. Having to cut their budgets for higher education anywhere between about fifteen and twenty five percent, which is an enormous company consider most of that is going to salaries, it one level or another I mean my own institution out here in western Washington a basically all non tenure track faculty are are not going to be rehired for the fall. Course offerings are going to be down dramatically to try to meet the budget target states are required to balance their budgets. They don't have the flexibility that the federal government has to run an ever expanding deficit there'll be a debate. This summer the Democrats in the house have passed legislation and want to push assistance to the state so direct. Contributions going to the states to help them meet their budget shortfalls that would reduce the impact somewhat, but the Republicans in the house have said they don't support that. The president has suggested he doesn't support it, so The universities were looking at a critical budget situation. With or without the restrictions on foreign students who put that on top, and and you're really you're facing the worst budget situation that universities in this country has faced in many many decades. Last part of your question related to k. one. Fiancee's and your question about whether or not they should be getting better US citizen. Spouse? That one! But but As far as Is, the is the K. One fiance, a threat to the US economy and I I just can't see that. The the K. One numbers of loan it to me are not a threat to the economy. But of course, the argument was made that. Immigrants people who applying for permanent residence. Eventually they get the green. Card are somehow all threat and I just don't think that we can use such broad brushes to up with a correct analysis of what the economic impact is, and that's short sighted in my opinion. To our detriment. Just to just to be clear. I wasn't actually suggesting that I was merely trying to say that I. Don't understand what the intellectual argument would be. Not Yeah, we're not talking in my opinion I. Don't know the argument either issue could come up with him. Please please tell me. Thank you thanks for the answers. I, thank you for an excellent question, excellent questions, I should say. So I want to expand the the discussion a little bit because this isn't the only movement we've seen on immigration policy recently I. Assume you you handle. Asylum cases as well Kathleen. Not many. I have other other people too many more than I do, but I can at least be at least. I can give you some information. People are way way more experience than I am in this area. So you know we've seen recently that the number of asylum-seekers, the United States is taken has fallen. Just think around eighteen, thousand, certainly less than twenty thousand a year, and Joe Biden has in his speech. He gave last week said that he would raise the number to about one hundred twenty five thousand I know that probably for the A in our audience today. This doesn't impact their businesses as much but. You know what kind of signal do you think it sends? When the United States has taken a position like this on people seeking asylum refugees, you want what's year. We'll. Start with this Catholic. Let me, just give you two sentences and alternative To me what it means. Is that. We are off course regarding where we stand as a nation from compassion perspective and historically why recreated? Asylum policy in refugee policy. and. It's to our collective detriment in my opinion embarrassment. I'll go ahead and say that. The number of individuals who seek this benefit. Is proportionately very small to our economy. And I think that it's it's a statement about where we. Place our importance, regarding our values by having an asylum policy that is welcoming and I do not WanNa put a shroud over the Statue of Liberty House that. so there are two different pieces of us just to be clear on, so the the numbers out center that you referring to have to do with refugee admissions the united. States and these are people who are abroad. The United States usually rayburn countries. There's a whole formal process that operates through the United Nations. High Commissioner for Refugees that involves the US State Department for a vetting these people and finding homes for them in countries that are willing to admit them. United States historically has been quite generous in admitting refugees from around the world mean most famously in the aftermath of the war in southeast. Asia, but at many other times, and so so the trump administration's. Progressive Lowering of the refugee cap to an unprecedented low of eighteen thousand again is completely out of character with every other administration, both parties for for decades the actual refugee admissions finger, going to be far smaller than that, and some of it is the disruption from Kobe. The other piece of this hits the news. A lot more often is is people arriving at the southern border if you arrive? Orders of the United States and say look I'm facing the same dangers. Refugee applicants are are claiming fear going back being tortured, being persecuted for my political opinions. It's not safe for me to go back home. Then there's a process for adjudicating that when you arrive at the border and be a longer conversation than we can have here, but the but the process has not worked well for for some number of years is a long backlog in the immigration courts that are adjudicating these cases. Cases and the trump administration has an endoscope back. The Obama Administration to be fair concerned about people arriving than being able to stay in the United States while their cases are being heard often you know two three four years, so the administration moved initially to persuade the Mexican government to hold these people on the Mexican side of the border while their cases are being adjudicated, that went into effect some months ago, and now with the covid crisis administration were not going to process any. Asylum applications at all, and so they shut down, the southern border for asylum application so much as we are closing all forms of immigration, we are basically closed to refugee and asylum seekers, and again that's just a a such a dramatic move from where the United. States has been historically, which is seeing itself as a champion in providing a safe haven for people who are fleeing persecution. It was a big part of our message to the world during the Cold War, so the fact that we have moved so far from that is is quite disturbing. said. Is there another question? Hugh, yes, we'll take the next question from Wassef a shadowy. Hi Guys, thanks for putting together such useful. Forum today for all of us with different sets of questions just do not take the same thread, but maybe for a different group of people. Do you foresee any legal options that us? Who are applying for their spouses green cards for example the consular processing waiting interviews that they can seek given the this law does not. Seem to be ending anytime soon, and there's a potential of being even expanded further. Are there any legal options they can seek on humanitarian grounds. Can a question for Kathleen. Yeah I mean as far as what we're talking about on. Let's go back to the April proclamation as what you're talking about when you mentioned immigrant visas, and so we know that they have an exception for spouses of US citizens, but we don't have that same exception for legal permanent residents, so you're left with I mean. You're left with the concern about whether or not I can go ahead and try to get a national interest exception depending upon what the person might be doing. It might have a medical spouse for example would be an example where we may be able to get an an appointment. But other than that. I mean we have the American immigration. Lawyers Association right now. Among others is considering a lawsuit concerning this current proclamation. And we'll see how that progresses, and if anybody might benefit from it, but that's only in a very nascent stage, so I wish I had a great answer of. Yes, there's a secret. Exception or clue that you can follow and right now. No, we don't have it. So. I I could ask you guys to look forward. And Queer, we need some positive things to talk about our potentially positive things. We don't obviously we do not know what's going to happen in November. But I have heard among people that. Know There were to be. A President Biden and if the Democrats were to take the Senate that quote I've heard a great quote here. Democrats have learned their lesson, and that they would prioritize immigration reform now. At This A. G. You think that there might be a moment arriving where we can't. We might see changes. And what kind of changes would you like to see now? I know where we don't have a tremendous amount of time and I'm sure the list is long and I know you intend served on. The Task Force novel job, and I hope that blueprint pulled off the shelf again, but. What are your thoughts on that? There in the Obama administration dead. Why would why would that change I? Mean unless there's serious control that shifts to the House and the Senate. What Yeah clearly there would have to be a serious shift to control but I do think. If if we have a strong democratic showing, if they take the Senate than and the in the White House. I think the debate will be very different so again to contrast what we were dealing with when we were on the task force, Kathleen, name you had think by and large both Republicans and Democrats pretty sympathetic to the idea of comprehensive immigration reform and Republicans very concerned about the enforcement piece you know the huge increase in the number of unauthorized migrants through the nineties and early parts of the two thousands concerned about border security in the wake of nine eleven, and so the magic formula there seemed to be some blending of immigration enforcement at the borders at the workplace monitoring overstays. Overstays all those issues plus the positive reforms in terms of changing some of the categories up. US Immigration providing a pass citizenship for unauthorized immigrants I. Don't think that's going to be where this debate starts. If the if the Democrats take the White House I suspect it's going to be much more. Can we move on a series of discrete pieces, no more effort to create a grand bipartisan compromise. The Republican Party is not the same. Republican Party has no interest in grand bipartisan compromise on this issue, so the question would be. What are the pieces where the Democrats can muster majority? Maybe if they need to get a few Republican votes to push these things, forward me I do think. Action by Congress is absolutely critical to take this back a bit to where we started. Which is the uncertainty? This causes for business in the United States. The uncertainty this causes for people thinking about coming in making their careers here. If all we were to get in a hypothetical Biden administration was a series of administrative actions that undid many of you know what was many of the things that were done during the trump administration. That would provide any more security than the current situation we've got because then. Presumably, a new administration could undo. Those were the stroke of a pen again, so we are desperately in need. Of Congressional reform to the laws, both because they're terribly out of date and ill, suited in many respects, but also just offer some kind of certainty going forward on what the rules are going to be here in the United States which you can tell from Kathleen. immigrants had no idea it very very hard to to know how you can get on the right side of the law anymore, and that's a terrible situation convenience. We'll take the next question from Jim Benjamin. Yet, thank you You know I'm looking at the polls of Republican voters in various border stage. And they historically have been overwhelmingly against undocumented immigrants. and. We have an unprecedent situation. We're going through right now. With I, the Chola crisis then literally tens of millions of people out of work, and then the reaction to George Floyd and I'm wondering what the panel thinks about this bleak base, which is so unpredictable, so. Who knows what's going to happen next tomorrow a week from now the can change things and what I find interesting is the duct position. Of Opinion About favorability tube immigration with black lives matter it's you see the pupils. It shows that so I'm wondering what you guys think about what is happening right now, and what could happen terms of changing perhaps those hardheaded people in the trump coalition that. have very tangible interest because they feel these undocumented people are threats to the precariousness. They have in terms of jobs. Just you know just a brief retort on that. When you think about what did not get included right now as far as these categories that are restricted for entry, non immigrant categories, the H. to the agricultural workers. Are Not included in this ban. And you know that the age to be category is utilized by. President trump among others to help out in providing essential workers. To me when we talked to the ranchers, for example, the dairy people people in agriculture. And, then we're talking about it legitimately that they cannot find someone with a particular expertise. and Ted already mentioned in his conversation with us today as well as in the article, he wrote about the importance of artificial intelligence in Hell. That's being vocal, pointed China. If? We're really trying to be competitive and provide jobs. The statistics regarding immigration support the fact that immigrants create jobs. That's a hard thing for people to get their head around right now. But we're cutting off. What is that expression cutting off your leg? Rather body parts? Fight your face because you're not considering a whole. Situation and how countries benefited by immigrants? What's going to work in my state in Texas. we have a lot of people that are are very pro immigrant a still. We're in a horrible economy right now, so my my pitches. Job Resources coming from immigrants and trying to document that whether or not that logic works is a different issue on some people but. It's all I can do as an attorney in trying to provide information for people to Digest. Ted You are way more the policy person than I. Am so I'd love to hear what you say. I mean I think those are all excellent comments. I mean if I go back to our our task force report. I we argued at the time that you know a proper immigration system would have some flexibility to adjust according to economic conditions right around when when you have very high rates of joblessness in the United States is not a time when you want to be expanding immigration dramatically, you don't want to be cutting it off entirely either for all the reasons we've talked about here today, but if you had flexible system, you would probably try to turn the tap off a little bit. When unemployment was high gear and turn it back on more when unemployment was lower at lot of. Do that we don't have that flexibility here. Because the Lahser were, numbers are actually written by Congress and Congress has been unable to to change the the the question about unauthorized migrants, it's been front and center now in the debate in this country for for twenty five years, I think if you look at the numbers, it's far more under control than it has ever been before I mean. Mean even as joblessness came down following the great recession to historically low levels, the number of people crossing illegally did not increase in significant ways as you would have expected. Most of the people arriving at the border now are asylum-seekers. They're two different grounds. They're saying they're fleeing persecution. Clearly, there are economic migrants among them, but I think the illegal migration piece is far more under control. Control than it's ever been before that southern border is more secure than it's been in any of our lifetimes. There is still room I think for much better enforcement at the workplace we, we still don't have Greeley adequate workable workplace enforcement system, but but it seems to me. We've moved a long way from some of those practical conversations about how to find the right balance between A. A general openness immigrants awareness of how much they have brought to this country. Making sure we have a reasonable rule of law. I would like to get back to that conversation. Rather than the sort of absurd claims we have from this administration that cutting off legal immigration is somehow going to help workers in the United States we know pretty clearly from the evidence s just not true. So I think we're. We're at the end of our time. I WANNA. Thank our terrific panelists. Kathleen in Ted for joining us today and for all of you. Out there on zoom. and I believe that this is this is recorded right so people can access it later, but again. Thank you for joining us at an uncertain time and extra terrific panelists. Thanks very much. Thank you, thank you take care.