Several political notes today on immigration.
Congress’ long continuing deadlock on immigration was on display today as the Senate took up two measures today to punish so-called sanctuary cities and increase the penalty for repeatedly illegally entering the country. The two bills both failed. ABC News described the two bills:
Absent sweeping changes to the nation’s immigration system, the first measure would have barred federal funds from sanctuary cities, jurisdictions that resist turning over immigrants to federal authorities. The second measure would have increased the maximum sentence for illegal re-entry into the country, with up to a 10-year penalty for an individual denied admission or deported at least three times.
Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA), locked in a tight re-election was the lead sponsor of the first bill and many viewed the bill as an attempt to bolster his campaign. Failed presidential candidate Ted Cruz sponsored the other bill.
A new poll was released today examining why people hold anti-immigrant views. It turns out the economy and job competition was less important than concerns over security and crime. Those people also viewed European and Asian immigrants more favorably than Africans and Latinos.
The NY Times ran an opinion piece by Professor Peter Markowitz arguing the President has the authority to pardon millions of immigrants for violating immigration law. Such a measure would permanently shield immigrants from deportation should a President Trump seek to start mass deportations. Seems unlikely, but if Trump gets elected, I could see this being a parting shot of the Obama Administration.
Finally, I participated in a national teleconference yesterday about the Supreme Court DAPA case that touched on politics. I’m quoted in Bloomberg BNA’s story about the call.