Until Tuesday night, the federal courts have served as the only check against President Donald Trump’s widespread efforts to crack down on illegal immigration and restrict legal immigration.
But with the Democratic takeover of the House of Representatives following Tuesday night’s midterm elections, the president’s most controversial measures over the past two years will be investigated, his current crackdown efforts will be more closely scrutinized, and Democrats will use their newfound control of the nation’s purse strings to rein in his future immigration plans.
The only constants are that congressional gridlock will endure and a broad, nuanced comprehensive immigration reform will likely remain elusive, say immigration experts on all sides of the debate.
“Nothing was passing the Republican House on immigration, and it’s even less likely now that anything is going to pass Congress,” said Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, a group that advocates for lower levels of legal immigration and stricter enforcement against illegal immigration.
During her acceptance speech in Washington on Tuesday night, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi focused on her legislative priorities but made clear that the victory was about “restoring the constitutional checks and balances to the Trump administration.”
That means Democrats, who will now head all House committees, will use their powers to investigate and subpoena witnesses to pore through the administration’s most controversial immigration actions over the past two years.
The list of topics could include the president’s “zero-tolerance” policy that led to more than 2,500 family separations over the summer, his efforts to curb refugee and asylum admissions to the U.S., the treatment of immigrants in detention centers, the inclusion of a citizenship question on the 2020 Census, and his deployment of more than 7,000 active-duty military troops to the southwest border in reaction to a current caravan of Central American migrants making their way through Mexico.
By Alan Gomez for USA TODAY
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