Legomsky is an authority on U.S., comparative, and international immigration, refugee, and citizenship law and policy. He recently returned from a two-year leave of absence serving as Chief Counsel of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the immigration services agency in the Department of Homeland Security. He has testified before Congress many times and has served as a consultant to the transition teams of Presidents Clinton and Obama, the first President Bush’s Commissioner of Immigration, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, and several foreign governments, on immigration and refugee policies.
President Donald Trump on June 20 directed his administration to detain migrant families together instead of separating parents from their children, but one of the nation’s leading immigration experts argues that jailing migrant families is still “cruel and unnecessary” under U.S. law.
The absurdity of condemning an entire group because of the actions of a single member seems self-evident. If a left-handed immigrant commits a crime, no one would propose banning all left-handed immigrants. The real question is whether there is a causal link between the commission of the crime and either the substantive criteria or the processes of the particular program. No such link exists.
The Trump administration on Sept. 4 announced plans to end DACA, which protects nearly 800,000 young undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children from deportation. The president’s decision is not only regrettable, it was entirely unnecessary, says Stephen Legomsky, the John S. Lehmann University Professor Emeritus and renowned expert on immigration law.
Stephen Legomsky, renowned expert on immigration policy and former chief counsel of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, says that while Trump’s immigration policies will be more hard line, comprehensive immigration reform is still possible.