News Tip: Experts Can Comment on Obama's Immigration Plan

President Obama plans to announce a broad overhaul of the nation’s immigration enforcement system that will protect up to 5 million undocumented immigrants from the threat of deportation and provide many of them with work permits. Two Duke University faculty comment below.•    Quotes: "Republicans such as Sen. Ted Cruz and others have charged that President Obama would be overstepping his executive authority if he were to act unilaterally in reshaping U.S. immigration law. The major flaw with that claim, however, is that the executive branch has long understood the enforcement of immigration law as a matter of national sovereignty and one of its central mandates," said Gunther Peck, an associate professor of public policy and history at Duke University."President Ronald Reagan used his discretionary power to create the modern immigration detention system in response to the 1981-1982 refugee crisis of Haitian and Cuban immigrants arriving by boat in South Florida."“The current refugee crisis involving some 60,000 children on the U.S.-Mexican border illustrates the close connection between U.S. immigration law and the nation’s foreign policy. The current crisis owes its immediate origins to the nation’s anti-trafficking law, which creates a hearing process for all undocumented minors who might have been trafficked.” •    Bio:Gunther Peck is an associate professor of public policy and history at Duke University. He studies labor, immigration and the environment and is writing two books on the history of human trafficking. He teaches a course on immigration history from the 1800s to the present. •    For additional comment, contact Peck at:peckgw@duke.edu---Quotes:•    "The new Republican majorities in the House and Senate present a golden opportunity for the White House to generate a serious, collaborative immigration reform package," said Noah Pickus, an associate research professor in the Sanford School of Public Policy and director of the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University."Both sides have strong reasons to strike a deal and neither side has enough authority to completely get their way. Instead, the president is pushing ahead with a unilateral executive action. It’s the surest way to doom any hope of real reform.” •    Bio:Noah Pickus is an associate research professor in the Sanford School of Public Policy and director of the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University. He is the author of “True Faith and Allegiance: Immigration and American Civic Nationalism” (Princeton University Press, September 2005) and co-convener of Brookings-Duke Immigration Policy Roundtable, Breaking the Immigration Stalemate. •    For additional comment, contact Pickus at:pickus@duke.edu