Dean Johnson Comments on Immigration Reform for Capital Public Radio
Dean Kevin R. Johnson commented for Capital Public Radio station KXJZ on immigration reform proposals put forth recently by President Obama and a bipartisan group of eight U.S. Senators. In an interview on the news talk program Insight, Dean Johnson compared the two proposals and suggested that despite some differences between them it appears possible that some reforms will become law in the near future.
The proposals are similar in that they both call for increased border enforcement, a pathway to citizenship for the approximately 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States, and reforms of the legal immigration process, Dean Johnson said. The most significant difference is that the Senate proposal calls for the borders to be declared secure as a prerequisite for further reforms, which Dean Johnson said was "not insurmountable."
"I'm cautiously optimistic, as are many supporters of comprehensive immigration reform," he said. "I do think that the three pillars of the senators' proposal and the president's proposal are fairly similar and consistent: border enforcement, earned citizenship, and reform of legal immigration. I do think, and it's very important, that the devil's going to be in the details as they say, and I think that's going to require some time and some effort, but it does seem to me that the political time is right for some compromises to be made."
Kevin R. Johnson is Dean and Mabie-Apallas Professor of Public Interest Law and Chicana/o studies at UC Davis School of Law. He is an internationally recognized scholar in the fields of immigration law and policy, refugee law, and civil rights.