Dean Johnson Comments on Deportation Policy for KPCC
Dean Kevin R. Johnson commented for Southern California Public Radio station KPCC on the calls by immigration advocates for President Obama to suspend deportation of those noncitizens who would be likely to gain legal status under the terms of the immigration reform bill put forth by a group of bipartisan Senators.
A coalition including the AFL-CIO labor federation, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, United We Dream, and the National Day Laborer Organizing Network has requested the deportations be suspended. Some analysts have suggested that President Obama is unlikely to take action while the Senate bill is under consideration, but Dean Johnson said that the request may work as a tactic for humanizing the reform debate.
"It's an interesting political strategy," Dean Johnson said. "A call to stop the deportations raises awareness of immigration reform and the possible benefits of its passage: stopping the deportations of real people. The activists are striving to bring the reform issues to life, with actually stopping the removals a secondary goal -- which the activists would like, but do not expect."
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.