Video: AALS “Hot Topic” Panel on Federal Power Over Immigration

January 12th, 2017

On January 5, 2017, I spoke on the AALS “Hot Topic” Panel on Federal Power over Immigration. Here was the roster:

Speaker: Josh Blackman, South Texas College of Law Houston
Speaker: Jennifer M. Chacon, University of California, Irvine School of Law
Speaker: Jill E. Family, Widener University Commonwealth Law School
Speaker: Anil Kalhan, Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law
Moderator and Speaker: Ilya Somin, Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University

As originally designed, we expected to talk about how a Clinton administration would continue the Obama administration’s executive actions with respect to immigration. I would serve as the foil arguing that the separation of powers renders these policies illegal. The other right-of-center prof on the panel, Ilya, takes the position that Congress has power only over naturalization (that is, granting citizenship) but has no general power over restricting movement into the country (absent some national security interest).

However, as with virtually all other panels at AALS, the focus shifted after the election. My remarks focus on U.S. v. Texas, which now is not nearly so hot–DAPA will likely be rescinded in about 10 days. I also welcomed immigration scholars to the federalism-fold. Indeed, progressive scholars and sanctuary city advocates are now turning to precedents like Printz v. United States and New York v. United States to shield immigrations from federal enforcement. I am glad that my colleagues have at least seen the light on federalism, though in my rebuttal time, I urged some form of consistency–federalism can protect liberty in many spheres, beyond protecting sanctuary cities. This remark did not go over well in a room full of immigration profs. One of the other panelists strongly disagreed, and quoted Emerson, who said “consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.” I’ll stand by consistency any day.

Here is the video:

And here is a group shot.