Latest DHS Announcement Leaves Many Questions Unanswered

When the original travel ban was announced, I offered unqualified criticism on pragmatic and humanitarian grounds. With the latest DHS announcement, however, the situation is more nuanced.

Certainly, it is the executive branch’s prerogative to determine how best to enforce existing law, but there are many unanswered questions about the eventual scale, scope, and funding for these changes. Ultimately, the devil is in the implementation.

Though I recognize room for debate, in this instance we are probably best served dropping the humanitarian lens in favor of an economic one. Any large scale deportation increase is likely to have an impact on the labor market, and with America at near full employment, it’s not clear if there is enough slack in the work force to replace the loss of unauthorized workers. This is especially the case in industries that depend on these workers, such as agriculture.

At the end of the day, we will have to observe how this plays out, understanding that we may not have the full picture for weeks and probably won’t appreciate the full effects for at least a year or two.

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