THE BLOG
09/10/2014 11:37 am ET Updated Nov 10, 2014

Executive Action on Immigration

I recently interviewed Harry DeMell, an immigration lawyer since 1977 and a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, about the current immigration crisis.

Schupak: So, Harry. Is it true that you believe that President Obama is not handling the immigration reform issue properly by putting it off until after the elections?

DeMell: Absolutely. He should outline his ideas now and allow the issue to be vetted in front of the American public. The American voting public has a right to know the direction that our president plans to go and there should be public debate in this area. After all, didn't President Obama run on a platform of open and transparent government?

Schupak: The President has stated that he is not ready to present his ideas to the public since that are not yet ready.

DeMell: Andy. Come on. After six years in office the president knows what he wants to do. He now needs to have the courage of his convictions to tell America and let the debate begin.

Schupak: The President does not want to make this a campaign issue.

DeMell: The President needs to have the courage of his convictions. He might want to read "Profiles in Courage" by John Kennedy. If he really believes he is right let him explain it to the American people and show us why he is correct. He needs to lead.

Schupak: What do you think he will do?

DeMell: That's a two-part question. First I think he will wait until after the election to unveil his plan.

Schupak: And part two?

DeMell: After the election he will unveil a plan to grant some flavor of temporary protected status to people here since a cut off date to be announced, so long as they have no criminal record. He might limit it to people with some family member here. He might extend it to the children who have come during the last two years since the president issued the last executive order allowing prior juvenile aliens to stay. They will be allowed to stay and work and later travel. This will be extended indefinitely as it always is.

Schupak: Doesn't that seem to be the humane thing to do? After all these people are already here, working and not causing trouble.

DeMell: It is absolutely terrible. It sends a signal that anyone who can come to our shores can stay legally. There is no end to it. Millions will come to await the next 'program'. If we open our doors unconditionally hundreds of millions would want to come.

Schupak: There are many who believe that we can absorb many more people and that America has the compassion and resources to do this.

DeMell: Tell that to the unemployed and underemployed. Tell that to the African American community where these rates are effectively twice that of others in America. Tell that to the taxpayers who will be footing the bills for services these people will need.

Schupak: If the President thinks that some of his proposals would be unpopular don't you think waiting until after the election makes perfect sense?

DeMell: Exactly.