BOSTON (CBS) — On Sunday Jon Keller asked immigration law expert Marisa DeFranco what was going well in the federal immigration debate. Her response?
DeFranco explained the opposing sides are presenting extremes. “On the one side, you have the people screaming that we must have a path to citizenship or else everyone will be deported–and by the way, these are adults, they are not children… The other extreme is they will all be deported.”
She argued Obama’s creation of DACA was unconstitutional and President Trump was obligated to do something about it.
“Once the DACA program ends, we go back to the original programming which is deferred action on a case-by-case basis decided by DHS which is where it should be,” DeFranco said.
Those who would be granted deferred action would receive a work card and could look for ways to get a legal status while that they remained in the country working.
“It’s not a time-limited program, you could be in deferred action for the rest of your life.”
Jon Keller mentioned that immigration laws could sometimes be seen as inhumane. He pointed to a father in Michigan that gained national attention after a tearful goodbye with his family as he was deported. The 39-year-old man had been in the United States for nearly 30 years.
DeFranco replied, “That tearful goodbye, that was not created by America. People do have to take responsibility for the fact they came here illegally, they decided to stay, they created the family here, that’s on them.”
One aspect of the immigration debate that neither side wants to talk about is the companies that hire workers who are in the country illegally.
“If you want to gut illegal immigration in this country, we can get to the heart of the matter real quick and start jailing illegal employers and fining them until their companies go out of existence,” said DeFranco.
Equally critical of both sides, DeFranco said Democrats were “deplorable” for letting the federal government shutdown over the immigration debate.
Finally, DeFranco said, a wall might be part of the solution “if we can’t stem the tide of people coming into our country, who break our laws, repeatedly.”
Marisa DeFranco is an immigration lawyer and a former chair of the New England Chapter of the of American Immigration Lawyers’ Association.