Member-supported news for Southern California
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Support for KPCC comes from:

Amid uptick in deportations, President Obama struggling to define immigration image

RIO GRANDE CITY, TX - DECEMBER 08:  Central American immigrants wait to be transported after turning themselves in to U.S. Border Patrol agents on December 8, 2015 near Rio Grande City, Texas. They had just illegally crossed the U.S.-Mexico border into Texas to seek asylum. The number of migrant families and unaccompanied minors has again surged in recent months, even as the total number of illegal crossings nationwide has gone down over the previous year.  (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
John Moore/Getty Images
Central American immigrants wait to be transported after turning themselves in to U.S. Border Patrol agents.

How can the Obama administration take a hard line in enforcing its immigration policy while still appearing sympathetic to immigrants from Central America seeking refugee status?

How can the Obama administration take a hard line in enforcing its immigration policy while still appearing sympathetic to immigrants from Central America seeking refugee status?

That’s the conundrum the White House finds itself in. It appeared to be taking a tougher stance on immigration by resuming raids and deportations of some women and children back to Central America in recent weeks.

But that backfired after its own party accused the administration of sending a hypocritical message by accepting refugees from Syria but parsing semantics when it came to those fleeing places like Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.

A week later, the administration appeared to be walking that tougher immigration stance back with Secretary of State John Kerry’s visit to the region and announcement that the US would be creating a new refugee program specifically for Central American refugees. In the midst of it all, President Obama has found himself a curios foe to his own party and not-quite friend of the right.   

Read the full story here.

Guests:

Royce Murray, policy director at the National Immigrant Justice Center, an immigrant advocacy group based in Chicago

Jessica Vaughan, Director of Policy Studies, Center for Immigration Studies, a D.C.-based organization that studies the impact of immigration on American society

Sonia Nazario, reporter who won a Pulitzer Prize with the Los Angeles Times for her coverage of  unaccompanied migrants entering the U.S. illegally. She followed some of these children on their difficult journey north and wrote the book "Enrique's Journey." Nazario is also on the board of Kids in need of defense

Stay Connected