Miller Mayer immigration attorney Steve Yale-Loehr was quoted by MarketWatch in ” ‘We Need More People,’ Says Fed’s Powell, But What Does That Mean for Immigration Reform?” Commenting on remarks by Federal Reserve chief Jerome Powell that recent lower immigration has factored into the U.S. labor shortage and questions about whether such remarks could lead to progress on immigration legislation next year, Steve said that Mr. Powell’s remarks could be seen as part of a slow process that eventually results in long-awaited fixes to the U.S. immigration system. “To me, it’s like water dripping on a rock. A single drop of water, whether it’s from Fed Chairman Powell or somebody else, won’t make a difference by itself. But if enough drips of water from other people and other studies consistently show that immigration can help our labor shortages and improve our economy, then I hope that will move the needle so that Congress will seriously take up immigration reform in 2023.” 

Steve said the issues that already have been “percolating in Congress” would be on his immediate wish list for 2023. “That would include helping the Dreamers [beneficiaries of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)] to be able to achieve some kind of permanent status and reforming our border-security measures so that we can admit those people who really do need or will qualify for asylum, but otherwise deport people after a hearing if they don’t qualify under immigration laws. Third, I think we do need modernization in our agriculture industry, and there is a bill proposed by Sen. Bennet [D-CO] that would do that, and fourth, I think that Congress should pass the Afghan Adjustment Act to allow people who came from Afghanistan a permanent path to citizenship.” He noted that the Biden administration can act on its own on some immigration issues. 

He also suggested that grassroots efforts eventually might end up spurring U.S. lawmakers to do more. “A lot of change happens from the ground up, rather than the top down—if you think about civil rights legislation in the 60s, the Environmental Protection Act of 1970, the antiwar efforts—it was because people really protested the existing framework that they forced Congress to make changes in those areas. And so too, I think that if more Americans stood up and said, ‘We need immigration reform,’ I think that that would help persuade Congress to actually put pen to paper and make some significant changes.” Read the article here

Steve was quoted by Law360 in “Top Immigration Cases of 2022: Year in Review.” Among other cases, the article notes that in June 2022, the Supreme Court placed new limits on the federal judiciary’s power to control the executive branch’s immigration policy when it erased an order requiring immigration courts to hold bond hearings for immigrants who were detained for more than six months. In Garland v. Aleman Gonzalez, the article notes, the justices ruled 6 to 3 that INA § 1252(f)(1) bars every federal court, except the high court, from interfering on a class-wide basis with how the executive branch carries out certain immigration enforcement functions. That holding will make it harder for legal challengers to get more than individual relief, even if the policy they are contesting applies broadly, said Steve. “As Justice Sotomayor wrote in her dissent, the decision ‘risks depriving many vulnerable noncitizens of any meaningful opportunity to protect their rights.'” Read the Law360 article here (registration required).  

Steve was quoted in several media outlets on Title 42 issues:

  • “Title 42 to Remain in Place for Now as Chief Justice John Roberts Temporarily Freezes Order Meant to End It,” CNN, Dec. 19, 2022. Steve said, “This is a longstanding problem. More people are fleeing persecution, gang violence, failed states and climate change than ever before. Even without Title 42, we would have more people than ever before trying to enter the United States. Title 42 is not an effective way to manage our borders. Instead, we need to both enact immigration reform in the United States and work with other countries so that people don’t feel so desperate to leave in the first place.”
  • “Chief Justice Roberts Pauses Lifting of Title 42, Keeping Migrant Policy in Place for Now,” USA Today, Dec. 19, 2022. Steve said, “People worry that terminating Title 42…will mean more people will try to enter the United States from Mexico. But those pressures existed before the Trump administration implemented Title 42. Climate change, poverty, gang violence, and failed states all contribute to people’s desperation to move.”

Steve and Jacob Hamburger, one of Steve’s postdoctoral fellows at  Cornell Law School, co-authored an op-ed, “On Immigration, Do Feds or States Rule?,” published by New York Daily News. Read the op-ed here.