LAW & CRIME

Banned: Immigration Enforcement in the Time of Trump

New York Univ. Sept. 2019. 216p. photos. notes. ISBN 9781479857463. $30; ebk. ISBN 9781479888610. LAW
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Crises such as the Muslim ban, raids, and family separation broadcast suffering, mass confusion, and outlandish bureaucratic failures in daily news reports. Being inundated by such events is moving many to self-educate. What does the law actually say on immigration? Wadhia (law, Pennsylvania State Univ.; Beyond Deportation: The Role of Prosecutorial Discretion in Immigration Cases) answers this via thorough policy examination, looking specifically at how immigration policy has changed in the Donald Trump era, and how that contrasts with the precedents of U.S. immigration law. The author’s investigation hinges on two concepts: discretion and enforcement. Every actor in the immigration system uses discretion in terms of who, where, and when they choose to enforce statutes. Wadhia observes that during past administrations, this was employed to immigrants benefit. Now, it’s being used to proliferate enforcement, criminalize, and threaten. Dissecting relevant pieces of law in small sections and interspersing them with powerful interviews from affected individuals and frontline administrators, Wadhia delivers an extremely fact-rich and often challenging-to-digest narrative.
VERDICT This meticulously argued work succeeds in illuminating with plain language what the immigration system obscures behind jargon and steel bars.

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