May 4, 2017
On Friday, April 28 at 11:30 a.m., President David Wippman sat down with Immigration Attorney Ben Casper Sanchez to discuss Hamilton College’s ongoing response to President Trump’s Immigration policies. The interview was streamed over Facebook Live.
Casper Sanchez is currently the Director of the James H. Binger Center for New Americans and teaches the Federal Immigration Litigation Clinic at the University of Minnesota. Before taking on his current roles, Casper Sanchez spent over 16 years arguing cases in immigration courts, the Board of Immigration Appeals, the U.S. District Courts, the U.S. Courts of Appeal and the U.S. Supreme Court.
During his time as a dean of the University of Minnesota Law School, President Wippman played a role in establishing the Center for New Americans back in 2013. Currently, the Center for New Americans “expands urgently needed legal services for noncitizens, pursues litigation to improve our nation’s immigration laws, and supports noncitizens in the region through education and community outreach” (law. umn.edu). The organization is made up of three clinics: the Federal Immigration Litigation Clinic, the Detainee Rights Clinic and Immigration and Human Rights Clinic.
During the Facebook Live interview, Casper Sanchez answered questions regarding the recent history of U.S. immigration policy. According to Casper Sanchez, the number of deportations has stayed steadily around 400,000 per year “for a number of years,” including through the Obama administration. Casper Sanchez asserted that an increase in the number of deportations per year during Trump’s presidential term is probably unlikely given the length of time that it would take to pass and effectively enforce legislation. “There’s been no legislation that’s been passed under the Trump administration, there’s been no increases in budget and I haven’t seen any data that suggests that the number of deportations has gone up.” said Casper Sanchez. “What has gone up is fear.” Casper Sanchez then elaborated on the detrimental impacts of deportation on family units, as individuals are often separated from their spouses and children.
Casper Sanchez also updated viewers on Trump’s Current Immigration Policies and on the current effects of the January 2017 Executive Order. He informed viewers that the Trump administration has abandoned the initial Executive Order in favor of a second order. Currently, there is a nation-wide stay in place against the second order. “There are scores of lawsuits across circuits and courts around the country, but the travel ban itself is being blocked” said Casper Sanchez.
Throughout the event, viewers were encouraged to engage with Casper Sanchez by asking questions in the comments section, which President Wippman read aloud. Following the event, Casper Sanchez met with several students and community members for further discussion over dinner. This Facebook Live Event was a part of Hamilton’s ongoing response to Trump’s Administrative policies. President Wippman has worked throughout the semester to assist students affected by these policies and the current instability and uncertainty surrounding them.