Public policy expert: US faces ‘crisis of governance’ on immigration


The U.S. is facing an immigration crisis that goes far beyond recent controversy surrounding the influx of migrants coming across the nation’s southern border, according to public policy expert Justin Gest.

Gest, who serves as an assistant professor of public policy at George Mason University, says a broader issues arises from the way that government handles immigration.

“What we are seeing is not crisis of migration, we are seeing crisis of governance,”  Gest told Hill.TV co-host Krystal Ball on “Rising.”  “That is as true for Europe as it is for the United States.”

Gest noted that an increasingly polarized political landscape has hampered lawmakers’ ability to make effective decisions – or any decision – on immigration.

“Our policymaking has been paralyzed around this issue because of the polarization of our politics and it has really inhibited us from a managed and responsible approach to how to actually deal with this,” Gest said.

Immigration has been the focus of intense debate in Washington for months, as lawmakers have struggled to move legislation protecting young, undocumented immigrants. 

In June, the House rejected two sweeping Republican immigration bills. This included a narrow, hardline proposal and a compromise GOP bill that was negotiated by moderates and conservatives.

Hampered by internal party conflict, neither bill was expected to pass and only one – the compromise bill – addressed the latest crisis surrounding family separations at the border.

The government is poised to miss its court-ordered deadline on Tuesday to reunite all 102 children under the ager the age of 5 with their parents.

The administration is expected to reunify a total of 38 children with their families by Tuesday’s deadline, while 16 are expected to be reunited shortly.

Meanwhile, the Department of Health and Human Services has said that there are “under 3,000” children ages 5 and older who were separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border. Agencies have been ordered to reunite those children by July 26.

Gest’s latest book, “Crossroads” analyzes immigration governance across thirty countries.

— Tess Bonn

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