Thursday, October 19, 2017

The Washington Times devoted its pages to immigration coverage long before it was the raging national debate, giving policymakers in Washington and readers across the country an in-depth view of the conflict that has arisen between being a nation of immigrants and also a nation of laws.

Even as the rest of the news industry has caught up, giving the issue more attention, The Times still stands out with intensive coverage of the border, the fight over enforcing immigration laws and the costs and benefits of mass immigration.

From President Clinton’s calls for assimilation to fights in 2006, 2007 and 2013 over legalizing illegal immigrants, to President Trump’s push for stiffer enforcement, The Times has been there.

A 2014 surge of illegal immigrants from Central America helped reshape the debate, derailing President Obama’s late-term push for legalization.

Mr. Trump helped shake up the issue further by announcing plans to build a border wall — and make Mexico pay for it — as he declared during his iconoclastic presidential campaign in the summer of 2015.

Now in the White House, Mr. Trump has overseen a major change in immigration policy, ditching the lax enforcement of the Obama years and once again raising the risks for most illegal immigrants to be deported.

The anti-Trump resistance has also kicked into gear, with cities across the country declaring themselves “sanctuary” for illegal immigrants who fear deportation.

The fight has also spread to the courts, where federal judges are playing an ever-increasing role in trying to limit the powers of the White House to set immigration priorities.

Along the way, the face of illegal immigration has changed, with far fewer people jumping the border. Mexico’s improving economy and tougher penalties in the U.S. have also shifted the flow, with Central Americans — and particularly families and unaccompanied minors — making the treacherous journey.

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