The 6 top priority changes the Donald Trump Administration has on the agenda regarding immigration you need to know
In October, Trump released an action plan detailing the changes he will make during his first 100 days in office. By listing immigration changes six separate times throughout this action plan, Trump has made it very clear that immigration restructuring will take priority. Below we will analyze each of the planned changes that will affect immigration and how we predict those changes will affect those who are here without lawful status.
1. Cancel every unconstitutional executive action, memorandum and order issued by President Obama
In 2012 through executive action, President Obama allowed certain undocumented immigrants who entered the country as children to receive a two-year renewable deferred action from deportation and eligibility for a work permit. As of June 2016, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) had received 844,931 initial applications for DACA status, of which 741,546 were approved. Since 2012, DACA recipients have received work authorizations, social security numbers, and have felt a sense of security against deportation. However, that could all change soon. Trump could take action against DACA immediately or soon after taking office. DACA could become immediately invalid leaving over 741,546 recipients without a valid work permit. Furthermore, because DACA was created through an executive action, there are no confidentiality provisions that protect the information applicants provided to the Department of Homeland Security from being used for deportation purposes. It is imperative that all DACA recipients promptly explore any other options to gain permanent residency before Trump’s inauguration.
2. Begin removing the more than 2 million criminal illegal immigrants from the country and cancel visas to foreign countries that won’t take them back
Throughout his campaign, Trump has expressed his intent to begin massive deportations of illegal immigrants when elected president. Within his first 100 days in office he plans to begin the massive deportation of at least 2 million “criminal” illegal aliens. As president, Trump could simply instruct federal agents to begin rounding up illegal immigrants convicted of a crime and begin deportation proceedings. Most alarming is that Trump has also vowed to expand the definition of “criminal alien.” What the expansion of this definition will be is still uncertain but it could potentially include minor crimes such as driving under the influence of alcohol or Drugs.
Furthermore, Trump has declared his intent to cancel visas to countries that refuse to take deported aliens back. Some of the countries that currently refuse to take deported criminals back include Cuba, Iran and Afghanistan. Therefore, when the massive deportations begin, it is likely that relatives of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent resident will be unable to come join them in the in the U.S. if bans are imposed. It is recommended that anyone who has immediate family members in any of the 23 countries that are considered recalcitrant seek an evaluation of their relative’s case.
3. Cancel all federal funding to Sanctuary Cities
As of December 2016, the Center for Immigration Studies reported that over 300 jurisdictions have been identified as having a policy that is non-cooperative with and obstructs immigration enforcement. There are many cities, counties and states that have laws, ordinances or regulations that shield illegal immigrants from ICE. Some of these shields include denying ICE access to incarcerated individuals and refusing to comply with ICE detainers (detainers are used by ICE to assume custody of an alien for deportation). Trump has vowed to cut federal finding to “sanctuary cities.” Some of these cities include Los Angeles, Seattle and Chicago. What this means is that those cities that depend on federal funding to run may be forced to comply with ICE and expose illegal aliens to deportation.
4. Suspend immigration from terror-prone regions where vetting cannot safely occur
All vetting of people coming into our country will be considered extreme vetting. This policy is designed to exclude Islamic extremists and in general appears to be an indiscriminate blanket ban on all Muslims. Extreme vetting or extreme screening procedures will be implemented likely causing long delays and denials.
5. Restoring National Security Act
Amongst other things, it establishes new screening procedures. The act would require a determination before admission of whether an applicants’ beliefs match US values on gay rights, gender equality and religious freedoms, amongst others. Applicants already face long and intense scrutiny when seeking admission but with Trump’s proposed plan, immigration from certain areas would be indeterminately banned and additional screening would lead to longer than current delays without adding any greater security checks.
6. End Illegal Immigration Act Fully
Funding the construction of a wall on our southern border with the full understanding that the country Mexico will be reimbursing the United States for the full cost of such wall; establishes a 2-year mandatory minimum federal prison sentence for illegally re-entering the U.S. after a previous deportation, and a 5-year mandatory minimum for illegally re-entering for those with felony convictions, multiple misdemeanor convictions or two or more prior deportations; also reforms visa rules to enhance penalties for overstaying and to ensure open jobs are offered to American workers first.
President Elect Donald Trump desires to create a physical barrier between U.S. and Mexico that has been emphasized throughout his presidential campaign. Mexico’s president has made it clear that Mexico will not be financing the building of a wall. Trump later suggested that the wall may be built by taxing money that Mexican citizens working in the U.S. send home. While there is no specific plan to fund or build the wall, there is a clear intent to secure the Mexico-U.S. border which raises concerns of potential aggressive and violent action by border patrol. Similarly alarming are the excessive mandatory minimum federal prison sentences for illegal aliens who reenter the country.
Trump’s first 100 days in office seen grim for illegal immigrants. While we remain hopeful that he will fall short on his promises, we do recommend that anyone who has questions regarding their legal status has their case evaluated as soon as possible before any changes take effect.