What Trump’s New Policies May Mean for Immigrants

The 2016 presidential election has left many immigrants and others concerned with immigration reform reeling. President-elect Donald Trump focused heavily on deportation plans and immigration bans during his candidacy. With the new administration poised to take office in just a few weeks, Trump’s policies c0ould have a major impact on U.S. immigrants.

Trump’s 10 Point Immigration Plan

As outlined on his website, Trump’s immigration plan includes:

  1. barbed wire fenceBuilding a wall on our Southern border (paid for by Mexico)
  2. Detaining undocumented immigrants until they’re deported
  3. Immediately deporting immigrants who have committed crimes in the U.S. (including entering the country illegally) 
  4. Ending sanctuary cities
  5. Terminating Obama’s executive amnesty programs for undocumented immigrants, and increasing the number of ICE agents to deport these immigrants
  6. Suspending visas to certain countries until adequate security vetting can be guaranteed
  7. Ensuring other countries take back people when the U.S. orders their deportation
  8. Implementing biometric entry-exit tracking
  9. Turning off jobs and benefits magnets
  10. Reforming immigration to put American workers first

DACA in Jeopardy

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy, initially put into place by President Obama in 2012, protects immigrants who arrived as children from deportation by giving them access to temporary work visas. President-elect Trump has promised “on day 1” to reverse executive actions like DACA that protect undocumented immigrants. If he does so, it will remove protected status from some 750,000 immigrants, putting them at immediate risk for deportation. Advocacy groups recommend that undocumented immigrants not currently protected under DACA refrain from applying for DACA status until the Trump administration makes clear their plans for immigration and deportation.

A Tighter Stance on Immigration

Never one to mince words, Trump did not shy from denouncing Mexican and Muslim immigration during his campaign. Although the Trump administration has yet to release an official statement on immigration policy, a leak by Trump transition team member (and one-time candidate for a Cabinet position) Kris Kobach outlined several potential Homeland Security plans.

  • Update and reintroduce NSEERS to screen and track immigrants from high-risk areas (the so-called “Muslim registry”)
  • Add extreme vetting for “high-risk aliens”
  • Use authority from the 1980 Refugee Act to reduce immigration from Syria to zero
  • Increase Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE)

On December 22, 2016 the Obama administration officially terminated the NSEERS program. However, the Trump administration could reinstate it or something similar.

Immigration groups are already pushing back against President-elect Trump’s proposed policies, which threaten the rights and freedom of both documented and undocumented immigrants to the U.S.

Brownstein & Nguyen has decades of experience handling complicated immigration issues. Don’t live in fear of deportation. Contact our Atlanta immigration law office to evaluate your case.