The democratic process of electing the next President of the United States has taken place and the leader had been decided. In the aftermath of this process, we know that many of you have questions and concerns about immigration law and policy. We would like to take this opportunity to address some of these concerns by speaking to the potential laws and policies that may be implemented. In doing so, we are not offering legal advice through this post but we do urge you to contact us should you feel how you may be affected moving forward.
To our DACA, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, clients the Executive Order signed by President Obama will be at risk under President-elect Donald Trump. Although it is difficult to predict if close to million DACA recipients will be on a deportation list, we do not know what President-elect Trump may decide given that the expense to the government will be tremendous. It is also difficult to predict whether current DACA recipients will have their deferred deportation status retroactively revoked, however, it appears that this may be unlikely since the government ensured deferred action. In addition, those applying for DACA renewals should go ahead with the process and reach out to an immigration attorney for further assistance as it is also unclear whether the renewals will come to a halt under the new administration.
We encourage you to stay in touch with an experienced immigration attorney to find avenues to legal permanent residency and citizenship. These avenues may include pursuing legal permanent residence if you had re-admitted to the U.S., through advance parole, explore the option of being sponsored by those members of family who are legal permanent residents or U.S., Citizens, and look into whether there is extreme hardship in your case that will prevent you from being deported. These alternatives must be explored by speaking to an experienced immigration attorney who understands the complexities of immigration law.
In addition to this immediate concern, it is to be noted that while President-elect Trump can revoke Executive Orders such as DAPA, the President alone does not have the power to pass major legislation affecting all aspects of immigration law. This is a power granted exclusively to Congress which now holds a Republican majority. It very well may be a priority of the Republican House and Senate to pass Immigration Reform under President-elect Trump's administration among other priorities. There are indications that as the transition takes place from President Obama's administration to President-elect Trump that President-elect Trump is surrounding himself with major anti-immigration leaders who will be in charge of his Executive Agencies.
Below are President-elect Trump's plan on immigration:
1. Begin working on an impenetrable physical wall on the southern border, on day one. Mexico will pay for the wall.
2. End catch-and-release. Under a Trump administration, anyone who illegally crosses the border will be detained until they are removed out of our country.
3. Move criminal aliens out day one, in joint operations with local, state, and federal law enforcement. We will terminate the Obama administration's deadly, non-enforcement policies that allow thousands of criminal aliens to freely roam our streets.
4. End sanctuary cities.
5. Immediately terminate President Obama's two illegal executive amnesties. All immigration laws will be enforced - we will triple the number of ICE agents. Anyone who enters the U.S. illegally is subject to deportation. That is what it means to have laws and to have a country.
6. Suspend the issuance of visas to any place where adequate screening cannot occur, until proven and effective vetting mechanisms can be put into place.
7. Ensure that other countries take their people back when we order them deported.
8. Ensure that a biometric entry-exit visa tracking system is fully implemented at all land, air, and sea ports.
9. Turn off the jobs and benefits magnet. Many immigrants come to the U.S. illegally in search of jobs, even though federal law prohibits the employment of illegal immigrants.
10. Reform legal immigration to serve the best interests of America and its workers, keeping immigration levels within historic norms.
Furthermore, if you are a legal permanent resident, we encourage you to reach out to us in trying to start the process of attaining your United States Citizenship. If you are seeking urgent humanitarian assistance, we encourage you to reach out to us to discuss your individual case to find the best possible avenues of relief. We will work harder than ever to make sure that your immigration needs are met as we continue to learn about the potential changes in laws and policies under the new administration.
Sai Santosh Kolluru