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What the Election Means for Immigration

capitolAs everyone in the world learned on Wednesday, Mr. Donald Trump has been elected the next President of the United States.  In the next two months, President Obama will be transitioning power to the President-Elect, culminating with Mr. Trump’s inauguration in January 2017.  Mr. Trump has promised that his administration will hit the ground running to deliver on his campaign promises, including making significant changes to many aspects of immigration policy.  While it is hard to predict exactly which campaign promise Mr. Trump will decide to pursue first, the following 10 points have been published on his administration’s website, and they provide as good of an idea as any regarding the President-Elect’s immediate plans for immigration policy in the United States.

Building the Wall

Mr. Trump has made it abundantly clear that he intends to dramatically increase security efforts along our border with Mexico. While it remains to be seen whether the Mexican government will in fact finance such efforts, “building the wall” is listed as the first initiative on the President-Elect’s website.

End Catch and Release

In the same vein as building the wall, Mr. Trump also wants to end the policy of releasing foreign nationals who are attempting to enter the U.S. without authorization. Instead of simply turning them away, which is what happens now, Mr. Trump wants the border officers to detain the individuals.

Zero Tolerance for Foreign Nationals with Criminal Records

Mr. Trump has also frequently voiced his opposition to any leniency in immigration policy with regard to foreign nationals who have criminal records.  No matter how minor the infraction (such as misdemeanor possession of marijuana), Mr. Trump wants to remove all waivers for these foreign nationals and effectively disqualify them from receiving any immigration benefits.

Stop Funding for Sanctuary Cities

The President-Elect wishes to defund cities that do not allocate local resources toward enforcing federal immigration laws.  Such cities have been referred to as “sanctuary cities,” and Mr. Trump feels that by stopping their funding, he can concomitantly force them to cooperate with federal immigration enforcement officers.

Reverse President Obama’s Executive Orders

Mr. Trump plans to issue his own executive orders to reverse or cancel those issued by President Obama, specifically with regard to the President’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA policy.

Suspend the Issuance of Visas to Certain Countries

Mr. Trump doubts the veracity of security screening in certain Middle Eastern countries.  Due to this concern, he would effectively halt the issuance of visas in these countries until more satisfactory screening measures can be implemented.

Ensure that Other Countries Accept Deported Citizens

One of Mr. Trump’s less talked-about goals is to ensure that other countries do not refuse to accept their citizens who are removed from the United States due to immigration violations.

Implement a Biometric Entry-Exit Visa Tracking System

In order to better ensure that foreign nationals depart the U.S. when their period of authorized stay has expired, Mr. Trump wants to implement an entry-exit tracking system that would collect fingerprints of foreign nationals and upload these prints to a database.

“Turn Off the Jobs and Benefits Magnet” and “Reform Legal Immigration to Serve the Best Interests of America and its Workers”

These statements are very vague and general, but one can speculate that they probably reference the welfare state, which is a hot-button issue for Republicans.

The Rant

The President-Elect’s statements have been cause for much concern among individuals directly affected by immigration reform in the United States. Due to the level of fear and worry that is being expressed by many, our attorneys at Slowik & Robinson will be holding an informative seminar on Saturday, December 17th at 11:00AM at 250 E. Broad Street, Columbus, Ohio to discuss what changes are likely, and unlikely, to occur once President-Elect Trump takes office in January 2017. We request that anyone in attendance bring canned goods to donate to the Mid-Ohio Food Bank as an admission fee. To find out more on this event, please head to our Slowik & Robinson Facebook page.

Additional Blog Posts:

The Government’s War on H-1Bs, ImmigRantings, October 11, 2012

Obama Signs Immigration Policy Memo, ImmigRantings, June 15, 2012

Problems with the H-1B visa: From Work Horse to Show Pony, ImmigRantings, February 13, 2012