It’s no secret that President-elect Donald Trump made immigration a centerpiece of his campaign, not shying away from making controversial statements about U.S. immigration policy and undocumented immigrants.
From saying that Mexican immigrants were rapists and criminals and promising to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, to pledging that he would deport millions of undocumented immigrants and enforcing a temporary ban against foreign Muslims from entering the country, Trump has taken a hard-line stance on immigration, galvanizing the Republican base to put him in office.
As the President-elect officially takes office this month, we look at some areas where the immigration fight is expected to take place.
1. Obama’s Executive Actions
Trump has pledged to repeal all of President Obama’s executive actions on immigration, including the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans, which protects parents of immigrants with full citizenship or legal permanent resident status from deportation.
Trump has also promised to ramp up enforcement of deportation orders and expand immigration laws, which could easily be done on the first day of his administration.
2. Congress and Legislation
Many of Trump’s proposed policies will require Congress to pass legislation. For example, the controversial plan to build a wall along the border will require appropriations from Congress when creating the budget. Legislative oversight should also come into play when implementing limits on the number of visas given to individuals who enter the country through legal channels.
Already, lawmakers have taken preemptive measures against a possible repeal of deferred action. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) and Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) have crossed party lines to push legislation that would extend deportation protections for immigrants brought to the country as children.
3. Sanctuary Cities
Outside Congress, major conflicts between state and federal governments are poised to become more contentious under a Trump presidency.
A number of cities have established themselves as unofficial “sanctuary cities” be refusing to assist the federal government in enforcing immigration laws, either by turning a blind eye to undocumented immigrants, or withholding information about undocumented immigrants to federal officials.
Chicago is one such city that has taken action against the feds, approving a $1.3 million budget to extend legal protection to immigrants. Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, and a dozen other cities have also signed a letter asking the President-elect to extend Obama’s deferred action program.
Already, undocumented immigrants in Texas are preparing for a Trump presidency, banding together to make their voices be heard. If you or a loved one need legal assistance and advice for any of your immigration concerns, schedule a consultation with the legal team of the Lyttle Law Firm today. Contact our offices at (512) 215.5225 to speak with an immigration law attorney.