In what has to be one of the most stunning election results in U.S. history, the election of billionaire Donald Trump as president is sending shockwaves across many immigrant families and communities all over the country. The real estate mogul has not minced words about his controversial plans for U.S. immigration policy, which include the deportation of millions of undocumented immigrations and the construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
But what exactly does this mean for immigrants? What can they realistically expect from the new president? Below are a few immigration changes Donald Trump plans to make within his first 100 days of office, as stated in the manifesto, “Donald Trump’s Contract With The American Voter.”
1. Crackdown on Undocumented Immigrants
Whereas President Obama’s immigration policy has been to create opportunities for undocumented immigrants to seek legal status and open avenues for refugees, Trump has promised to restrict the number of incoming refugees and to crack down on undocumented immigrants. He believes doing so will protect will protect the country against terrorists and provide more jobs to American workers.
2. Construction of a Wall
President-elect Trump has promised to construct a wall along the Southwest U.S. border, a media sound bite that has galvanized his supporters. His proposed “End Illegal Immigration Act” will fund the barrier’s construction with the full understanding that Mexico will have to reimburse the United States for the cost of the structure. The Mexican government has refused to acquiesce to such an agreement.
3. Cancellation of Executive Programs Issued by President Obama
President-elect Trump has promised to “cancel every unconstitutional executive action, memorandum, and order issued by President Obama.” Trump could very well shut down Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), an executive action issued by President Obama in 2012 that allows undocumented immigrants who entered the country as children to receive removal protection and apply for legal work permits.
4. Nationwide Deportation Campaign
Donald Trump has stated that he intends to start a nationwide campaign that will remove as much as 2 million undocumented immigrants with criminal records within this his first year of office. Trump, however, has not made clear where he drew this estimated number. Removal operations by involved enforcement agencies are expected to increase, ramping up raids in communities and homes. Moreover, Mr. Trump intends to cancel visas to foreign countries that won’t take removable immigrants back.
5. Expansion of Detention Centers
It’s also likely that President-elect Trump would increase the number or size of detention centers along the border to effectively apprehend border crossers. This is a departure from the Obama administration’s policy of detaining but releasing families fleeing drug-related violence in Central America, allowing them to seek asylum in immigration courts.
Mr. Trump also plans to cut all funding to ‘sanctuary cities’ if they continue to refuse cooperating with immigration officials in removing undocumented immigrants.
Ultimately, a Trump presidency could mean a reversal of the strides the Obama administration has taken to open legal options for undocumented immigrants to seek legal status. If you or a loved one are concerned about what this could mean, don’t hesitate to contact us at the Lyttle Law Firm. Call us now at (512) 215.5225.