As we focused on the president’s attacks on the NFL, the Dolphin scandal, the BET awards, and other “major” events, President trump published his immigration principles and policies. President Donald Trump announced he would end the Obama-era DACA program, which protects young undocumented immigrants brought to the US as children, at the beginning of last month, but gave Congress a six-month window in which to act to make the program permanent. The Trump administration’s principles and policies are his demands to make any deal to replace the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that the administration is ending.
The first listed priority is the completion of a wall along the southern border of the United States. President Trumps wants to authorize the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to raise, collect, and use fees from immigration benefit applications and border crossings for functions related to border security, physical infrastructure, and law enforcement (including building the wall). This off course is contrary to his campaign promise of having Mexico pay for the wall.
Unaccompanied minors are also targeted by the Administration. It is this Administration’s wish to clarify that immigrant minors who enter the United States without a parent or legal guardian able to provide care and physical custody are not entitled to the presumptions and protections granted under current regulations. President Trump would like to amend the law to require an unaccompanied minor to prove that reunification with both of their parents is not viable due to abuse, neglect, or abandonment AND that the child was a victim of trafficking before qualifying for Special Immigration Juvenile status and a green card. Currently, a child does not have a burden of showing that they were a victim of trafficking.
The Administration cites a backlog of 270,00 pending USCIS asylum cases and 250,000 pending immigration court asylum cases to make it harder for future refugees to qualify for asylum. The Trump administration would like to elevate the threshold standard of proof in credible fear interviews. They would also like to impose and enforce penalties for the filing of frivolous, baseless, or fraudulent asylum application, and expand the use of expedited removal. The Trump administration would also like the ability to deport immigrants who do not qualify for asylum to their home countries OR to third countries.
To minimize the flow of illegal immigration to the southern border, the Trump administration would like to authorize DHS to provide foreign assistance to partner nations to support migration management efforts in those nations. This would allow the U.S to provide direct aid to countries in central America in their management of migration to decrease the number of illegal immigrants crossing the southern border.
The current immigration system allows US Citizens to petition for a green card for their parents, spouse, minor children, adult children, and siblings. Green card holders are able to petition for a green card for their spouse, minor children, or adult children. According to the Trump administration, the current system prioritizes an extended family-based migration over a skills-based immigration and does not serve national interest. According to the Trump administration, decades or low skilled immigration has suppressed wages, fueled unemployment and strained federal resources. To address this, they would like to limit family-based to green cards to spouses and minor children and replace it with a merit based system that prioritizes skills and economic contributions over family relationships. This new system would have a point-based system based on factors that allow “individuals to successfully assimilate and support themselves financially.” This would prioritize countries that are English speaking, it would also eliminate the Diversity Visa Lottery program.
The published report lists a number of other choking priorities that would change the immigration system as we know it. The Administration proposed to punish local municipalities who refuse to function as an extension of federal immigration and enforcement agencies. They would make it a misdemeanor to overstay a visa and would increase the penalties for hiring an immigrant without proper work authorization.
These proposed changes, if accepted, would change minority communities throughout the United States. This is a direct attack on our ability to petition for our families to come to the U.S legally. It bullies local enforcement agencies and even third countries to act as extensions of DHS. This Administration has made it clear that they would like to change our current immigration system. These changes will impact everyone in the long term. Stay engaged, stay educated, voice your concerns, and reach out to your local representatives.