I am sure a big concern on everyone’s mind right now is what are the consequences for immigration based on the victory last night by Donald Trump. I think (and this is my opinion) that there will actually not be much change, but there will be some significant changes for certain populations.
First, I think DACA will be gone. If you do not recall, DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, was the program begun by Obama to help those who came to the US as children. It allowed them to avoid deportation and to get work authorization. However, as this was through executive order, this program was always temporary. I see no reason why Trump would keep this program in place, and my view is it will be gone once he gets into office.
Second, I do not think that there will be any significant changes to immigration law otherwise. Because of the Court rulings in the DAPA case (that was Obama’s executive order to help the parent’s of childhood arrivals) that stated the President did not have that authority, I think it will also be difficult for Trump to change anything through executive action. And I certainly cannot see congress agreeing to pass any other changes. Forget Republican’s and Democrat’s working together, Republican’s cannot even agree on what changes they want. Could he have USCIS change their regulations, make them look harder at certain cases (Muslim’s, etc.)? It is possible, but I think extremely improbable. Why do I say this? We already have heightened security checks for certain populations, including adult males from certain countries. These checks are already extremely comprehensive so I cannot really see them doing more than that, and am not even sure what additional security measures (short of a ban) could be implemented. Additionally, why spend the time trying to do something else, when the Trump administration can just publicize the current practice as “new” and take credit for being harder on Immigrants. About the only thing I see Trump being able to do is to try to increase the number of deportations and the number of raids for illegal immigrants. However, considering Obama has already expanded those, Trump would most likely first need to get more funding for such activities, which may or may not pass congress. The deportation question is the one prediction I am less certain about, but it would take quite an outlay in spending to get to the levels that Trump has discussed, and I just am not sure that Congress will approve quite that much.
Third, what about his ban on Muslims entering the US? I cannot see this actually being implemented for two reasons. As stated above, if he tries to do this as an executive order, Democrats would sue and the Courts, most likely, would strike it down as unconstitutional. Or, if he implemented it as a regulation change, public interest groups would sue and the Courts, most likely, would strike it down as unconstitutional. Additionally, if he tries to push through legislation, I do not think there would be sufficient support. As stated above, Republicans are simply not united on this front. Without Democratic support, therefore, this could not pass, and Democrat’s do not support this extreme policy.
So overall, I do not see much change occurring. I think will continue more or less as they are for the next several years with little or no change. Could I be wrong? Yes, I could be mistaken, I do admit that. However, even with Congress being Republican, I do not think that Senator’s can agree on much around immigration as history has shown us time and time again. Therefore I do not think that there will be as big of a change in immigration law as many fear.
Please remember, as always, this blog does not offer legal advice. If you need legal advice, consult with a lawyer instead of a blog. Thank you.