Donald Trump’s surprising victory in the recent presidential election, has prompted a lot of questions about the future of immigration law. We can’t predict the future but because we are getting asked the same questions so frequently, we wanted to offer our best insight into these issues that are on a lot of immigrants’ minds.
Is a new deportation force going to start going door to door deporting everyone who is undocumented?
Probably not. There are over 12 million undocumented people in this country and the resources simply don’t exist to deport them all. Despite Donald Trump’s tough rhetoric early on in the campaign he seemed to acknowledge this point later on by talking about enforcement priorities—e.g. focusing on undocumented immigrants who have committed violent crimes—which sounds a lot like the system that currently exists. At one point Trump even praised the deportation success of Barack Obama’s administration, which has actually been the most aggressive in history, earning Obama the nickname “Deporter in Chief.” Our best guess right now, is that deportation efforts will remain pretty much the same as they are now.
Regardless of what happens, Diener Law is committed to keeping its clients informed about updates in the law and doing whatever we can, legally, to protect them.
Will LPR’s lose their status?
No. There’s no reason to think that people who currently have LPR status will have that revoked as a result of Donald Trump’s election.
If I’m eligible for immigration benefits but haven’t applied yet, could this affect me?
Yes! Donald Trump has made a number of statements indicating he may limit the paths of legal immigration. Whether Congress would go along with such efforts remains to be seen, but anyone who has potential eligibility under the current law should apply immediately or else they run the risk that those paths will not be available in the future.
What about DACA?
DACA exists as the result of an executive action. It was not a law passed by Congress. Therefore, Trump could revoke it, without having to go through Congress. Whether he will or not is unclear. Our hope is that he will not because DACA is in line with enforcement priorities he has discussed for deportation, and late in the campaign he expressed some sympathy for Dreamers. Anyone who has DACA though, should consider consulting an immigration attorney about whether they have other immigration options or whether or not they can or should renew their DACA.
What about DAPA?
DAPA is probably done. Its future was already doubtful after the recent Supreme Court decision but seems doomed now that Donald Trump has been elected. It is an executive order that Trump can revoke without Congress approval, and because no one has yet benefitted from DAPA, it is much easier to revoke than a program like DACA that has already benefited so many immigrants. Anyone who is DAPA eligible and waiting on its approval should consult an immigration attorney to see if there are other paths to status they can take and should do it as soon as possible.
Will there still be comprehensive immigration reform?
It’s still possible but the future of comprehensive immigration reform is very much uncertain. Anyone who has been holding out, waiting for comprehensive immigration reform, should take action as soon as possible to see if they have options under the current law.