President Trump First week in office: New Immigration Policies

As a candidate, Donald Trump made a myriad of "Day One" promises. Now with his Inauguration closely behind him, all eyes are on the new Commander in Chief as he moves on his top priorities "Monday is really the day that we start signing and working and making great deals for the country." The new White House administration also released that President Trump’s first full week in office would include action on trade, immigration, and national security.

President Donald Trump is expected to implement changes in U.S. immigration policy as soon as possible by using his executive power, the same controversial approach taken by his predecessor, former President Barack Obama, to change government policies. With the employment of such contentious politics, he can act on his own and hit the ground running on deportation, the border wall or even restrict immigration from Syria.

President Trump First week in Office: The Future of DACA

Trump’s campaign was unbridled with the promise to change the nation’s approach to immigration, boost deportations, build a wall, and overturn President Obama's youth program - all on his first day. While some of his proposals will require approval from Congress - and pose numerous legal challenges - there are some that are well within his reach subject only to constitutional limitations. For example, Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) - created through executive action. DACA protects an estimated 750,000 immigrants brought to the United States illegally as children - also known as Dreamers - by giving them a safe harbor from deportation and work permits. Dreamers, are seen as the most sympathetic group among the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants living in the United States. While President Trump has wide leeway to reverse Obama’s policy, Democratic leaders and immigration advocates are pushing members of Congress to protect the young immigrants.

Yesterday the President said that he would focus immigration enforcement efforts first on criminal immigrants in the country giving a glimpse of hope to more than three-quarters of a million young immigrants protected from deportation under the Obama administration. Information about the program and applications documents also remain available online from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the Homeland Security agency that manages DACA.

President Trump also affirmed that he wants to resume work-site raids and jail visits by immigration agents to find undocumented immigrants. However, this would require a significant increase in human resources as well as deportation facilities, in which to hold the detainees. And while he is pushing for extreme vetting of undocumented immigrants, most of those detained would have the right to a hearing.

What about high-skilled immigrants?

Former President Obama's ambitious immigration agenda set its sights on solving the bureaucratic obstacles for high-skilled immigration. However, Trump’s new administration is also threatening to target legal immigration. One of Mr. Trump’s hard-line immigration changes that would warrant action by Congress is a bill that would demand that U.S. employers use the federal E-Verify system to run background checks on potential employees to confirm their status.

Currently, the United States issues 65,000 visas for high-skilled workers — known as H-1B. Though Mr. Trump has acknowledged that we "need highly skilled people in this country," how his administration plans to handle immigration policy for high-skilled workers remains more or less a mystery.

President Trump and Immigration: A Wall divides the Nation

During his campaign, President Trump vowed to reverse Obama’s executive actions that shielded young immigrants from deportation, saying “they have to go.” And while he has since promised to “work something out,” it is still expected that he will roll back chunks of President Obama’s agenda. Expected executive orders in the coming days give Trump a chance to put his initial stamp on his administration. His administration has said that they would start to concentrate their efforts on deporting people who threaten public safety. Immigrants who have overstayed visas will also be among the administration's enforcement priorities.

Most immigrant-rights activist groups advert that solutions to the United States immigration issues are multifaceted and multicultural, and that can only be solved through cooperation between nations not the building of walls.

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