Recent News In Immigration: Changes That Might Come Sooner Than We Expect
The last day of October 2017 was truly horrifying, and not only for New Yorkers who had to face yet another attack, but I believe for the whole world community of people who are tired of hatred and violence. As we all know, President Trump reacted immediately and defensively: he suggested that the DV Program that helped to bring the Manhattan attacker to the US must be closed. Later, the White House stated that it would not close the program just now. But the one thing I can predict for sure: the program and the screening for it if not canceled entirely, will undergo significant changes. It might be that some countries or regions will be banned, it may be that the qualifications will be changed and will correspond more to the proposals voiced in RAISE.
Changes in the Asylum system: now, we may say with a certain degree of certainty that the US Asylum system will be changed as well. I am not sure if the entire system of asking for asylum at the border will be abolished, or the guidelines will become stricter, but it seems that all is heading in the direction of closing up the borders as tight as possible. (See US Asylum System is Under Attack.)
The other areas of law that are likely to be reformed: employment-based immigration (recently, the government started to re-check approved employment-based petitions); Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (the government announced plans to close an opportunity for kids with one available parent); and certain areas of family-based immigration (sponsorship for parents).
We are still in limbo as to what is going to happen with DACA kids and Haitian TPS holders (both statuses were announced to end in the nearest future).
However, despite all these plans and ongoing changes, the main immigration channels were not and are likely not be closed: spousal immigration; regular asylum requested in the US; employment-based immigration; immigration for talented and extraordinary people; VAWA applicants, etc. Also, certain changes may be accomplished only through legislative means: as such, we all would be responsible to a degree for those changes, as we can, and we should be proactive and get involved with our elected officials whose job is to voice people’s will.