Trump Administration Announced New Immigration Priorities
On October 8, 2017, President Trump released new Immigration priorities. The US will head in the direction of limiting family based immigration, as well as refugee-based immigration and favoring immigrants with high skills. Fewer people will qualify for visas and green cards, and fewer green cards will be issued to those who qualify.
Eliminating Opportunities for Many Abandoned and Neglected Children
A draconian change is offered in the area of children-related immigration. The new “principles” propose to eliminate Special Immigrant Juvenile status for those kids who may reunite with one parent. Also, all benefits for unaccompanied minors will be eliminated as well, and left only for those children who can prove they were victims of human trafficking.
Limiting Asylum Based Immigration
The proposed principles stress heavily that there are “loopholes” in asylum system which had to be closed. The principles state essentially, that it will be harder to pass a credible fear interview and all those who would not meet the high threshold, will be “swiftly” deported.
The principles propose to add additional grounds of inadmissibility:
i. Expand the grounds of inadmissibility to include gang membership.
ii. Expand the grounds of inadmissibility to include those who have been convicted of an aggravated felony; identity theft; fraud related to Social Security benefits; domestic violence; child abuse; drunk driving offenses; failure to register as a sex offender; or certain firearm offenses, including the unlawful purchase, sale, possession, or carrying of a firearm.
iii. Expand the grounds of inadmissibility to include former spouses and children of individuals engaged in drug trafficking and trafficking in persons, if the official determines the divorce was a sham or the family members continue to receive benefits from the illicit activity.
Funding Foreign Countries’ Removal System
One of the new principles include monetary aid to foreign countries in Central America. Such a measure aims at removing from those countries immigrants who intend to come to the US.
Criminalizing Visa Overstay
The new principles propose to make it a misdemeanor when a person overstays his/her visa; and also, to bar all visa overstays from immigration benefits for a certain period of time with no waiver.
Also, all persons who are posting bonds will be subject to background check. The proposal offers mandatory detention of all those found on US territory without inspection or admission; or with overstayed visas; or who were charged with a crime resulted in bodily injury.
Drastic Changes to Family Immigration
Finally, the new principles aim to end parents and siblings sponsorship, as well as DV lottery.