New York Lawyer's Legal Updates

Trump Immigration Orders

Author: New York Immigration lawyer Alena Shautsova

Just a week passed since Mr. Trump became the United States 45th President, and he has already signed three Executive orders affecting Immigration.

The first two orders were signed on January 25, 2017. These orders: confirmed Trump’s plan to build a physical wall on the border with Mexico; change removal priorities that were in effect since 2014; and promise to defund sanctuary cities in case of their non-cooperation with the Federal Immigration authorities.

The following individuals will fall under the new priorities for physical removal out of the United States, those who:

  • Have been convicted of any criminal offense;
  • Have been charged with any criminal offense, where such charge has not been resolved;
  • Have committed acts that constitute a chargeable criminal offense;
  • Have engaged in fraud or willful misrepresentation in connection with any official matter or application before a governmental agency;
  • Have abused any program related to receipt of public benefits; Are subject to a final order of removal, but who have not complied with their legal obligation to depart the United States;
  • In the judgment of an immigration officer, otherwise pose a risk to public safety or national security.

Needless to say, that the new order does not afford ‘presumption of innocence” to those who are non-citizens and simply is too broad to define any reasonable group of people when refers to those who “abused” public benefits. It is also unclear how it will be working in connection with, let’s say pardons or waivers available to immigrants in case they are charged with immigration fraud or misrepresentation. The orders also increase the number of the Ice officers and call for massive detentions of all “undocumented.”

In addition, President Trump signed another executive order limiting immigration of refugees from all the countries for 120 days; banning refugees from Syria; foreclosing immigration from Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, Libya, Iran and Iraq for 90 days; and adding restrictions for people from all the countries: suspending visa waiver interview program.

These executive orders pose more questions than answers. They do not take into consideration family ties that those who are now subject to removal priorities may have in the United States, nor do they take into account these people’s contributions to the United States and local communities. At this time, all those who believe they may be targeted should prepare for still available forms of relief from removal such as Asylum, Cancellation of removal, U visa, VAWA, Withholding of Removal, Adjustment of Status, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, or Prosecutorial Discretion. There may be other forms or relief available, and one should try to consult with an attorney regarding their situation. If you have questions, please call our office at 917-885-2261.

28 January 2017
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