April 15, 2024

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The most recent changes in the United States policy of immigration have been confusing. President Obama in 2012 by executive action allowing young people who had been brought to the US unlawfully by parents to apply for relief from deportation and apply for permit for work.

Expanded program

In 2014, Obama extended this program (known as the DACA or ‘Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals’) and set up a new program to offer similar benefits to some unauthorized immigrant parents of U.S. born children. This DACA expansion and the new program of ‘Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Resident to DAPA’ have been placed on hold due to a legal challenge by 26 states.

Trump’s election

Since President Trump’s election, a key theme of his presidential campaign was his pledge to over haul U.S. Immigration laws. While his immigration plan is focused largely on shoring up border security, it also has many elements that could impact employers.

Broad executive order

Shortly after taking office, Trump issued a very broad executive order that enforces immigration law and calls for an end to sanctuary cities and an increase in the resources to the Department of Homeland Security to increase the level of deportations.

Many affected

These moves could affect more than 11 million undocumented immigrants in the US. But, Trump has signaled a willingness to respect DACA, the program Obama started.

New Executive order

Trump issued a new executive order targeting six Muslim-majority countries and putting in place a temporary ban on all refugees.  This new ban does not contain Iraq and explicitly excuses those with valid visas and holders of green-card. The order, issued on March 6, became effective on March 16.  Even with changes to avoid legal encounters and to smooth its implementation, this new order could affect 11 million directly.  Part of these changes have been held up in the courts.

If unsure

It is important that those who might be affected by and new changes to immigration laws should hire an immigration lawyer and an internet search will point the way to immigration attorney websites. These attorneys will be up-to-date on all changes that are being made or under ban by US courts.