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How the White House Immigration Principles are Affecting Central Florida Immigrants

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In the attempt to overhaul the country’s immigration system, the Trump Administration has published its “Immigration Principles & Policies”. The Immigration Principles & Policies, recently introduced by President Trump, is a seven page document includes an expansive list of 70 legislative demands, focusing on many crucial areas starting with the U.S. and Mexico border wall, including funding and costs associated with the infrastructure. We encourage you to read the policy changes on the HAWM Law Resource page on our website.  We realize it can be very confusing and as a leader in immigration law here in Central Florida, we would be glad to answer your questions and help you through the process. Even in the face of harsh immigration policies, there are many steps you can take to earn your status.

Border Security

The Administration’s goal is to secure the border and prevent and reduce both legal and illegal immigration. “Our porous southern border presents a clear threat to our national security and public safety, and is exploited by drug traffickers and criminal cartels. The Administration therefore proposes completing construction of a wall along the southern border of the United States.” The manifesto also includes increasing the number of customs and border patrol officers to combat illegal immigration at the border.

Unaccompanied Alien Children

Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC’s) who enter the United States at the present time without inspection are released to a parent or family in the U.S. This “loophole” according to the Administration prevents children from being removed and increases illegal immigration. The proposed Immigration Principles & Policies will amend current law to ensure the return of family units, as well as UACs.

i. Amend the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 (TVRPA) to treat all UACs the same regardless of their country of origin, so long as they are not victims of human trafficking and can be safely returned home or removed to safe third countries.

ii. Clarify that alien minors who are not UACs (accompanied by a parent or legal guardian or have a parent or legal guardian in the United States available to provide care and physical custody) are not entitled to the presumptions or protections granted to UACs.

iii. Terminate the Flores Settlement Agreement (FSA) by passing legislation stipulating care standards for minors in custody and clarify corresponding provisions of the TVPRA that supersede the FSA.

iv. Amend the definition of “special immigrant,” as it pertains to juveniles, to require that the applicant prove that reunification with both parents are not viable due to abuse, neglect, or abandonment and that the applicant is a victim of trafficking. The current legal definition is abused, and provides another avenue for illicit entry.

v. Repeal the requirement that an asylum officer have initial jurisdiction over UAC asylum applications to expedite processing.

Merit-Based Immigration System

In an attempt to end “chain migration”, President Trump has included a complete overhaul of the green card system, limiting family based green cards to lawful permanent residents, spouses, and the minor children of U.S. citizens.

i. End extended-family chain migration by limiting family-based green cards to spouses and minor children and replace it with a merit-based system that prioritizes skills and economic contributions over family connections.

ii. Establish a new, points-based system for the awarding of Green Cards (lawful permanent residents) based on factors that allow individuals to successfully assimilate and support themselves financially.

iii. Eliminate the “Diversity Visa Lottery.”

iv. Limit the number of refugees to prevent abuse of the generous U.S. Refugee Admissions Program and allow for effective assimilation of admitted refugees into the fabric of our society.

The Administration has also terminated the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, a move designed to leverage a solution for Dreamers that moves the Administration’s immigration agenda forward. President Trump had said he wanted a legislative fix to fund the border wall, but the new immigration policies go far beyond that.

“These priorities are essential to mitigate the legal and economic consequences of any grants or status to DACA recipients,” White House legislative affairs director Marc Short told reporters in a Sunday evening conference call. “We’re asking that these reforms be included in any legislation concerning the status of DACA recipients.”

The White House wants to hire 10,000 more immigration officers, boost fees at the border crossing, overhaul the asylum system, tougher penalties, and speedier deportation for unaccompanied children.