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11/14/2016 - WHAT DOES TRUMP'S ELECTION MEAN FOR U.S. IMMIGRATION?

    In the wake of the recent Presidential elections, Aljijakli & Kosseff, LLC has received unprecedented calls and concerns about the future of our immigration system and how immigrants, families, and businesses will be affected. We intend to stand by our clients and immigrant communities during this tumultuous time and do everything possible under the law to advocate for them.

    Although there is still significant uncertainty as to how President-elect Trump’s immigration policies will play out, we are following these developments closely and will continue to post updates.

    So far, we know that immigration hardliners are advising Mr. Trump on immigration, and we are prepared to face increasingly restrictive immigration policies. Based on Mr. Trump’s campaign statements as well as the information contained on his website, we anticipate:

    • Termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program: President-elect Trump has long promised to terminate President Obama’s executive actions on immigration on day one of his presidency. Once President, Mr. Trump can do just that, without any action by Congress. Accordingly, individuals who have DACA should anticipate that the program may be terminated -- a scenario that would profoundly impact millions of people.

    • Increased Efforts to Deport Immigrants with Criminal Records and Possibly Others without Legal Status: President Obama’s current enforcement policy already targets immigrants with criminal records for removal. President-elect Trump has promised to significantly increase the number of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents to carry out these efforts, which may also extend to undocumented immigrants.

    • Increased Scrutiny of Visa Applications: All visa applications are already subject to careful review, including fingerprint and background checks. Increased scrutiny of visa applicants and long delays are likely, particularly for those applicants who are from Muslim or Middle Eastern countries.

    This list is not exhaustive. For instance, although it has not yet been addressed, we can anticipate that other humanitarian-based programs, such as Temporary Protected Status (TPS), may not be renewed as they have been repeatedly in the past. In addition, based on Mr. Trump’s repeated emphasis on “extreme vetting” of refugees, we expect that he will take measures to reduce the number of refugees abroad who can enter through the U.S. resettlement program for Fiscal Year 2018. Fortunately, for now, Mr. Trump has indicated that he does not intend to challenge the legality of same-sex marriage that could further impact a partner's immigration status.

    Individuals who fall under any of the above categories should seek consultations with experienced immigration attorneys to get a full understanding of their possible immigration options. For those who have other types of cases pending in the U.S. immigration system, it is possible that there may be no impact on your case or simply some additional delays or background checks, depending on the nature of the case.

    Now, more than ever, we remain committed to protecting the rights of immigrants. We urge you to reach out to our office and stay connected with your respective communities for support and resources to face the current environment. We will continue to provide updates regarding the incoming administration’s immigration policies as they become available.

    For further information or if you have other concerns, please contact us at info@akimmigration.com.