There is no denying the fact that Donald Trump’s win of the Presidential Election will effect immigration, due in large part to his campaign pledge to deport 11 million undocumented immigrants, to end the DACA program, to make it harder for unauthorized immigrants to live and work in the United States, to ramp up immigration enforcement, and to build a wall along the Mexican border, sending a clear anti-immigration message. The immigration stances and policies he articulated during his rallies and debates were in stark contrast with those proposed by Hillary Clinton, who had instead pledged to extend President Obama’s Executive Actions and to work towards comprehensive immigration reform, including pathways to citizenship. No doubt this was a huge loss for the immigration world.
Although there is understandable demoralization about the immigration impact of the election and logical fear among undocumented aliens and DACA-eligible immigrants regarding the possibility of deportation, it is important to understand two points relating to the extent to which President-elect Trump would realistically be able to execute his immigration plans: 1) forced deportations of millions of people would be prohibitively expensive and logistically impossible; and 2) there is a system of due process which requires that a court order be generated and allows all immigrants the opportunity to appear before an immigration court to discuss the merits of their case before automatically deporting undocumented individuals in a step-wise fashion as suggested by Trump during his campaign. Additionally, mass deportations have been predicted to cause significant labor shortages in the industries of farming, landscaping, meatpacking, construction, and hospitality. Finally, there are humanitarian concerns regarding how the United States would be perceived internationally if these mass removals were effectuated, causing millions of families to be torn apart.
Beyond the logistical difficulties in executing President-Elect Trump’s immigration plans, there is hope that, once in office, he will re-think his mass deportation strategy and accommodate people who are law abiding and who have children who are United States Citizens. Likewise, there is the possible prospect that he would consider legalizing individuals who were brought into the United States as youngsters through no fault of their own and who have successfully established a life here, as long as they are appropriately vetted and screened. Indeed, only time will tell whether Trump’s campaign rhetoric will soften when faced with more moderate views of congressional colleagues and when logistical concerns are highlighted in the quest to clean up the broken immigration system.
At the Shulman Law Group, LLC, we believe that it is important for undocumented individuals to educate themselves about all of the potentialities facing them. We encourage concerned immigrants to schedule a confidential consultation appointment with our head immigration attorney, Edward Shulman, Esq., to discuss all possible avenues of relief from removal, before Trump takes office in January. Likewise, we welcome the opportunity to meet with and assist individuals considering “self-deportation,” out of fear. Before making rash decisions, a consultation may help to uncover alternative pathways to legalization which may not have already been explored and which may be put into effect prior to Trump’s inauguration.