01/25/2017 - Executive Orders Impacting Immigration

Today, President Trump signed two executive orders that will affect our current immigration system and many individuals who are in the United States without status.  Through these orders, President Trump seeks to curtail immigration efforts and keep his campaign promise to build a wall in the southern border. Among many of the provisions in these orders, the most notable provisions are the following:
  • The Secretary of Homeland Security (“Secretary”) will begin construction of a physical wall between the United States and Mexico;
  • The Secretary will immediately construct facilities near the southern border to detain foreign nationals entering the United States;
  • Asylum officers and immigration judges will be assigned to the detention facilities to expedite the individual’s claims of eligibility to remain in the United States and expedite the removal of such individuals if their claims are rejected; 
  • The Secretary will hire 5,000 new border agents and 10,000 new immigration officers;
  • The Secretary will end “catch and release” practices where people caught for being in unlawful immigration status are released while they wait for a hearing with an immigration judge;
  • The Secretary, with the consent of state and local officials, will authorize state and local authorities to perform functions of immigration officers by investigating, apprehending, and detaining foreign nationals in the United States;
  • The Attorney General and Secretary will strip federal grants offered to “sanctuary jurisdictions” that do not allow their police departments to help US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) detain and deport immigrants;
  • The Secretary will issue a weekly report of “a comprehensive list of criminal actions committed by aliens and any jurisdiction that ignored or otherwise failed to honor any detainers with respect to such aliens;”
  • The Secretary will restore the Secure Communities program; and
  • The Secretary will create an office at ICE to support victims of crimes committed by removable aliens.  
According to our sources, we believe that President Trump will be signing other executive orders which include those that impact the issuance of visas to individuals from countries determined to be high risk; restrict the admission of refugees to the United States; immediately suspend the visa interview waiver program at some consulates; evaluate and revamp the H-1B, L-1, E-2, and B-1 nonimmigrant visa programs; review employment authorization document issuance; terminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (“DACA”) program; and re-examine employment authorization issued to foreign students.  Please stay tuned and we will keep you posted.
Please note that the above has been offered for educational purposes only.  Please contact Clark Lau LLC to determine how the above may impact your particular circumstances.

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