Home Ports of Entry Border Five Things to Watch on Immigration

Five Things to Watch on Immigration

President Donald J. Trump
President Donald J. Trump

He vowed to boost enforcement, build a wall on the southern border, and subject 11 million illegal immigrants to deportation.

Here are the top five issues we’re watching on immigration:

1. Executive orders:

Trump vowed in August to “immediately terminate” President Barack Obama’s 2012 executive order sparing 752,154 young undocumented immigrants from deportation, including over 7,200 in Massachusetts.

Besides putting them at risk of deportation, Trump’s plan would jeopardize their work permits, driver’s licenses, and college educations in states like Massachusetts, where they are eligible for in-state tuition.

Since the election, though, Trump said he’d try to find a solution for young immigrants who have lived here since they were children or teenagers that would make people “happy.”

Experts on both sides of the issue say Trump’s advisers are divided: Some want him to enforce the law while others are willing to give young immigrants a break in return for tougher enforcement overall.

As of Monday, Trump hadn’t rescinded Obama’s order and a federal spokeswoman confirmed to the Globe that US Citizenship and Immigration Services is still accepting and processing applications for Obama’s program, called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, “under existing policy.”

2. Enforcement:

The start of the border fence in New Mexico just west of El Paso Texas (Image courtesy: Wikipedia)
The start of the border fence in New Mexico just west of El Paso Texas (Image courtesy: Wikipedia)

Trump vowed to escalate immigration enforcement starting on “day one” with the construction of an “impenetrable” wall on the southern US border that Mexico would pay for, something that former President Vicente Fox says will never happen.

(Some 700 miles of the nearly 2,000-mile border is already fenced off, according to the US Government Accountability Office.)

Trump also said he’d order the Labor Department to investigate visa abuses and increase the number of immigration agents and border patrol officers. But he’s since imposed a federal hiring freeze, calling those promises into question.

3. Refugees:

Refugees (Image Credit: Independent Sentinel)
Refugees (Image Credit: Independent Sentinel)

Trump said he would suspend visas to immigrants from “terror prone” countries, including, he said, Syria and Libya.

Refugees with families overseas and the nonprofits that resettle them in the United States are anxiously awaiting Trump’s next steps.

Millions fled the war in Syria and some are hoping to reunite with relatives living in the United States. Many are now in refugee camps in nations such as Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan, or making their way into northern Europe via Greece.

4. Criminals:

CBP ERO (Image Credit: CBP)
(Image Credit: CBP)

Trump declared he’d deport 2 million to 3 million criminals starting immediately.

To speed deportations, Trump said he would impose visa sanctions on nations that refuse or hinder the deportations of criminals.

One of those nations is China, which was upset when Trump spoke on the phone with the president of Taiwan after the election, so it’s hard to imagine how officials there might react if Trump cancels their visas.

Chinese officials have not commented on the possibility when asked.

5. Sanctuary cities:

Sanctuary Cities (Image Credit: The Center for Immigration Studies)
Sanctuary Cities (Image Credit: The Center for Immigration Studies)

Trump has vowed to strip federal funding from sanctuary cities such as Boston, Somerville, and Lawrence that do not allow their police to freely work with Immigration and Customs Enforcement to deport criminals.

Tens of millions of dollars for housing, public safety, and drug treatment are at stake.

Trump’s threat has city officials in Brockton and Everett wavering over whether it is worth becoming a sanctuary city, while Newton recently erupted in controversy over the issue.

Meanwhile, across the state, churches, nonprofits, and college campuses are increasingly debating whether to offer protection to immigrants who are at risk of deportation.

Original post https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2017/01/23/five-things-watch-immigration/w1GP1BuCb2TbfpPrk9btHP/story.html