New immigration reforms and updates in the USA

President Obama concentrated his efforts on enforcement of immigration laws, especially removal of illegal immigrants when they were convicted of serious crimes while protecting those who had no criminal record. With Trump’s election victory as the US president, there has been a remarkable political change, especially with immigration. Trump’s main highlights on immigration have partially detailed his plans to call for a 20-60 percent cut in the country’s green cards with an enhancement in immigration administration. From his earliest campaigns, it was clear that Trump’s priority in immigration was to get rid of undocumented/illegal immigrants in the USA and enforce more eligible immigration rules and policies.

Usual routes of Immigration to United States

It has been commonly known that most immigrants obtain a legal immigration status by family unification. That immigration procedure leads to the US permanent resident status and possibly US citizenship after fulfillment of several requirements. Studies conducted in 2016 show that there are more than a million permanent residents (green card holders) who come to the US after sponsorship by family members. The US caps the number of immigrants getting into the country through varies programs; however the family unification program guides itself by its own rules. Immigration lawyers and governmental websites are the best sources of getting information on that particular subject. President Trump has instead put in place immigration policies based on the high economic skills of immigrants. Under Trump the adoption of the new immigration priorities will not only save significant financial resources and increase workers’ wages, but also help the struggling families (especially the immigrants) transform to middle-class citizens a lot faster.

The US Convention of Mayors

United States Conference of Mayors has adopted a resolution that urges the Congress to work towards enacting the comprehensive immigration reform legislation. Given that they represent more than 1,400 cities, their recommendations are always given a priority. Most of the US employers support the reformation as a way of filling vacant positions with highly skilled and formal US citizens. The March CNN/ORC poll has established that 70 percent of American citizens support the legalization that removes undocumented immigrants with no jobs to create room for skilled workers who not only speak English, but presumably will also pay their taxes.


President Obama at the United States Conference of Mayors

By Official White House Photo by Pete Souza –, Public Domain, Link

President Trump has employed the expedited removal proceedings conducted by immigration authorities; however there is a significant opposition to those actions. The new immigration laws require that an illegal immigrant (with no proper documentation) or one with criminal conviction will face deportation without any hearing by an immigration judge. For many illegal immigrants already in this country the only source of hope is a refugee status. However, there are several limitation factors. The asylum hearings are possible in the situations when immigrants have been in the United States not more than a year.

Although, to many people the new immigration reforms are not necessarily good news, they have to face those challenges and seek assistance of a competent immigration lawyer. The new immigration environment is aimed to discourage illegal entries into this country and if someone embarks on that route, he/she must face the consequences. Those who succeed to cross the US borders illegally or who are physically present in this country will have a very limited number of avenues to legalize their status. Consequently, they will have to face the one-year deadline for refugee applications, which may be one of the few, if not the only relief for undocumented/illegal immigrants. In general terms, the government has the plenary power to use accelerated removal proceedings to deport the millions of illegal immigrants without an immigration judge’s hearings. As of February 2017, the immigration courts’ build-up was 542,411 cases and counting with new cases being filed daily. Considering current immigration courts’ abilities to review all those cases and provided that no other immigrants bring forward their cases, the courts will need more than three years to handle the current case load.