I know you are aware there is an election taking place on November 3, 2020. In this post, I will analyze the major parties’ immigration plans and give you the good bad, and ugly about the immigration consequences of reelecting President Donald Trump and electing Joe Biden. In this post, I will discuss the immigration consequences of reelecting President Trump.
President Trump’s Immigration Plan
I will start with President Trump’s plans. Since there was not a published Republican Party platform this year, the only thing I could rely on was a post from the White House. I will now discuss President Trump’s plan point by point:
Securing the Border:
The first point in the President’s plan is to fully secure the border. This should be funded, according to the plan, by a trust fund funded with fees paid at ports of entry. This seems to reference fees on goods entering the United States and not people.
My analysis: No one disputes the need for a secure border. However, this seems to be highlighting a solution without a problem. Most of the undocumented population in the United States consists of visa overstays from people who came legally to the US. So, securing the border will not drive down the number of undocumented immigrants.
Restore integrity to America’s Exploited Asylum Process:
The second point in the plan is to secure America’s “Exploited” asylum system. This seems to be referencing the long time it takes to adjudicate asylum claims in the United States. The post does not elaborate on how the system is “exploited”, however, from the President’s other statements I believe this points to the alleged high level of fraud in the system.
My analysis: I do not disagree that the system has some fraud in it. However, the fraud gets weeded out at the initial stage, when someone applies for either an affirmative application before the Service or before the immigration judge.
I have represented numerous asylum applicants before the Service whose applications were granted by the asylum officer because they had legitimate claims. I have also turned down MANY potential clients because they simply did not qualify for asylum based on the facts they share with me. So, I agree, there is some fraud in the system.
However, fraud is not caused by legitimate claims. There are several structural challenges to the asylum process. The first one is notaries who pretend to be “translators” and are engaged in the unauthorized practice of law. These individuals do not vet claims and apply for anyone who is paying them to apply.
Second, the long backlogs in case processing is what leads to the long process. I once heard the director of the Miami Asylum Office speak at USCIS. Since the one-year deadline was instituted by the government, the number of fraudulent claims went down severely. The ”grant rate” went up to 65% at the busiest asylum office in the country. This tells me that the procedural rails are there to weed out claims. Moreover, the long wait times to get a hearing before the immigration courts is very long.
The asylum system is “exploited” because of structural challenges and not because of fraud.
Modernize the legal immigration process to protect American workers:
The plan calls for a points system to admit immigrants. The plan, however, does not differentiate between family and employment-based immigration to the United States. The plan also calls for “recruitment requirements, displacement prohibitions, and wage floors.”
My analysis: I have advocated for a points-based employment immigration system in the United States to replace the system we have. The current system displaces and forces many foreign students, educated in the United States, to leave after the completion of their course of study. A points system will allow us to retain these students, who we desperately need in the United States.
Promote National Unity:
The President calls for national unity by requiring new permanent residents to pass a civics and English exam. These requirements are aimed to assimilate new immigrants into the American melting pot.
My analysis: I can not condone this point in the plan. This would limit immigrants to white Anglo Saxons, which was the goal of our immigration system before the 1957 law. Moreover, requiring a civics test that the majority of United States citizens would not pass will exasperate the first problem.
Prioritize the Immediate Families of United States Citizens and New Immigrants:
This makes it a priority to process immigration applications filed by family members of US citizens and permanent residents.
My analysis: this point changes nothing in the current immigration system. The current system prioritizes these categories. The problem with the system is the per-country limitations, which make some families wait almost 30 years for their family members to join them in the United States.
President Trump’s immigration plan does not differ from the plan he instituted in 2016. It does not seem that the President is aiming to attract new voters based on his immigration plan. If you have been affected by these policies, give us a call at
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