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Part 1 of 2: Spotlight on Donald Trump’s Potential Immigration Policies

USA Elections

During every presidential election, it seems one of the most controversial topics is immigration. This year’s race between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton is no different. This week, we will be taking a look at each candidate’s stand on immigration. First, we will be analyzing Donald Trump’s reform plans for the U.S. immigration system. Be sure to check back in on Thursday for a look at Hillary Clinton’s immigration policies.

Path to Citizenship
Trump wants to end birthright citizenship, suspending the policy that grants automatic citizenship to the children of undocumented parents born in the U.S. He would also like to implement an “ideological certification” test to ensure that those who share American values are entering the country.

Visas and Work Permits
Trump has stated that illegal immigrants “compete directly against vulnerable American workers,” and has promised to “ensure that open jobs are offered to American workers first.”

He wants to boost wages paid to H-1B visa recipients so that companies will be forced to give entry-level jobs to unemployed Americans. He also wishes to further regulate visas like the H-1B and H-2B in order to require companies to first turn to domestic workers before recruiting foreign workers.

Border Security
Donald Trump’s most prominent proposal includes building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. This includes assertions that Mexico will pay for the wall, which the Trump campaign estimates would cost between $5 billion and $10 billion.

If Mexico is unable to make a one-time payment, a Trump administration could compel the country to pay for the wall in several different ways, like intercepting wire transfers initiated by undocumented immigrants. Only those who could prove their legal status would be allowed to wire money outside the U.S. Trump also proposes increasing fees on visas, tariffs and border-crossing cards – a major cause of overstay.

Trump has vowed to deport an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants when he launched his campaign in June of last year. He plans to create a “deportation force” and to impose criminal penalties on immigrants with serious convictions, such as rape or drug dealing. He would allow eligible immigrants to re-enter the U.S. lawfully in order to proceed in obtaining status through the proper channels.

Trump proposes tripling the number of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers from 5,000 to 15,000. Trump also wants ICE officers to cooperate with local law enforcement and end “Sanctuary City” policies, which allows local police departments to refuse to contact immigration officials when they apprehend undocumented immigrants.

Refugee Resettlement
Trump’s stance on refugee resettlement focuses primarily on screening refugees who seek asylum in the United States. He has called for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States,” following the San Bernardino shootings. He has since shifted to a temporary ban that would apply to immigrants with a proven history of terrorism.

Trump has pledged to end catch-and-release practices, the unofficial name for a protocol where people caught for being in unlawful immigration status are released while they wait for a hearing with an immigration judge. Trump has also proposed to detain and deport any immigrants caught illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. 

Berardi Immigration Law will continue to closely monitor the presidential election and any effect it may have on immigration policies. Be sure to check back frequently for updates!