Trump administration proposes changes to immigration law

The White House sent Congress a list of proposals classified as "immigration principles" from President Donald Trump, listing a series of changes to immigration law that possibly must be made in conjunction with or before proposing a new deal that would protect beneficiaries of the DACA program - the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals - which the administration terminated on Sept. 5 of this year.

The plan proposes funding for the border wall with Mexico, hiring 10,000 more agents, expediting the deportation of unaccompanied Central American minors, making the use of the E-Verify program mandatory, modifying the approval and delivery of visas to a merit system, and making changes to reduce legal immigration to the country, among other measures.

According to the government, the measures are aimed at protecting the security of the country, protecting U.S. workers and taxpayers, and ensuring "safe and legal" admissions of immigrants to the country.

The proposal, sent to Congress, for the moment is exactly that: a proposal.

The U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate must introduce and pass a bill before reforms to existing laws can be made. It is difficult to predict whether the proposal will have enough support to move forward, as several legislators have spoken out against the measures.

Some of the main points of the immigration plan proposed by President Trump:

  • Financing and construction of the wall on the southern border with Mexico.
  • Ensure the "safe and expeditious return" of unaccompanied children and family units apprehended at the border.
  • Expedite the deportation of unaccompanied Central American children.
  • Increased penalties for those who illegally cross the border after being deported.
  • Hiring of 10,000 Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents.
  • Hiring of 1,000 attorneys and 370 immigration judges to process expedited deportations at the border.
  • End abuse of the asylum system by establishing stricter standards, penalties to punish fraud, and detention of applicants while their claims are verified.
  • End "chain migration" by limiting who can obtain permanent residency based on family ties to spouses and minor children of citizens and permanent residents.
  • Creation of a visa system in which applicants accumulate "points" based on their "merits" - job skills or knowledge.
  • Elimination of the diversity visa program, known as the "visa lottery".

In the following links you can see the documents detailing the White House immigration proposals:

Immigration principles and policies (Immigration Principles & Policies)

Executive Summary on Immigration Policy Priorities of the Trump Administration. (Trump Administration Immigration Policy Priorities Executive Summary)

Securing the border through the rapid removal and elimination of illegal entrants (Secure the Border By Deterring and Swiftly Removing Illegal Entrants)

Enforcing immigration laws in the United States. (Enforce Immigration Laws Across the United States)

Establishing merit-based reforms to promote assimilation and financial success (Establish Merit-Based Reforms to Promote Assimilation and Financial Success.)