Did Trump open the door to immigration reform in his speech to Congress?

In my Consulta Migratoria® column this week, I discuss how President Trump addressed the immigration issue in his first address to Congress and what it may mean for undocumented immigrants.

This is the column:

As expected, in his first address to Congress as President of the United States, Donald J. Trump spoke about immigration.

He stressed that immigration laws will be enforced, border security will be strengthened, the wall with Mexico will be built to prevent the flow of undocumented immigrants, and "gang members, drug traffickers and criminals who threaten our communities and seek their victims among our citizens" will continue to be expelled from the country.

He assured that enforcing immigration laws will have the effect of increasing the wages of legal workers in the country.

By eliminating the component of undocumented employees who accept lower wages.

The labor issue has been one of the key points of Trump's campaign, in which he accused immigrants of taking jobs away from Americans and domestic companies of outsourcing people out of the country, causing job losses.

For this reason, and after he ordered the implementation of executive actions that caused great concern in the immigrant community, the President said something that many did not expect to hear:

"I will bring back millions of jobs. Protecting our workers also means reforming our legal immigration system. The current outdated system depresses the wages of our poorest workers, and puts a huge strain on taxpayers."

Within the labor context, he re-emphasized the point of immigration reform in another part of his speech:

"I believe real, positive immigration reform is possible, as long as we focus on the following goals: improving jobs and wages for Americans, strengthening our nation's security, and restoring respect for our laws.

If we are guided by the well-being of American citizens, I believe Republicans and Democrats can work together to achieve an outcome that has eluded our country for decades," President Trump said.

They were brief lines almost hidden within a speech in which he warns that strong measures will be taken to enforce the immigration law and expel those who violate it, but they mark a sign of hope for the immigrant community.

Much has been said about the impossibility of deporting 11 million undocumented immigrants. The reality is that the labor of many of these immigrants is necessary for the operation of certain industries within the country. It was to be expected that at some point there would be talk of immigration reform to prevent the collapse of the agricultural industry, for example, which depends on immigrant workers, mostly undocumented.

The President currently has a Republican majority in Congress and if he really wanted to achieve immigration reform, now is the time to introduce a bill.

But it remains to be seen what kind of proposal could be presented and with what restrictions. Even if the project does move forward, it will most likely take time before it is approved and implemented.

We must remain optimistic that there could be a change in the immigration policy of this new administration. But that does not mean that we have to stand still.

The operations of immigration agents will continue. For this reason, they must avoid any problems with the law. They do not want to put themselves in the crosshairs of the immigration authorities.

Do not wait any longer. If you have not done so before, consult with an immigration attorney to see if you have any legal avenue to be able to stay in the country and put it into action. After so much effort to have a better life in this country, it would be a shame to lose it all by not taking action.