Possible 2019 Changes to Immigration Laws
With 2018 now behind us, many foreign nationals and non-citizens are eager to know what 2019 has in store for them. What may 2019 hold in store for changes in immigration law and policy? Major topics of interest include Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which is currently in the middle of federal court litigation, the Central American migrant humanitarian crisis, and the contested southern border wall President Trump has pushed since his campaign, which has now caused a multi-week federal government shutdown. These are mere examples of disputes that have had a direct impact on immigration policy discussions, immigration lawyers, and foreign nationals themselves.
Will we see positive strides on the DACA front? DACA recipients have lived their lives in limbo since the president terminated the program in 2017. The federal courts may have something to say about its state. With the border wall debate holding up government funding, will DACA reform be used as part of a deal between Democrats and Republicans? Alternatively, 2019 could bring further strangles on an already difficult area. The president’s current administration has taken a hard line on foreign nationals who have no lawful immigration status.President Trump has already terminated Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for multiple countries.
Could we see further negative direction in 2019?
According to an AP-NORC poll, immigration is the third most debated and highly discussed topic amongst Americans.
The list of immigration-related issues the country could face continues to grow on a daily basis. Among many hot topics, below are just a handful of the more prominent potential changes in 2019:
1. DACA – will it stay or will it go?
2. The effects of public benefit applications and usage by foreign nationals
3. Are “sanctuary cities” legal or do they infringe on law enforcement duties?
4. Denaturalization of foreign-born U.S. citizens
5. The deportation of criminal non-citizens
Much of the immigration-related agencies have been directly impacted by the federal government shutdown. Non-essential employees are furloughed until a budget appropriation is passed and the government is reopened. This is related directly to President Trump’s ongoing push for a wall between the United States and Mexico. Fortunately, USCIS is operated based on fee payments for applications, so most of its functions are not impacted by the shutdown. USCIS already made several concerning changes to its rules and policies in 2018, including implementing authority to recommend to ICE that applicants be required to appear in deportation court, and passing a new rule that scrutinizes green card applicants who are low-income or require public assistance.
We may see these lingering topics come into the spotlight as we continue to edge closer and closer to the highly anticipated 2020 election year.
Curious on how 2019 may impact your plans for bringing a loved one into the United States? Reach out to Ibrahim Law Office, an immigration law firm, to schedule a consultation for yourself or a loved one.