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Immigration Principles & Policies

On October 8, 2017 the Trump Administration issued its long-awaited “Immigration Principles & Policies”. Trump’s accompanying letter to Congress states that these “reforms must be included as part of any legislation addressing the status of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients.” The policy paper provides details on Border Security and Interior Enforcement. It also calls for a shift from family-based chain migration to merit-based, or skills-based, immigration.

In order to increase border security, the White House is demanding funding for a wall on the southern border of the United States. It also seeks to shrink humanitarian relief programs by tightening standards for asylum, decreasing the number of refugees and curtailing protections for Unaccompanied Alien Children from Central America and amending the definition of “special juvenile immigrants”. Grounds for inadmissibility are to be expanded

The White House is urging that Interior Enforcement be enhanced through the hiring of 10,000 additional ICE agents.  Other priorities include penalizing Sanctuary Cities by taking away federal grants, expanding criteria for deportability to include gang membership and multiple drunk driving offenses. Visa violations are to be reclassified as misdemeanors. Employers will be required to use the E-Verify program, an electronic status-verification system, to prevent undocumented immigrants from getting jobs.

In order to establish a merit-based immigration system, the White House proposes to limit family-based green cards to spouses and minor children. A points-based system will be used to award Green Cards. The administration also calls for the elimination of the “Diversity Visa Lottery”.

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