In January 2017, President-elect Donald Trump will become the 45th President of the United States. In the wake of this historic election, there has been a considerable amount of anxiety and despair due to Trump’s stated immigration stance during his campaign. As a Miami immigration lawyer in a city where thousands of new immigrants seek new lives in America, I would like to take the opportunity to answer some frequently asked questions.
Which immigrants are potentially at risk under Trump’s presidency?
As a Miami immigration lawyer and an advocate for immigrants, I note with a heavy heart that so-called Dreamers — those given protection under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program —are at risk of losing legal status.
As President, Mr. Trump can also revoke President Obama’s executive action in 2012 that created an immigration program known as DACA, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. This policy allows certain immigrants in the U.S. illegally who were brought to the country as kids to receive protection from deportation and work permits. As of June 30, there have been 1.3 million cases approved.
It’s uncertain whether Mr. Trump will allow the existing DACA permits to expire on their own or dissolve them the day he signs the order. In either case, the young immigrants will lose their protected status and be eligible for deportation. If either scenario above applies to you, I would urge to consult with a Miami immigration lawyer at your earliest convenience, as time may be running out for potential relief.
I am an undocumented immigrant. Does a Trump presidency mean that I stand more of a chance of being deported?
Unfortunately, all signs point to “yes.” Trump’s aides have begun drafting instructions that he can issue on his first day in office for the nation’s 5,000 deportation officers to begin rounding up more people for removals, according to two advisors to his transition team.
“There is vast potential to increase the level of deportations without adding personnel,” said Kris Kobach, the Kansas secretary of state and a member of Trump’s immigration policy transition team. This is precisely why, if you are currently undocumented, you should immediately consult with a Miami immigration lawyer to discuss your options.
How many more deportations can we expect under a Trump presidency?
By giving more authority to Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, Trump easily could boost deportations by more than 75% in his first year in office, according to Kris Kobach, the Kansas secretary of state and a member of Trump’s immigration policy transition team.
That would meet the record set in 2012, at the end of Obama’s first term, when more than 400,000 people were deported. It fell to 235,00 last year after illegal immigration fell, and after agents were ordered to focus first on deporting criminals, repeat immigration violators and recent arrivals.
Under Trump, Kobach said, agents likely will return to raiding workplaces and checking workers’ status. Again, if you are undocumented, I would advise you to consult a Miami immigration attorney without delay to explore your options.
I am thinking of applying for refugee status in the United States. Will my chances of doing so be decreased during a Trump presidency?
Trump has the capacity to greatly reduce the number of refugees admitted to the country can also be trimmed dramatically during Trump’s first months in office. He can reduce the maximum number of refugees admitted from each country as well as change the procedures for screening them, according to Stephen W. Yale-Loehr, a professor of immigration law at Cornell Law School. If you are thinking of applying for refugee status, I would urge you to contact a Miami immigration attorney without delay to discuss your options.
I am an undocumented immigrant. What else should I be aware of?
If you happen to be from a Spanish speaking country, you should be aware of notario fraud. In many Spanish speaking countries, a notary is akin to a lawyer. In the United States, however, a notario is not licensed to provide legal advice or represent individuals in court. In a volatile, uncertain situations such as these, it is essential that to not fall prey to predators. Only a licensed Miami immigration lawyer can represent you in immigration court.
Finally, I would like to extend my deepest assurances to any immigrant, refugee, or asylee that should you choose to retain our firm, we will fight, and fight hard for your right to live in the United States. The xenophobic language of Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign has been alarming for undocumented individuals, and rightfully so. If you are an undocumented immigrant, please know that your consultation with me is confidential, that I am committed to representing you in any and all avenues of relief, and that today, as with all other days, I stand with you.
If you would like more information on U.S. immigration policy under a Trump presidency, please contact Miami immigration lawyer Michael G. Murray, Esq. at (305) 895-2500 or visit our website at www.mmurraylaw.com.