Dallas, TX (Law Firm Newswire) April 20, 2017 – The Obama Administration and many members of Congress have long sought comprehensive immigration reform to resolve the status of some 11 million undocumented persons now living in the United States.
Whether they have an ally in the White House under the Trump Administration remains an open question. President Trump has sent mixed signals, speaking out against the danger of illegal immigration during his address to a joint session of Congress, but suggesting in a private meeting with television anchors that he would be open to a reform bill that provided a pathway to legal status, but not citizenship, for the undocumented who have not committed serious crimes.
“The President's public comments on immigration obscure what he may actually propose to Congress, [a plan] that would provide an immigration benefit,” said Stewart Rabinowitz, an immigration attorney with the law firm of Rabinowitz & Rabinowitz, P.C. in Frisco and Dallas, Texas. “[However,] most of his statements involving immigration, [so far,] have been on the enforcement side – adding to the border Patrol and building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico.”
During the 2016 Presidential campaign, Candidate Trump was critical of any bipartisan reform efforts. Trump claimed that many of the undocumented were criminals and famously pledged to build a wall on the Mexican border, and make Mexico pay for it.
In his 2016 campaign materials, Trump criticized a 2013 Senate reform bill as a giveaway to wealthy donors, and said that the needs of American working people needed to come first. At the same time, part of Candidate Trump’s plan to “put America first” included a directive to “reform legal immigration” to serve American interests.
President Trump’s remarks to news anchors, initially off the record but later confirmed, included openness to legal status for some people now in the United States illegally and citizenship for Dreamers, the more than 740,000 young people who came to the United States as undocumented immigrants when they were children, who were granted temporary relief under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA initiative set up by President Obama.
During the 2016 campaign, Candidate Trump called Obama’s Deferred Action program illegal and unconstitutional, and said he would terminate it immediately. Now, as President, he has expressed sympathy toward Dreamers, and has so far not rescinded the deferred action.
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