President Donald Trump focused heavily on reforming American immigration policy during the 2018 State of the Union Address. While it’s always been clear that the president plans to totally overhaul the current system, the State of the Union address continued to underscore his determination.
As it stands, the key areas of immigration reform center on:
- Establishing a path to citizenship for 1.8 million “Dreamers” as well as the citizens associated with the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
- Creating a substantial budget for the creation of a wall between Mexico and the US
- Ending the visa lottery and exchanging it for another merit-based program
- Limiting family reunification to sponsorships to only include spouses and children
Ending Chain Migration
Highlights from the president’s speech included discussing his desire to “protect the nuclear family” by ending elimination the current family reunification process. Democrats interpreted this to mean that there was no room for negotiations about including the DACA program as part of the immigration reform policy.
Trump Backs Down from “No Amnesty” Campaign
However, it wasn’t only Democrats who were unhappy with what they were hearing. President Trump indicated that his immigration plan would achieve three times more citizenship for Dreamers. This is in total contrast to Trump’s “no amnesty” promise on the campaign trail. Conservatives, specifically members from the Freedom Caucus, feel that this concept is unnecessary and that legal status could be obtained without offering citizenship.
What does this mean for the future of immigration? So much is left unknown. Although it was news to lawmakers, Trump indicated that the House and Senate would be voting on an immigration package in the upcoming weeks.
Immigration Legal Services
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