Garry Davis: Immigration Policy

Ask Garry: Insight Into President Trump’s Immigration Policy

Just recently, Davis & Associates’ lead lawyer, Garry Davis, wrote a post to be published by www.bestlawyers.com over President Trump’s Immigration Policy. Check out a copy of the short article below:

Since being sworn into office, President Trump made significant changes to immigration policy and law in the U.S. Of particular note are the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and the creation of a travel restriction for people from particular nations.

We’ll start with the DACA program. Let’s be truthful: President Obama set up the program for political factors. After setting records for deportations from his inauguration to June 2012, he had to do something to recapture the hearts of citizens who were most impacted by his enforcement-heavy technique. No one anticipated the tough immigration policy that came from the Obama administration, and he was at threat of losing a large number of votes, particularly from the Latino population. Enter the DACA program.

In June 2012, he announced the DACA program and constructed it so that it would benefit a group of people who would be the least objectionable by political challengers. To qualify, an individual had to:

  • arrive in the United States prior to age 16
  • be under age 31
  • be in the U.S. for five years prior to the organization of the program
  • be serving the U.S. military, enrolled in school, or a high school graduate/GED certified
  • had no significant criminal record

The individual would then receive protection from deportation and a renewable 2-year work authorization.

The program benefited about 800,000 people enabling them to work legally, further their personal goals, and feel like they belonged in the country they had grown up in. For many of them, this is the only nation they have ever known. It was a shrewd political move and benefited many individuals who were paying the price for another person’s choice to bring them here as children.

President Trump has ended the program.

The justification is that it was an overreach of executive authority by President Obama and an illegal amnesty. The problem with these justifications is that neither holds true.

The president has actually always had– and continues to have– the legal authority from Congress to give deferred action status to an illegal immigrant in his or her discretion. All President Obama did was formalize what had actually been an informal procedure of asking for deferred action and limiting it to a class of people who satisfied particular requirements. We have constantly been able to– and still can– demand postponed action from the Department of Homeland Security authorities.

And it was not an amnesty as we use that term in the U.S. “Amnesty” in the United States immigration law context suggests forgiveness for past immigration offenses and irreversible legal status. Amnesty is what happened under President Reagan in the 1980s that caused the legalization of unlawful immigrants with the stroke of a pen.

DACA was never that. It had no pathway to long-term legal status in the United States.

The president has actually mentioned that doing this will require Congress to take action to deal with the individuals who benefitted from the DACA program. The reality is that we are still working with a 1952 statute to manage our immigration policy and law and I concur that a change is way overdue. Maybe this will be the inspiration for that change, whatever that may be.

The president has actually also instituted a travel restriction for people from a number of countries in the Middle East, significantly Syria and Iran, along with North Korea and Venezuela. Basically, the ban bars many individuals from those countries from acquiring visas to come to the United States. The stated validation is that the present system does not have adequate review and vetting process to guarantee the safety of Americans. This statement is ludicrous. There is currently an “extreme vetting” background investigation into each visa application, consisting of an in person interview and comprehensive security clearances.

Each of these modifications suggests a substantially more restrictive technique than what the country ended up being familiar with under President Obama’s 2nd term. We’ll see how President Trump prepares to deal with the potential political reaction when it comes time for him to seek reelection.

About the Author:

Garry Davis is the founder of Davis & Associates, a special immigration law practice in Texas. A graduate of the University of Texas School of Law, he is board accredited in immigration and nationality law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

About Davis & Associates:

Davis & Associates is the immigration law firm of choice in Miami and surrounding areas. Their attorneys provide expert legal counsel for all aspects of immigration law, including deportation defense, writs of habeas corpus and mandamus, family-sponsored immigration, employment-sponsored immigration, investment immigration, employer compliance, temporary visas for work and college, permanent residence, naturalization, consular visa processing, waivers, and appeals.