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As a female, minority, mother and immigrant, I took a huge hit on election night when Donald Trump was named the next president-elect of the United States. It is difficult to embrace Trump’s nativism (a policy of favoring native inhabitants as opposed to immigrants) and his declaration to build a wall, deport millions, shut down Muslim Immigration, close our doors to those in need of protection against torture and halt globalization.  Trump Immigration Action as President may impact millions of lives and the economy in the U.S.

Yes, I am incredibly saddened and disappointed by the nearly 90 million Americans that did not exercise their right to vote. If President-Elect Donald Trump survives four (4) years as President, then we will see a very different American by the end of 2020. On the day after election, Trump’s campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, stated on television that one of Trump’s priorities once he gets into office is to “curb legal immigration”. Many of my clients, legal and illegal immigrants, are scared for themselves and their family. My response to them was, “Yes, you should be scared but here are some steps to take to be pro-active
against any Trump immigration action that may be taken by President-Elect Donald Trump…”

  1. File for Citizenship: If you are a lawful permanent resident that has lived in the U.S. for 3 years (if married to U.S. Citizen) or 5 years, then file for U.S. Citizenship immediately. President-Elect Donald Trump administration may not place a high priority on U.S. Citizenship processing and this process may get delayed to over one year (as seen during President George W. Bush administration). Under President Obama’s administration, processing time for U.S. Citizenship was 3 -4 months. Remember, a U.S. Citizen cannot be deported or removed from the U.S. whereas a lawful permanent resident can be placed into deportation.
  2. File to Renew DACA & Advance Parole Simultaneously: If you are a beneficiary of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA), then file to renew your DACA status ASAP. Renewals can be submitted 150-120 days before the expiration date on your card. DACA is an executive action taken by President Obama in 2012 to protect young immigrant children/adults (under age 30) from deportation and issued employment cards so they are work and go to school. Trump has said during his campaign that he would repeal DACA and deport all the beneficiary’s of DACA (young, innocent, immigrant children brought to the U.S. at a young age).
  3. Apply for B-1/B-2 before limited by Trump Administration: As President, Trump will appoint new heads for Department of State and Department of Homeland Security. It’s my prediction that his administration will make it more difficult and limit the issuance of B-1/B-2 tourist visa.
  4. File family-based immigration petition for brother/sister: Most legal immigrants enter the U.S. through a brother-sister family based petition. Republicans (including Trump) have talked about eliminating this family category all together so U.S. Citizens cannot sponsor a brother-sister. I advise U.S. Citizens to go ahead and file that brother-sister petition before the Trump administration proposed legislation to repeal this law.
  5. Possible Limitation or Elimination of Waivers: The Immigration Court backlog for a deportation/removal case from start to finish is about two (2) years because of the time required to file and schedule a trial on a waiver so the applicant (green card holder of illegal immigrant in the U.S.) can ask to stay in the U.S. An option that Trump may take in order to speed up deportation/removal and stop the re-entry of prior deportees is to limit waivers for re-entry and limit eligibility for waivers to those in removal/deportation.
  6. Stop/Reopen Administrative Closure & Reopen Stay of Deportation: For those immigrants whose deportation/removal case was administratively closed (or paused due to the Judge’s discretion), be warned that Immigration and Custom Enforcement attorneys can reopen your case at any time due to a change in the law or directive from a President. Also, for those immigrants who were ordered removed/deported by an immigration judge but a stay of deportation/removal was issued by an Immigration and Custom Enforcement officer, this is also by discretion. So, this means that discretion can change under a new President and Trump can easily order to reopen stay of deportation/removal and execute the already issued removal/deportation orders.

Lastly, President Franklin D. Roosevelt authorized the deportation and incarceration with Executive Order 9066, issued February 19, 1942, of over 110,000 – 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry – 62% were United States citizens. So, it was done in the past and can be done again under President-Elect Donald Trump. God help us ALL!

For more information on Trump Immigration Action, email or call 1-877-GAIL-LAW or 407-292-7730.

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