Trump is behind his last effort to curb immigration

Since the 1980s, Donald Trump has been happy to criticize U.S. presidents and wonder how he could do things better. It probably won’t be any different if President-elect Joe Biden takes office in January.

Trump has not yet publicly acknowledged losing the election against Biden, but his team quickly implemented the changes from the withdrawal of the troops to the repeal of environmental regulations. The administration’s efforts on immigration are attributed to Stephen Miller, a senior assistant who, according to people on both sides of the debate, has largely guided the president’s policy on this issue for four years.

“Since taking office, President Trump has never refused to use his legitimate executive power to advance bold policies and deliver on promises made to the American people,” said White House spokesman Judd Deere, who declined to comment on the concrete measures. The Department of Homeland Security did not respond to the comments.

Recent immigration changes — primarily the introduction of sound rules, regulations, and administrative policies — allow for a nearly four-year decline in legal and illegal immigration to the United States.

Trump refused visas to citizens of a majority Muslim nation. He raised more than 400 miles from a 30-foot-long steel wall along the southern boundary, much of which more strongly replaced what was already there. It sharply restricted the submission of asylum applications. This year, using the coronavirus epidemic, it reduced the number of foreign workers in the United States and essentially closed the southern border to migrants.

But Trump failed to deliver on some immigration promises. Perhaps most notably, it has not yet completed the Obama-era program, which offers work permits to hundreds of thousands of immigrants who entered the United States illegally as children. Trump tried to liquidate the program in its first year, but the Supreme Court rejected its action.

However, a Houston federal judge who suggested agreeing with Trump that President Barack Obama had exceeded his authority in establishing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program is expected to rule on its legality soon.

“Despite previously losing in the courts and receiving overwhelming support from the DACA, the Trump government sees a full effort to assassinate the DACA on its way out the door, deporting 700,000 people with this program by dropping the Senate. kills, ”said Todd Schulte, president of, a group working to protect dreamers.

Trump has put immigration at the center of his 2016 campaign as well as the 2018 mid-term elections. But in 2020, he spoke less about this issue, largely because the election was preceded by a pandemic that killed more than 265,000 Americans and decimated the economy.

Biden has vowed to withdraw Trump’s immigration policy and encourage Congress to enter into an immigration agreement. The task will not be easy. In recent decades, Congress has repeatedly tried and failed to carry out a major overhaul of the immigration system. Any implementing measures or new legislation are expected to face legal challenges

The matter is further complicated by the Trump administration’s efforts to adopt the latest immigration measures.

Part of the current work of the Trump team is closing months of initiatives. Other efforts were launched recently after the election. However, any attempt to introduce significant new regulations at this point is hampered by a federal law that provides for a waiting period for a number of significant regulatory changes.

Nevertheless, Trump’s helpers are showing signs of long-term planning. Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf has just appointed two new members to an advisory board to help him with craft policy – Tom Jenkins, Rogers fire chief in Arkon, and Catherine Lotrionte, a senior researcher at Georgetown University.

And they launch some changes that can be implemented quickly.

On Nov. 13, the administration announced that starting next month, the citizenship test would include additional questions about U.S. history and politics. The revised questionnaire, to which some were received criticism, Increases from 100 to 128 questions.

Four days later, the administration said it also gives federal officials more leeway in approving an immigration application by updating U.S. citizenship and immigration service guidelines. The changes provide officials with an expanded list of positive and negative factors by which they can either accept or reject applicants. Public administration officials say the new language will make decisions more consistent and fair, but immigrant advocates say new factors such as the strength of family ties, employment history and community status will lead to longer processing times and further rejections.

On the same day, the administration published a proposed rule restricting the work permit of immigrants awaiting deportation but not in custody.

Joseph Edlow, the U.S. director of political policy, said allowing a work permit for these immigrants “undermines the rule of law and weakens DHS enforcement and deportation operations”.

The administration is trying to move some more restrictions to the H-1B Highly Skilled Workers Visa Program, which says U.S. employers are abusing to replace U.S. workers with cheaper foreign labor.

The update would reduce the number of jobs that foreign workers can apply for, but at the same time require employers to pay more to foreign workers – the changes predicted by the administration affect at least a third of H-1B petitions. It also wants to abandon the standard random lottery selection procedure for visas, instead prioritizing visa slots for employers offering the highest paid positions.

Business groups have opposed such changes, but they are supported by Trump’s hard-line base.

External groups are forcing the administration to go even further in its last days.

Chris Chmielenski, deputy director of NumbersUSA, which supports immigration restrictions, said the administration also hopes to restrict the work permit program for foreign students. The administration had previously considered the move, but never acted.

“As for the promises the president made before and even after his election, we want him to keep it,” Chmielenski said. “Previous administrations have done it. That’s what they do.

Rebecca Rainey contributed to the report.