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The Future of DACA

The Future of DACA

After voting to end the recent government shutdown, lawmakers are doing what they can to avoid another in the near future. The government has another potential shutdown looming because they are only funded through February 8th with no failsafe currently in place. One of the biggest questions everyone is asking is how to fund the government while also balancing the needs of immigrants at the same time. According to Senator Chris Coons, member of the bipartisan Senate working group searching for an agreement on DACA and immigration, “We’re going to have an interesting week ahead.” What Is DACA? DACA is the immigration policy that permitted those who had entered the United States as a minor, and are still here illegally, to have a guaranteed period of two years of deferred deportation. Those protected under DACA also became eligible for a work permit. However, the policy stopped accepting new applicants back in September, causing some backlash. Currently, almost 700,000 people have signed up for DACA and were eligible to apply for legal status. However, the administration has expanded the group of those who qualify for citizenship to 1.8 million, including those who are DACA eligible. How is the Government Shutdown Affecting DACA? One of the reasons that the government shutdown was due to the fact that policymakers could not find a compromise concerning immigration and federal funding. A deal was reached on Monday, January 22nd. Congress would vote for a few weeks of funding as long as a vote on DACA was brought to the floor. Why Are Immigrants Rights Groups Upset? While certain people may view this as a...
An Authentic Look at What New Immigration Laws Mean for You

An Authentic Look at What New Immigration Laws Mean for You

President Donald Trump signed an executive order on January 25 that could affect millions of immigrants in the country. The enforcement of the new EO can have a severe impact particularly on three groups of people, namely, immigrants with criminal convictions, immigrants who arrived illegally as children, and undocumented parents of American citizens. Immigrants with Criminal Convictions Since the mid-1990s, the US government has prioritized deporting immigrants with criminal convictions. The new immigration law, however, does not require conviction of a serious crime. The category of “criminal aliens” has been expanded to include anyone who has been charged with a crime, individuals who have been arrested, or those with unproven gang affiliation. Trump has promised to deport 2 to 3 million criminal aliens even though the Migration Policy Institute only reports 820,000 illegal immigrants have criminal convictions. Immigrants Who Arrived Illegally as Children Last September 5, the Trump administration announced that it is ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Signed by President Obama in June 2012, the program protects undocumented children and young people from deportation if they meet several guidelines. DACA eligibility stipulates five factors to guarantee protection: They came to the United States before turning 16 They came to the United States before June 15, 2007 They should be under 31 years of age now They should have completed high school or its equivalent They do not have a criminal record DACA recipients are allowed to study, work, and live in the United States provided they renew their DACA eligibility every two years. They can even purchase a home and join the military without...
Trump Administration Travel Ban Faces Legal Challenges

Trump Administration Travel Ban Faces Legal Challenges

President Trump signed an executive order in late January to bar, for at least ninety days, almost all permanent immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries, including Syria and Iraq. It has many supporters and critics in New Jersey and has spawned numerous lawsuits in federal courts across the country. These lawsuits involve non-profit advocacy groups as well as state attorneys general (including New York’s) challenging the order. There has been some initial success with some travelers who were trapped at airports being allowed to leave. But as far as mounting a successful overall challenge in the long run, the plaintiffs may have a difficult time. Generally, the President has much discretion when it comes to immigration and border controls. One possibly successful argument was discussed by David J. Bier, an immigration policy analyst at the Cato Institute’s Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity, in a New York Times opinion piece. In it Bier states: The order is illegal because more than fifty years ago Congress outlawed discrimination against immigrants based on their national origin. There were earlier prohibitions against immigration based on where potential immigrants came from. In the late 19th century, federal law excluded all Chinese, nearly all Japanese and later all Asians in the “Asiatic Barred Zone.” In 1924 Congress enacted a “national-origins system” favoring Western Europeans and excluding most Eastern Europeans, almost all Asians and Africans. A law that might invalidate the administration’s order is the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, which banned all discrimination against immigrants on the basis of their national origin. It provided those living in each country an equal shot at filling...
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