Trump’s Last Ditch Effort to Frantically Undermine Immigration

Posted on 11/19/20

The Trump era is coming to a fast-approaching end, but anti-immigration advocates within the administration continue to push forward with additional immigration restrictions. With just a few weeks left of his Presidency, President Trump and key advisers are pressing on with plans to restrict legal immigration and enable discriminatory immigration practices. As the President continues to cry “fraud” and his legal challenges fail, an alternate reality on the 2020 election outcome has set in for the president. Such last-minute efforts signal an end to his presidency. According to a recently published CNN article, multiple White House officials have seen an urgent push to limit immigration before more progressive and favorable immigration policies take hold under a Biden administration.

The United States Department of Homeland Security has continuously advocated on behalf of the President to isolate the country off from refugees and immigrants. New agreements that have gone without media attention would require Central American asylum seekers to be sent back. Visa and work permit applications have seen highly restrictive and deliberate efforts by the Administration to undermine their outcome. Such policies jeopardize immigrant healthcare workers, while especially disadvantaging the technological sector from inviting foreign talent to foster much-needed industry growth. Due to the ongoing concerns of Covid-19 and rapidly surging cases, the Trump administration has in effect been able to utilize the lack of media coverage on immigration to enact restrictive anti-immigrant policies. Not only do these policies jeopardize the diverse culture of the United States and its vibrant economy, but it potentially harms undocumented immigrants from participating in recovery efforts.

Although the President has continued his efforts to undermine the democratic process and a peaceful transition of power, the signs of rampant immigration changes signal a concession to the next administration. Jessica Vaughan, a director of policy studies at the Center for Immigration Studies stated, “It’s the same thing that happens in the twilight of every administration — you want to finish what you started and give it as much staying power as you possibly can.” The hardline immigration agenda that has characterized the Trump administration was notably advocated and designed by senior adviser to the president, Stephen Miller. Mr. Miller has consistently denigrated the importance of immigration under the Trump administration, while purposefully designing policies that discriminate against wealth and country of origin. Thankfully, much of Mr. Miller’s agenda will be gone in the first 100 days of the Biden administration. Although every administration has had downfalls in their immigration policies, the Trump administration has been highly selective and has taken advantage of Covid-19 restrictions to place some of the most restrictive policies in decades. These actions were deliberate and will be countered by the new administration.

The final days of the Trump presidency will be marked with an increased urgency to diminish the future Biden administration’s prospects of immigration reform. Groups that have advocated for reduced immigration in the past have noted an increased amount of communication from the administration to enable new policies that would be highly selective in the final months. Although such policies would easily be overturned by an executive order by President-elect Joe Biden, some regulations will be much harder, especially considering the record number of Judges appointed by the Trump administration. Immigration battles will be waged in the courts as they have been under the Trump administration, even more so in a judicial system that favors the Republicans. The architect of such court packing has been Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell who deliberately blocked hundreds of judicial appointments in the Senate and a Supreme Court justice under the Obama tenure. His last-ditch efforts to take control of the court system paid off but only contributed to negative partisanship.

The Trump administration has been marked with anti-immigration objectives, much to the pleasure of advocates who argue for reduced immigration. The policies and regulations pushed forward have purposefully limited legal avenues while ensuring undocumented immigrants have an uncomfortable journey in the United States. “Trump could not have done any better with the regulations they did,” said Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform.

The Asylum Cooperative Agreement continues to be pushed forward by the Department of Homeland Security. The controversial 2019 policy would require legitimate asylum seekers to be sent back to their origin country to make their case. Immigration advocates have criticized the policy’s objectives and its practices as being anti-American without regard to the fundamental international asylum laws. The agreement has already been operational in some form with Guatemala but two additional countries have yet to join, El Salvador and Honduras.

The challenges immigrants have faced in the past four years have been tremendous. Discriminatory practices have enabled anti-immigrant sentiment while jeopardizing the fundamental beliefs of the United States constitution. Our firm is eagerly awaiting the progressive policies that the new administration will put forward and potential avenues for legalization for millions of undocumented immigrants. This is not to say the Biden administration will not have their work cut out for them, as the looming Georgia run-off elections will be pinnacle to what gets done under the new administration. If control of the Senate remains with the Republicans, Joe Biden’s agenda will be highly limited in congress and especially in the judiciary. Unfortunately, the consequences of a divided Congress will leave the hope for immigration reform in the dust.

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