By H. Glenn Fogle, Jr., Principal Member of The Fogle Law Firm, LLC
We here at The Fogle Law Firm, LLC are still trying to digest the election results and the fact that an individual with no government experience, was elected to the presidency by a minority of the electorate and less than one sixth of the population. However, at this juncture, there is nothing we can do to change what has happened and we have to deal with the cards that we have been dealt. Many in the immigrant communities are worried and fearful of what a Trump presidency might mean for the future of immigration during the next four years.
Clearly, the immigrant community has a reason to be afraid because Trump campaigned on building a wall along the Mexican border, deporting all illegal immigrants, banning Muslims from entering the country and creating a Muslim database which would register all people in the U.S. of the Islamic faith. There are also fears that under a Trump administration the enforcement of DOMA and/or the recognition of same-sex marriage could be reversed. Firstly, Trump is a salesman and reality show conman who has made it abundantly clear that he will say absolutely anything, no matter how false or impossible it is in order to achieve a result, which, of course, was votes from a certain sector of the population. Many of the things that Trump has said he would do, he actually cannot, as they are unconstitutional, would require reversal of Supreme Court decisions, major overhaul of existing laws that need the approval of both houses of congress and/or are feasible or practical.
This does not mean to say that Trump cannot or could not do anything. He can introduce new immigration legislation which would have to go through a lengthy legislative process through Congress. He can certainly cancel the Executive Orders of President Obama, such as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) which brought temporary relief from removal or deportation and gave work authorization to those brought to the US as children, by their parents. Sadly, it is very likely that Trump will cancel that Executive Order and end the DACA program. An outright ban on all Muslims, based on their religion is clearly unconstitutional and discrimination of Muslims within the US simply because of their faith would violate the equal protection clause of the Constitution. Other thing such as building a wall along the Mexican border will be much more difficult if not completely impractical and would need the approval of Congress, which is not likely to authorize funding for such a completely hapless, prohibitively expensive, if not impossible venture (and no, Mexico will not pay for it).
In terms of mass deportation, this is neither likely nor practical as well because all people within the US whether legal or not have certain legal rights and have to be ordered removed by an Immigration Judge in an Immigration Court before they can be deported. Moreover, in Immigration Court, Respondents have a right to ask for relief from the Immigration Judge to remain in the US and any decision by an Immigration Judge is appealable to the Board of Immigration Appeals. Both of these institutions are severely backlogged now and any increase in cases, particularly of the kind Trump is talking about, would create enormous backlogs far longer than his four year term. Moreover, the monetary expense and man-power necessary for all of this would essentially bankrupt the government or at the very least cause a significant amount of other government functions to be cut. With the deficit and national debt where it is and all the tax cuts Trump is proposing, there simply is not going to be enough money to fund something like this and a majority of the American people from all political sides have consistently stated that they are against mass deportation and supported a path to citizenship for undocumented people living in the US for a long time.
That being said, it is still too early to know exactly what a Trump administration will try and actually be able to do with respect to Immigration over the next few years. America is a nation of immigrants and its success depends on immigrants and the continued ability of the best, most motivated and brightest people around the world to continue to be able to come here. However, be assured that the attorneys and staff of The Fogle Law Firm, LLC will stand up and valiantly fight for the rights of our clients with every means available under the law to help them achieve their immigration goals.