Donald Trump’s Government Measures To Curb Illegal Immigration

Immigrants launch into the Suchiate River to cross into Mexico 1:21

Source CNN – Since the beginning of his presidential campaign in 2015, Donald Trump promised – with an anti-immigrant rhetoric – to reduce the flow of undocumented people who cross into the United States, in principle by building a border wall.

From the beginning Trump warned that if elected president, he would discard the decrees of Barack Obama that prevent the deportations of some undocumented immigrants. And once elected, it has promoted at least a dozen notable initiatives against undocumented immigrants to reduce income to the US, requesting more funds to build the wall, expanded the military presence on the border with Mexico, and in general, promoted a series of reforms to make the stay of immigrants, mostly undocumented, more difficult for the country.

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These are just a few Trump measures against undocumented immigrants:

1. The border wall

The border wall was one of Trump’s first campaign promises when launching his candidacy. And he also said that Mexico would pay for it.

So far Trump has faced a series of legal challenges for the construction of the wall, especially for its financing, because Congress, which decides the budget, is divided. In January 2020, a federal court of appeals gave the Trump administration a green light to use a certain set of Department of Defense funds for the construction of the border wall after a lower court prevented it last month.

In January 2019, Trump ended a 35-day government shutdown – agreeing to raise a different amount of funding than requested by the administration for the border wall – and then in February Congress reached an agreement to enable some $ 1.4 billion in funding for the wall, much less than Trump had sought. He subsequently declared a national emergency to obtain money from other government accounts to build sections of the wall.

Trump has made repeated claims about “huge amounts of drugs” that cross into the United States from the southern border, despite the fact that most of those drugs pass through the ports of entry, and he has addressed the issue of human trafficking.

As of January 2020, the wall has about 160 kilometers of construction, well below the 645 kilometers promised by the president for the end of last year.

2. The travel ban

On January 27, 2017, a few days after becoming president, Trump gave a severe blow to immigrants: he signed a decree that suspended the resettlement of refugees in the United States and banned citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the country. .

Current policy restricts the entry of seven countries to varying degrees: Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen, along with Venezuela and North Korea. Chad was removed from the list last April, after the White House said the country improved security measures. In 2018, the Supreme Court maintained the third version of the travel ban after the previous iterations were challenged in court.

In January 2020, the Trump government developed plans to renew and expand its travel ban list to include immigration restrictions in seven additional countries, according to sources familiar with the process.

The goal, an official said, is “to ensure that governments comply using the power of access to the United States.” Travel restrictions would be adapted to countries, if added, and would not impose a total ban, the official said at the time.

By mid-September 2019, more than 31,000 people had been denied entry to the United States due to Trump’s travel ban, a State Department official told CNN.

In April of last year, Democrats introduced a bill known as the Non-Prohibition Act, in the House and in the Senate to repeal the ban, but the measure is not expected to pass in the Republican majority Senate.

3. Separation of families at the border and mass arrests at the border

Under the “zero tolerance” policy that the administration implemented in 2018, thousands of children were separated from their parents after being arrested crossing the southern border of the United States. The policy was intended to dissuade migrants from reaching the border. And on account of that policy, in recent years images of children separated from their families flooded the media and news programs.

According to a government report, the Trump administration estimated that more than 26,000 children would have been separated between May and September 2018, due to the zero tolerance policy. The Office of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) provided those figures to the Office of Management Budget in early May 2018.

The controversial policy caused outrage among activists, lawyers and the public, and eventually led to a presidential executive order calling for families to stay together.

However, a November report from the inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) denounced that the Trump administration was unable to verify the total number of families separated or reunited as a result of its “zero tolerance” policy, due to “Generalized errors” in data tracking. That report found that DHS did not have the information technology system necessary to track separated migrant families.

The department estimated that Border Patrol agents separated 3,014 children from their families while the policy was being applied. And he estimated 2,155 reunifications in response to a court order. However, according to the report, “without a reliable account of all family relationships,” the inspector general “could not validate the total number of separations or reunifications.”

In addition, the mass detention of families at the border has been reported several human rights violations, including overcrowding in detention centers and even violations of minors in foster homes.

The Department of Health and Human Services declined to comment on the allegations of the lawsuit. In an email sent to CNN, it indicated that it does not make statements on specific matters related to litigation that are ongoing. He also added that the network of facilities and programs of the Office of Refugee Resettlement throughout the country is “dedicated to the well-being of children” and that minors under the care of the agency receive “a safe and healthy environment that guarantees the access to nutritious food, clean clothes, education and medical services ”.

4. Expand the military presence on the southern US border.

In 2018, the Pentagon sent more than 5,000 National Guard soldiers and a large number of military equipment to the southern border, which borders Mexico, in order to stop Central American migrants who were mobilizing in a caravan to the United States with In order to ask for asylum.

By December 2019, there were about 3,900 active duty soldiers, and some 2,600 National Guard members deployed in support of the National Security Department’s efforts on the southern border, although a defense official said that number will soon decrease to as some overlapping rotating units expire to leave soon

The number of active duty troops at the border peaked at approximately 5,900.

The tasks performed by US troops have included the tightening of border positions, the installation of barbed wire, the operation of mobile surveillance vehicles and the painting of border barriers. While the troops were initially supposed to have no contact with migrants, some exceptions have been made to allow the military to better support the Department of Homeland Security.

In addition, following a series of US threats. of raising import tariffs on Mexico if the latter did not stop migratory flows, in June 2019, Mexico deployed almost 15,000 soldiers on the U.S. border.

In December, the Border Patrol reported that arrests of migrants who illegally cross the US-Mexico border decreased for the seventh consecutive month. However, the interim Commissioner for Customs and Border Protection, Mark Morgan, warned that border detentions “are still at crisis levels.” He said the average arrests were just over 1,400 per day at that time.

During the height of the migration crisis in May 2019, the Border Patrol on the southwest border arrested 132,856 people, mainly relatives from the Northern Triangle countries of Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. In December, CBP reported that it had arrested 32,800 people on the southwest border.

5. Harden laws and procedures for immigrants

In the course of the presidency of Donald Trump, the administration has tried to reduce asylum protections, claiming that migrants have exploited the laws of the nation.

“Asylum was never intended to alleviate all the problems, even all the serious problems, that people face every day around the world,” said then-then Secretary of Justice Jeff Sessions.

Since then, the administration has presented a series of asylum regulations that make it more difficult for some migrants to seek refuge in the United States. These regulations also face legal challenges.

These are some of these measures:

Birth tourism

Since January 2020, the Government has implemented a new policy to prevent some children of foreigners born in that country from being US citizens, which is known as “birth tourism”: women from all over the world come in the last weeks of gestation for give birth in the country. Then they return to their home countries to raise their children, with the intention that when they are older they can return to the United States, for example to study at the university with the benefits of being a US citizen.

The rule does not apply to citizens of 39 countries, most of which are in Europe, which are part of the Visa Waiver Program, confirmed a State Department official. For Latin America, the only country that is part of the Visa Waiver Program is Chile. Other countries, besides the European ones, are Australia, Brunei, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and the United Kingdom.

A State Department official told CNN that the rule change aims to address national security and law enforcement risks.

Return immigrants to Mexico

A Trump administration policy requires immigrants – most of them from Central America – to wait in Mexico until the date scheduled to go to a court in the United States.

The presence of an individual in court on the established date is one of the few accounting mechanisms for the population of people who have fallen under this policy. But as those dates approach, many migrants, often waiting in dangerous conditions in Mexico, do not appear, which partly highlights the unsustainable conditions along the southern border.

Until the beginning of January 2020, more than 57,000 people had been returned to Mexico to await US legal proceedings since the policy began a year ago.

Currently, the Department of Homeland Security is implementing a series of updates to the controversial policy.

Change in fees for immigration procedures

In October 2019, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) announced that they were reviewing their fee waiver request, eliminating a “media test benefit” criteria that was previously used to determine if an applicant could be exempt from fees.

At that time, the USCIS said the income levels used to determine local assistance eligibility vary widely and, therefore, “are not an appropriate criterion.” In December, a federal district court blocked changes that the government Trump did in the process of fee waivers so that immigrant citizenship remains in force.

Deny immigrant visa

First, the USCIS proposed in November last year a rule that would prohibit asylum seekers who have illegally crossed the border to obtain a work authorization and delay permits if they are granted.

The proposed measure would affect thousands of immigrants seeking asylum in the United States and relying on work permits to support themselves while their cases move forward in immigration courts, a process that can take months or even years. However, a federal judge in Oregon last November blocked the Trump administration’s measure to deny immigrant visas if they cannot prove they will have health insurance.

It had also been proposed to deny visas to immigrants if they could not prove that they had health insurance. But an Oregon judge blocked the measure, as he said, it is “incompatible with the INA,” in reference to the Immigration and Nationality Act.

The policy would require visa applicants to verify that they are protected by approved health insurance within 30 days of entering the United States or that they could “pay for reasonably foreseeable medical costs,” a possible obstacle for immigrants. , especially if they don’t have the financial means.

Intention to end asylum protections for victims of domestic violence

In 2018, the then Secretary of Justice, Jeff Sessions, set a high level for victims of domestic violence and gangs to qualify for asylum, saying that the victims must demonstrate that their country of origin could not or would not help them and that “ the government condoned private actions. ” A federal judge blocked the policy.

In December 2019, the case was in an appeals court where the Trump administration defended the decision, arguing that the administration was simply trying to set clear standards.

– With information from Yilber Vega, Ione Molinares and Gonzalo Alvarado of CNN in Spanish; and Jeremy Diamond, Sara Murray, Priscilla Alvarez, Paul LeBlanc, Juan Carlos Paz, Geneva Sands, Pamela Brown, Kate Bennett, Nick Valencia, Catherine E. Shoichet, Barbara Starr, Ryan Browne, Jennifer Hansler and Caroline Kelly of CNN

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