Donald Trump will be the next US President. He built his campaign on promises to build a wall with Mexico and imposing a temporary ban on Muslims from entering the country. His transition team, close advisors and future administration includes Senator Jeff Sessions as well as others who seek greater restrictions on immigration.
What does this mean for foreign nationals currently in the United States who wish to remain? At this point it is hard to predict what new laws may be enacted and conversely, which existing laws may be repealed. It is believed that Donald Trump’s companies used EB-5 funds for some developments and since such a program will bring in wealthy foreign investors and is designed to create American jobs, it is possible that a program such as this would be promoted.
On the other hand, it is predicted that temporary visas may be harder to obtain. For example, H-1Bs may become more costly and a less attractive option for employers.
For DACA recipients who currently have Employment Authorization Documents but no status in the United States, will Trump cancel the program or simply not renew the cards once they expire? It is unlikely that he would extend the program.
Regarding Comprehensive Immigration Reform with a pathway to citizenship for undocumented individuals who are already in the country, if it were to happen, it would be in the distant future in light of who Trump has chosen as his close advisors and his campaign rhetoric. However, it is possible that if he starts with strict enforcement and uses a “harsh tone” to appease his base, that once the enforcement component concentrating on those who have committed crimes is enacted, he would consider some legalization option.
It is hard to predict what will happen and I would venture to say it is quite possible that Mr. Trump himself does not know what his plans will be. However, it looks as though the immigration landscape will get worse before it gets better.
My recommendation to those interested in living or working in the United States is to contact a qualified immigration lawyer and discuss what options are available to you under current laws and regulations as these may not be available if the next President’s agenda is realized. As my father liked to say: “Move it or lose it!”
Please visit our firm’s websites at www.immigrantconnect.com and www.americaninvestorvisa.com.