Gardi, Haught, Fischer & Bhosale LTD.


By Gardi, Haught, Fischer & Bhosale LTD
September 7, 2016


By Ann Fischer

As this presidential election heats up, we hear more and more about how the Republican and Democratic nominees will handle presidential immigration issues under their new administration. Each one brings up serious questions for consideration.

Trump, the Republican candidate, has four main points to his approach. The first and most popularized is to secure the Mexican border by building a wall in order to save the U.S. money, reduce crime and the costs of health care, education, etc. To pay for the wall, he is planning to increase fees, especially visa fees. However, current visa fees for diplomats, temporary workers, academics and all other immigrants are identical.

Would there be a new fee structure for just Mexican immigrants or for all?

Trump also wants to triple United State Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) enforcement and fund the action by eliminating tax credits that undocumented immigrants receive. However, the logistics of determining which individuals who are filing taxes and receiving tax credits are undocumented would be an enormous project that would require significant funding.

Will eliminating tax credits raise enough to cover the cost of expanding USCIS?

Trump also has been heard to say he will send all criminals back to Mexico; however, he has not defined what a “criminal” is. Someone with a felony? Someone acquitted? Someone charged with a misdemeanor? First or repeat offenders? He has suggested creating a separate criminal charge for an undocumented individual that is charged with a crime, solely because they are undocumented.

What guidelines should America use to determine how undocumented immigrants are charged/deported for illegal activity?

Trump also wants to “put American workers first” which is in response to the continuing demand for H1B Visas  that allow foreigners, specifically those in STEM-related professions, to come to this country for employment. Currently, only certain types of VISAs require that the employer provide evidence that they have advertised the available position to U.S. citizens.  Trump has stated that he would seek to apply this requirement to all work visas, for the purpose of ensuring U.S. citizens are not being overlooked for viable employment opportunities.

How will reducing or eliminating H1B Visas affect our country’s leadership in STEM?

Trump also wants to end welfare abuse by requiring immigrants to pay for their own living expenses. However, immigrants entering the country typically are sponsored by a family member that is required to sign an affidavit and pledge that they will be able to cover the immigrant’s food, lodging, etc. The immigrant sponsor is also required to provide proof of assets and/or income in order for the VISA application to be approved.  If the foreigner should file for public benefits, the entity administering has the legal right to recoup the cost of those benefits from the sponsor.

How would we enforce this plan?

 The Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton, also has an agenda for immigration reform.

Clinton would like to cancel the J1 visa program, which provides the opportunity for younger students, interns, etc. from foreign countries to come to America to work. Instead, she would like to have a resume bank for inner city young people to secure these jobs instead.

Clinton wants to expand deportation under DACA and DAPA, and fix the backlog of family visas, due to underfunding of congressional employees. She also wants to privatize and expand detention facilities for immigrants and create a Federal Agency Office of Agency Affairs.

Clinton is also in favor of increasing programs and fee waivers to help immigrants become naturalized more easily. For example, if a U.S. citizen marries someone illegal, they must return to their home country to change their status and to solidify their decision to make a permanent move. She wants to remove that requirement.

Who can answer these questions?

The ability to answer all these questions lies not with the candidates themselves, but within the members of Congress and the Supreme Court. Presidents do not have the power to mandate immigration reform, except in the rare case of an Executive Action, which can still be contested. The power lies within Congress, who must pass proposed reform before anything could be accomplished by either candidate.

Also, it is interesting to note that whoever is elected President will have a say in the appointment of the replacement justice to the current, vacant seat on the U.S. Supreme Court. The new justice’s stance on immigration issues will certainly have an effect on what ultimately happens.

Whatever happens in November, the experts at Gardi, Haught, Fischer & Bhosale LTD can help with any changes or amendments to your current immigration situation. Don’t hesitate to contact us at 847.944.9400 or request a free case evaluation below.

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