President Donald Trump and his administration outlined today what they are expecting when it comes to immigration reform.

From border security, DACA and family migration, the president’s priorities touch almost every aspect of our immigration system. The Trump administration admits that changes to the current immigration system would only apply to applications received after a law is passed. Meaning the current rules will apply to applications received before then. Finding out if you’re eligible to sponsor relatives through Form I-130 Petition for an Alien Relative should be a priority.

Family Migration

President Donald Trump has made it clear he wants to end what he calls “chain migration”. This term refers to one of the most popular forms of immigration in the United States. As a citizen and green card holder immigrants are allowed to petition to bring family members with them to the United States.

The Trump administration is making it clear they want to do away with part of family migration. They’re proposing to only allow immediate relatives an opportunity to enter the country legally. Immediate relatives would only include spouses and minor children. Petitioning relatives outside the immediate family unit would not be allowed.

Border Security

The White House highlights the fact that border security needs to be a priority to ensure our national security. The administration highlighted a series of measures that need to be part of any immigration reform bill.

  • $25 billion trust fund for the border wall system. The system not only includes a physical barrier but the administration says the money will beef up ports of entry and infrastructure on our northern border with Canada.
  • More money to hire Department of Homeland Security personnel, Immigration and Customs Enforcement attorneys, immigration judges, prosecutors and other law enforcement professionals.
  • The administration wants to reform hiring and pay for immigration officers. Recruitment and retention have been an issue for the Department of Homeland Security.
  • End the catch-and-release policy for detained undocumented immigrants.
  • Ensure deportation of criminal aliens, gang members, violent offenders, and aggravated felons.
  • Prompt removal of illegal border-crossers regardless of country of origin.
  • Deter visa overstays with efficient deportation of those who stay in the country after their visa expires
  • Stop the synthetic drug fentanyl from entering the country.
  • Implement Immigration court reforms to speed up the system and prevent fraud and abuse.

DACA and DREAMers

President Donald Trump recently said he was open to providing a pathway to citizenship for young undocumented immigrants who were brought in to the United States illegally when they were children.

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program was started in 2012 by former President Barack Obama. It allowed these undocumented immigrants an opportunity to legally work in the United States while avoiding deportation.

Under Trump’s priorities, these undocumented immigrants would be offered a pathway to citizenship after 10-12 years with requirements for work, education and good moral character.

The administration wants clear eligibility requirements for DREAMers to prevent fraud. The president’s priorities also make it clear a DREAMers status could be taken away for criminal conduct, safety, and national security concerns, fraud and for being dependent on government assistance.

Diversity Visa Lottery

Under Trump’s priorities, the Diversity Visa Lottery or green card lottery would be ended immediately.

Right now, the program selects immigrants from areas with low immigration rates to the United States an opportunity to apply for a green card. Trump has made it a priority to end the program.

The resources used to process those applications would then be used to reduce the backlog in other areas of the current immigration system.

When could these changes happen?

It’s nearly impossible to say when or if any of these changes will go into effect. The framework just released by the White House will be debated in Congress. Any change to the current immigration system would have to be approved by both the House of Representatives and U.S. Senate before landing on the president’s desk for his final signature.