Executive Order #4 – Buy American, Hire American April 2017, effective immediately
- Directs DOL, DOJ, DHS, and DOS to review the current laws governing the H-1B program and suggest changes to prioritize the most skilled and highest paid positions.
- Directing federal agencies to review all visa programs and take prompt action to crack down on fraud and abuse in order to protect U.S. workers.
- No immediate impact on H-1Bs. Many of the changes to the H-1B program contemplated by the Administration would require legislative action or rulemaking and would take time to go through the necessary processes.
Executive Order #3 Revised Muslim/Refugee Ban, issued March 6, 2017, effective March 16, 2017 “aka Revised Muslim Ban”
Crafted far more carefully in an obvious attempt to avoid legal challenges that halted implementation of the January order (See Below):
- No longer includes Iraq, noting that the U.S. and Iraqi governments have reached agreement about enhanced screening from Iraqi airports.
- Specifies whom it does not affect: foreign nationals with valid visas, including those who had valid visas prior to the signing, and refugees whose travel to the U.S. has already been scheduled with the Department of State.
- No longer singles out Syria for “indefinite” suspension of the refugee program; instead, the temporary suspension of the program applies to all countries. 90 Day Suspension
- Eliminates any preference for religious minorities.
- Delays implementation for ten days, until March 16, 2017, presumably to avoid a situation in which people engaged in ongoing travel receive a very rude shock at a U.S. port of entry.
- Authorizes consular officials to waive the travel restriction on a case-by-case basis if the official determines the restriction would pose an undue hardship and that the entry would not pose a national security threat and would be in the national interest.
- Authorizes the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security to jointly waive the temporary refugee restriction on a similar determination that accepting the refugee would not pose a national security threat and would be in the national interest.
- Has a conspicuously more controlled and traditional rollout, including a fact sheet summary and FAQs that explain the order’s impact for certain foreign nationals.
- Contains noticeably toned-down language in the policy section, eliminating the section describing “those who would place violent ideologies over American law.”
- Directs Homeland Security to expedite the completion of a biometric entry-exit tracking system and submit progress reports
STATUS: Several District Courts (Hawaii first) stating unconstitutional based on religious discrimination. As of June 2017, the government is appealing to the US Supreme Court for a final determination.
The judge in Hawaii found that there is a ‘dearth of evidence indicating a national security purpose,’ and significant evidence of discriminatory intent that violates the First Amendment. After weeks of preparation, the Trump Administration still cannot justify the need for the policy and has failed to present any evidence for why it must ban refugees or people from these countries
Executive Order #2, Issued January 27, 2017 became effective immediately (“aka Muslim Ban”)
- Refugee Limit Reduced from 110,000 for this FY to 50,000
- Syrian Refugees Indefinitely Banned
- All Refugees suspended for 120 days
- Banned admission for all non-immigrant and immigrants (aka green card people) from the following countries for 90 days to determine security efficacy
- Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen
- Exception: Religious Minorities
- People stranded at airports/families separated indefinitely
- People trapped in the US
- USCIS: Notified to STOP processing all cases involving these countries
- DOS: Notified to not only proceed with visa processing on this cases but immediately CANCELLED people’s visas already issued from these countries.
STATUS: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld federal district court in Washington on the Muslim Ban saying unconstitutional (based on commerce reasons)
Executive Order #1, January 25, 2017, Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior
- Universalize Enforcement Priorities:
- Increase Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Resources: The order directs DHS to hire an additional 10,000 ICE officers to conduct enforcement and removal operations and encourages the expansion of the problematic 287(g) program which empowers state and local law enforcement to act as ICE officers and enforce federal immigration laws. The 287(g) program had been reduced significantly under the Obama administration. Both the hiring of ICE officers and the 287(g) expansion will require significant funds from Congress to accomplish. ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations currently has approximately 7,000 officers so this would more than double that staffing. Even if the funding is appropriated it will take significant time to hire and train the additional officers.
- Border Wall/Build Up – President Trump’s Executive Order mandates that a large physical barrier on southern border is built (“one way or another Mexico will pay for it”). Provide DHS the tools and resources they need to stop illegal immigration.
The southern border is more secure now than it has ever been. In the past decade, spending on Border Patrol agents, infrastructure and surveillance technologies has skyrocketed. At the same time, unlawful border crossings are at their lowest level in decades. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has deployed unprecedented amounts of manpower, resources, and technology to secure the nation’s borders: In 2014, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) had nearly 21,000 Border Patrol agents, over a 500-percent increase from 1992 when there were about 4,000 agents.
The U.S. is experiencing the lowest level of illegal border crossings in four decades.
President Trump’s plan to build an expensive border fence reminiscent of the Berlin Wall is the wrong approach. America needs a better immigration system, not a bigger fence.
Building this unnecessary wall comes with a major price tag. A government assessment found that single-layer pedestrian fencing could cost approximately $6.5 million per mile. In addition, millions would have to be spent on roads and maintenance.
- Increase Immigration Prosecutions: The order directs DOJ and DHS to direct adequate funds to criminal prosecutions of foreign nationals crossing the border without inspection. Border prosecutions, however, are nothing new and have increased dramatically in the past decade. In courts across the Southwest border, the federal government has systematically prosecuted unlawful border crossers for illegal entry and illegal re-entry in group hearings that violate fundamental due process. Asylum seekers have been wrongfully prosecuted under this initiative. These prosecutions, often referred to as “Operation Streamline,” were intended to deter border crossings but instead have clogged up the federal courts and wasted precious government resources with little evidence that the program is achieving its goals. Immigration-related prosecutions currently represent more than half of the total federal court docket – more than all other federal prosecutions for drugs, firearms, and fraud combined.
- Revive Secure Communities:
- “Catch and Release” – President Trump’s Executive Order would create more detention space along the southern border, make easier cheaper to detain and return, and end “catch and release.”
DHS has already dramatically increased the use of detention and rapid removal procedures against those arriving at our borders. Unfortunately, these enforcement methods have been shown to undermine fundamental due process protections and deprive legitimate asylum seekers of protection.
“Catch and Release” Isn’t Being Used Now
DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff ended “catch and release” – an unofficial term for the practice of releasing people apprehended at the border while their cases are waiting to be heard in immigration court – over a decade ago, and began holding more people in detention while they await their court dates.
DHS has also applied more severe consequences to individuals caught in border regions. In particular, it began issuing more removal orders against individuals rather than returning people across the border without the legal consequence of a removal on the person’s record.
People from the Northern Triangle are fleeing horrific, systemic violence and are seeking a safe haven in the U.S. Asylum-seekers are escaping violence, high homicide rates, gangs, and the inability of their home states – including Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador – to protect them.
Removals and Detention Are At An All Time High
These practices have contributed to a significant increase in the number of people removed from the United States during the past decade: in 2006, DHS removed a total of 280,974 people compared to 414,481 people removed in 2014 (the last year for which data is available).
2006, when “catch and release” was formally ended by the Bush Administration, DHS detained on average, 21,450 people on a daily basis. The daily number of detainees grew steadily, and this year, the average number of people detained for immigration purposes has averaged over 40,000 – a huge increase since the end of “catch and release.”
- Sanctuary Cities – President Trump has pledged to end sanctuary cities.
This announcement throws us backward in time to costly enforcement-only strategies that incite fear and undermine public safety. If the President’s plan is to divide the nation, this announcement will allow him to accomplish his agenda in unprecedented ways.
Legality of Sanctuary Cities
Local jurisdictions have no legal obligation to assist with civil immigration enforcement, which is the responsibility of the federal government.
Many jurisdictions have limited their policies on detaining individuals after a scheduled release date in order to not violate immigration and Constitutional law.
If President Trump’s plan results in forcing localities to violate immigration and constitutional law by threatening a loss of funding, the localities that comply will be subjected to a storm of lawsuits.
President Trump’s Plan Undermines Safety
The plan will undermine community policing efforts that encourage all members of the community, including immigrants, to work with the police to prevent and solve crime.
When immigrants come to view their local police and sheriffs with distrust because they fear deportation, it encourages criminals to prey upon victims and witnesses alike. Victims of domestic and other violence choose to suffer in silence rather than seek assistance; key witnesses of crime refuse to come forward out of fear that they themselves will be treated as a criminal; and a climate of fear grips entire neighborhoods.
President Trump’s plan will interfere and harm progress local law enforcement and mayors have made with their cities. His plan will penalize cities and localities for their pragmatic, rational choices of how to best make and keep their city/locality safe.
The plan will punish localities by withholding much needed funding that is used to keep their communities safe.
- Expansion of Expedited Removal likely to the entire country and to anyone who has not been in the country at least two years. Using expedited removal, CBP and ICE can unilaterally deport people without them ever having the opportunity for a judge to review their case or to seek legal counsel.