OPINION: How the Immigration Landscape Changed in 2017

by Elizabeth Brettschneider


When Donald Trump won the election, many immigrants and their advocates feared the worst. Now that President Trump has been in office for over a year, I wish I could write that everyone’s fears were overblown, but that simply isn’t true. The administration’s actions have met and in some cases exceeded the worst fears of many immigrants and immigration practitioners.

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The Washington Post: “Fans of Trump’s view on immigration should remember how figures like him targeted their ancestors”

by Joseph McKeown


President Trump’s recent comments calling Haiti, El Salvador, and African nations “shithole countries,” has been met with strong reactions. House Speaker Paul Ryan, reflecting upon the hardships that Irish immigrants like his ancestors had once faced, called the president’s choice of language “very unfortunate" and "unhelpful” and said “the Irish were really looked down upon back in those days.” Ryan’s reference to the Irish offers a teachable moment about US immigration history, explains Hidetaka Hirota, a professor of American history at the City University of New York-City College and author of Expelling the Poor: Atlantic Seaboard States and the Nineteenth-Century Origins of American Immigration Policy. It was the backlash in large part against poor Irish immigrants that led to the first US immigration policies and law, Hirota says.

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New York Times: “From Offices to Disney World, Employers Brace for the Loss of an Immigrant Work Force”

by Joseph McKeown


As hundreds of thousands of immigrants from Haiti, Nicaragua and El Salvador prepare to lose their legal status when Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for their countries end, some employers across the country are preparing for significant losses to their workforce. These TPS recipients, along with DACA recipients whose long-term status in the US remains unclear, make up approximately a million individuals in the US, many within the American work force.

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USCIS Announces They Will Resume DACA Renewals

by Joseph McKeown


Because of the nationwide injunction last week, US Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that they will resume accepting requests to renew DACA status. The agency says that unless otherwise specified the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program will be operated until further notice on the same terms that were in place before it was rescinded on September 5, 2017.

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McClatchy: “Under pressure, Trump team backs off proposal to cull foreign tech workforce”

by Joseph McKeown


After reports late last month that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was considering a policy change that could have prevented certain H-1B workers who are applying for permanent residency from extending their H-1B status beyond the normal time limit of six years, the agency has reportedly reversed course. Facing intense pressure from the business and technology communities, the Trump administration appears to be no longer considering the policy change that could have potentially forced hundreds of thousands of foreign skilled workers out of the country. 

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