Key Facts About U.S. Immigration Policies

Published August 24, 2019

The subject of immigration and the problems associated with it have been at the cornerstone of the national political debate for decades, as policymakers and politicians have tried to untangle it in view of economic, safety, and humanitarian concerns. Unhappily, for years there has been no agreement on comprehensive immigration reform, even though the country is comprised of over 43 million immigrants or around 14 percent of the entire national population.

What Has Happened To Undocumented Immigration?

Since 2008, the number of undocumented people residing in the United States has remained stable at about 11 million. During the first six months of 2019, the number of people detained or stopped at the border more than doubled when compared to the same period the previous year. Yet, arrests at the southern border remain below the levels of prior years.

Recently, the spike of migrants from Central American countries has put a strain on the American immigration system. These days, more than 900,000 cases are still pending a hearing in immigration courts.

Another significant portion of undocumented immigrants is comprised of people who came into the country legally, either with tourist or work visas. When those visas expired, they simply overstayed their welcome. It has been estimated that this group of undocumented immigrants is larger than the one formed by people crossing the border illegally.

What Have Congress And The President Done To Solve The Immigration Crisis In Recent Years?

In 2013, the Senate, led by the Democrats, passed a comprehensive immigration reform bill that would have traced a path to citizenship for undocumented individuals while establishing tough border security requirements. The bill did not receive the needed vote.

President Obama initiated in 2012 a program, known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), for undocumented immigrants that had arrived as children. However, the Supreme Court effectively put an end to this program in 2016.

Donald Trump has signed several executive orders regarding immigration. The first one was focused on border security. The second one emphasized interior enforcement and expanded the categories of unauthorized immigrants prioritized for deportation. The third order focused on preventing terrorism and signaled seven countries banning them from entering the United States. After several iterations, the Supreme Court has allowed the third version of this ban to stand.

President Trump has also halved the annual number of refugees allowed to enter yearly and has attempted to make it harder for people seeking asylum to enter the country.

What Are The Major Facets Of immigration Law?

The three major categories of immigration law in the U.S. can be classified as:

  • Immigration that is family-based – Allowing specific family members to migrate to the U.S.
  • Immigration that is based on employment – Allowing individuals with specific skills to enter the country
  • Immigration for humanitarian reasons – Offering protection to individuals who suffer from persecution or discrimination in their home countries to receive asylum or refugee status

What About Your Own Immigration Status?

If you have a visa that has expired, a relative that wants to come live in the United States or are worried about your immigration status for any other reason, contact the Florida Immigration Law Counsel. They are your Florida immigration lawyers and will work with you to find the best resolution for your immigration case. Give them a call today.

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