Hello, everyone.  It’s been a while since I wrote a column here.  I hope to write more in the coming weeks!  I felt like I should write what’s on my mind and heart these days, during this crazy time of coronavirus and elections and national tension.  I personally feel a lot of stress about who will be our next president, and what he will do to change the world of immigration law.  It’s a big subject for a little column! 

As of today, we obviously don’t know who will win.  The race seems to be getting closer, although the Democrat, former Vice President Joe Biden appears to be ahead.  So what would change if Joe Biden becomes president?

In short, everything.  Almost every single one of President Trump’s changes to immigration law would be erased, and probably quite quickly.  Construction would stop on the border wall.  DACA would return, and probably be expanded.  Victims of domestic violence from Mexico or Central America could perhaps win asylum cases.  Refugees who come to the U.S./Mexico border will have many more rights to apply for asylum and to enter the United States without being detained.

Also, President Biden would also likely attempt to pass some form of comprehensive immigration reform.  What does that mean?  “Immigration reform” under President Biden would most likely offer the opportunity to many of the 12 million immigrants already living in the United States to get legal status, unless they have a very bad criminal record.  Such a new law would also allow more legal immigration to the U.S. for workers without university degrees.  Any new law would be very similar to the amnesty of 1986 which happened under President Reagan.

What would President Trump do if he wins?  I think the answer to this is partially answered above.  He would continue to limit, in a drastic way, how many immigrants may apply for asylum that arrive at the border.  He would try to complete construction of the border wall.  He might, however, also try to negotiate a new law to replace the old DACA program.  Many people don’t know this, but he actually proposed a plan two years ago which would have granted legal status to about 1.6 million immigrants who were brought here as children.  However, even assuming such a new law were to be approved, just about all other hope for changes to immigration law would disappear, and immigration to the United States would be greatly reduced.

These are some basic thoughts.  I hope they are interesting!  I may return to this subject next week.  In the meantime, if you or anyone you know is interested in meeting with an attorney to discuss options or rights or plans for the future, please feel free to contact us at mikrutlaw.com, or at 616-730-3197.  You can also find us on Facebook at Law Office of Joshua Mikrut.  Thanks for reading!