Trump's Immigration Executive Order 2.0
US IMMIGRATION NOTES - Atty. Marco F.G. Tomakin (The Freeman) - March 12, 2017 - 12:00am

Without much fanfare, the Trump administration unveiled a new executive order on immigration effectively rescinding the controversial first order issued in January. What is different this time around is that the latest order is more organized, more legally sound, less restrictive and less prone to be perceived as being biased against Muslims. This new order delists Iraq from the previously seven banned countries which means that Iraqi nationals, when qualified, would be allowed to enter the US. Still, nationals from Syria, Iran, Sudan, Yemen, Somalia, and Libya are still restricted from coming to the US except under exceptional conditions. Another improvement is there are no restrictions for current visa holders, dual citizens, diplomats, refugees and green card holders. So if you are already in transit or have already been issued a visa, then you can still get in. There is also no more preference for Christian minorities or indefinite ban on Syrian refugees. All in all, this new order looks to be quite an improvement but as of this writing, it has already been challenged in court by the State of Washington and more states are expected to file their own legal action against the Trump administration. So this controversy on Trump's executive order on immigration is far from calming down.

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Another pronouncement from Mr. Trump that would have a direct effect on immigration is his "America first policy" in hiring workers. In his first speech before a joint session of the US Congress, he made it clear that in order to boost the US economy, economic policies must be developed that would be beneficial to US companies with the hope of creating more jobs, raising workers' pay and increasing household incomes. However, one policy that may have an unintended negative effect is to have preference for American workers. Unfortunately, not all Americans are trained or have education and experience to perform highly skilled jobs. It is a reality that the US still needs the competence of foreign workers in areas of information technology, healthcare, service and hospitality, and most especially in agriculture. So the "hire American" policy, though it sounds so pleasingly nationalistic, would in the long term, be detrimental to the US economy. I hope Pres. Trump would take a more thorough and closer look at this concern.

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Next week, I will answer some questions posed to me by our readers which are pretty interesting as it pertains to Mr. Trump's more vigorous enforcement of immigration laws. There are now a lot of fears and anxiety over this renewed focus on deporting undocumented immigrants some of whom do not have any criminal record but were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Keep those questions coming.

mtomakin@gmail.com

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