How the "reduced legal immigration" proposal affects you
US IMMIGRATION NOTES - Atty. Marco F.G. Tomakin (The Freeman) - May 26, 2019 - 12:00am

Last week's column generated quite a handful of reactions from our readers as it relates to how the administration's recent policy proposal specifically limiting legal immigration visas could affect their specific cases and what could be done to make sure that their petitions are protected.

First, this proposal, as the term means, is simply that --a proposal. Only Congress has the power to draft and pass immigration laws. The president does not have the constitutional authority to create, modify, alter, or change existing immigration laws. The executive department can only propose but if Congress disagrees or does not act on those proposals, then there is nothing the president can do.

However, one should not be lackadaisical on this issue. Vigilance is still paramount. Make your voices of disagreement be heard through calling or writing your congressman. Educate yourself on the ramifications of this policy proposal and participate in any community discussion on this matter.

If you have a petition currently pending now, there is no chance that you would be affected. Laws are generally passed with no retroactive effect, especially on bills like this that affects millions of individuals. But again, do not be passive. If you are still contemplating filing a petition for your parents, siblings, or married adult children, I suggest that you do it now. I suspect that these groups of relatives are most likely to be greatly affected in terms of reducing further the number of visas available for them. I also think that a spouse or a minor child petition will be least likely affected given the fact that these types of relatives are within the basic core of a family unit.

Since his inauguration and even during his presidential campaign, President Trump has made immigration reform his centerpiece issue. Since then, various changes have been made in various aspects whether at the more vigorous and aggressive interpretation and implementation of existing laws, issuance of executive and administrative orders that blindside the lawmaking power of Congress, and offering hardline proposals that only serves to energize President Trump's voter base with the hope of reclaiming the Republican majority of Congress in the next election.

And as what is perceived to be the administration's continuing effort to stricter immigration stance, it was announced that the head of USCIS resigned from his post on Friday at the request of President Trump. A more assertive and tougher replacement is soon to be named.

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