Donald Trump’s ‘Comprehensive Immigration Reform’ is Much Broader Than Expected

AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis

The new immigration reforms announced Jan. 25 by President Donald Trump include a comprehensive range of measures that put the full weight of the federal government behind his campaign promise to shut down illegal immigration.

The extensive reforms of rules against illegal immigration were unpacked Wednesday afternoon by alarmed immigration lawyers, including Greg Siskind and David Leopold, a former president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. The association’s members help bring roughly one million legal immigrants and roughly one million temporary contract workers into the United States each year.

Here’s a list of very important measures hidden in the details. For example, immigration officers are being allowed the day-to-day ability to enforce the law as they see fit. Under Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush, the officers were merely robots under the slow and long-distance control of D.C-based “civil rights” lawyers, whose first priorities were the political interests of their immigration-boosting political bosses.

A Bloomberg columnist underlined the importance of the new freedom for officers.

Franke-Ruta Garance is the editor-in-chief of’s politics news service. She highlighted a report showing that the broader rules help immigration officers to send illegals home after committing common crimes, such as identity theft. Thats very different from Obama’s policies, which limited deportations to illegals who committed felonies or major violent crimes.

Siskind Tweeted his analysis of Trump’s orders, section by section.

This Tweet those that by declaring illegal immigrants to be national security threats, Trump offers immigration agencies more legal pathways to quickly return the migrants to their homelands, sometime bypassing civil lawsuits.


That’s an important indication of support for a fence, versus a wall. Border officers say a fence is better than a wall, because it allows them to spot approaching problems through the fence. Also, Trump’s decision to set”operational control” at zero means that zero illegal crosses is the desired and very ambitious measure of success.


Okay, by saying Congress will fund construction and staffing of the barrier, Trump commits himself to finding other Mexican-related funds to offset Congress’ checks. Those funds could include taxes on money sent to Mexico by illegal immigrants, or maybe even savings from welfare funds no longer being spent on illegal migrants.


This detention requirement is huge because it means the end of President Barack Obama’s post-2014 “catch and release” policy. The Obama policy has forced officers to release many migrants once they cross the border, allowing the migrants to join their extended families throughout the United States. In contrast, Trump’s plan will deter migrants, who will know that if they are caught, they must spend days or months in U.S. detention facilities before being sent home to face unpaid and angry coyotes.


That’s also big, because it means that Trump will return migrants home until lawyers and perhaps courts decide if they can win asylum in the United States. That initial return will also deter migration because migrants will know they can’t get a job in the United States while their legal claims are processed over months or years.


Here’s where Trump’s deputies are building more leverage against Mexico. By calculating where the aid money is going, they’ll be able to nudge the Mexican government towards wall-related payments — or face the additional threat of losing aid funds.


This is important too, because it means the Justice Department can fund state and local cops to pick up illegal immigrants for repatriation by the Department of Homeland Security. This rule means that illegals living far from the border can now expect repatriation orders when they’re arrested for minors crimes, such as drunk-driving, fights, thefts, and other offenses that have been ignored by deputies working for Obama and Bush.


This “parole” rule shuts an mini-amnesty backdoor created by Obama’s deputies. Under Obama, many illegals were given permission to return to the United States under “parole” prior to taking a quick trip home. This early permission meant that the illegals — including many students enrolled in American colleges — could re-enter the United States legally and then start applying for various forms of residency and amnesty.


This “plain language” rule shuts down Obama’s post-2011 program for allowing Central American migrants into the United States. So far, at least 350,000 unskilled Central American migrants have been allowed to apply by asylum by claiming they have a “credible fear” of violence if they return home.


This hiring rule means that Trump’s top deputies will use of the White House’s Office of Personnel Management to pick the people tasked with enforcing the new policy. This top-level direction can help bypass bureaucratic opposition within various agencies.

Officials have already announced the hiring of a D.C.-based pro-American lobbyist to help run the Customs and Border Protection agency. “Julie Kirchner, the former executive director of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), has been named chief of staff at U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the largest federal law enforcement agency of the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS),” said a Jan. 23 statement from the pro-immigration Southern Poverty Law Center.

The new rules also create a new office to help spotlight the suffering of Americans attacked by illegal immigrants. That p.r. office will provide a steady supply of news and drama to focus public attention on crimes by illegal immigrants — and it will also help defeat claims by advocates of immigration that Trump is breaking up families of illegal immigrants.

Trump presented the p.r. strategy at his Wednesday speech where he talked up his new rules. He told his cheering audience at the Department of Homeland Security that:

For years the media has largely ignored the stories of Americans and lawful residents victimized by open borders. To all of those hurting out there, I repeat to you these words. We hear you, we see you and you will never, ever be ignored again.

As I travel the country, I had the chance to get to know mothers who have lost their children to violence spilling over the border. I want to thank the Remembrance Project — such incredible people — for giving these families a voice. They are called Angel Mom’s for good reason because they are a voice to protect all of America’s children. Their children have not died in vain, believe me.

Pundits talk about how enforcing immigration laws can separate illegal immigrant families, but the families they don’t talk about are the families of Americans. Forever separated from the people they love, they don’t talk about that ever. As your president, I have no higher duty than to protect the lives of the American people.

Overall, Siskind, Leopold and other advocates of government-imposed diversity say Trump’s popular reforms are a disaster for their political goals.

However, Trump has yet to announce many of the other labor and immigration reforms he promised during the election.

Top of the list is a new law from Congress requiring companies to check that possible hires are allowed to work in the United States.

The reformers also want Trump to deploy a visitor-tracking system so that officials know when legal visitors, such as tourists or temporary workers, have left the country. The system would help reduce the number of “overstay” illegal workers. Congress has repeatedly authorized the deployment of the tracking system since the 9/11 atrocity, but has not provided the needed funds. In 2015 roughly 500,000 foreign visitors overstayed their visas, according to a government report.

The reformers also want Trump to reverse Obama regulations which sharply increased the inflow of foreign while-collar professionals who compete for professional jobs sought by young American graduates.

Trump is coming under criticism from pro-American immigration reformers for not immediately stopping the renewal of two-year work permits given to roughly 750,000 illegal immigrants by Obama’s 2012 quasi-amnesty.

Throughout his term, Obama increased the inflow of legal immigrants so much that his agencies brought one migrant into the United States for every two births during the first half of 2016, according to the Center for Immigration Studies.

For much of his tenure, Obama’s agencies annually imported one million new legal immigrants plus one million foreign contract workers, even as 4 million young Americans annually entered the job market. By a lopsided margin, most Americans believe companies should hire Americans before hiring additional immigrants.

Trump’s pro-American policies are mostly opposed by business groups and by many GOP leaders, especially House Speaker Paul Ryan. The GOP’s leadership tend to favor a business-friendly high-immigration, low-wage economic strategy. For example, Ryan has repeatedly argued that business needs an extra supply of foreign blue-collar workers and white-collar professionals above the natural supply of four million Americans who join the labor force each year, and he argues that foreign workers are needed to prevent any wage increases for American workers.

The current inflow of cheap foreign workers cuts’ Americans salaries and effectively transfers roughly $500 billion a year from pay packets into investors’ profits, according to calculations by Professor George Borjas, a Harvard researcher. 



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