Filipino immigration lawyer attorney Cristina Godinez says that while Trump’s plan to build a wall at the US-Mexico border does not really concern the Filipino community — Filipino immigrants should be more concerned about the president’s invisible wall meant to stop or slow down immigrants coming into the US.
“Trump is trying to reduce legal immigration and the talk around the Hill and the talk among Republicans among conservatives is they want to focus on merit-based immigrations,” said Godinez.
Godinez says the Trump administration’s immigration policy can be summed up with 3 D’s – deport, deny, and delay.
Immigration lawyer, attorney Arvin Amatorio says the USCIS old practice of requesting for additional evidence to give an immigration applicant a chance to complete their documentation may no longer hold.
“If there’s a big problem with your petition, they’ll send you the notice of intent to deny, but now… with the new memo just came out recently, the immigration officer has the discretion to deny the applications without requesting either the request for evidence of the L.O.I.D. Technically killing the petition itself.”
Once denied, Amatorio says – the applicant may immediately be placed in removal proceedings or deportation.
Godinez also pointed out that denaturalization is another “D” that naturalized Filipino U.S. citizens should also keep in mind.
Last June, a new USCIS task force was charged with identifying naturalized citizens who cheated on their applications — and those caught could be denaturalized or their citizenship revoked.
“Purging the community of possible people who are liable for misrepresentation, so they are saying — how many more could have become U.S. citizens without really being eligible for it?”
Under President Trump — ICE enforcement and removal operations report shows a 41% increase in deportation related arrests compared to the same period in 2016.
While the Obama administration arrested mostly with those with a criminal background – under the Trump administration, non-criminal arrests have increased by a whopping 171%.
But the total removals or deportations have declined by 6% from 2016 to 2017 – meaning ICE arrested immigrants are staying longer detained than being immediately deported.
USCIS says that its new initiatives would help align the agency’s practices with the Department of Homeland Security’s enforcement priorities.