How Will the Trump Presidency Affect Immigration?

During his campaign, President-Elect Trump put immigration reform at the forefront of policy changes he pledged to make if elected. Since the November 8th election, many are wondering which of those changes will become reality. With his new Administration, President-Elect Trump has the power to vastly change the landscape of immigration in the United States. How will these election results affect the lives, immigration statuses, and futures of our foreign nationals?

Short-term Change

There will most likely be no change until January 2017, when President-Elect Trump and the new Congress take office. We will likely see no change until then, other than the changes already in motion, prior to the election. Furthermore, after January 2017, all changes to current policy must be done through the passage of new laws and regulations. These changes usually take months, or possibly longer, to be put into effect. Current legal permanent residents and visa holders should not expect to see any changes as a result of this election anytime soon. Individuals will likely know in advance about any change actually going into effect.

Long-Term Change Under Trump

Since President-Elect Trump focused mostly on immigration enforcement during his campaign, we may see increased enforcement relating to undocumented immigration. However, we may also see rational, necessary reform to the broken parts of the system. These changes may positively change the visa backlog and wait times.

President-Elect Trump has been talking about "building a wall" since the beginning of his campaign. This will probably be more difficult to achieve than other parts of his agenda, because it would likely require Congress to pass new legislation, which would surely inspire opposition.

New restrictions on high-skilled immigration were also a specific policy proposal of the President-Elect. These new restrictions will depend on the new Secretary of Homeland Security and whether brother immigration legislation moves in Congress. Again, current visa holders and legal permanent resident should not expect to see any changes in restrictions anytime soon. New restrictions on high-skilled immigration may have the unintended effect of harming start-up companies in the U.S. and impact the success of tech-related companies.