The Invisible Wall & How It Was Quietly Built Over the Last Two Years

We've reported before that the Trump Administration has made life more difficult for all immigrants, not just the undocumented. Even legal residents and would-be legal residents have found themselves unable to navigate an increasingly hostile immigration system. Some advocates have called this Trump's "invisible wall," a wall made of political and administrative barriers to entry that keeps out all immigrants and visitors.

Two years into his first term, the Guardian has reported that the invisible wall was 'successfully' made it harder for immigrants to enter the U.S. to find work, see loved ones, or flee violence and poverty. The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), a right-wing anti-immigration group with ties to multiple presidential advisors, believe that the past two years include "significant progress."

Changes to U.S. policy include:

  • Separating 2,500+ migrant children from their parents
  • Limiting refugee admissions to 30,000
  • Attempting to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census

However, these were only the changes that earned news coverage. In truth, there were dozens of policy changes that have resulted in a tougher landscape for immigrants. Recently, there was a proposal to make it harder to get a green card if a person used public benefits—a move that would have pushed thousands of qualifying individuals away from using the public benefits they need. At the same time, visa processing times have increased, making the whole process more costly for hopeful residents.

What most of these changes have in common is they don't require congressional approval. However, that doesn't make them any less impactful. One regulation on the chopping block would take the ability to work away from the spouses of residents with H-1B work visas. That regulation alone would affect 100,000 people in the workforce.

The ACLU has admitted that it's hard for immigration experts to keep track of every policy change since the current administration took power, but they've been challenging many of them in court. While many of these policy changes have been stopped or slowed, the ACLU is gearing up for another two years of dozens of small-but-significant changes.

For help with your immigration or visa case, call the New Jersey immigration attorney at The Law Offices of Lloyd E. Bennett, Esq., P.C. today. Dial (800) 909-8129 or contact us online today.