It's not untrue to say that Donald Trump has had a 'busy' presidency — the Twitterer-in-Chief has been as active on social media as he has been with executive orders. But many of those orders have been met with litigation and currently stand somewhere in legal limbo between lawsuits filed and Supreme Court review.
One of Trump's most active areas of executive authority has been immigration. Here's the latest on Trump's immigration reform efforts, where they stand (legally speaking), and what they could mean.
Perhaps Trump's most infamous executive order on immigration, and certainly his most litigated one, is the attempted ban on immigrants and refugees from several majority Muslim countries. Blocked by federal circuit courts, rewritten, then blocked again, the Muslim ban is now in the hands of the Supreme Court, although many of the main legal issues may be moot by the time the Court hears oral arguments.
Trump has also threatened to withhold federal funds from so-called sanctuary jurisdictions — cities and states that decline to cooperate with federal immigration enforcement. It's a legally touchy subject, since immigration is largely a federal matter and there are constitutional protections against federal departments controlling state and local law enforcement, and many of those jurisdictions have sued in response.
While battling illegal immigration, Trump also wants to shift the focus of legal immigration from birthplace and family considerations to employment and education qualifications. The president-supported RAISE Act would also slash the number of refugees and visa applicants allowed into the country every year.
Trump rescinded Barack Obama's Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, or DAPA, last June. But the new president has yet to decide on the old president's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, DACA, leaving many apprehensive about their immigration status.
In the meantime, immigrants must go on with their daily lives even though their legal status is uncertain. The Supreme Court has said that public schools can't bar undocumented immigrant children from K-12 education, or charge them extra to attend.
If you're unsure about your immigration status or need legal help, contact an experienced immigration attorney in your area.
- Find Immigration Lawyers Near You (FindLaw's Lawyer Directory)
- Top 7 Immigration Laws for Families (FindLaw's Law and Daily Life)
- Trump's Executive Order on Immigration: What Does It Mean When a Judge Issues a 'Stay'? (FindLaw's Law and Daily Life)
- What Power Does the President Have Over Deportation Policy? (FindLaw's Law and Daily Life)