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Anxious times for immigrants

There has never been a moment in recent times when immigrants in the United States have been feeling this anxious over their future than the past few months under the Trump presidency. Consider the following:

1.) Issuance of executive orders banning nationals from certain Muslim majority countries to enter the United States;

2.) Initially imposing a 120-day suspension of refugee resettlement program, then once it expired, lowered the annual cap to its  lowest level since the program started;

3.) Considering revoking the Temporary Protected Status of more than 300,000 immigrants from 10 countries and has since decided not to extend the protection for nationals of El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Haiti;

4.) Ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) which affects nearly 800,000 undocumented youth or so called "Dreamers" who came into the US as minors;

5.) Increasing the frequency of apprehension and employing more aggressive means of arresting undocumented immigrants even at courts and hospitals;

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6.) Targeting sanctuary cities by making them ineligible for federal grants;

7.) Reviewing the policy on family reunification and subliminally rebranding it as "chain migration";

8.) Proposing a stricter and restrictive merit-based migration;

9.) Tightening rules on asylum, parole, and removing applicants;

10.) Seeking to end the visa lottery or the Diversity Visa Program;

11.) Enforcing more restrictive rules on extensions and renewals of temporary employment-based non-immigrant visas;

These are just some of the immigration policies presently imposed by the Trump administration which have undoubtedly caused immeasurable stress and undue anxiety for untold number of immigrants. If you carefully look at it, these directives cover a wide swath of immigrants from undocumented children to adults who have worked and lived here most of their lives.

Even those who are here legally either as greencard holders or naturalized US citizens would also be affected if new rules are in imposed limiting family-based immigration. This may not be an assuring thought but more likely than not, Mr. Trump is not done yet. With his campaign rhetoric that there is strong connection between the country's immigration problem and threats to its national security and economic opportunities for American workers, and validated by his election to the presidency, Mr. Trump is all the more emboldened to stiffen up his policies on this very contentious issue.

mtomakin@gmail.com

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