Preparing for Changes to Immigration Law

From Catholic Migration Services


President-elect Donald Trump has pledged to take various actions relating to our current immigration laws and policies.  At this point, it is important to stress that no one can be certain about what the new administration will attempt to do, and whether or not President-elect Trump will follow through on his promises to deport all “criminal aliens” and end President Obama’s “illegal executive amnesties.”  Although it is unlikely that the new administration and Congress will institute any immigration reforms that benefit immigrants, we cannot be certain of anything until after the new Congress convenes, and the President takes office.

While any changes to our existing immigration laws would take time to implement, if President-elect Trump does follow through on his statements to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA), this could happen as soon as immediately after the inauguration on January 20, 2017.  It is possible that United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) could stop accepting or approving all DACA applications, or renewal applications.  It is also possible that USCIS could revoke DACA for individuals who currently have it, which would also result in the revocation of employment authorization for such individuals.

At this time, Catholic Migration Service is discouraging individuals from applying for an initial DACA application.  However, individuals who already have DACA are already known to the government and may not, depending on specific circumstances, incur additional risks by submitting a renewal application.  We encourage such individuals to consult with a licensed immigration attorney to discuss the risks associated with seeking renewal before doing so.

A Trump administration may also affect how discretion is exercised by various immigration agencies including USCIS, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and Customs and Border Patrol (CBP).  Again, this is something that will take time to implement.

During this time it is important to keep in mind that as of June 30, 2016, USCIS has approved close to 750,000 DACA applications.  Eliminating this program and instituting enforcement action against DACA recipients would require a tremendous amount of government resources.

If you or anyone you know has questions about their immigration status it is imperative that they speak to a trusted attorney who can evaluate whether or not there is some form of relief available at this time.

Catholic Migration Services (CMS) serves the Brooklyn and Queens communities, and is here to help answer any questions as well as to update the community about possible changes in the law. More information about CMS’ services, and about changes in Federal immigration policies, can be found at