2016–The Year in Immigration

Around this time of the year, as we say good bye to a year, it is customary to look back and review the events of the year. In Immigration law, there was very little if anything that was accomplished. No new laws were passed; in fact the Congress has not passed any new laws on Immigration for the last 16 years. The EB-5 Investment visa created by Congress in 1990 was about to end. The Congress extended it as is. If the Congress does nothing in the next session, that program might die. However it is interesting to note, that Donald Trump’s son in law is in charge of several EB-5 program, and several Trump hotels were built with EB-5 money.
Parts of President Obama’s executive actions, which was challenged by Texas, namely those dealing with parents of undocumented aliens, and expansion of the Dream Act was in effect denied by the Supreme Court. After Justice Scalia’s death, the Supreme Court, consisting of 8 members, deadlocked and thus, the US District Judge’s injunction against these measures became valid. The question of expanding DACA (the Dream Act) and DAPA (granting work permits to parents of the Dreamers) is for the time being, dead. Given Donald Trump’s campaign rhetoric, it is not expected to pass, especially with this same legislature.
The Provisional waivers were made a little easier. They are for:
1. Immigrants who entered without inspection,
2. have near relatives that are US citizens,
3. and these relatives will suffer if the person is deported. Therefore the Citizenship and Immigration Service will waive the fact that they entered without inspection (a civil offense), stop deportation and give them the Green Card (Permanent Resident Card).
Will there be comprehensive Immigration Reform in 2017? If I had to bet, I would bet no.

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