The new federal administration campaigned on immigration reform, and on March 18th the House of Representatives passed new legislation to change current policies. In CNBC’s round-up of the news, the latest federal policies have been lauded for their bipartisan nature, something difficult to achieve in the current political climate. With special focus in the bill placed on movement from the USA’s southern border, Americans will be wondering exactly what these changes entail.
Legal pathways to citizenship
Key in the changes are the reform of legal pathways to citizenship. As outlined by Reuters, the bill provides new ways for farm workers and Dreamers to find legal immigration status and regularize their stay in the USA. In Texas, which extensively hire from Mexico and further afield to assist with labor shortages, this is necessitating further legal action. A Brownsville, McAllen, Corpus Christi or Austin lawyer specializing in immigration will be best-placed to field advice and help Americans make sense of the legislation. This is especially pertinent with rumors abound of a border crisis in Texas.
A border crisis?
There have been political murmurs of a border crisis in Texas as, spurred on by new legislation, workers from central America seek to make the move to America, whether legally or not. However, officials have, according to The Guardian, deemed this political manipulation, and not representative of reality. Indeed, the numbers of entrants from across the border have reduced over the past six months, whether due to legislation or other reasons. The argument can, however, be made that the Dreamer laws encourage illegal immigration.
Asylum and illegal immigration
One area that the new legislation doesn’t cover is illegal immigration and asylum applicants. Asylum applicants typically arrive illegally, as they are without the resources, due to duress, to enter the USA legally. According to the OECD, asylum requests have remained high, despite overall lower migration, totaling 1.2m inside the OECD countries. With political upheaval continuing across central and south America, the USA can expect further applicants – how they are treated, and whether a more skeptical stance akin to Trump’s will be taken is still unknown.
Immigration remains a hot-button topic, and something that will continue to divide the USA. Legally, illegally, or through concessions, immigration policy is undergoing change. How that will appear to the public will depend on how, and where, immigration continues to move.