When voters turn out to the polls in November to decide who the next president of the United States will be, the final outcome could have a major impact on immigrants in the US.
After a rocky four years full of near-misses as well as losses for immigrant communities, here are five of the top issues to keep an eye on prior to the 2020 election:
- Temporary protected status (TPS) – under the Trump administration, the program has nearly been eliminated. While it’s been blocked by federal courts, the Justice Department has filed appeals on the decision and could ultimately move it to the Supreme Court. People who qualify for TPS include those who’ve fled countries torn by conflict and disasters. Many of them have established lives here in the US, and they worry they would be uprooted and forced back into a dangerous place.
- Undocumented immigrants – while one side argues for mass deportation and banning undocumented immigrants from citizenship permanently, the other side favors opening new pathways to citizenship. This decision could impact nearly 11 million people who live and work in the US.
- Immigration enforcement – over the past four years, ICE has scaled up its raids and enforcement tactics, resulting in an increase in arrests of people with no criminal background. Previously, Obama had eliminated these raids and limited them to people with criminal records. Workers have been largely targeted, with many ending up deported. Now there are calls to scale back or even abolish ICE.
- Family separations – parents and children detained at the border were at one point being held separately. By 2018, over 2,800 families were separated, until the Trump administration reversed course and a federal judge ordered the families reunited. Many of the families remain separated, and ICE continues to separate some families, but there are calls to end this practice altogether.
- DACA – the Dreamer’s Act, created and signed into law by former President Obama, was recently the target of yet more attempts to remove protections for immigrants. In this case, DACA provided temporary protections from deportation for people who arrived undocumented as children. Rescinding DACA would have disrupted the lives of many people who have no memories of or connection to the country the came from at a young age. The Supreme Court ruled in June to uphold DACA.
Immigrants and people who advocate for them benefit from paying close attention to these issues and others. They can happen quickly, and it’s good to be prepared to handle and process news as it happens.
If you’re an immigrant seeking help defending your rights, don’t hesitate to reach out to an experienced immigration attorney for legal support and guidance.