Updated Status of Trump’s 10 Points Immigration Policy Plans

Back in August 2016, just a couple months before the election, Trump laid out his 10-point immigration plan: the big changes to immigration he’d make as soon as he’d become president. He spoke in front of a large crowd of his followers in Arizona, a state that had taken a strong stance on immigration in previous years, and made big promises. But a little over 500 days into his presidency, how is the plan holding up?

Here’s the update:

Build the wall

Trump’s words during the speech in Arizona:

“We will build a great wall along the southern border. And Mexico will pay for the wall. One hundred percent. They don’t know it yet, but they’re going to pay for it… On day one, we will begin working on an impenetrable, physical, tall, power, beautiful southern border wall.”

Early this year, Trump’s administration asked for $18 billion over the next ten years to build the border wall and reinforce the existing fences. After adding the extra costs that have been estimated by Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) for additional personnel and training, Trump’s wall may actually cost up to $33 billion. Any funding for the wall has not yet been approved by Congress. And though the Mexican government has said they will not pay for the wall, in a recent conference Trump has continued to talk about the wall and say Mexico will pay for it in some way.

End “catch and release”

Trump’s words during the speech in Arizona:

“[President Obama and Hillary Clinton] support catch and release on the border… Under my administration, anyone who illegally crosses the border will be detained until they are removed out of our country and back to the country from which they came.”

In the first half of 2018, the Trump administration experimented with strict policies toward families who enter the U.S. unlawfully. The media has extensively covered the way that thousands of children have been separated from their parents.

Facing a couple court orders that restrict immigration detentions, the Trump administration is being forced to return to the policy Trump referred to as “catch and release.”

“Catch and release” is the practice of letting an immigrant leave a detention center while he or she awaits an immigration court hearing.

Create a deportation task force and focus on criminals in the country illegally

Trump’s words during the speech in Arizona:

“Within ICE I am going to create a new special deportation task force focused on identifying and quickly removing the most dangerous criminal illegal immigrants in America who have evaded justice just like Hillary Clinton has evaded justice, O.K.?”

A special deportation task force under the Trump administration has not been announced. However, in June 2018, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) announced that it had formed a task force to identify people who have lied on their citizenship applications. The agency is hiring dozens of attorneys to review records of people who have naturalized since 1990.

The idea of having a task force whose priority is investigating cases for the purpose of denaturalization (taking away a naturalized immigrant’s U.S. citizenship) has not been seen in the U.S. since the McCarthy era in the 1950s when citizens were investigated for allegedly being communists.

Defund sanctuary cities

Trump’s words during the speech in Arizona:

“We will end the sanctuary cities that have resulted in so many needless deaths. Cities that refuse to cooperate with federal authorities will not receive taxpayer dollars, and we will work with Congress to pass legislation to protect those jurisdictions that do assist federal authorities.”

The term “sanctuary cities” refers to cities that don’t fully cooperate with the federal governments in their efforts to deport unauthorized immigrants.

There’s currently a nationwide Supreme Court order that prevents the federal government from denying public safety grants to “sanctuary cities.” In June 2018, the Trump administration asked the Supreme Court to narrow and lower that order.

Cancel President Obama’s executive actions

Trump’s words during the speech in Arizona:

“We will immediately terminate President Obama’s two illegal executive amnesties in which he defied federal law and the Constitution to give amnesty to approximately five million illegal immigrants, five million. And how about all the millions that are waiting on line, going through the process legally? So unfair.”

One big priority for the Trump Administration has been to check the constitutionality of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). DACA is the executive order issued by President Obama in 2012 to grant a w

ork permit and protection from deportation for two years to unauthorized immigrants who came to the U.S. before the age of 16.

In 2017, the Trump administration was able to block new DACA applications from being reviewed and gave Congress a time frame to save the policy. The program currently remains active due to federal judges who have ruled against Trump’s reasoning to end it.

However, the fate of DACA remains uncertain.

Extreme vetting: Block immigration from some nations

Trump’s words during the speech in Arizona:

“I call it extreme vetting, right? Extreme vetting. I want extreme. It’s going to be so tough, and if somebody comes in that’s fine but they’re going to be good. It’s extreme. And if people don’t like it, we’ve got [to] have a country folks. Got to have a country.”

In 2017, Trump issued a travel restriction that banned people from certain Muslim nations from entering the U.S. Several cases have been brought against the travel ban, but in June 2018 the Supreme court voted in favor of Trump’s ban, saying that it is legitimate.

Under the practice of “extreme vetting”, there have also been reports that certain activists have been stopped and denied entry into the U.S. due to their background in Muslim activism.

Force other countries to take back those whom the U.S. wants to deport

Trump’s words during the speech in Arizona:

“We will insure that other countries take their people back when they order them deported. There are at least 23 countries that refuse to take their people back after they’ve been ordered to leave the United States. Including large numbers of violent criminals, they won’t take them back. So we say, O.K., we’ll keep them. Not going to happen with me, not going to happen with me.”

This part of Trump’s plan goes hand-in-hand with his attempt to end “catch and release”. The Trump administration has had to return to the previous practice of allowing families to be released so they can be together while they await a court hearing. Nevertheless, Trump continues to demand action from Congress so that ICE can deport people as soon as possible.

In a tweet from June 2018, Trump wrote: “When somebody comes in, we must immediately, with no Judges or Court Cases, bring them back from where they came.”

Get biometric visa tracking system fully in place

Trump’s words during the speech in Arizona:

“For years Congress has required biometric entry-exit visa tracking systems, but it has never been completed. The politicians are all talk, no action, never happens. Never happens… Approximately half of new illegal immigrants came on temporary visas and then never, ever left. Why should they? Nobody’s telling them to leave. Stay as long as you want, we’ll take care of you. Beyond violating our laws, visa overstays pose — and they really are a big problem — pose a substantial threat to national security.”

The same executive order that the Trump administration issued in 2017 to ban travelers from certain Muslim countries from entering the U.S. also included a clause for expediting a biometric exit system. A biometric exit system would keep track of travelers on U.S. visas who overstay their visas (don’t leave the U.S. once their authorized stay has expired).

In 2018, not much has been reported on the progress of a nationwide biometric exit system at airports.

Strengthen E-Verify, block jobs for the undocumented

Trump’s words during the speech in Arizona:

“We will ensure that E-Verify is used to the fullest extent possible under existing law, and we will work with Congress to strengthen and expand its use across the country. Immigration law doesn’t exist for the purpose of keeping criminals out. It exists to protect all aspects of American life. The work site, the welfare office, the education system, and everything else.”

There are currently only 8 states that require the use of E-verify, a tool that checks whether a potential employee is authorized to work in the U.S. Not much has been reported about the Trump administration’s attempt to make it a nationwide requirement, even though E-verify has been proven to decrease the hiring of unauthorized workers.

On the other hand, however, the U.S. is currently experiencing a labor shortage, particularly in low-skilled labor like farming and the service industry.

Limit legal immigration, lower it to “historic norms,” and set new caps

Trump’s words during the speech in Arizona:

“The time has come for a new immigration commission to develop a new set of reforms to our legal immigration system in order to achieve the following goals. To keep immigration levels measured by population share within historical norms. To select immigrants based on their likelihood of success in U.S. society and their ability to be financially self- sufficient. We take anybody. Come on in, anybody. Just come on in. Not anymore.”

Since becoming president, Trump has kept his word on limiting legal immigration.

Trump’s administration has granted fewer visas and approved fewer refugees and asylum seekers. It has also denied entry and issued removal orders to immigrants with a legal status who are in the U.S. because their countries are ravaged by war and natural disasters.

As of July 2018, Trump’s administration continues to push Congress to limit the entire legal immigration system.