The Supreme Court’s June 2018 ruling upholding President Trump’s travel ban on people from several mostly-Muslim countries has frightened not only those directly affected, but immigrants from other nations, too.
“I read a report recently that talked about Trump’s invisible wall against legal immigrants, and that is a metaphor I have tried to grab onto to explain what’s going on,” says attorney Stephanie Izaguirre of Izaguirre Law Firm, a Colorado Springs-based immigration law firm serving businesses and families. “A wall at all of our borders is being constructed brick by brick, but you just can’t see it.”
Denying allegations that the ban sprang from religious intolerance in violation of the First Amendment’s establishment clause, the Trump administration successfully made the case that the policy was implemented to protect national security. Specifically, it argued the countries at issue had failed to share enough information for U.S. officials to decide whether potential travelers posed a threat to public safety.
After several tweaks to address lower court rulings, the prohibition ultimately approved by the nation’s highest court applied to Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen, although Chad later was removed.
Most of Izaguirre’s clients are from Spanish-speaking countries not on the list, but the ruling still makes them nervous, she says.
“They feel like they’re under siege. Even if the decision of the day doesn’t affect them directly, there’s a sigh of relief but an overall fear and foreboding about what’s coming next,” Izaguirre says. “And a lot is coming next.”
The Department of Homeland Security is creating a new office charged with identifying and stripping the green cards and naturalized citizenship of people who lied or committed fraud during their immigration process.
“That’s really frightening because most people think of citizenship as permanent,” Izaguirre says.
The Trump administration is also terminating a Temporary Protected Status program that protected certain immigrants from deportation. Congress created the program in 1990 to help people fleeing war and natural disaster.
“The name says temporary, but it’s always been renewed, so now people who have lived her for 20 years or more are looking at deportation,” Izaguirre says.
Plus, rules to obtain a green card are being applied in previously unheard of ways to make it harder to obtain one, leading to long-term family separation. And immigrants who joined the military as a path to citizenship are being abruptly discharged without explanation.
“The resistance to immigration in some sectors has centered around illegal immigration,” Izaguirre says. “Most Americans support legal immigration, and none of the people in those cases was doing anything illegal. The president has been actively working against even legal immigration, and I have no idea why he’s choosing to spend time and energy on that.”
If you have questions or concerns about your immigration status, Izaguirre Law Firm will be happy to evaluate your case and assist you. Call (719) 445-0292 to schedule a consultation or visit IzaguirreLawFirm.com.
Izaguirre Law Firm
1287 Lake Plaza Drive
Colorado Springs, CO 80906
1225 N. Main St. Suite 101
Pueblo, CO 81003
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