Changes for Immigrants under Trump

What does immigration, the economy and Obamacare look like under President Trump

Columbia, SC (WLTX)- One of the key points Donald Trump ran his campaign on was intense changes to immigration.

With Trump elected as the 45th President of the United States early Wednesday morning, phone lines at local immigration law firms have been ringing. 

Undocumented immigrants could see some severe changes come January. Immigration Attorney Stephen Sutherland said it could come in the form of executive orders to two main areas. 

The first is Obama's executive order DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which allows millions of majority young adult immigrants to work in this country by means of a two-year permit.

Trump could try to repeal Obama's order as soon as he gets into office, or he could phase in a program where permits would expire and not be renewed.

"'It might be a way for them to, if they were to try to phase out the program that way, maybe it would be a lot less contentious," Sutherland said. "Obviously there would be a lot more families who would not be able to renew if that's the case after that two year period, but I wouldn't necessarily rule out a sweeping executive order that does terminate the program."

That repeal could further be affected by Trump's potential changes to enforcement actions by ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement). 

Sutherland said Trump could decide to increase the number of priorities currently being used at the federal agency to enforce immigration laws.

The federal agency currently enforces immigration laws based on priority. For example, if an undocumented immigrant is convicted of a D.U.I., or domestic violence, they prioritize those deportations. 

"Trump could change those priorities as president of the US,  that's another executive enforcement prerogative that he has and he could direct the director of Homeland Security to change those around," Sutherland said. "We don't really know what sort of new enforcement priorities he might have."

One of those new enforcement priorities could be former DACA applicants who have lost their permits. Sutherland said it's all hypothetical until January. 

In terms of other areas of change, like healthcare, University of South Carolina Business School Professor Bob Hartwig said Obamacare could take Trump's entire first term to replace. 

"People who are in the enrollment process right now are going to be fine for next year," Hartwig said. "They're not going to have the rug pulled out from beneath them mid stream in the middle of next year."

He said Trump may retain some changes under Obamacare like allowing those under the age of 26 to remain under their parents insurance, but the majority will likely be phased out with more private sector competition.

 

@JoyceKohWLTX


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