The invisible wall is up and running. The Trump administration has not needed funding for a border wall to effectively turn the USA in an anti-immigrant nation. They have some very well informed folks cranking up the enforcement of current rules and taking current regulations to an extreme.
Very publicly the enforcement machine has run rampant. ICE officers are at schools, in court houses and knocking on doors in the community. Not to mention Legal Opinions by the AG limiting asylum for refugees from Central America and abusive and criminal behavior by Customs and Border Patrol at our southern border.
Less publicly the Department of Homeland Security has made it much more difficult for legal immigration. In the past folks applying for a green card through employment didn’t have an interview at Citizenship and Immigration Service because such an interview serves no useful purpose. Interviews were reserved for family based immigration where fraud is often a problem. Now all green card applicants are interviewed. As a result of the increase in green card interviews the work load for immigration officers has increased exponentially however there have been no staffing increases. This has caused processing times to double and almost triple; a passive aggressive approach to limiting immigration reform. As a result the spouse of a United States Citizen will wait 1 -2 years for a green card up from 6-8 months 2 years ago.
In addition, in the past applicants who submitted an incomplete visa application package would receive a request for further evidence. Now the Department of Homeland Security has implemented a new policy that mandates that officers to deny incomplete applications outright with no request for further evidence. There is now a push to disqualify folks from citizenship if they or family members ever received any kind of government support – including subsidies for Obama care. This ban will also extend to United States Citizen family members who received such benefits. The current administration has also beefed up the de-naturalization unit – another attempt to remove immigrants from our country.
There’s a coordinated and systematic effort to keep people out by abusing the regulations this country has in place to let folks in. Sad.