The January 30, 2018 State of the Union became another chapter in President Trump’s ongoing campaign for America to serve its own needs and its people first. Embodying this ideology, President Trump declared that, “we will follow two simple rules: Buy American and Hire American.”
During his first term, those two simple rules have dramatically changed the immigration process into the United States. Although Congress has yet to pass immigration reform, President Trump has issued several executive orders that have overhauled the United States immigration system. Trump’s first year has made it more difficult for employers to sponsor or hire immigrant workers and following Trump’s State of Union employers should not expect it to become easier to hire immigrant workers during the Trump’s tenure.
The President has the power to implement a travel ban if the President finds that the entry of any foreign national or class of foreign nationals would be “detrimental to the interests of the United States.” In his first year, President Trump signed three executive orders that placed restrictions on travel and immigration into the United States by certain foreign nationals from specific countries.
The first two executive orders were enjoined – given no legal effect – by U.S. district and circuit courts. However, the Supreme Court has never ruled on the legality of either because the President had replaced each order with an updated version.
Trump’s third travel ban was signed on September 24, 2017, and imposes travel restrictions for certain foreign nationals as a result of a worldwide review conducted by Secretary of Homeland Security. The new travel ban is different than the previous two because it is tailored to the specific conditions in each country, rather than being a blanket restriction on all immigration from a specific country. For example, business and travel visas were suspended indefinitely for immigrants from Chad, but all visas, other than student visas, were suspended for immigrants from Iran.
Trump’s third travel ban has been enjoined by district courts in Maryland and Hawaii, but the Supreme Court allowed the third travel ban to go into effect while travel ban is litigated further. Lower courts have expressed concerns that President Trump’s campaign rhetoric suggests that any travel ban, regardless of how the travel ban is phrased, would be implemented specifically to target and limit Muslim immigration. In contrast, the Trump administration has argued that the third travel ban does not target Muslims, but rather, is based on the Secretary of Homeland Security’s worldwide review.