On Wednesday President Trump signed two executive orders related to U.S. immigration law and policy. The orders not only increase the number of immigration enforcement officers who carry out deportations, but also roll back many of the restrictions that former President Obama placed on the authority of those officers. The orders also direct the construction of a wall across the U.S.-Mexico border and deny any federal funding to so called “sanctuary cities”, like New York, who protect their immigrant communities and refuse to work with federal agents in enforcing the federal immigration law.
While the fears rippling through our immigrant communities are valid and the anxieties understandable, the reality is that many of these orders do not have the full force of law and can be seen as a somewhat symbolic gesture of one of Trump’s signature campaign issues. Additionally, while the economic impact on New York and other sanctuary cities can be huge if Trump actually tries to carry out on his threats to withhold funding, questions as to the legality of that position remain. New York City Mayor Bill deBlasio has already stated that, “If an attempt is made to [withhold funds], we will go to court immediately for an injunction to stop it,” and that “If they make an attempt to pull [federal money], it will be from NYPD, from security funding to fight terrorism”, which, deBlasio believes, is “susceptible to legal challenge.” New York is not the only city ready to take Trump on over this issue, as state and local leaders from all over the country of come out in support of immigrant communities over this issue.
At Cohen Forman Barone we understand that these are fearful times for many of the country’s most vulnerable communities. These fears are only intensified by misinformation being spread throughout all forms of media. Unfortunately, this is also a time when unscrupulous individuals seek to take financial advantage of those impacted by Trump’s policies and rhetoric. It is, therefore, important that anyone in need of accurate and reliable immigration counsel to seek out an attorney who focuses on this complex area of law and who will provide thoughtful, meaningful, and ethical advice.