North Carolina residents who have been following the ongoing legal battles over some of the Trump administration's more controversial immigration policies will likely not be surprised to learn that another court case is brewing. A proposed rule change published in the Federal Register on Aug. 23 would allow immigrant families to be detained indefinitely while their applications for asylum are being processed. They are currently detained for no more than 20 days.
Many people in North Carolina are deeply concerned about the changes to the immigration system being made by the Trump administration. Even people who are not refugees or asylum seekers have expressed outrage at the repeated measures aimed to minimize the number of people eligible to seek protection in the United States, especially at the southern border. On July 29, Attorney General William Barr promulgated another rule aimed to cut back on asylum claims. Barr said that people cannot rely on persecution targeting their family members in order to seek asylum.
North Carolina residents may be aware that President Trump has taken aggressive action to address what he has referred to as a crisis at the nation's southern border. In late May, the White House said in a statement that Trump plans to introduce a series of escalating tariffs on Mexican-made goods because he feels that the efforts being taken by the Mexican government to address the problem are inadequate. The following day, media outlets reported that protections put into place by President Obama to protect migrant children were being curtailed.
Media outlets in North Carolina and around the country have devoted a lot of attention in recent months to the ongoing legal challenges to some of President Trump's more controversial immigration policies. Trump has declared the situation on the nation's southern border a national emergency and has issued a flurry of executive orders designed to stem the flow of migrants heading toward the United States from Central America. However, most of his efforts have been rebuffed by the courts.
In 2015, the Obama administration modified the immigration rules to allow the spouses of H-1B visa holders who are applying for permanent residence to work in the United States. The move proved to be a popular one as 91,000 H-4 visa holders in North Carolina and around the country later filed applications. However, President Trump has been a harsh critic of H-1B visas, which allow employers to hire skilled foreign workers, and he has vowed to scrutinize all aspects of the program.
The spouses of H-1B visa holders in North Carolina may be facing the loss of their work permits. A proposal that has been sent to the White House Office of Management and Budget would end the practice of allowing spouses to get employment authorization documents.
North Carolina residents may be aware that the living conditions of over 10,000 immigrant children being held in federal custody at the U.S.-Mexico border have become the source of multiple lawsuits in recent weeks. According to these cases, the bad conditions in which these children are confined are used as a way to punish immigrant families in order to deter them from entering the country. The lawsuits further claim the goal of the federal government is to deter immigration in general.
Many people living in North Carolina are immigrants with green cards. While this "permanent residency" status allows individuals to live and work in the United States, it does not give them the same rights that citizens have, including the right to vote.