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Impact of Donald Trump’s Immigration proposals

August 25
22:46 2015
Donald Trump

Donald Trump

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump recently proposed a detailed platform of immigration reform. Some of the more controversial plans include having Mexico pay for a wall across the US-Mexican border, plans to triple the number of ICE officers, to ending birthright citizenship, and to require employers to test the labor market prior to filing any H-1B petitions.

According to Trump, Mexico must pay for the wall and, until they do, the United States should take several sanction measures to otherwise force the country to pay. What the reform proposal, which can be found at, does not say is how much such a wall will cost. The estimated cost to build such a wall would be upwards of $20 billion and it would require patrols and maintenance costs to sustain it. Cost aside, the wall would also put a great strain on US-Mexico relations.

Plans to increase ICE would also cause substantial negative collateral effects. In a January 28, 2015 article in the Wall Street Journal, it was reported that the Justice Department reserved the day after Thanksgiving Day in 2019 as a special date reserved for non-priority cases involving thousands of immigrants awaiting their day in court. This is reflective of a severely underfunded court system with too few judges, especially since caseloads began skyrocketing in 2009. Increasing the number of ICE officers would only further clog up immigration courts with non-priority cases.

Finally, H-1B petitions already have safeguards in place where companies already have to recruit US workers prior to filing petitions, if they have exceeded certain limits making them H1B dependent.

Targeting H-1B workers who are hired mostly in the high tech industry where there is a reported shortage, therefore, does not make sense, especially considering that H-1B workers only make up a tiny fraction of the workforce.

Time will tell how these proposals will affect Trump’s campaign.
Hasan Abdullah is Attorney at Law

Hasan Abdullah



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