On July 28th, 2016, Hillary Clinton was officially nominated as the presidential candidate for the Democratic party. After a long primary campaign, in which she defeated Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, Clinton emerged victorious at the Democratic convention in Philadelphia. If Hillary Clinton becomes the next president, her policies could have a major impact on immigrants and their families. Immigrants should take the time to assess Clinton’s plan, as well as the plans offered by her opponents. Further, immigrants must get involved in the political process. According to FairVote.org, immigrants, especially younger immigrants, are less likely to vote than are native born residents. It is critical the eligible immigrants cast their votes, otherwise their interests will remain underrepresented.
Hillary Clinton’s Immigration Plan for American
On the official Clinton/Kaine 2016 website, there is extensive information about the campaign’s plans for immigration. The following is a list of three key highlights:
Introduce Comprehensive Immigration Reform
The Clinton campaign has consistently reiterated its goal of passing comprehensive immigration reform. On their official website, the campaign promises to introduce a comprehensive immigration reform bill within their first 100 days in office. Ultimately, comprehensive immigration reform is an issue that can only be passed by the United States Congress. It is simply not an issue that the president can resolve by herself. Further, because immigration reform has to go through Congress, it can be difficult to know exactly what Hillary Clinton’s future immigration reform bill would look like. That being said, Clinton has stated four goals of such a bill:
- Create a pathway to full and equal citizenship for many undocumented immigrants;
- Take action to rectify the the family visa backlog;
- Increase border security; and
- Bring hardworking immigrants out of the shadows and into the open economy.
Defend DACA and DAPA
Hillary Clinton has also promised to defend DACA and DAPA. Both of the programs were passed via executive order by President Barack Obama. DACA, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, is a policy that allows young people who entered the United States before 2007 and before their 16th birthday to stay in the country legally using a renewable work permit. DAPA, Deferred Action for Parents of Americans, would allow immigrants who have been here since 2010 and have an American citizen or lawful resident child to stay in the country legally. Though, DAPA is currently tied up in the courts and implementation is on hold. Hillary Clinton has promised to help facilitate full implementation of this policy.
Increase Funding for Integration Support Services
The Clinton campaign also promises to increase federal funding for immigration integration services. More specifically, Clinton wants to create an Office of Immigrant Affairs. This new office would do a variety of things, including:
- Attempt to help immigrants and refugee integrate into their local economy;
- Provide $15 million in grants to community-based support organizations;
- Increase the federal resources available for language and citizenship education; and
- Eliminate cost barriers associated with the naturalization process.
How Could Hillary Clinton’s Plan Impact Los Angeles?
Any changes in national immigration policy could potentially have a dramatic impact on Los Angeles and the surrounding communities. Immigrants make up the core of Los Angeles. In fact, Los Angeles has more immigrants than any other city in the country. The economy could not thrive without immigrant contributions. This includes contributions from many currently undocumented immigrants. According to the California Immigration Policy Center, nearly half of the workforce of Los Angeles county is made up of immigrants. Our region’s immigrants come from all over the globe, with the four most common countries of origin being Mexico, the Philippines, Guatemala and El Salvador. The next presidential administration’s immigration policies are sure to have a major impact on Los Angeles County. Two specific areas of concern are:
- Deferred actions programs: Immigration programs such as DACA, DAPA and the Central American Minors Program only exist at the behest of the current administration. While Hillary Clinton has promised to support these programs, her top rival, Donald Trump, wishes to do away with them.
- H-1B Visas: Many key industries in Los Angeles, specifically the entertainment industry, rely on H-1B Visas. The next president will have power to expand the use of these visas, or alternatively, to restrict the use of them. Any changes could have a dramatic impact on businesses and workers throughout Los Angeles.
We Support Immigrants in L.A.
If you are in need of immigration-related legal assistance, the experienced Los Angeles entertainment industry immigration attorneys at Goldstein Immigration Lawyers are standing by, ready to help. Along with our office in Los Angeles, we also have an office on the east coast, in Boston. Please give us a call today to set up your initial legal consultation. We are looking forward to hearing from you!