Immigration in 2016: A Look Ahead

Sat, Jan 02, 2016 at 1:15PM

2015 was a notable year for immigration, for those on both sides of the political spectrum. We saw strides—like the Pope’s open show of support for fairer, more open immigration policies—as well as bumps in the road, such as states declaring their unwillingness to welcome refugees or fighting President Obama’s executive programs DAPA and DACA.

All that we have seen and experienced in the area of immigration this year has set up 2016 to be a year just as full of conflict—and, hopefully, a few resolutions, too. In today’s blog, we will be looking at several key immigration points to look out for as we head into the New Year.

Refugee crisis

The later part of the year saw the United States react to the Syrian refugee crisis. 31 states—all but one led by Republican governors—said that they would not allow Syrian refugees to settle within their borders. This development happened after the Paris terrorist attacks, with governors acting to ensure no such tragedy occurs within their own states.

There are, of course, a few problems with these states’ refusals that we should look out for in 2016. As it has been said before, the question of refugees in the country is a federal matter, not a states one—although uncooperative states surely could make it harder to create and enforce national rulings.

President Obama’s executive action programs

As we mentioned above, President Obama’s DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans) and DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) ran into several roadblocks in 2015. Texas, armed with support from other states, sued to block the programs. After a federal court appeals panel sided with these states, federal officials appealed the decision to the Supreme Court—and we’re still waiting for Texas to respond to that appeal. In 2016, we will hopefully see these executive programs put into action.

The new president

Of course, one of the developments with the greatest chance of impacting immigration is the 2016 election. Whoever is elected will have a great say in the nation’s immigration reform and will be able to expand or cut down on current programs, like President Obama’s.

As we already know from debates, some presidential candidates—such as Donald Trump—are supportive of stricter, tighter immigration reform. Others favor a more open and accessible system to let in those from other countries. No matter what side of the spectrum you may stand on, 2016 will bring us a president that either helps or hampers easier, more navigable immigration policies.

2015 has been a busy year when it comes to immigration, and we expect 2016 to be no different. Stay with us throughout the year as we keep an eye on developments in the immigration arena.

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