Eine Frau geht an einer Weltkarte, die aus Kinderporträts besteht, am Freitag (18.06.2010) im JuniorMuseum in Köln vorbei.

13.12.2017 | Von:
Casey Tran

Migration Policy Changes under the Obama Administration and in the First Year under the New U.S. President Donald Trump

The second attempt for reform came in November 2014 from the Obama administration who issued an executive order that would expand the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy introduced in 2012. Under this order, those who had arrived in the U.S before age 16 and had been living in the US since 2010 were granted a three-year period (instead of originally two years) where deportation is deferred and can legally work.[29] Also, the order would extend similar protection to parents of US citizens or green card holders, who have lived in the US continuously since 2010.[30] The opposition to this executive order was immediate, protesting that the President had overstepped his powers. Soon, this executive order was brought before the courts. In November 2015, the Federal appeals court ruled that Obama had exceeded his authority.[31] In June 2016, the Supreme Court blocked Obama’s executive order, effectively diminishing hopes to expanding the DACA program [32] and bringing about significant CIR to protect unauthorized persons from deportation.[33]

While both attempts would have changed the lives of unauthorized immigrants in the US (had they been successful), these pieces of legislation also included significant provision devoted to enhancing US border security. In the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, $46 billion was devoted to border security that would include building a fence that would cover 700 miles (in addition to the fences that already exist along parts of the US-Mexican border [34]), creation of an exit system that captures the biometrics of foreigners leaving the US, and employment and hiring 20,000 additional Border Patrol agents.[35] Additional technological security detection measures (i.e. ground sensors, video and mobile surveillance systems) would be implemented.[36] Obama’s 2014 Executive Order also meant increasing the number of agents at the border, and applying changes to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to make personnel closer to traditional law enforcement officers.[37] At the same time, the overall number of deportations increased more than under other presidencies. Obama placed a priority on the deportation of criminals or those with prior convictions (rather than families) and recent unauthorized border arrivals.[38]

The Trump administration has continued this securitization agenda of unauthorized arrivals, focusing on the removal of unauthorized persons with criminal charges or convictions – a key element of his presidential campaign. On February 17, 2017, there was a "Day without Immigrants" in response to the Trump administration’s securitization agenda, where immigrant-owned shops were closed and immigrant workers did not go to work to show the impact of immigrants on the economy but to also protest such securitization of unauthorized immigrants.[39] Under Executive Order 13769, the Trump administration also increased the number of enforcement and removal immigration officers, cut off federal funding of sanctuary cities [40], and published criminal actions committed by undocumented persons.[41]

On July 20th, Senators Dick Durbin and Lindsey Graham introduced the bipartisan DREAM Act as another attempt to provide a legal pathway for unauthorized immigrants who had arrived as children.[42] Congressional action on the issue became further heightened as President Trump announced on September 5th the end of DACA within six months, urging for an alternative proposed by Congress.[43] In response, fifteen states and the District of Columbia filed a lawsuit against the U.S. government to block the move.[44] On September 14th , the Democrats and Trump are reported to be closer to a deal on DACA, however it is unclear what concessions will be made on both sides to ensure legal protections for DREAMers.

The Trump administration also set into motion the planning, design and construction of a wall along the southern border, another earlier election campaign promise. In July, the House passed a spending bill that would allocate $1.6 billion to fund Trump’s wall. However, it is unclear whether Trump will secure such an amount as the bill still needs to be passed by the Senate later this year.[45] Moreover, the Trump administration’s security agenda outlined for the construction of detention facilities for unauthorized arrivals, termination of the "catch-and-release" practice (under which unauthorized immigrants without documentation are released as they wait for court hearings), and greater power afforded to State and local enforcement authorities to perform functions of immigration officers.[46] Visa-related and entry securitization measures were also implemented. The Trump administration suspended the visa Interview Waiver Program [47], mandating that "...all individuals seeking a nonimmigrant visa undergo an in-person interview, subject to specific statutory exceptions." In January 2017, they also enacted a travel ban that entailed a suspension of immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries for 90 days. These countries were Syria, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Sudan, Yemen and Somalia.[48]

Mass protests in cities and airports took place in response to the travel ban, as critics denounced the ban as discriminatory for targeting immigrants from Muslim countries.[49] The measures also caused much disarray and chaos for travelers and their families, as some travelers were detained at airports while others prevented from boarding their flights.[50] Foreign governments also contended with understanding the enforcement and impact of such rules on their citizens.[51] The travel ban was brought before the courts. On January 28, a New York judge partially blocked the ban. The day after, a Massachusetts judge issued a restraining order. The Trump administration eased travel restrictions for green-card holders in February, however their order was hit with further setbacks as a US district court judge blocked the order nationwide. The US judges also ruled against reinstating the travel ban.[52] In March, the Trump administration issued a second travel ban in attempt to replace the first. This time, Iraq was removed from the list. The travel ban blocked citizens of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from applying for US visas for 90 days.[53] Trump further blocked all refugees from entering the country for 120 days.[54] Again, the travel ban was blocked by court decisions.[55] In response, the Trump administration appealed to the Supreme Court.[56]

On June 26, a Supreme Court ruling cleared the way for some parts of President Trump’s travel ban. However, the ban could not be applied to those with "a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States" [57]. This meant relatives, people working in companies or students would still be allowed to travel to the US. The Trump administration had narrowed the definition of relatives as being spouses, children, parents, siblings, fiancés and had excluded other categories such as grandparents. On July 13, a Honolulu judge ruled that the ban could not exclude grandparents or other relatives (i.e. aunts and uncles, cousins, nephews and nieces) of U.S. citizens.[58] Some opponents were still dismayed at the ruling as many refugees would suffer from being stranded abroad due to their lack of "bona fide" ties while the court case unfolds.[59] On September 7, a U.S. appeals court rejected Trump’s travel ban on refugees, noting that the refugee’s relationship with their resettlement agency should make them exempt from the ban.[60] However, a few days later, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the ban on refugees, preventing the refugee ban from being lifted.[61] Later in September, Trump’s administration expanded the list of countries whose nationals are banned from travelling to the US, now including Chad and two non-Muslim countries: North Korea and Venezuela.[62]


Department of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, "2014 Executive Actions on Immigration", last modified April 15, 2015, https://www.uscis.gov/immigrationaction#1
Michael D. Shear, "Obama to Appeal Immigration Ruling to Supreme Court," The New York Times, last modified November 10, 2015, https://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/11/us/politics/supreme-court-immigration-obama.html
Lydia Wheeler and Jordan Fabian, "Deadlocked Supreme Court blocks Obama on immigration," The Hill, last modified June 23, 2016, http://thehill.com/regulation/court-battles/president-obama-immigration-actions-programs-blocked-supreme-court-deadlocked-scalia-dapa-daca-crushing-blow
Lawrence Hurley, "Split Supreme Court blocks Obama immigration plan," Reuters, last modified June 23, 2016, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-court-immigration-idUSKCN0Z91P4
Azam Ahmed, Manny Fernandez and Paulina Villegas, "Before the Wall: Life Along the U.S.-Mexico Border," The New York Times, last modified February 8, 2017, https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/02/08/world/americas/before-the-wall-life-along-the-us-mexico-border.html?mcubz=1
Joseph Tanfani and Brian Bennett, "Border 'surge' plan would be financial bonanza for private firms," Los Angeles Times, last modified July 8, 2013, http://articles.latimes.com/2013/jul/08/nation/la-na-adv-border-money-20130708
American Immigrant Council, "A Guide to S.744: Understanding the 2013 Senate Immigration Bill," last modified July 10, 2013, https://www.americanimmigrationcouncil.org/research/guide-s744-understanding-2013-senate-immigration-bill
Stephen Dinan, "Obama expands ICE powers to pursue illegal immigrants for deportation, angers activists," The Washington Times, last modified December 1, 2015, http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/dec/1/obama-expands-ice-powers-to-pursue-illegal-immigra/
Muzaffar Chishti, Sarah Pierce, and Jessica Bolter, “The Obama Record on Deportations: Deporter in Chief or Not?,” Migration Policy Institute, last modified January 28, 2017, http://www.migrationpolicy.org/article/obama-record-deportations-deporter-chief-or-not
Liz Robbins and Annie Correal, "On a 'Day Without Immigrants,' Workers Show Their Presence by Staying Home," The New York Times, last modified February 16, 2017, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/16/nyregion/day-without-immigrants-boycott-trump-policy.html
According to Bauder (2017;2016), the ‘sanctuary city’ concept in Canada and the US generally refers to the protection of unauthorized immigrants. Municipalities have implemented varying degrees of policies and practices towards protecting unauthorized immigrants. One example is the limitation of cooperation between municipal agencies (including law enforcement) and federal immigration authorities. Bauder, Harald. "Sanctuary cities: Policies and practices in international perspective." International Migration 55, 2 (2017; 2016): 174-87.
The White House, Office of the Press Secretary, "Executive Order: Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States," last modified January 25, 2017, https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/01/25/presidential-executive-order-enhancing-public-safety-interior-united
Maria Sacchetti, "Durbin, Graham file Dream Act, hoping to ward off legal challenge to DACA," The Washington Post, last modified July 21, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/immigration/durbin-graham-file-dream-act-hoping-to-ward-off-legal-challenge-to-daca/2017/07/20/19ade326-6cd4-11e7-b9e2-2056e768a7e5_story.html?utm_term=.16ad3bc8c2d1
Michael D. Shear and Julie Hirschfeld Davis, "Trump Moves to End DACA and Calls on Congress to Act," The New York Times, last modified September 5, 2017, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/05/us/politics/trump-daca-dreamers-immigration.html?mcubz=0
Larry Neumeister and Gene Johnson, "15 States and Washington D.C. Are Suing the Trump Administration Over Plan to End DACA," Time.com, last modified September 6, 2017, http://time.com/4930020/trump-daca-states-dc-lawsuit/
Associated Press, "House GOP Approves $1.6 Billion for Trump’s Wall," NBC News, last modified July 27, 2017, https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/house-gop-approves-1-6-billion-trump-s-wall-n787271
The White House, Office of the Press Secretary, "Executive Order: Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements," last modified January 25, 2017, https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/01/25/executive-order-border-security-and-immigration-enforcement-improvements
U.S. Embassy & Consulates in the United Kingdom, "Interview Waiver Program," n.d. https://uk.usembassy.gov/visas/visa-reissuance-program/
The White House, Office of the Press Secretary, "Executive Order: Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States," last modified January 27, 2017, https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/01/27/executive-order-protecting-nation-foreign-terrorist-entry-united-states
Lauren Gambino et al., "Thousands protest against Trump travel ban in cities and airports nationwide," The Guardian, last modified January 30, 2017, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jan/29/protest-trump-travel-ban-muslims-airports
Alan Yuhas and Mazin Sidahmed, "Is this a Muslim ban? Trump's executive order explained ," The Guardian, last modified January 31, 2017, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jan/28/trump-immigration-ban-syria-muslims-reaction-lawsuits
"Trump's travel ban sparks mass confusion as conflicting details emerge," CBC News, last modified January 29, 2017, http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/trump-immigration-refugee-travel-executive-order-1.395720
Steve Almasy and Darran Simon, "A timeline of President Trump's travel bans," CNN, last modified March 30, 2017, http://edition.cnn.com/2017/02/10/us/trump-travel-ban-timeline/index.html
The White House, Office of the Press Secretary, "Executive Order: Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States," last modified March 6, 2017, https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/03/06/executive-order-protecting-nation-foreign-terrorist-entry-united-states
The White House, Office of the Press Secretary, "Executive Order: Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States," last modified January 27, 2017, https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/01/27/executive-order-protecting-nation-foreign-terrorist-entry-united-states
Steve Almasy and Darran Simon, "A timeline of President Trump's travel bans," CNN, last modified March 30, 2017, http://edition.cnn.com/2017/02/10/us/trump-travel-ban-timeline/index.html; Ann E. Marimow and Robert Barnes, "Court deals another blow to Trump’s travel ban," The Boston Globe, last modified May 25, 2017, http://www.bostonglobe.com/news/politics/2017/05/25/appeals-court-rules-against-trump-revised-travel-ban/3a947sJnZ6dhDggBfxVGGJ/story.html
Oliver Laughland, "Trump travel ban: White House appealing to supreme court after block upheld," The Guardian, May 25, 2017, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/may/25/trump-travel-ban-blocked-federal-appeals-court
Michael D. Shear and Adam Liptak, "Supreme Court Takes Up Travel Ban Case, and Allows Parts to Go Ahead," The New York Times, last modified June 26, 2017, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/26/us/politics/supreme-court-trump-travel-ban-case.html
Merrit Kennedy, "Supreme Court Allows 'Grandparent' Exemption To Trump Travel Ban," NPR, last modified July 19, 2017, http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/07/19/538115295/supreme-court-upholds-grandparent-exemption-to-trump-travel-ban
Michael D. Shear and Adam Liptak, "Supreme Court Takes Up Travel Ban Case, and Allows Parts to Go Ahead," The New York Times, last modified June 26, 2017, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/26/us/politics/supreme-court-trump-travel-ban-case.html
Mica Rosenberg and Jonathan Stempel, "U.S. appeals court rejects Trump's bid to bar most refugees," Reuters, last modified September 7, 2017, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-immigration-ruling/u-s-appeals-court-rejects-trumps-bid-to-bar-most-refugees-idUSKCN1BJ00P
Mark Sherman, "U.S. Supreme Court upholds Trump administration’s ban on most refugees," Toronto Star, last modified September 12, 2017, https://www.thestar.com/news/world/2017/09/12/us-supreme-court-allows-trump-administrations-ban-on-most-refugees.html
Sudan was removed from the administration’s list. Limits imposed on Venezuela only apply to certain government officials and their families.
Oliver Laughland, "Trump travel ban extended to blocks on North Korea, Venezuela and Chad," The Guardian, last modified September 25, 2017, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/sep/25/trump-travel-ban-extended-to-blocks-on-north-korea-and-venezuela
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