Although President Donald Trump’s promise to build a physical wall on the border between the US and Mexico may never materialize, his administration is building a less visible but more systematic and bureaucratic one instead. The administration is overhauling the nation’s immigration system, cutting the number of legal and undocumented immigrants, who get to stay in the country for generations to come.
Federal officials have been using executive authority across different programs and agencies to create a bureaucratic wall far more effective than a physical barrier could be. While some of these actions have been widely reported and caused controversy, others have been implemented with less fanfare. The administration has taken steps to reduce the number of refugees entering the US, speed up the rate of deportations, and remove provisional residency given to over a million individuals, together with other measures.
Officials with the Trump administration say they are merely doing their job and upholding laws that previous Democratic and Republican administrations let slide, saying their policies on immigration were too soft and that they viewed immigration with an unrealistic and too positive light.
Last month in Austin, Attorney General, Jeff Sessions claimed that Americans have been asking elected officials for decades for an immigration system that served the national interest and that now the US finally has a President who supports such a system. The new restrictions are likely to cut the number of immigrant workers in the country by a significant amount.