Photo by Rochelle Brown
From the genesis of his campaign trail, Trump has made some pretty lofty promises concerning immigration. From the “build the wall” chants to the significant cut of visa holders, his plans to mitigate the entrance of foreign nationals run the gamut. And with the elections on the horizon, we wanted to recap said promises to see which ones he has made good on.
Let the Vetting Plan Begin!
Upon his arrival to the Oval Office, Trump’s immigration cleansing first targeted Muslim countries. He fought hard to ban seven of those countries from American entry, planning “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the U.S. until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.” Striking fear into the lives of countless Muslim’s hearts deemed successful for the former reality TV star’s administration.
However ardent the President’s attempt to purge out Muslim hopefuls, a federal court eventually ended up blocking Trump’s initial ban. Yet, in 2018, the Supreme Court maintained an amended version that has since been extended out to other countries.
“Build That Wall!”
Perhaps Trump’s most formidable promise to eradicate illegal immigrants, especially those hailing from Mexico, was the infamous wall. Since the early days of his campaign trail, back in 2016, Trump has vowed to build a wall, spanning 1,000 miles on the US Mexican border that would cost $15 billion dollars to erect. This fortress was intended to cut off several Mexican and Central American immigrants from American entry. Not only would President Trump barricade our borders from Mexican migration, but he was hellbent on Mexico paying for the construction of this Oz-like structure. Mexico, as expected, refused such nonsensical commands, and the US has yet to receive a cent from the neighboring country.
As for the ETA of when The Wall will be finally be completed? In mid-August, US Customs and Border Protection reported of plans to build or replace 738 miles of the border wall. Thus far, the agency says that it has built only 275 miles of border wall under the Trump administration, and that most of that has restored past structures. It’s been reported that about 30-miles of wall have been built in places that did not antecedently have barriers.
“Catch and Release” Cut-off
Another farfetched promise ardently declared by the President in his 2016 campaign was the abolition of the “catch and release” program targeting Mexican border immigrants. The program – which grants immunity for those immigrants detained by US Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) by allowing them to be released from detention while going through immigration court proceedings – had allegedly been annulled by the Trump administration on several different occasions. However, in March of this year, the Trump administration’s dream of dispelling “catch and release” was inadvertently realized due to the birth and rapid spread of Covid-19.
Singled Out “Sanctuary Cities”
True to form, the President turned up the heat on cities and states, in which he claimed had “sanctuary policies.” The President went on to say that said policies shielded immigrants living in the US illegally, limiting cooperation with the Federal immigration enforcement. And in January 2017, Trump signed an executive order withholding federal funds from districts with these policies.
The president’s efforts have since been intercepted with four appeals courts ruling that the federal government does not have the authority to withhold funds because of sanctuary policies; though one appeals court has, in fact, sided with the Trump administration in July 2020 regarding the matter.
With so much push-pull between the courts and their decisions, the issue may eventually make its way to the Supreme Court, which has already vetoed a case on three pro-immigrant laws in California back in June of this year.