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USCIS in the Trump Era – Part 3 – Politics

by Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram on October 14, 2017

Can Trump Tame Congress or Will Congress Tame Trump?

Can Trump tame Congress or will Congress tame Trump?

by Chris M. Ingram, LL.M., ESQ

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So, I’ve decide to continue my series on USCIS in the Trump Era. I’m somewhat blown away by the number of questions that are coming in to our office following every presidential tweet and executive order. In my fourteen years in US Immigration law practice, I’ve never seen anything like it. Quite honestly, it’s exhausting.

Are the Presidential Tweets Anything More than Early Morning Entertainment?

Are the presidential tweets anything more than early morning entertainment?

President Trump has virtually become US news, and everything he tweets about has the veneer of being consequential on the world stage.  I chose the word ‘veneer’ to emphasize that whilst Trump does indeed love to tweet, for the most part he has been unsuccessful in getting much of a legislative agenda accomplished. I’m not writing this to bash the President, as my goal is to keep these articles as apolitical as possible, rather I’m writing this because immigrants and Americans alike are doing their best to discern fact from fiction.

Putting an End to Obama Care

Will Obama Care Survive? Can We Survive Without Obama Care?

Will Obama Care survive? Can we survive without Obama Care?

President Trump vowed to “Repeal and Replace” Obama Care, officially known as the Affordable Care Act. Indeed, this is what Republicans campaigned on and as a result they captured the House of Representatives and the Senate. So, we now have a Republican-controlled White House, House and Senate. Meaning, the Republicans can pass almost whatever law they wish, or can they? Let me answer that in two parts.

Paul Ryan - Leader of the House of Representatives. Nothing goes for a Vote Without His Say So.

(R) Paul Ryan – Leader of the House of Representatives. Nothing goes for a vote without his say so.

In order for Congress (the House and the Senate) to pass any laws that require funding, they have to get 60 votes in the Senate. There are 100 Senate seats in total, each state having two Senators. Right now, Republicans hold 52 Senate seats, (two seats are held by Independents (aka Indie) who side (caucus) with the Democrats. So, in order to pass any major legislation, they will need 8 Indie/Democrat votes, otherwise it’s not going to happen.

Mitch McConnell - Leader of the Senate. Nothing Goes to a Vote Unless He Says So, Not Even if Trump Demands He does.

(R) Mitch McConnell – Leader of the Senate. Nothing goes to a vote unless he says so – not even if Trump demands that he does so.

The second part to Repeal and Replace, is that in order to get close to getting major legislation done, the Republicans have to act as one. However, in reality the Republican Party, is actually now made up of factions and these factions do not share the same ideals on many important issues. There are many ways to draw the division lines but the common ones are, The Tuesday Group (about 50 moderate Republicans), The Tea Party (balance the debt, smaller government), The Freedom Caucus (hard right-wing, everyman for himself) and the Liberty Caucus (economic freedom).  Since Trump came into office, he has not been able to get his party to agree on anything at all, because they are in essence not unified.

Tax Cuts, Tax Cuts, Tax Cuts

Gary Cohn, the Mastermind Behind the Tax Plan. Investment Banker, now Chief Economic Advisor to the President.

Gary Cohn, the mastermind behind the tax plan. Investment banker, now Chief Economic Advisor to the President.

Under President Trump, the economy has been doing fantastic and unemployment rates have continued to fall. America’s economy is booming. The reason for America’s fantastic economy can be explained in two parts. Part one is that all the trends or markets, such as property prices, stock market indices, jobs, lending, and consumer spending were trending up for many years under President Obama. So Trump inherited a successful and thriving economy. The second reason is Trump’s promise of tax cuts, especially corporation tax. So, when US companies heard that their corporate tax levels were initially going to be cut from 35% to 15%, they went nuts and the stock market soared all the more. With Republicans controlling the Senate, House and White House, how could we not get these tax cuts?  Well, let me explain.

Cutting Taxes Can Increase the Federal Deficit

Republican Rand Paul - a Staunch Opponent of Any Measure that Will Explode the Federal Deficit.

(R) Rand Paul – a staunch opponent of any measure that will explode the Federal deficit.

Many analysts will argue as follows: –  The Federal government receives tax revenues and then spends it according to the terms of the budget. Thus, if taxes are cut, then the Federal government will get in less revenue, and unless it’s also able to cut Federal spending, the Federal deficit will grow.

In contrast, other analysts will argue as follows: – If you cut taxes, companies will invest more, hire more people and these new people will pay enough taxes to more than off-set the loss in revenues and thus the Federal deficit will not go up, but instead go down.

The trouble with the latter argument is that it’s never proven to work. The Federal government, regardless of party, is addicted to spending more than it receives in taxes because it does not know how to cut its spending. Only President Clinton was able to balance the budget and wipe out the Federal deficit in 1998 thru 2001. In fact, in those years President Clinton ran a Federal budget surplus. The current Federal deficit is $18.96 trillion dollars. From October 1st 2017 to September 30th 2018 the budget will add another $440 billion dollars to the deficit.

Will Tax Cuts Pass?

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer - Says Currently Tax Plans Benefits the Rich, and barely helps the Middle Class. Chuck's a No!

(D) Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer – says currently the tax plan benefits the rich, and barely helps the middle class. Chuck’s a “No!”

It’s hard to say if we will see meaningful tax cuts passed any time soon. Why? Because the Republican Tea Party and the Republican Freedom Caucuses are vehemently opposed to taking any action that will increase the Federal debt. However, ironically, they might make an exception if they can get a tax cut. But wait, in order to pass any legislation that will raise revenue, the Republicans must get 8 votes from the Indie/Democrats in the Senate. So, it will be interesting to see what it will take to get those 8 votes. Perhaps a more moderate tax bill.

How Will Legislation Get Done if
Even the Republicans Can’t Agree on Anything?

Can Chuck (D) and Mitch (R) Strike a Deal - Cannot Pass the Senate Without Agreement.

Can Chuck (D) and Mitch (R) strike a deal – it cannot pass the Senate without agreement.

Truth is, I don’t know. I guess if the Republicans and Democrats decided to work together and meet each other half way, we’d see legislation get passed, but both sides are so opposed to each other they cannot seem to agree on anything.

How Does Any of the Above Affect
Immigrants to the US?

(D) Senator Elizabeth Warren (Next Democratic Presidential Candidate?) - Outspoken Champion for US Immigrants, Documented and Undocumented. Elizabeth is keeping a watchful eye on any proposed US Immigration legal changes.

(D) Senator Elizabeth Warren (next Democratic Presidential Candidate?) – outspoken champion for US Immigrants, documented and undocumented. Elizabeth is keeping a watchful eye on any proposed US Immigration legal changes.

As long as Congress cannot agree on anything, the current Immigration laws will stay in place. For how long, we do not know. I know the President through an Executive Order cannot make an undocumented immigrant, documented, as this will require legislation to be passed by Congress. However, President Trump has been able to wreak havoc on whole countries from coming to the US through his various travel bans. In such an instance, he is not changing immigration law, which he cannot. Instead, he is changing policy as to who can even apply for US Immigration. The question then becomes, what other actions could he take against legal immigrants coming to the US?

President Trump is fighting on so many issues - It's difficult to consider him having the time to really focus on getting difficult legislation done. Is this good or bad? I really do not know, but it feels like political gridlock all over again to me.

President Trump is fighting on so many issues – it’s difficult to consider him having the time to really focus on getting difficult legislation done. Is this good or bad? 

I really do not know, but it feels like political gridlock all over again to me. To use the words of President Trump, “US Immigration is complicated”. It would require a level of understanding of the various US Immigration channels there are, and then he’d need to figure out which ones require changing, why and its implications. Moreover, the visa types we have now are enshrined in law, so he cannot change the law, but he can tinker with how immigration law is processed, it’s certainly troubling.

Conclusion

The American economy is booming, it’s doing really well. Companies are therefore hiring, but cannot find the right Americans with the right skill set, so we as an immigration law firm are getting calls every day from companies and individuals looking to secure candidate’s visas to fill these vacancies. Most of the unfilled vacancies are in the STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), which is why I write about this field so often, as it’s the area of greatest demand. However, because of the anti-immigrant sentiment that has been adopted within USCIS, under the guise of extreme vetting, securing visas for the people America needs the most has never been so challenging.

While Congress continues in gridlock, life goes on. America still needs to work and compete on the global stage and to do that we need global talented Immigrants.

While Congress continues in gridlock, life goes on. America still needs to work and compete on the global stage and to do that, we need global talented Immigrants. Are you ready to answer the call?

At the end of the day America needs you, and needs you in a hurry. American STEM companies are in actual despair with frustration as they cannot advance without suitably qualified immigrants. So, whatever your advanced qualifications, if you want to relocate, we can help. If you have the right qualifications you will not even need a US employer to sponsor you, your raw talent alone may be sufficient. Talk to us, let’s review your case and if you’re able to pass our rigorous screening process, we’ll fight for you all the way to get your immigration visa approved. Good luck.

 

Immigration Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram

Immigration Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram

US Immigration Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram
Chris M. Ingram LL.M., ESQ – Immigration Attorney
Admitted in New York.
Practice Specializing in US Immigration Law
401 Wilshire Boulevard, 12th Floor,
Santa Monica,
California 90401
Tel: 310 496 4292

Everyday the Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram provides a comprehensive range of US Immigration expertise. We also provide a free consultation for our prospective clients.

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Specializing in the E2 Visa, EB1 Green Card, L-1A Visa and O1 Visa and K1 Visa Marriage-Based Immigration. Attorney Chris M. Ingram is dedicated to providing the very best in US Immigration legal representation. Enjoy our website.

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