Paths to Citizenship for ‘Legal’ Immigrants Next on Trump’s Chopping Block


President Trump, with a plan concocted by senior advisor Stephen Miller, will soon be rolling out a proposal targeting immigrants who are legally permitted to be in the U.S. with the aim of restricting their paths to legal residence and even citizenship, or denying them a path altogether. The proposal will target legal immigrants if they, or anyone in their household, has ever benefited from a range of public assistance programs, including Obamacare (Affordable Care Act), public children’s health insurance, and food stamps, among others. Estimates suggest “more than 20 million immigrants could be affected.”

Even before this rule goes into effect, USCIS has seen an increase in denials of legal residence and citizenship petitions. For instance, the first quarter of fiscal year 2018 already shows a 20 percent reduction in green card approvals compared to 2016. President Trump’s proposal will likely result in a continued, perhaps severe decline in successful green card applications, and many immigration attorneys and advocates fear the same for citizenship applicants.

Over and over again, this administration sets its sights on the most vulnerable scapegoats in our society. We know for a fact that immigrant communities contribute more than they receive, have lower rates of criminal activity, and are pretty much the backbone of many of our most thriving cities. We also know that all communities, no matter how recent or far back their immigration stories, have people who need a helping hand from time to time. Attacking them and cutting off their opportunities is the lowest of the low.

Because of this increased scrutiny of applicant backgrounds, we believe it is more important than ever to consult an attorney for any and all potential interactions with USCIS. Officials are using fine-toothed combs in order to catch any flaws in applications, including past petitions, so the risk of denials or even reversing previous approvals (such as taking away green cards) exists. Please call our office at 414-533-5000 so that we may help you in all immigration application decisions.

To read more about this proposal, and to hear why a Haitian green card holder and father to a disabled daughter, who works 80 hours a week, had his citizenship denied, please see: