With all of the debate surrounding immigration and the 2016 election, many people are wondering just how far a president can go when it comes to immigration reform.
The answer? Not very far—at least not alone.
As Wisconsin immigration attorneys, we understand that the process can be confusing (and the laws can be even more confusing), so here’s what you need to know.
Presidential Powers on Immigration
Most of the president’s power falls under the spectrum of checks and balances in the U.S. government. The president is part of the executive branch, and it is his or her duty to uphold the law; the president can’t make laws (that’s up to the legislative branch, which includes the House of Representatives and the Senate). The judicial branch—the Supreme Court—is responsible for interpreting laws.
Through an executive order, a president could limit immigration from certain areas. However, constitutionally, he or she would likely face significant opposition.
Can a President Ban Immigrants of Certain Nationalities?
Presidential candidates have often used immigration as a major talking point, with some saying that they will suspend immigration from certain areas or ban immigration for people of certain nationalities.
8 U.S. Code § 1182 does give the president the authority to “suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens,” but can only do so if the group’s entry “would be detrimental to the interests of the United States.”
Immigration Law is Still Complicated, but We May Be Able to Help
For the most part, the president has some leeway when it comes to accepting or rejecting certain groups of immigrants from entering the country (or from being deported). However, the U.S. system of checks and balances is designed to prevent a president from taking advantage of his or her power.
Regardless of what or restrictions a president may impose, immigration law is still complicated. Our Wisconsin immigration lawyers can help you navigate the complex process, complete the appropriate forms, and file them with the right agencies.
Call us at 414-383-6700. If it’s easier, get in touch with us online; we’ll evaluate your case, answer your questions and give you legal advice that helps you through the immigration process.