Commenting on whether police and sheriffs’ deputies ask about immigration status when making an arrest, Mr. Yale-Loehr said that varies among police departments and individual officers in California and elsewhere. If a suspected drunken driver lacked a license, for example, “or the driver’s license looked fishy, or the individual looked or sounded foreign,” some officers might contact U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to ask about the individual’s legal status, he said.  

[Mr. Yale-Loehr] said that sometimes people can read too much into President Trump’s tweets and statements. He advised people to focus instead on concrete policy actions. “This tweet runs counter to what the administration has actually done against H-1B workers. Ever since the President issued his ‘Buy American and Hire American’ executive order in April 2017, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has made it harder for employers to hire H-1B workers and to keep them.” He noted a National Foundation for American Policy report that showed a 41% increase in denials of H-1B petitions in the 4th quarter of FY 2017. “Just last week, a company sued USCIS in federal court after the agency denied a company’s extension request for an H-1B employee, even though the agency had approved four H-1B petitions before for the same person in the same job. In effect, the President has built an invisible wall against H-1B workers. Given all that, why should we believe this apparent about-face? Even if President Trump is serious about making it easier for H-1B workers to stay permanently in the United States, his administration cannot do that unilaterally. Congress would have to pass a law.” He pointed out that Congress is divided on immigration issues, making this type of reform, particularly in isolation, difficult to picture in the current environment.

We are taking a look at immigration issues and how some of the most critical questions surrounding immigration policy in the U.S. may play out in 2019….

…Stephen Yale-Loehr, an American law professor at Cornell University and an immigration law attorney, points out that the last major change to the U.S. legal immigration system was in 1990 – and the world has changed significantly since then. “Congress came close in 2013 with a comprehensive immigration reform package that was passed bi-partisanly through the Senate and was 1,200 pages, but it failed to clear the House of Representatives,” noted Yale-Loehr during a recent visit to the Knowledge@Wharton Radio Show, which airs on Sirius XM. “It has been historically hard to get immigration through any Congress and it has become only harder in this more politicized environment.” As for the current shutdown, he adds, “We could have a deadlock all year or it could provide some opportunity for movement. People in Congress are saying if we could combine funding for border security, plus some relief for DACA recipients and some protection for people who have temporary protected status, we could see some movement on immigration. I hope that would be the case, but politically we may be unlikely to achieve that.”….

…Will the U.S. finally see meaningful immigration reform in 2019? With the 2020 presidential elections looming, movement on any immigration issues may be slow. “We need comprehensive immigration reform,” said Yale-Loehr. “There are many broken parts to the immigration system. Just trying to fix one of them, whether it’s asylum or illegal immigration, isn’t going to work. We need to have an overall approach. The Senate tried to do this in 2013. We need to have a national conversation about what is the role of immigration and when immigration can help the United States so that we can come up with a new overall comprehensive framework. Then we can untangle some of the mess that we’ve gotten ourselves into.”….

Miller Mayer immigration attorney Steve Yale-Loehr was quoted by several media outlets on possible upcoming Supreme Court cases:

Commenting on the ongoing litigation over Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), Mr. Yale-Loehr said it would be somewhat unusual for the high court to intervene at this stage. He added that the DACA case lacks the “immediacy” of the travel ban case, where thousands of people were being prevented from entering the country, so there’s not the same sense of urgency for the Supreme Court to act.

Mr. Yale-Loehr said that the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision earlier this year in Trump v. Hawaii upholding the president’s travel ban could have an impact on litigation over the recent asylum policy as it circulates through the appellate courts. “If this case goes to the Supreme Court, the court will have to decide the scope and possible limits of its travel ban decision,” he said.