Carlos Batara – Immigration Lawyer header image

Five Immigrant Rights Activists Share Their Predictions For 2019

– Posted in: Immigration Law, Policy & Politics | Guest Commentary

2018 was an incredibly difficult year for immigrants, immigrant family members, immigrant rights advocates, and immigration lawyers.

So what might 2019 hold?  Will immigration affairs remain bleak or will daylight start to shine again?

How should immigrants play their cards?

I decided to ask five leading immigrant rights advocates their views on what changes, if any, we can expect to see in the coming year.

  • Chasity Alvarez, Founder and Administrator, Families Advocating Immigration Reform Unity
  • Joel Smith, Director of Operations, Human Borders

In particular, I asked them to share their views on three issues that are on the minds of most immigrants and their families.

  • What is your outlook regarding U.S. immigration affairs in 2019?
  • Do you think Trump be impeached or removed from office?
  • If Trump was removed from office, how would this affect immigration law?

What Is Your Outlook Regarding U.S. Immigration Affairs In 2019?

Chasity Alvarez

We gassed asylum seekers at the border on Thanksgiving Day. That doesn’t bode well for 2019. Reform will not happen in any shape or form, good or bad. Piecemeal approaches will likely be brought to the table.  Trump and the Republicans, however, will not entertain anything that helps immigrants.  Democrats, meanwhile, will use immigrants as bargaining chips.

Ellin Jimmerson

I don’t see much changing vis-a-vis immigration in 2019. People will continue to come and cross without inspection. People will continue to die. People will continue to lose their fortunes and their dignity in the process. Left of center types will continue to promote the false narrative that Trump invented the evil that is our immigration system, blinding their eyes to reality.

The only change might be the re-introduction of a Comprehensive Immigration Reform package, although there is no reason for thinking that might happen. If that happens, it will, once again, primarily be a border militarization package with a side of indentured servitude in exchange for a measly, risky “path to citizenship” which advocacy groups will continue to promote as a good exchange for other people’s lives and other people’s freedom.

Joel Smith

I see immigration affairs as continuing to being bleak. The rise of Trump has given life to  a wave of legislation based on fear, hate and xenophobia.

Deborah Sherman de Santos

Probably won’t be much change. Both sides agree on one thing: that the border must be secured better – makes it pretty clear that the current mess is fine with them – they just don’t want what they do to be done in the open the way it is being done now.

Marguerita Jane Dentino

My answer to this question depends on question #2. Whether or not Trump is impeached, we now have many people who have an awareness about immigration that they did not have even two years ago. Many have become volunteers in the immigration struggle, who didn’t feel the need while Obama was president. People need to continue to be educated to the fact that this struggle is long term and did not come about because of any one president.

We must have long term cures, not bandaids. DACA and TPS should keep current recipients secure while transitioning to a path to citizenship. This also holds true for other undocumented immigrants in this country. For those who yell “Do it the right way!” we must create the right way.

If the Trump regime continues in power in 2019, the odds of these things happening are almost none. In that case, the best scenario may be resist, expose and try to keep things from getting worse than they are already.

Click here for: 2020 Grassroots Immigration Predictions

Click here for: 2018 Grassroots Immigration Predictions.

Do You Think Trump Will Be Impeached Or Removed From Office?

Chasity Alvarez

Donald Trump will not be impeached or removed from office. It’s wishful thinking. Though, I admit, I hope I am wrong. If Trump is impeached/removed, and Pence becomes the Acting President of the United States, immigrants will be in no better position than they were with Trump.

Ellin Jimmerson

It’s possible that Trump will be impeached. I don’t see it leading to him being removed from office.

Joel Smith

I don’t see Trump being removed from Office. Congress seems to be lacking in moral courage. We don’t have heroes these days, just politicians.

Deborah Sherman de Santos

Who knows? If he messes up enough fat cats’ bank balances, and enough rich and powerful people lose money because of his actions, he will be. Otherwise, it won’t surprise me if he isn’t.

Marguerita Jane Dentino

I think the question needs to be: “Can we remove the Trump regime?” Removing Trump alone would change very little. Pence is just as bad, and Trump has installed a cabinet to destroy the mission of each cabinet post whether it be justice, environment, education, etc. Robert Mueller is aware of this and we can only hope his efforts will take down the Trump regime. Throughout 2018 I have seen news that this is imminent. I am truly hopeful but have no way to predict timing.

If Trump Was Removed From Office, How Would This Affect Immigration Law?

Chasity Alvarez

Trump being removed from office would not change much in the way of immigration law. Pence would carry on with Trump’s rhetoric. However, he would be more covert about it. Unlike Trump, he is a seasoned politician and knows how to play the game backhandedly.

2019 will bring more and more border apprehensions at the cost of human life. The administration’s focus will be 80% on the border and 20% interior law enforcement measures, including work place raids and racial profiling of drivers. Interior law enforcement will increase. But not as much as border security/border enforcement.

In short, 2019 will be a border enforcement year.

Ellin Jimmerson

If Trump were to be removed from office, it won’t affect immigration law one iota. The laws still will be oriented to satisfying corporate bottom lines and political groups, including both Democrats and Republicans, which will still be using immigrants to further their own agendas, agendas which are intimately tied to corporate interests such as border militarization.

Joel Smith

I really don’t see much of a change regarding immigration no matter who is in power. You have to remember that people wearing the pink hats to protest President Trump would have given Hilary Clinton 100% support and would have turned a blind eye to her running Obama’s deportation machine.

Let me be candid and blunt: our national leaders have failed in every aspect of basic decency and humanity. Not one has offered a vision of the future. They all pander to the mob of hate and corporate interests.

Deborah Sherman de Santos

I suspect we’ll get some kind of “kinder-and-gentler” immigration reform passed that will, long term, make what we are dealing with now look like a cake walk. Most folks think the Trumpster is the source of all the horrors of immigration enforcement, and those who actually built this voracious deportation machine are now seen as the good guys. But they haven’t changed.

Marguerita Jane Dentino

As stated in my response to question 2, the goal must be to remove the Trump regime from office. Even if Nancy Pelosi were to be installed as president tomorrow, this would guarantee very little. Perhaps some of the most blatant horrors at the border would be addressed. Both the Democrats and Republicans take huge amounts of contribution money from private prisons. Are they ready to give that up? It must happen. Right now we are out of compliance with international law. Would Democrats allow U.N. observers in? They haven’t in the past.

Hopefully with a greater awareness of how very broken our Immigration system is, a more just system will be put into place that will transcend bickering between Republicans and Democrats. So far our politicians have not shown themselves capable of transcending party bickering. As a country we have a long way to go.


So there you have it. Five separate opinions, similar in many respects.

Do you agree or disagree?

Place your bets and share your thoughts below.

By , Immigration Law, Policy, And Politics