At the end of the midterm elections, the Democratic Party is now the majority in the House of Representatives. Although the new-look Congress cannot completely stop President Donald Trump’s efforts to curb illegal immigration and restrict legal immigration, Democrats can make it more difficult for him to carry out his plans.
When the new Congress convenes in January, the Democrat-led House are expected to investigate and apply oversight on a number to the Trump administration’s immigration actions, such as the following:
- The “zero-tolerance” policy separating immigrant families at the southern border
- Efforts to hinder asylum and refugee admissions
- Ending DACA and TPS protections for recipients
- The administration’s deportation tactics
- Deployment of thousands of military troops to U.S.-Mexico border
- The addition of a citizenship question on the 2020 Census
Additionally, Democrats can withhold funds toward Trump’s immigration policies—since they require substantial funding increases. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said they now have more leverage to block the funding of the president’s wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
While passing pro-immigrant bills—such as protecting Dreamers and TPS recipients from deportation—is on the agenda, stalemates will most likely occur since the Republicans still control the Senate. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who is expected to be the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, will not permit his committee to approve bills that are considered too immigration-friendly.
In order for an immigration bill to be approved by the Senate, it must have many enforcement provisions and some changes to legal immigration. Another factor to consider is if the Trump administration will approve such a compromise.
The most realistic stance a Democrat-led House will serve is being an obstacle against Trump’s immigration efforts.