“How U.S. Immigration Policy Has Changed Since 9-11”

The Huffington Post

“U.S. immigration policy is inextricably linked with national security and border control policies. But that wasn’t always the case. The Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks prompted a major shift in the way the country handles immigration, creating new government bodies and tightening restrictions on who is and isn’t allowed in.

“…Here are some of the key ways immigration has changed since 9/11:

New Government Bodies And Policies

“Arguably, the most significant difference is that the Department of Homeland Security didn’t exist before 9/11. 

“…The three main bodies created within the DHS consist of Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

“The main duties they fulfill in the post-9/11 era include screening and collecting data on international travelers, additional screenings and interviews of people of certain nationalities, and sharing information with other countries.

“The U.S. began setting aside ‘huge funding for immigration enforcing, the creation of DHS, creating new and robust databases which were nonexistent,’ Muzaffar Chishti, a director at Migration Policy Institute…‘We have an entry-exit system…We also track every foreign student.’

“…Immigration Reform

“While national security became a centerpiece of U.S. immigration policy after 9/11, undocumented immigrants’ entry into the country has remained a constant political issue.

“Congress hasn’t been able to agree on bipartisan immigration reform ever since the attacks. 

“…Refugee Resettlement

“The immigration debate in the U.S. has shifted to some degree in the last several years as the country considers whether it has a moral duty to welcome refugees ― and if so, how to ensure that they don’t pose a national security threat.

“The U.S. has admitted more than 800,000 refugees since the 9/11 attacks, if this year’s figures are taken into account. 

“…Concerns about refugees have intensified as the world experiences the largest mass migration movement since World War II, largely due to wars in countries like Syria and Iraq.

“…What Now?

“Immigration has featured prominently in the U.S. presidential elections thanks to Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump…

“…[I]f Trump were to reduce legal immigration into the U.S., as he’s implied…it would represent ‘the first time in recent history that any political party has called for any such reduction,’ according to Chishti. And that’s very much tied to national security fears.

“…Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, argues for comprehensive immigration reform and a path to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the country.”

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