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August 4, 2018

The Trump Immigration Agenda

Redefining a Nation of Immigrants

This panel took place at the ABA Annual Meeting 2018 in Chicago, Illinois.

Program Description

At its core, America has long defined itself as a nation of immigrants, a definition that reflected not only our diversity, but a shared belief in opportunity, liberty, freedom of religious and political expression, and a generous and welcoming spirit.  Within the last year, that definition and those values have been sorely tested by the Trump administration’s efforts to radically reshape immigration policy and America itself.  Our expert panelists will offer an in-depth analysis of the impact of the Trump administration’s attempts to restructure immigration law and policy, placing these issues into the broader context of the fight over American values.  The topics under discussion include the rise of restrictive policies that prosecute migrants and severely limit refugee admissions, ban visitors from predominantly Muslim nations, and end long-term immigration programs for immigrants brought to the U.S. as children and immigrants from countries that have been devastated by civil war and natural disasters. We will explore the impact of these policies on the future of legal migration, refugee resettlement, and the creation of a new class of undocumented individuals.  We will also examine these issues in the context of “zero tolerance” policies at the border, family separation and detention, and the increased rhetoric around dangerous criminals crossing the border, all at a time when Customs and Border Protection has recorded the lowest level of unauthorized migration on record. This panel will discuss the recent Supreme Court decision in Trump v. Hawaii upholding the Administration’s most recent travel ban, the Supreme Court decision in Jennings v. Rodriguez relating to prolonged immigration detention, the termination of Temporary Protected Status for numerous countries, the ongoing battle to save DACA, plus the litigation challenging many of these harsh and abrupt changes.



  • Mary Meg McCarthy, Chair of the Commission on Immigration and the Executive Director of the National Immigrant Justice Center.
  • Mary Giovagnoli, Commission on Immigration Advisory Committee member and Executive Director of the Refugee Council USA,
  • Oscar Chacón, Executive Director of Alianzas Americas,
  • Mark Fleming, Associate Director of Litigation with the National Immigrant Justice Center.

Download Trump Immigration Timeline

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Fear Today, Hope Tomorrow: ABA News Article on The Trump Immigration Agenda program

Highlights from program

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