One recent development in US immigration policy is the institution of a travel ban barring residents of numerous African, Middle Eastern, and Asian countries from entering the United States. The ban was initially put in place in 2017, during the first days of Donald Trump’s presidency, and updated in late 2019. This policy has a damaging effect on immigrants already residing in the country, because it tends to divide families; relatives of current residents are not allowed to join them.
Another significant change is massive detention of asylum seekers, including minors, near the US–Mexico border. While many people are detained without due process in centers in the border states (California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas), others have been sent to interior states. This results in hardship for potential and current immigrants in numerous ways. One highly detrimental aspect is the detention of children, who are not allowed to join family members already in the United States. This trend was highlighted in 2018 as the “kids in cages” policy.
A third challenge that immigrants and US citizens face is increased anti-Latino violence. Hate groups and individuals often attack people they believe are undocumented immigrants, and they indiscriminately include US citizens in this. A recent example is the mass shooting of August 2019 in at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas (on the Mexican border), in which the gunman deliberately targeted people he thought were Mexican. Legal residents and citizens live in fear as violent incidents have increased significantly in the last five years.