The incoming majority leader for the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi covered many topics during her acceptance speech on the night of the mid-term elections. The overall theme is that President Trump will have new checks and balances since the Republican Party will no longer control both legislative branches of government, which are the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.

Democrats head all House committees

Once the new congress is convenes on January 3, 2019, Democrats will be put in charge of all House committees. Reports say this gives the House leeway to examine the administration’s actions regarding immigration over the last two years, including:

  • Zero-tolerance policy that lead to family separations
  • Treatment of immigrants in detention centers
  • The inclusion of the question regarding citizenship to be included in the 2020 census
  • The president’s deployment of troops to the southern border in response to the caravan of migrants passing through Mexico
  • The administration’s attempt to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
  • The administration’s attempt to end Temporary Protected Status (TPS)

Gridlock likely to remain

While control of the House is good news for immigrants and immigration advocates, it is unlikely that there will be much reform for guest worker programs or a better path to citizenship. This shift in the house will simply limit the president’s attempts to create new laws or finance the much-discussed border wall.

The best advice for immigrants seeking citizenship, asylum or looking for legal employment is to work with immigration law attorneys here in California. Despite the challenges involved in navigating the system, it is the best option for legally achieving these goals.