Hello Reddit, my name is Carl Shusterman! With immigration all over the news lately, and with Donald Trump’s inauguration this week, I figured I could help answer some of your questions about the future of immigration under a Trump presidency.

I worked as an INS Attorney (1976-1982) and, for the past 30+ years, have managed a law firm in downtown Los Angeles specializing exclusively in immigration law. In my view, the press has focused almost entirely on how a Trump Administration would impact the undocumented. I would like to open a discussion about what I believe will be the most drastic changes to our legal immigration system in more than 50 years.


Here are some articles I’ve written on the topic: http://www.shusterman.com/newsletters-us-immigration/#1 http://www.shusterman.com/shustermans-immigration-update-december-2016/#1

Check out my website, it has tons of resources and information regarding immigration: http://www.shusterman.com

We also have a monthly newsletter you can subscribe to to keep up with all the latest immigration news: http://www.shusterman.com/newsletters-us-immigration

Proof https://www.facebook.com/132025573479564/photos/pb.132025573479564.-2207520000.1484350917./1533640583318049/?type=3&theater

EDIT: That was a lot of fun! Thank you so much for all of your questions. If you would like to schedule a consultation with our office regarding a personal immigration issue, you can do so at https://www.shusterman.com/schedule-immigration-consultation/

Comments: 1224 • Responses: 20  • Date: 

Reedit_girl222 karma

As a Brit with a professional career, how easy would it be for me to move to America?

Shusterman_AMA292 karma

Not easy. The H1B temporary work visas for professionals have a lottery every spring. The number of people sponsored is 3-times the amount of people who can obtain numerically limited visas. You would need to be sponsored for a temporary work-visa by an employer in the United States.

jimboknows6916163 karma

Do you think, based on what you know, that people have blown Trump's "immigration ideas" out of proportion?

Shusterman_AMA485 karma

No, but I do think the press has concentrated solely on Trump's plans for deporting the undocumented. I think his plans for reducing legal immigration have not received the attention they deserve.

jimboknows691668 karma

great answer, thank you. I think the media, fairly obviously to most, creates problems to create views. As a follow up, do you have an inherent issue with Trump's immigration policy, specifically deporting the undocumented? This is on a personal level, so dont feel obligated to answer. Thanks!

Shusterman_AMA331 karma

It is not as easy to deport people as most people think. People are entitled to a hearing before an immigration judge. Each immigration judge across the United States has well over 1 thousand backlogged cases. Without hiring hundreds of more judges, all Trump would really be doing is providing undocumented people with work permits and hearings before judges in 3-5 years. This is hardly an answer to our immigration problems.


What are Trump's plans in a nutshell? Every time he opens his mouth it's a little difficult to determine what he means versus what he...blurts out.

Shusterman_AMA125 karma

Agreed. He has a 10-point immigration plan on his website. The most significant part of his plan, besides building a great wall and having Mexico pay for it, is reduced legal immigration to "historic norms". This may reduce legal immigration to the United States by over 70%. And severely impact our economy.

anonjuly1450 karma

What do you think of calls to overturn Hart–Celler?

In your opinion, what are the causes of differences in 'aggregate success' across immigrant groups of different origin?

Shusterman_AMA122 karma

I think overturning Hart-Celler would be a huge mistake. The 1965 immigration law (Hart-Celler) opened immigration to the United States to all countries in the world. Prior to the '65 law, most immigration was restricted to European countries. Today, over 1 million people get green cards each year. Jeff Sessions and possibly president-elect Trump, would like to reduce this amount by 70% or more.

anonjuly1441 karma

Why would overturning Hart-Celler be a huge mistake?

Shusterman_AMA167 karma

There are several million people waiting to be reunited with their families in the U.S. Overturning Hart-Celler would keep these families separated permanently. Also, the United States is very dependent on foreign-born physicians who work in underserved areas, RNs who staff our hospitals, teachers who work in inner city areas, as well as other essential occupations. We represent cancer researchers who are working on new drugs and treatments for many forms of cancer.

nicematt9015 karma

is 1 million a year along with birth rates sustainable in the long run?

Shusterman_AMA144 karma

Yes. 1 million immigrants a year is less than one-third of 1 percent of our population. Without immigration, the United States would fall into an economic slump comparable to Japan or Italy.

PxlChsr25 karma

Which major effects do you think will Trump's administration have on legal immigration of professionals? As qualified Europeans, what do we need to watch out for and what should the US watch out for? Do you think the suffering from "reverse brain drain" will be significant? Should we just simply wait for the next president to attempt to immigration?

Shusterman_AMA91 karma

Both president-elect Trump and Jeff Sessions would like to drastically reduce the number of H1B temporary professional visas. Their focus is almost exclusively on IT professionals. They would like the persons with the highest salaries to get H1B visas. This may be fine for the computer industry, but would lock-out the majority of teachers, researchers, and other professionals. What sense does it make for the U.S. to train foreign-born professionals and then make them return to their countries to compete with U.S. companies? Qualified professionals should apply for green cards immediately before the system changes.

PxlChsr4 karma

Thanks for your answer!

That's what I have heard so far...that the primary target are the IT professionals. However, as you said there will be collateral damage which may be quite substantial.

I'm not sure how much the US depends on qualified foreign work force such as teachers and researchers, but I'm sure it's a sector you don't wanna do without.

Where do you see the US in 4 years when this stays in effect for the duration of the term?

Shusterman_AMA24 karma

Reducing immigration to the US by 70% would be an economic nightmare for our economy. The tens of millions of tourists to the US have a tremendously positive economic effect on our country. The hundreds of thousands of foreign-born students help subsidize the tuition of US citizens at universities across the United States.

The green card system should be change to bring in more skilled professionals and entrepreneurs. This would create millions of jobs for American workers.

ACuriousLibra19 karma

What kind of changes to immigration law do you want to see?

Shusterman_AMA85 karma

I think that there is too much emphasis on family-based immigration, and ridiculous programs like the visa lottery. I would like to see some of these programs abolished and replaced with immigration categories that reward talent and education

mcgr76715 karma

Thanks for doing this AMA!

We've heard President-Elect Trump talk on the campaign trail about removing DACA as soon as he takes office, but after the election he switched it up and stated that he would 'work something out to make people happy and proud', what do you think will happen to this program once President-Elect Trump is in office? Also, What can we do to prepare if he does decide to not just cancel the program but also begin deporting Dreamers?

Shusterman_AMA30 karma

In December 2016, the bi-partisan Bridge Act was introduced to protect dreamers, if approved by the Senate and the House, I believe president-elect Trump would sign the Bridge Act into law. If Trump attempts to deport dreamers, they would be entitled to hearings before immigration judges and they should apply for relief from deportation if eligible.

Sexpistolz13 karma

What is your opinion why political focus is more on undocumented immigrants taking low end jobs oppose to those on visas either through school etc and the effect on the job market for skilled labor?

Shusterman_AMA21 karma

I think the focus has been on undocumented immigrants because they can be separated from their families and be deported from the United States. However, we should not forget about people who immigrate through their family members, through job skills, and through investment.

jpidwaffle9 karma

If you could bring one person into America who would it be and why?

Shusterman_AMA104 karma

Possibly Edward Snowden, the citizens of our country need an honest and open debate about how much privacy we are entitled to and whether the government should be allowed to snoop into our private lives.

Zan_H7 karma

Thank your for doing this AMA, what are your thoughts on oatmeal cookies?

Shusterman_AMA19 karma


5h3p57 karma

Any advice for moving in the coming years? I'm starting a phd and the US pays waaaaaaay better in my field.

Shusterman_AMA13 karma

You may be able to immigrate through employment

credy5 karma

Carl, is there any sort of official or credible database that is publicly available on the number and location of non immigrant visas and their country of origin? For example, if I wanted to see how many people from country X visited Disney world or how many people from country Y work in industry A in city Z?

Shusterman_AMA11 karma

There are official databases of how many people from what countries of obtained temporary visas. Here are some resources: http://www.shusterman.com/departmentofstateusimmigration/

Although, I don't think they will tell you how many people visited Disney world.

kakoshi16884 karma

Once you get your green card through employment is there a waiting period before you can go to another job? I mean in terms of when you apply for naturalization. It seems hat there rumors saying you have to wait 6 or 12 months otherwise you won't get citizenship.

Shusterman_AMA6 karma

If you get a green card through employment you should not change jobs for a minimum of 60 days

Pepitonator3 karma

I have a Polish friend that wants to immigrate to America and work there. What are some ways they could do it not including us getting married for a green card?

Shusterman_AMA11 karma

A person may be able to immigrate to the US by being sponsored by family members, employment, the visa lottery, and/or investment

gr8deb8m82 karma

How will Trump's policies affect emigration?

Shusterman_AMA21 karma

In the last few years, more people have emigrated from the US to Mexico, than have entered the United States illegally. Trump's policies may further promote this

-EssieEcks--30 karma

President Trump's plan is meant to curb the constant flood of foreign invaders into our country, where they don't belong. What makes you think stopping criminals from breaking the law and illegally invading our country is a bad thing?

Shusterman_AMA24 karma

As an ex-INS prosecutor, I think deporting criminals should be the focus of our enforcement efforts. President Obama deported more criminals than all the previous presidents combined. And I totally agree with this policy.