Former President Donald Trump Sean Rayford/Getty Images

Numerous articles have been written about the immigration policies that Donald Trump would implement should he win a second term in this year's presidential elections. Militarized mass deportations and detention camps were mentioned in a recent Washington Post article, while Trump himself has talked about cracking down on immigration.

However, the Niskanen Center, a Washington-Based think tank, has published an in-depth report that delves into to the Heritage Foundation's Project 2025 -which claims it serves as a potential policy guide for a potential second Trump administration- to provide a granular look at what the implementation of this crackdown would look like.

The institution's Cecilia Esterline claims that the document reveals an intricate set of proposals that could significantly reshape the United States' immigration landscape.

This 920-page document, she says, goes beyond what has been previously reported and would impact various facets of American life. The proposals signify a departure from traditional conservative immigration priorities, putting as an example the emphasis on restricting college financial aid based on a state's stance towards certain immigrant groups, which would affect education and opportunities.

Unlike previous conservative approaches that emphasized merit-based immigration, assimilation, and interior enforcement, these proposals seek to systematically dismantle the existing immigration system, Esterline says.

Among the key proposals is a restriction on college financial aid, which could impact up to two-thirds of American college students. The conditionality of federal aid based on a state's stance towards immigrant groups, including Dreamers with legal status, exemplifies the shift in the approach to this.

Moreover, the termination of legal status for 500,000 Dreamers by eliminating staff time for reviewing renewal applications is another significant proposal.

Automatic suspension of immigration applications based on backlog numbers introduces an administrative measure with potential repercussions for various categories of legal immigration. This proposal, if implemented, could impact the efficiency and fairness of the immigration system, affecting individuals and families seeking legal pathways to reside in the U.S., Esterline highlights.

A proposal to suspend updates to the annual eligible country lists for H-2A and H-2B temporary worker visas is also noticed by the report, claiming it could disrupt critical sectors such as agriculture, construction, hospitality, and forestry.

The directive to force states to share driver's licenses and taxpayer identification information introduces a dimension of federal-state relations to the proposed changes. The potential risk to critical funding for non-compliance creates a scenario where states may have to navigate between their autonomy and federal directives, raising questions about the balance of power.

Beyond immigration, Project 2025 aims to undermine humanitarian relief efforts by repealing all Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designations, Esterline said. This has implications for individuals who have sought refuge in the U.S. due to armed conflicts, environmental disasters, or other extraordinary conditions.

Project 2025 also introduces measures that could create bureaucratic inefficiencies, such as pausing the intake of immigration applications and reinstating policies like mandatory interviews. These changes could lead to increased processing times, backlogs, and other ways to slow down legal immigration.

The immediate removals of rejected visa applicants, a seemingly straightforward policy on the surface, raises questions about the nuanced distinctions between application rejection and denial of benefits. This proposal, if implemented, could have unintended consequences, particularly for individuals who could rectify errors and refile.

The Mandate's directive to deny loan access to students in states offering in-state tuition to undocumented immigrants connects immigration policies with the sphere of education. This proposal underscores the potential ripple effects on access to education for U.S. citizens and legal residents.

The project "reflects a meticulously orchestrated, comprehensive plan to drive immigration levels to unprecedented lows and increase the federal government's power to the states' detriment," Esterline concludes. "These proposals circumvent Congress and the courts and are specifically engineered to dismantle the foundations of our immigration system."

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