Donald J. Trump was sworn in Friday as the 45th president of the United States.

His inauguration followed a campaign for the office that placed immigration at the heart of the national debate. He used his inaugural address to highlight his “America first” theme on immigration and other issues.

“Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs will be made to benefit American workers and American families,” Trump said. “We must protect our borders from the ravages of other countries making our products, stealing our companies, and destroying our jobs.”

During his campaign, Trump promised to build a wall on the southern border, conduct “extreme vetting” of immigrants from Muslim countries, deport “criminal aliens,” and cancel former President Barack Obama’s executive actions on immigration. His rhetoric on high-skilled immigration varied, but he has said since the election that he wants the Labor Department to investigate “all abuses of visa programs that undercut the American worker.”

Whether Trump makes good on his campaign promises remains to be seen. His appointment of Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions – an advocate of reducing both legal and illegal immigration – as U.S. attorney general could be a sign of significant shifts in immigration policy. The Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to take up Sessions‘ nomination next week.

BAL Analysis: Read BAL’s in-depth analysis of what the new administration means for high-skilled immigration here.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice group. For additional information, please contact

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