Lehigh Valley attorney Ray Lahoud makes a living helping undocumented workers stay in the U.S. legally and become citizens.
He says when President Joe Biden took office, he was encouraged there would finally be immigration reform. In the first few months Biden did take action. Construction on the border wall stopped, the Trump travel ban was ended, and DACA was re-instated.
But at the same time, Lahoud says immigration enforcement guidelines were eased, meaning unless an undocumented worker was deemed a security threat they were no longer arrested or deported.
Lahoud says that was a catalyst for roughly two million people to come to the U.S.
"We are starting to see the migration of those individuals that cross the border in Texas and Arizona, we're starting to see that here in Lehigh Valley considerably," Lahoud said.
Lahoud says because the system is now a patchwork of laws by the previous three administrations, the new arrivals are now only given what's known as an alien registration number and told to wait for a court date.
"The people that I'm talking to now that are coming up here and they are just like, 'what do I do now? Where do I go, how do I get a job, where do I go to apply for a job?'" Lahoud said.
Lahoud says he's explained to hundreds of people that he can't get those documents for them. And unless they have a fear of returning home, they will likely be deported eventually.
Lahoud says unfortunately, it's a conversation he believes he'll keep having until immigration reform is no longer on the back burner to larger domestic issues like the COVID crisis.