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Trump is going to the White House: are your rights at risk?

Some of the most repeated statements during the 2016 Presidential Election have been centered around American immigration, with the new President-elect touting the building of walls, revocation of current immigration policies and encouraging law enforcement to become more active in monitoring the Muslim population. But now that Trump has won, what is likely to happen?

Swing in policy is likely

Trump will be appointing his cabinet and filling the positions with those who support his opinions. While changes will not happen immediately, it is likely that law enforcement will resume closer monitoring of the Muslim population, both those with immigrant status and U.S. citizens.

Investigations into the actions of police departments with regard to interactions with minorities may be suspended. Finally, changes made during the Obama administration regarding supporting refugees and allowing undocumented aliens to remain in the United States could be reversed.

Justice Department follows politics

While our court system was designed to function outside the executive and legislative branches of government, history has shown us that politically motivated appointments in the Justice Department and the Supreme Court result in far-reaching changes to our country's society.

Those judges that were appointed while the Democrats were in power will remain, but any new appointments will likely support the new regime and over time court findings will reflect the changing political landscape.

How does it affect me?

If you are Muslim, it may become more difficult to ensure that your freedoms are protected. Fewer restrictions on law enforcement may give them greater latitude in seeking out criminals while stepping on an upright citizen's privacy.

If your immigration status remains undocumented, it could be more likely that the new administration will seek to begin the deportation process.

What can I do?

If you are on the path to citizenship, having an attorney that stays informed on current immigration reforms and laws is crucial to protect your interests.

Meanwhile, expanding your own education on the American legal system can help you handle any alarming encounters with law enforcement in a calm and intelligent manner. Your religious beliefs or country of origin do not alter your rights and you should seek to exercise them vigorously.

Most of all, your participation in local politics can help your town, city and state continue to move forward to a more accepting nation, no matter who is living in the White House. Let your voice be heard.

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