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Key Immigration Changes Amid The COVID-19 Pandemic

Key Immigration Changes Amid The COVID-19 Pandemic

As the Trump Administration takes charge of the Coronavirus pandemic, new changes are taking sweeping effects on the nation. Some of the major new initiatives include changes to immigration policy due to Covid-19. There have been a dozen changes, ranging from postponing immigration hearings to pausing deportation flights to certain countries and suspending refugee admissions. As the pandemic spreads, these changes are made swiftly behind the backdrop of the coronavirus outbreak, the Trump administration is also trying to move forward with some of its strictest policy initiatives like restricting asylum seekers. This comes as the president plans to bar entry to all foreign migrants.

Here are just some of the Trump Administrations sweeping new changes to immigration policy amid the Coronavirus pandemic;

ICE Changes immigration Enforcement Operations

Immigration and Customs Enforcement in a recent memo stated that it will only focus on those who pose a public safety risk and are "subject to mandatory detention based on criminal grounds." The agency said in its memo to staffers that it will not carry out enforcement operations at or near health care facilities, "except in the most extraordinary circumstances," adding that individuals should not avoid seeking medical care over fears of enforcement.

The DOJ Closes Down Some Courts, Postpones Some Hearings

The justice department closed nearly 10 immigration courts across the country. This comes in addition to postponing hearings for immigrants who aren't in immigration detention.

The United States and Canada Close Down Border For Non-Essential Travel

Non-essential travel between the two countries comes to a halt. Trump tweeted: "We will be, by mutual consent, temporarily closing our Northern Border."

Refugee Admission Paused

The refugee admission comes after the International Organization for Migration, which is in charge of booking refugees' travel, and the UN refugee agency announced a suspension of resettlement travel. The agencies shared concerns in a statement this week, saying international travel "could increase the exposure of refugees to the virus."

US Implements Europe Travel ban

All European countries face travel restrictions but American citizens, green card holders and immediate family members are exempt from the travel ban but will face additional health screening and restrictions when they arrive.

ICE Announces A Halt on Visits to Detention Facilities

Immigration Customs and Enforcements halted social vision to detention facilities.

USCIS Suspends In Person Services

US Citizenship and Immigration Services announced it's suspending its in-person services, including all interviews and naturalization ceremonies, to help mitigate the spread of coronavirus. USCIS is responsible for administering the nation's legal immigration system, including green cards, citizenship and asylum and refugee processing. It administers naturalization ceremonies across the country -- one of the most public and cherished duties the agency carries out.


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