Editors: Erika Lee, Eunice Kim, Lei Zhang
Even before the pandemic, immigration was one of the Trump administration’s most important domestic policy agenda items. Within a week of being sworn into office in 2017, the president had signed executive orders banning Muslims from the United States, authorizing the building of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, and allowing for expanded deportation of undocumented immigrants. In the subsequent months and years, more immigration actions continued. The COVID-19 pandemic has allowed the Trump administration to expand immigration restrictions even more.
In the first six months of the pandemic, the Trump Administration has implemented sweeping changes in immigration, issuing at least 63 immigration-related actions that affect almost every aspect of the immigration system. Some travel restrictions were put in place along with those in many other countries. Others have the mark of the administration’s broader anti-immigrant agenda even as they have been justified in the name of protecting America’s public health and economy.
Immigration has ground to a halt. Refugee admissions have been suspended indefinitely. Asylum has ended at the U.S.-Mexico border. Restrictions banned the entry of almost every type of immigrant seeking to settle in the United States permanently. Initially labeled “temporary,” some have become extended indefinitely, causing critics, including historians, to charge that the administration has used the pandemic to implement dramatic immigration restrictions that have always been part of the Trump administration long before the onset of the pandemic. That they have all been implemented as executive actions has raised additional concerns.
For immigration-related policies issues during the COVID-19 pandemic, see this list created by the National Immigration Forum (July 21, 2020) and this Migration Policy Institute report “Dismantling and Reconstructing the U.S. Immigration System: A Catalog of Changes under the Trump Presidency” (July 31, 2020).
This annotated bibliography—organized chronologically—reveals the incremental policy discussions, decisions, and implementation over the first six month period of the pandemic, as well as a number of non-pandemic related immigration actions taken under the cover of fighting the virus’ spread. These sources help answer the following questions: What immigration policies affecting the entry and exit of foreigners into the U.S. have changed during the first six months of the pandemic? What rationales have been used to implement them? What is the impact on immigrant and refugee populations?
WHO Director-General. “WHO Director-General’s Statement on IHR Emergency Committee on Novel Coronavirus (2019-NCoV).” January 30, 2020. WHO panel declared the ongoing coronavirus outbreak that has killed 213 people in China and has spread to 19 countries as a public health emergency of international concern. (Document)
Corkery, Michael, and Annie Karni. “Trump Administration Restricts Entry into U.S. from China,” New York Times, January 31, 2020. The Times looks at the economic impact of COVID-19 travel disruptions and compares it to 2003 SARS policy changes. It reports that the Trump administration’s plans to “bar entry by most foreign nationals who had recently visited China and put some American travelers under a quarantine as it declared a rare public health emergency.”
Chappell, Bill. “Trump Administration To Curb Immigrants From 6 Nations, Including Nigeria,” NPR, January 31, 2020. NPR reports on the Trump administration’s extension of the so-called Muslim ban. The new policy restricts immigrant visas for citizens of Nigeria, Sudan, Tanzania, Eritrea, Myanmar, and Kyrgyzstan. “By putting restrictions on the six countries, the Trump administration nearly doubles the number of nations targeted by some form of travel ban,” the organization reports. One difference: “unlike the controversial travel ban on citizens of Iran, Somalia, and other countries, the new policy does not affect nonimmigrant visas.”
Jackson, David. “Trump Expands Controversial Travel Ban Restrictions to 6 New Countries,” USA Today, January 31, 2020. DHS announces it is no longer issuing overseas visas for “nationals of Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar and Nigeria” and will “place additional restrictions on Sudanese and Tanzanian nationals” because the “White House said the new countries fail to conduct ‘proper identity management’ procedures or fail to ‘comply with basic national security’ requirements.’” The article also notes that tourism and business travel are exempt because these are not “visas that are issued to immigrants who intend to live in the US” and it compares the new law with the previous 2018 entry ban on Libya, Iran, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, North Korea, and Venezuela nationals.
White House. “The Trump Administration’s Immigration Agenda Protects American Workers, Taxpayers, And Sovereignty.” February 4, 2020. The Trump administration uses crime and law & order rhetoric to justify the new policy. “My Administration has undertaken an unprecedented effort to secure the Southern Border of the United States,” the president declared. (Document)
Bouie, Jamelle. “The Racism at the Heart of Trump’s ‘Travel Ban.’” New York Times, February 4, 2020. Trump added four African countries, Sudan, Tanzania, Eritrea and Nigeria, and two Asian countries, Myanmar and Kyrgyzstan, to his administration’s immigration restrictions on January 31, 2020. Bouie sees this as a larger signal and recalls the Times’s 2017 reporting that Trump complained about the pending arrival of thousands of people from Muslim and predominantly African nations. (Opinion)
Vivek, Goel. “Coronavirus Travel Restrictions Are the Wrong Approach - Here’s Why.” CBC, February 7, 2020. The CBC compares COVID-19 with the 2003 SARS outbreak and the 2009 H1N1 pandemic to criticize travel bans: “Many public-health measures were put in place, but one clearly had a limited role to play in managing the spread of disease: Travel bans. Given the speed at which viruses can spread, travel bans are usually too late to contain such outbreaks.” (Opinion)
Carlson, Tucker. “Tucker Carlson: Democrats’ radical immigration legislation would help foreign criminals move to US.” Fox News, February 8, 2020. Carlson notes that a bill, the New Way Forward Act, supported by Democrats and many immigrant advocates, “would allow people who have committed serious felonies in other countries to move here legally.” (Opinion)
Denvir, Daniel. “The Deep Roots of Trump’s Anti-Immigrant Policies.” Jacobin, February 9, 2020. Jacobin reports that “Donald Trump’s recent expansion of the Muslim ban and bid to exclude poor immigrants is further proof that his administration is one of the most anti-immigrant in U.S. history. But it was Trump’s predecessors, Democrats and Republicans, who made his assault on immigrants possible.”
Frey, William H. “Reducing Immigration Will Not Stop America’s Rising Diversity, Census Projections Show.” Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings, February 19, 2020. Frey analyzes U.S. Census projections and uses multiple charts and graphs to show that “lowering immigration levels further will not keep the nation from becoming more racially and ethnically diverse. Even if the number of migrants was reduced to zero, the percentage of the population that identifies as a nonwhite race or ethnic group would continue to rise. … Any political rhetoric suggesting that reduced immigration will make the nation “whiter” flies in the face of demographic evidence.” He concludes that U.S. growth is dependent on immigration levels in the past 40 years that kept the population young.
Anderson, Stuart. “Survey: Immigration Policies Driving Work Out Of America.” Forbes, February 19, 2020. Forbes quotes the 2020 Immigration Trends Report and notes how companies, especially R&D firms, are likely to establish affiliates outside the U.S. (especially Canada, China, India) because of H-1B visa restrictions. Majority of firms believe ending DACA impacts their work pool negatively, and the U.S. graduate school programs is a ‘talent pool’. (Opinion)
Mcardle, Mairead. “Mulvaney Says Trump Administration ‘Desperate’ for More Legal Immigrants.” National Review, February 20, 2020. NR reports that “Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said Wednesday that the Trump administration is ‘desperate’ for more legal immigrants to sustain the country’s strong economic growth.”
Marcello, Philip, and Sophia Tareen. “New visa rules set off ‘panic wave’ in immigrant communities.” AP News, February 20, 2020. With a short series of photojournalism, AP reports on the panic caused by the shutdown of family immigration from Myanmar, Nigeria, Kyrgyzstan, and Eritrea and the visa restrictions affecting Sudanese and Tanzanians due to the Trump administration’s “latest crackdown on his signature issue of immigration.” Apart from potential legal challenges, there is activism around #MuslimBan and #AfricaBan and lobbying Congress “to pass the No Ban Act, which would limit the president’s ability to restrict entry to the U.S.”
Madan, Monique O. “Low-Income Immigrants Are at Greater Risk of Deportation Starting Monday.” Miami Herald, February 21, 2020. A video explains U.S. green card eligibility and public charge rule, where “low-income immigrants who are on public benefits—or will one day need them—will be denied a visa or green card, despite having entered the U.S. legally.” (Video)
Blitzer, Jonathan. “How Stephen Miller Manipulates Donald Trump to Further His Immigration Obsession.” The New Yorker, February 21, 2020. An in-depth report about immigration related politics under the Trump administration and the politicians who are involved in the process. The New Yorker notes that Stephen Miller, chief architect of immigration policies and “the true driving force behind this Administration’s racist agenda,” was the first to introduce the idea of reducing the number of legal immigrants.
Barros, Aline. “New US Immigration Rule Sparks Questions.” Voice of America, February 21, 2020. VOA reports via video that USCIS implementation of the public charge rule, which “is being challenged in federal courts, but the Supreme Court allowed it to go into effect, pending the outcome of litigation.” (Video)
Fenwick, Cody. “White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney Caught on Tape Saying US Is ‘Desperate’ for More Immigrants.” Salon, February 23, 2020. The new Chief of Staff in White House, Mick Mulvaney, stated, “We are running out of people to fuel the economic growth that we’ve had in our nation over the last four years.” He admitted the necessity of immigration for the U.S. economy.
Kanno-Youngs, Zolan. “As Trump Barricades the Border, Legal Immigration Is Starting to Plunge.” New York Times, February 24, 2020. The article is a comprehensive review of immigration policy changes under the Trump administration, with an emphasis on the public charge rule. Migration Policy Institute’s Sarah Pierce is quoted stating, “He’s really ticking off all the boxes. ...In an administration that’s been perceived to be haphazard, on immigration they’ve been extremely consistent and barreling forward.”
Alvarado, Monsy, and Alan Gomez. “New Donald Trump Immigration Policy Could Ban Thousands of African Immigrants from US.” USA Today, February 24, 2020. The Trump administration’s expansion of travel ban to Nigeria, Myanmar, Eritrea and Kyrgyzstan has left immigrant communities across the country in fear and concern. Thousands of immigrants have been affected by the new executive order. USA Today traces the long history of Trump’s travel ban, which started with the “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States” executive order 3 years ago.
Benner, Katie. “Justice Dept. Establishes Office to Denaturalize Immigrants.” New York Times, February 26, 2020. From the earliest days of the Trump administration, officials including Stephen Miller, the White House aide who has driven much of President Trump’s immigration policy, said denaturalization could be used as part of a broad pushback on immigration. As the paper reports, “the Justice Department...created an official section in its immigration office to strip citizenship rights from naturalized immigrants...Obama also pursued denaturalizations...But denaturalizations have ramped up under the Trump administration: Of the 228 denaturalization cases that the department has filed since 2008, about 40 percent of them were filed since 2017, according to official department numbers. And over the past three years, denaturalization case referrals to the department have increased 600 percent.”
Hirneisen, Madison. “Coronavirus Spread Fuels Anti-Immigration Opposition, Challenges Global Leaders.” Washington Times, February 26, 2020. Hirneisen discusses the political backlash created across the world, including Europe, based on the idea that migrants are the cause of COVID-19.
Martin, Jeffery. “Trump Blames Dem Immigration Policy for Coronavirus: ‘Border Security Is Also Health Security.’” Newsweek, February 28, 2020. Speaking at a rally in South Carolina, Trump called the Democrats’ immigrant policy “a direct threat” to border security. He conflated the public health issue with border security by saying “we must understand that border security is also healthy security.” (Video of Trump’s announcement at CPAC 2020)
Banulescu-Bogdan, Natalia, Meghan Benton, and Susan Fratzke. “Coronavirus Is Spreading across Borders, But It Is Not a Migration Problem.” Migration Policy Institute, March 4, 2020. Banulescu-Bogdan writes that “governments around the world have been dipping into the migration management toolbox to demonstrate decisive action in the face of a global pandemic. More than 130 countries have implemented border closures, travel restrictions, prohibitions on arrivals from certain areas, and heightened screening.” (Opinion)
Villarreal, Alexandra. “Trump’s Immigration Policies May Put People at Risk of Coronavirus – Experts.” The Guardian, March 8, 2020. The Guardian quotes the New York Times on how sanctuary cities such as Seattle, Los Angeles and New York are being subject to raids, with the goal of “arrest[ing] as many undocumented immigrants as possible.” On top of the public charge rule, ICE raids will stop immigrants from seeking healthcare.
Forgey, Quint. “CDC Director Breaks with Trump on Claim That Border Wall Will Help Stop Coronavirus.” Politico, March 10, 2020. CDC director Robert Redfield stated that “he was unaware of any indication from his agency that physical barriers along America’s borders would help halt the spread of the coronavirus in the U.S.—contradicting an assertion President Donald Trump made earlier in the day.”
Flores, Claudia, Sofia Carratala, and Tom Jawetz. “DHS Must Suspend Certain Immigration Enforcement Practices During the Coronavirus Outbreak.” Center for American Progress, March 10, 2020. Flores et al. emphasize the “long history of enforcement moratoriums during crises” and note that people should have access to medical services regardless of immigration status to deter COVID-19.
Johnson, Gene. “Groups: Release Immigrant Detainees at High Coronavirus Risk.” AP News, March 11, 2020. The AP reports that “immigrant rights groups want U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to release detainees at its Washington state jail who are at high risk from the coronavirus”
Singh, Maanvi. “‘We Need the Wall!’: Trump Uses Coronavirus to Push His Own Agenda.” The Guardian, March 11, 2020. The Guardian reports on Trump’s use of immigration restriction as his signature policy: “Trump, who has long fought to restrict travel from a number of countries, many with large Muslim populations, has also leaned into the idea of travel bans as a response to the coronavirus threat. ...expanded its travel restrictions on Iran and issued “do not travel” warnings to areas in Italy and South Korea, in addition to temporarily denying entry to foreign nationals who have visited China in the 14 days prior to their arrival to the US.”
Duncan, Ian, Lori Aratani, Michael Laris, and Nick Miroff. “Trump’s Coronavirus Travel Restrictions on Europe Lack Implementation Details, Have Many Exceptions.” Washington Post, March 12, 2020. The Post reports on how travel restrictions imposed by the U.S. government are affecting Europe and compares U.S.-Europe and U.S.-China passenger traffic. It adds that the travel ban includes numerous exemptions: “the parents or legal guardians of U.S. citizens and green-card holders under age 21, children in the process of being adopted, the family members of U.S. service members and ‘any alien whose entry would not pose a significant risk of introducing, transmitting, or spreading the virus...’”
Rizzo, Salvador. “Trump’s Wobbly Claim That His Wall Could Stop the Coronavirus.” Washington Post, March 12, 2020. The Post rebuts the claims by the Trump administration that building the U.S.-Mexico wall would give the U.S. a chance to stop the pandemic. Trump made these claims during a Charleston campaign rally and a right-wing activist echoed the sentiment in a tweet: “Now, more than ever, we need the wall. With China Virus spreading across the globe, the US stands a chance if we can control of our borders.”
Hauslohner, Abigail, Nick Miroff, and Matt Zapotosky. “Coronavirus Could Pose Serious Concern in ICE Jails, Immigration Courts.” Washington Post, March 12, 2020. Advocacy groups, such as the American Civil Liberties Union, Human Rights Watch, and the National Association of Immigration Judges call out CBP and ICE’s poor management of detention facilities and quarantine methods. They are also concerned over immigration court hearings.
Khanbabai, Mahsa. “The Coronavirus Doesn’t Need a Visa: COVID-19’s Effect on Immigrant Populations.” Ms., March 13, 2020. Ms. looks at how the recent immigration policy changes impact legal immigrants, undocumented immigrants, detention centers and other carceration, and international students on F-1 visa.
Hall, Richard. “Coronavirus: ICE Crackdown Stokes Fears for Safety of Undocumented Immigrants during Pandemic.” The Independent, March 13, 2020. The Independent reports that “Democrats in both houses have called on ICE to halt operations at health facilities during the coronavirus outbreak over fears undocumented immigrants could be deterred from seeking medical help. ...The pandemic has coincided with a widespread crackdown by ICE agents in sanctuary cities [such as New York and Boston] across the country.” There are also fears over what happens when noncitizens test positive in detention facilities.
Narea, Nicole. “Trump Is Banning Travelers from the UK to Combat Coronavirus. Domestic Travel Restrictions Could Come Next.” Vox, March 14, 2020. The UK and Ireland were exceptions to the U.S. entry ban on travellers from Europe, but now both are placed on the entry ban list.
Gordon, James. “Chaos at 13 American funnel airports that are still open to Europe as huge immigration lines of up to six hours form filled with returning citizens being put through 'enhanced screening.'” Daily Mail, March 15, 2020. As Americans returned from Europe following the presidential announcement of a European travel ban, CBP officers were overwhelmed and long lines formed—many photos of which are included in this news article. Preventative measures were not in place. ‘Enhanced screening’ did not include temperature measurements and testing, but questions on medical conditions and travel history.
Bier, David. “Want to Defeat Coronavirus? Protect Legal Immigration.” USA Today, March 15, 2020. Bier focuses on immigrants and H-1B visa workers and scientists in health sectors. (Opinion)
Aeaziz, Hamed. “Immigrant Detainees At High Risk Of Contracting COVID-19 Should Be Released Now, A Lawsuit States.” BuzzFeed News, March 16, 2020. BuzzFeed News reports on ACLU’s actions to ask a federal court “to force officials to release a group of immigrants who have a lung disease, heart disease, diabetes, epilepsy, or kidney disease to protect them from a potential spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, in a Seattle-area detention facility.”
Anderson, Stuart. “Coronavirus Raises Tough Immigration Issues For Businesses.” Forbes, March 16, 2020. Forbes reports on difficult immigration issues for U.S. businesses: “the status of H-1B visa holders and international students [F visas], obtaining I-9 verification for new employees and travel restrictions that limit mobility for international personnel” as well as L-1, M visa restrictions.
Hackman, Michelle, and Alicia A. Caldwell. “Trump Administration May Close U.S. Borders to Unauthorized Foreigners Over Coronavirus Risk.” Wall Street Journal, March 17, 2020. The Trump administration’s new policy turns away all asylum seekers and undocumented foreigners crossing U.S.-Mexico border. WSJ reports that the decision is because “they cannot risk allowing the coronavirus to spread through detention facilities and among Border Patrol agents. …asylum seekers would not be held for any length of time in an American facility nor would they be given due process.” This is based on the U.S. law that gives power to health officials during “time of a medical or health emergency” to identify “any communicable disease in a foreign country.”
Kanno-Youngs, Zolan, Michael D. Shear, and Maggie Haberman. “Citing Coronavirus, Trump Will Announce Strict New Border Controls.” New York Times, March 17, 2020. The Times reports that the Trump administration, “citing the coronavirus threat to detention facilities, plans to turn back all undocumented immigrants and asylum seekers to Mexico.”
Luthi, Susannah, Renuka Rayasam, and Alice Miranda Ollstein. “Trump’s Immigration Crackdown Could Hurt Coronavirus Containment Efforts.” Politico, March 17, 2020. Politico addresses how Trump’s immigration policies increase fear among immigrants and deter them from seeking medical help or seeing clinicians; quotes public health studies on other outbreaks.
Gerstein, Josh. “Anger Builds over Virus Dangers in Immigration Courts.” Politico, March 17, 2020. Politico reports that immigration courts lack safety measures and legal procedures: “As state and federal courts around the country scale back sharply due to the pandemic, most immigration courts pressed on...with only minor adjustments, prompting growing outrage from immigration judges, lawyers for immigrants facing deportation and even the attorneys who serve as prosecutors.”
Judd, Ron. “Confusion, Uncertainty as Officials Announce U.S.-Canada Border Restrictions to Slow Coronavirus.” Seattle Times, March 18, 2020. There is confusion over new border policies enacted due to COVID-19. The Seattle Times notes the lack of clarity and communication over who is exempt from the new restrictions and comments on overall traffic fluctuations along the U.S.-Canada border.
Carcamo, Cindy, Andrea Castillo, Molly Hennessy-Fiske, Dolan Maura, Brittny Mejia, and Molly O’Toole. “Coronavirus is turning an overloaded immigration system into a ‘tinderbox.’” Los Angeles Times, March 18, 2020. Immigration judges raise concern over crowded courtrooms and workers are trying to limit potential exposure to COVID-19 despite the lack of PPE. “Immigration judges, attorneys and immigrant-rights advocates, as well as some federal immigration workers, are calling on the federal government to take aggressive steps to slow the spread of the virus and its effect on an already overloaded and backlogged immigration system,” the newspaper reports.
Shaw, Adam. “US Immigration Offices Close until April over Coronavirus Fears.” Fox News. March 18, 2020. Fox News reports that “USCIS offices across the country will close as part of the effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus.”
Jan, Tracy and Laura Riley, “Suspension of visa processing for Mexican seasonal workers hits U.S. farms, fisheries.” Washington Post, March 18, 2020. The State Department suspended routine visa processing in Mexico including those for temporary workers. Although seasonal workers with H-2A visas in hand would not be affected, “the American Farm Bureau Federation warned that the suspension in visa processing could have a major effect on agricultural production.”
Lahoud, Raymond G. “The Immigration of Coronavirus.” National Law Review X, no. 79 (March 19, 2020). This is a legal review over the immigration application and petition/visa/travel changes that took place due to COVID-19.
Benshoff, Laura. “‘Extraordinary Times’: Advocates Call for Closure of Immigrant Detention Centers for Coronavirus.” WHYY, March 19, 2020. WHYY notes ICE statements on protection measures for its own staff: “measures are not enough to quell concerns about adequate medical care and the close quarters inside. Since April 10, 2018, 22 people have died in ICE custody nationally … While the U.S. Department of Justice has stopped many immigration court proceedings this week, those inside ICE detention centers are still happening.”
Hernández, César Cuauhtémoc García, and Carlos Moctezuma García. “Close Immigration Prisons Now.” New York Times, March 19, 2020. Hernández et al. call for the need to close immigration prisons in the face of pandemic. (Opinion)
Lanard, Noah. “ICE Is Ignoring Recommendations to Release Immigrant Detainees to Slow the Spread of Coronavirus.” Mother Jones, March 20, 2020. Mother Jones reports, “Data released by ICE on Wednesday night shows that the agency is keeping detention numbers high. As of Saturday, ICE had 37,311 people in custody, down only slightly from 37,888 the week before. More than 60 percent of those detainees—22,936 people—do not have criminal convictions. Among the 38 percent of detainees who do have criminal convictions, many have only committed minor offenses like crossing the border without authorization.”
Bedard, Paul. “Hire American: Halt to Immigrant Hiring Sought during Virus Crisis.” Washington Examiner, March 20, 2020. Bedard looks at the economic impact of COVID-19 and foreign workers: “The surge in layoffs prompted by the coronavirus is leading to urgent calls in Washington to end a program that encourages big corporations to hire immigrant STEM graduates, often Chinese, who frequently get paid less than U.S. workers. Several immigration reform groups said that jobs during the crisis should go to U.S. science, technology, engineering, and mathematics graduates, not guest workers.” (Opinion)
Gomez, Alan. “Undocumented Immigrants, Fearful of Trump Administration, Could Be Hit Hard by Coronavirus.” USA Today, March 20, 2020. USA Today reports that “the nation's 11 million undocumented immigrants are being hit especially hard, juggling their fears of being deported with their fears of basic survival.” Their difficulties include the shrinking job market for hourly paid jobs and regular in-person check-in at ICE facilities. (Video of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf)
Shaw, Adam. “Trump Immigration Agenda Rolls on: Coronavirus Threat Fuels New Border Crackdown.” Fox News, March 20, 2020. Fox News reports on the travel ban: “for the administration and its supporters, the border restrictions in the face of a foreign-born virus, as well as other travel bans, are seen as essential for health and national security. Since the U.S. imposed a travel ban for those entering from China, Border Patrol agents have detained hundreds of Chinese nationals attempting to enter the United States illegally,” Fox News reported.
Hadavas, Chloe. “ICE Temporarily Halts Most Immigration Enforcement Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic.” Slate Magazine, March 20, 2020. Slate Magazine reports, “Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced on Wednesday that it will halt most arrests and deportations, focusing only on individuals who are “public safety risks” and who are “subject to mandatory detention based on criminal grounds,” as the coronavirus sweeps across the U.S. and public health officials scramble to limit the virus’ spread. … ICE also said that it won’t carry out operations near healthcare facilities, including hospitals, doctors’ offices, and urgent care facilities.”
“Trump Orders Migrants Entering US Irregularly to Be Turned Back.” Al Jazeera, March 20, 2020. Al Jazeera reports on the Trump administration’s decision to “invoke a statute in light of the coronavirus pandemic to block undocumented migrants from entering the US either from the northern or southern border… Mexico will allow the US to return Mexican and Central American migrants caught trying to enter the US through unofficial routes.”
Kassie, Emily. “First US Immigration Agency Employees Test Positive for Coronavirus.” The Guardian, March 20, 2020. The Guardian reports on how immigration agency employees have tested positive for COVID-19.
Kelley-Widmer, Jaclyn. “ICE Said It Won’t Deport People for Seeking Medical Care. Immigrants Won’t Believe Them.” Washington Post, March 21, 2020. The Post analyzes the Trump administration’s claim that the building of the wall and border closings will stop the spread of COVID-19.
Rose, Joel. “Growing Calls To Close Immigration Courts And Release Detainees As Virus Spreads.” NPR, March 21, 2020. NPR notes that “U.S. authorities face growing calls to shutter all of the nation's immigration courts, and to release detained immigrants who do not pose a threat to public safety after an ICE detention center worker tested positive for the coronavirus.”
Schacher, Yael. “Coronavirus can't be an excuse to continue President Trump's assault on asylum seekers.” Washington Post, March 21, 2020. Schacher, an immigration historian, discusses the history of refugee laws and urges the Trump administration to “not close the border to asylum seekers in violation of the 1980 Refugee Act” and to “stop forcibly transferring asylum seekers to Mexico and Guatemala after prolonged detention in unsafe and overcrowded U.S. border facilities.” (Opinion)
Gerstein, Josh. “Suit Seeks Release of Immigrant Families Due to Virus Risk.” Politico, March 22, 2020. Politico reports on a lawsuit claiming that “cleaning in the so-called Family Residential Centers is inconsistent because it is typically done by detainees who are paid $1 a day for that work. Hand sanitizer and masks are not typically available to the immigrants, and gloves are provided only for certain purposes.”
Coleman, Justine. “First Immigrant in ICE Detention Center Tests Positive for Coronavirus.” The Hill, March 24, 2020. ICE identifies the first case of COVID-19 patient in an ICE detention center.
DeGregory, Priscilla. “Coronavirus Shuts down Some NYC and NJ Immigration Courts.” The New York Post, March 24, 2020. The Department of Justice announced that people on site in NYC and NJ tested positive for COVID-19.
Ramón, Cristobal. “Failure to Fix Immigration Undermines Our Ability to Mitigate COVID-19.” The Hill, March 25, 2020. Ramón criticizes the Trump administration’s approach for being shallow, stating that the focus should be on how the healthcare infrastructure and its capacity are not equipped to deal with any medical and immigration crisis. (Opinion)
Segura, Melissa. “The Coronavirus Comes To Immigration Court.” BuzzFeed News, March 28, 2020. Liberal senators called for replacing videoconferencing with in-person court hearings for children due to evidence that shows how video proceedings undermine the chances for children to obtain asylum.
Villarreal, Alexandra, and Oliver Laughland. “Detainees in US Immigration Jails Living in Fear as Coronavirus Spreads.” The Guardian, March 29, 2020. As infections among immigrant detainees rise in ICE facilities across the country, detainees and advocates interviewed by the Guardian share that they are not being properly cared for during the pandemic and they fear retribution if they protest, as some detainees are doing.
Miroff, Nick. “Under Coronavirus Immigration Measures, U.S. Is Expelling Border-Crossers to Mexico in an Average of 96 Minutes.” Washington Post, March 30, 2020. The Washington Post reports that “migrants who cross into the United States illegally are being expelled to Mexico in an average of 96 minutes under emergency coronavirus measures now in force across the U.S. southern border, according to three U.S. officials with knowledge of the latest government statistics.”
Morrissey, Kate. “Amid Coronavirus Concerns, Detainees Ask to Be Released from San Diego Immigration Custody.” San Diego Union-Tribune, March 30, 2020. Detainees at immigration detention centers are at high risk of contracting COVID-19 with lack of social distancing and personal hygiene conditions, the Tribune reports. Detainees, particularly those at high risk, are asking to be released.
Hlass, Laila L. “Why Won’t the Federal Government Release Immigrant Children?” Slate Magazine, March 31, 2020. Slate Magazine reports that “In the past week, four children in immigration detention and seven employees of the Office of Refugee Resettlement who work in children’s detention facilities in New Jersey and Texas tested positive for the virus.” Hlass, a law professor, argues that adultification whereby “children of color are perceived as more adultlike and therefore less innocent than white peers” explains why children are treated similarly to adults in the immigration legal system.
Neidig, Harper. “Immigration Groups Sue Trump Administration for Keeping Courts Open amid Coronavirus.” The Hill, March 31, 2020. The Hill reports on legal guilds, associations, and campaign groups criticizing “the Department of Justice Executive Office for Immigration Review's (EOIR) failure to suspend immigration hearings amid the pandemic puts migrants, their attorneys and government personnel at risk.”
Editorial Board. “Coronavirus Doesn’t Care Where You Come From. Trump Still Does.” New York Times, March 31, 2020. The Times Editorial Board writes a lengthy overview of how the xenophobia and obsession with immigrants are showing through various orders, statues, and laws the Trump administration has passed as part of the COVID-19 battle. (Opinion)
Mastrangelo, Dominick. “Majority of Public Favors Temporary Ban on Immigration from Mexico during Coronavirus Pandemic: Poll.” Washington Examiner, March 31, 2020. DHS changes “its asylum-seeker "Remain in Mexico" policy so migrants will remain there longer because of the outbreak of the virus.”
Woltjen, Maria. “Close the Immigration Courts — Protect Immigrant Children.” The Hill, April 1, 2020. EOIR’s new guidances on March 24 are harmful to children: “In Harlingen, Baltimore, San Antonio, and Chicago, detained children must attend immigration court in person”; “The Department of Justice...refused to postpone hearings for immigrants…[so] children were being transported to crowded immigration courts”; video interviews do not work for young children; children lack immigration lawyers during the early stages of hearings. (Opinion)
Motomura, Hiroshi. “The New Migration Law: Migrants, Refugees, and Citizens in an Anxious Age.” SSRN Scholarly Paper. Rochester, NY: Social Science Research Network, March 31, 2020. Motomura calls for a new immigration law system in four sections: 1. Historiography of how rights of immigrants and general noncitizens have been expanded through civil rights language 2. The need to drastically expand and redesign the refugee law 3. “the relationship between temporary and permanent admissions...migration and citizenship”, 4. Anxieties surrounding resource distribution and economies in destination countries.
Shaw, Adam. “Trump Administration Extends Immigration Office Closures amid Coronavirus Crisis.” Fox News. April 1, 2020. USCIS extended its in-person services closure until May 3. Meanwhile, “EOIR announced that Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) hearings in April would also be suspended...until May 1.” CBP also confirmed it is turning away all undocumented immigrants and asylum seekers, including unaccompanied minors.
Roth, Daniel Shoer, and Esther Medina. “Most USCIS Services Have Been Halted Due to Coronavirus. Here’s What Immigrants Can Do.” Miami Herald, April 1, 2020. Most immigration services in the U.S. are on hold due to temporary office closures. The suspension of in-person services “affects tens of thousands of individuals awaiting immigration benefits such as extensions of status, work permits, green cards and U.S. citizenship through naturalization—including those who have interview appointments, biometric services and naturalization ceremonies.” (Video)
Huber, Katrina. “Fighting for Immigrant Rights during a Pandemic.” Southern Poverty Law Center, April 2, 2020. Huber comments on lack of social distancing, hand sanitizer and soap, as well as the high number of people over age 50 and inadequate medical facilities. There is a lack of testing, while transfers between detention centers are continuing. (Opinion)
Schacher, Yael and Alex Aleinikoff, “The End of Asylum? The New COVID-19 Border Rules.” Refugees International and Zolberg Institute on Migration and Mobility, April 3, 2020. In this webinar, Yael Schacher, Refugees International’s senior U.S. advocate, and Alex Aleinikoff, professor at The New School and director of the Zolberg Institute on Migration and Mobility, discuss asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border in the time of COVID-19. Is this the end of asylum in the US? they ask. (Webinar)
Hernández, Arelis R., and Nick Miroff. “Facing Coronavirus Pandemic, Trump Suspends Immigration Laws and Showcases Vision for Locked-down Border.” Washington Post, April 3, 2020. The Post discusses how the president is using emergency powers to “implement the kind of strict enforcement regime at the U.S. southern border he has long wanted.” Citing the threat of “mass, uncontrolled cross-border movement,” the president has put in place an expulsion order that sends migrants, including young children, back to Mexico in an average of 96 minutes.(Video from the Post’s Fact Checker on whether the border closures will stop infections)
Dinan, Stephen. “Illegal Immigration down 60% at Border amid Coronavirus.” Washington Times, April 6, 2020. The Washington Times reports on the CDC emergency policy and the continuing border wall construction.
Bernal, Rafael. “Top House Oversight Democrats Ask DHS to Reduce Immigrant Detainee Population.” The Hill, April 7, 2020. The Hill reports that “top Democrat on the House Oversight and Reform Committee and the head of the Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties asked acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf to reduce immigrant detainee populations amid the risk of a coronavirus outbreak at a detention facility.”
Castillo, Andrea, and Brittny Mejia. “‘I Am Afraid for My Life’: Immigrant Detainees Plead to Be Released.” Los Angeles Times, April 7, 2020. To get detainees out of ICE facilities, immigrant advocates push forward with their legal challenges, the LA Times reports.
Lanard, Noah, and Joaquin Castro. “Immigrants In ICE Detention Face The Threat Of COVID-19.” NPR: Latino USA, April 7, 2020. This 30-minute podcast focuses on ICE detention centers and COVID-19. Noah Lanard, a reporter for Mother Jones, notes the lack of preventative measures inside the facilities. Detainees keep track of COVID-19 related safety measures from CDC and report that none of the measures are kept. Castro, a Congressman, notes the reversal of original ICE response on stopping immigration raids and downsizing ICE detainees; stimulus relief for Hispanic Caucus and Puerto Rico; work condition disproportionately exposing Latino workers to COVID-19. (Audio)
Aleaziz, Hamed. “Hundreds Of Immigrant Detainees Considered Vulnerable To The Coronavirus May Be Released.” BuzzFeed News, April 7, 2020. ICE is starting to follow the guidance by the CDC, which includes “making case-by-case determinations for release.” BuzzFeed News also reports that “a federal judge ordered the immediate release of 10 immigrants...the chronically ill.”
Mukpo, Ashoka. “‘They Don’t Care If You Die’: Immigrants in ICE Detention Fear the Spread of COVID-19.” American Civil Liberties Union - News & Commentary, April 8, 2020. The ACLU notes the heightened health risk from COVID-19 and pressure on ICE to release detainees at risk. ICE identified 600 as vulnerable to COVID-19 and released 160 as of March 30, 2020. Some detention facilities requiring visiting attorneys to wear N95 masks meant many asylum seekers could not access lawyers.
Mastrangelo, Dominick. “Authorities Have Deported 10,000 Illegal Immigrants during Coronavirus Outbreak as Border Crossings Plummet.” Washington Examiner, April 9, 2020. The Trump administration uses the national emergency caused by COVID-19 to broaden its authority, especially in the area of immigration policies. This includes rapid expulsions of migrants.
Montoya-Galvez, Camilo. “U.S. Expels 6,300 Migrants from Border under Coronavirus Order.” CBS News, April 9, 2020. According to CBS News, the CDC order on March 21 had these effects: “In the last three weeks, border crossings have decreased by 50% and CBP is currently holding about 100 migrants—a 97% drop. …officials have been encountering about 4,200 migrants per week, a sharp drop from the weekly average of 10,000 before the directive was issued.”
Klippenstein, Ken. “Exclusive: Inside Trump’s Failed Plan to Surveil the Canadian Border.” The Nation, April 10, 2020. The Nation reports “a leaked memo show[ing] Customs and Border Protection request[ing] millions of dollars to monitor the movements of Canadian citizens.”
Scarry, Eddie. “Coronavirus Is Shutting down Illegal Immigration.” Washington Examiner, April 10, 2020. Scarry looks at the emergency declaration based on general public health giving CBP “agents the power to turn away nearly everyone who illegally crosses into the U.S. ...Trump’s instincts, or at least his rhetoric (so much as he believes it), has always been right on immigration. He needs to find a way to keep things the way they are if and when the health emergency is lifted.” (Opinion)
Hernández, David. “Trump Is Dissolving Congress in Plain Sight, and Immigration’s a Top Example.” The Fulcrum, April 10, 2020. Analysis on how Trump’s immigration policies are representative of broader power grab, which is being assisted by the Supreme Court. Hernández, an associate professor of Latina and Latino studies at Mount Holyoke College, writes, “On top of this has been a revolving door of ‘acting’ directors for federal agencies, which is Trump's preference because those temporary appointments dodge the Senate confirmation process and evade existing laws for filling government vacancies.” (Opinion)
Owen, Quinn. “Immigrant Detention Numbers Decline as COVID-19 Spikes and Controversial Border Policies Take Hold.” ABC News, April 11, 2020. ABC News reports that “After immigrant detention centers saw a spike in coronavirus cases, federal authorities have started reassessing protocols to release some detained immigrants most vulnerable to the disease.”
Gonzalez, Daniel. “Protesters Call for ICE to Release Detainees Because of Coronavirus.” USA Today, April 11, 2020. USA Today focuses on reports from inside La Palma Correctional Center and Eloy Detention Center on how the ICE facilities are being run amid closure of immigration courts.
Cornejo Villavicencio, Karla and Christopher Lee. “The Impending Mass Grave Across the Border From Texas.” New York Times, April 12, 2020. Cornejo Villavicencio (text) and Lee (photographs) use photographs to document how the residents of a makeshift camp in Matamoros, Mexico live in constant threat of the virus while exercising their human rights to claim asylum under the Trump administration’s “Remain in Mexico” policy. (Opinion)
Howe, Amy. “New York Asks Justices for Temporary Pause of ‘Public Charge’ Rule.” SCOTUSblog, April 13, 2020. SCOTUSblog reviewed the public charge rule and COVID-19: “In January, the Supreme Court—by a vote of 5-4—granted a request by the Trump administration for permission to enforce the ‘public charge’ rule... Today, a group of state and local governments challenging the rule, led by New York, asked the Supreme Court to temporarily block the government from implementing the rule until the COVID-19 crisis is over.” (Blog)
Kwon, Karen. “COVID-19 Has Left Me in Immigration Limbo.” Slate Magazine, April 13, 2020. Kwon documents her own experience of green card application and interview being delayed due to USCIS closure. (Opinion)
Ewing, Walter. “The Disproportionate Impact of Deportations in Rural Communities.” Immigration Impact, April 13, 2020. TRAC found that 59% of counties with the highest proportion of their residents in removal proceedings were in rural areas. While some people are in these rural locations because they’re in immigration detention—and many detention centers are located in rural areas—many others live and work in the community.
Montoya-Galvez, Camilo. “‘We Are Trapped’: Immigrant Women Detained during Pandemic Speak Out.” CBS News, April 13, 2020. This is a video of CBS News interviews with five women detained at a for-profit prison in Jena, Louisiana. (Video)
Guttentag, Lucas. “Coronavirus Border Expulsions: CDC’s Assault on Asylum Seekers and Unaccompanied Minors.” Just Security, April 13, 2020. Law professor Guttentag argues that the Trump administration’s COVID-19 border ban relies upon the 1944 Public Health Service Act to erect “a shadow immigration enforcement power in violation of the Refugee Act, legal safeguards for unaccompanied minors, and fundamental procedural rights.” (Opinion)
Shaw, Adam. “ICE Releasing Hundreds of Illegal Immigrants Due to Coronavirus Risk.” Fox News, April 14, 2020. Fox News reports on ICE releasing detainees: “693 immigrants in custody have been identified for release, due to being more vulnerable to the virus and its effects. He noted that ICE has a long history of dealing with people coming across the border with infectious diseases, but this is an “unprecedented” situation. …The first round, of which about 160 were released, consisted of those over 60 or pregnant. But then the agency did a top-to-bottom review of all those in custody and identified hundreds more from broader categories who could be released.” (Video of Fox newscast)
Das, Alina. “How the Deportation Machine Criminalizes Immigrants.” The Nation, April 14, 2020. Adapted from Das’s book, No Justice in the Shadows: How America Criminalizes Immigrants, she focuses on NY’s ICE’s Criminal Alien Program and INS’ lack of detention and deportation records. She writes, “Federal immigration officials proudly describe the criminal legal system as a force multiplier for deportation. Since the punitive overhaul of immigration law in the 1980s and ’90s, the federal government has used local police, prosecutors, criminal courts, corrections, probation, and parole departments to identify and deport more people than federal immigration officials ever could alone.” (Opinion)
Merchant, Nomaan. “Detained Immigrants Plead for Masks, Protection from Virus.” ABC News, April 14, 2020. ABC News reports on the refusal by detention center staff to provide protective equipment and sanitizers for detainees: “The asylum-seeker from El Salvador and others had resorted to tearing their T-shirts into face coverings after a woman in their unit tested positive for COVID-19. But the guards would not give out the masks until the detainees signed the forms, which said they could not hold the private prison company running the detention center in San Diego liable if they got the coronavirus. ... When they refused Friday, the guards took away the masks.”
Geranois, Nicholas. “Washington State Sues Greyhound over Immigration Searches.” ABC News, April 14, 2020. WA State Attorney General has filed a lawsuit against Greyhound Lines Inc. to stop the company from allowing CBP agents to board its buses and in search of undocumented immigrants.
O’Brien, Matt. “The Coronavirus Is No Reason to Waive the Rules for Immigrants.” The Hill, April 15, 2020. O’Brien, director of research at the Federation for American Immigration Reform, challenges the calls from “mass migration advocates” to extend immigration filing deadlines and grant automatic extensions to foreigners whose status is about to expire. “The open-borders contingent is trying to create a back-door amnesty by capitalizing on a public health crisis,” he argues. “And what’s worse, they are suggesting USCIS take actions that it has no statutory authority to implement.” (Opinion)
Reynolds, Rob. “US Immigration Detention Centres: Fears of COVID-19 Spread.” Al Jazeera, April 15, 2020. This is a very short video on conditions inside ICE facilities. It notes the successful lawsuit by ACLU Southern California. (Video)
Katz, Matt. “ICE Releases Hundreds Of Immigrants As Coronavirus Spreads in Detention Centers.” NPR, April 16, 2020. NPR writes, “Several hundred immigrants have been released from U.S. detention centers…most detainees were released by ICE, often with electronic ankle monitors to make sure they show up to later court dates. Some were ordered released by federal courts after immigration attorneys filed a flurry of habeas corpus lawsuits.” The article names how some facilities were more badly affected by COVID-19, which led to more immigrant detainees being released.
Shaw, Adam. “Jeff Sessions Calls for Immigration Moratorium until Coronavirus Crisis Ends.” Fox News, April 16, 2020. Fox News reports on “Sessions and other immigration hawks” using the economic downfall as a reason to put moratorium on all immigration. For example, “The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits jumped by 5.25 million last week, as job losses caused by the pandemic mount. That brings total claims over the four weeks that ended April 11 to nearly 22 million workers, erasing the entirety of labor market gains since the 2008 financial crisis.” (Video of Sessions’ appearance on Fox)
Lutz, Eric. “Stephen Miller Is Exploiting The Coronavirus Crisis For His Immigration Crackdown.” Vanity Fair, April 16, 2020. Lutz argues that Miller, “the White House’s resident anti-immigrant zealot,” is exploiting the national emergency to push his “pet anti-immigrant policies at the Department of Health and Human Services.”
Diamond, Dan. “Stephen Miller’s Hard-Line Policies on Refugee Families Make a Comeback at HHS.” Politico, April 16, 2020. POLITICO reveals that “the health department’s refugee office is pushing to implement immigration policies favored by White House senior adviser Stephen Miller,” including leaving migrant children in the custody of the Border Patrol for an extended length of time instead of placing them in shelters operated by the health department.
Miller, Andrew Mark. “Majority of People in the US Believe Mass Immigration Is a ‘threat’ to the Country: Poll.” Washington Examiner, April 18, 2020. A new Pew Research Center poll finds that eighty-one percent of people in the United States view mass migration as a “threat” because of the coronavirus.
Levine, Jon. “US Deporting Illegal Immigrants with Coronavirus to Guatemala, President Says.” New York Post, April 18, 2020. The Post reports that President Alejandro Giammattei said that “random checks of deported Guatemalans returning from the United States had tested positive for the virus,” including 75% of passengers on a recent deportation flight from the US.
Dickerson, Caitlin, and Kirk Semple. “U.S. Deported Thousands Amid Covid-19 Outbreak. Some Proved to Be Sick.” New York Times, April 18, 2020. The Trump administration has continued its “aggressive immigration enforcement agenda” during the pandemic, “deporting thousands of people to their home countries, including some who are sick with the virus,” the Times reports.
Castillo, Andrea. “Advocates Say Hundreds of Immigrants Detained in California Are on Hunger Strike. ICE Says Only Two.” Los Angeles Times, April 19, 2020. Detainees lack masks, gloves, and cleaning supplies to protect themselves against COVID-19. To date, 124 immigrants and 30 ICE employees at detention centers have tested positive. In California, advocates say that hundreds of immigrants detained in California facilities recently began a hunger strike.
Mansoor, Hafsa, Katherine Comly, and Lori Nessel. “A Long Time Coming: How the Immigration Bond and Detention System Created Today’s COVID-19 Tinderbox.” Seton Hall University School of Law | Immigrants’ Rights/International Human Rights Clinic, April 20, 2020. A new report finds that “decades of laws and policies aimed at criminalizing immigrants, dramatically increasing the rate of immigrant detention, and severely limiting eligibility for bond have contributed to this public health emergency.” (Report)
Wadhia, Shoba Sivaprasad. “Immigration in the Time of COVID.” In Law in the Time of COVID-19, ed. Katharina Pistor, 27–34, (Columbia Law School Scholarship Repository, April 20, 2020). A book chapter explaining how the coronavirus outbreak has impacted immigration policy, as of April 8, 2020.
Samuels, Brett. “Trump Says He Will Sign Executive Order Temporarily Suspending Immigration into US.” The Hill, April 20, 2020. The president announced via Twitter that he would sign an executive order to temporarily suspend immigration into the United States. The tweet read: "In light of the attack from the Invisible Enemy, as well as the need to protect the jobs of our GREAT American Citizens, I will be signing an Executive Order to temporarily suspend immigration into the United States!"
Alvarez, Priscilla. “Trump Administration Has Made Sweeping Changes to the US Immigration System during the Coronavirus Pandemic.” CNN, April 21, 2020. Lists the rapid changes to immigration reforms that happened after COVID-19 starting with the recent extension of travel restrictions with Canada and Mexico (Apr 20) and going back to the order stopping the placement of migrant children in Washington state and California (Mar 10).
Klein, Betsy, Priscilla Alvarez, and Kevin Liptak. “Trump Claims He Will Temporarily Suspend Immigration into US Due to Coronavirus Fears.” CNN, April 21, 2020. Following a late-night tweet by the president stating that he would temporarily suspend immigration to the United States, administration officials scrambled to finalize an executive order. (Video)
Calma, Justine. “Migrants aren’t to blame for COVID-19: This is no time to crack down on immigration.” The Verge, April 21, 2020. COVID-19 and xenophobia have disproportionately affected immigrants. Trump is using the pandemic to push for hardline immigration policy and sow division among us. (Opinion)
“California Announces Early Coronavirus Deaths; Trump Narrows Immigration Ban.” The New York Times, April 21, 2020. The Times reports that “California announces earliest publicly known U.S. coronavirus deaths.” “President Trump said on Tuesday that he would order a temporary halt in issuing green cards to prevent people from immigrating to the United States, but he backed away from plans to suspend guest worker programs after business groups exploded in anger at the threat of losing access to foreign labor.” (Video of Times coverage of immigration ban)
Hackman, Michelle, and Rebecca Ballhaus. “Trump to Bar Immigration for Family of U.S. Citizens, Foreign Workers for 60 Days.” Wall Street Journal, April 22, 2020. The president announced that his administration would temporarily bar new immigrants, including some family members of U.S. citizens and foreign workers looking to move to the U.S. for 60 days. (Video of Trump news briefing)
Krikorian, Mark. “Trump’s Immigration Moratorium Is Barely A Start.” The National Interest, April 22, 2020. Krikorian, the executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, comments on Trump’s suspension of green cards and points out the inadequacies of Trump suspension in restricting foreign workers.
White House, “Proclamation Suspending Entry of Immigrants Who Present Risk to the US Labor Market During the Economic Recovery Following the COVID-19 Outbreak,” April 22, 2020. Trump’s executive order suspended the issuance of immigrant visas (green cards) to those who are outside the U.S. for 60 days. (Document)
Wong, Tom. COVID-19 and the Remaking of U.S. Immigration Policy? Empirically Evaluating the Myth of Immigration and Disease, UC San Diego U.S. Immigration Policy Center, April 22, 2020. A study using empirical evidence to disprove the Trump administration’s claims that closing the southern border, restricting access to asylum, or temporarily suspending immigration into the U.S. will produce beneficial health outcomes. (Report)
Goodman, Carly. “President Trump’s Immigration Suspension Has Nothing to Do with Coronavirus.” Washington Post, April 22, 2020. Historian Carly Goodman dispels the Trump administration’s claim that immigration spreads the coronavirus and draws on history to explain that crises create “opportunities for anti-immigration advocates to cast blame on outsiders and transform policy in ways they have long sought.” These policies, Goodman warns, “could outlive his presidency.” (Opinion)
Chacón, Jennifer M., and Erwin Chemerinsky. “No, Mr. President, Your Immigration Powers Are Not Unlimited.” New York Times, April 22, 2020. Law school professors discuss how even in a field of immigration where the presidential authority is at its greatest, there must be reasons behind any drastic changes to existing laws; the president is also challenging separation of power. They write, “A president has broad powers over immigration under the Constitution and federal laws, but they are not unlimited." (Opinion)
Schultz, Kai, and Sameer Yasir. “For Indian Diaspora, Panic and Anger Over Trump’s Immigration Plans.” New York Times, April 22, 2020. The Times reports how the 60-day pause on issuing green card will impact Indian diaspora, with specific examples of families with mixed citizenship/visa status.
Chang, Ailsa. “Immigration Crackdowns Are Not Unusual In Trying Times.” NPR: All Things Considered, April 22, 2020. In the wake of the president’s temporary suspension of immigration into the U.S. Ailsa Chang interviews historian Erika Lee about the history and the historical context behind such measures. (Audio). The interview elicited a response by the pro-immigration restriction organization Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR): Ray, Dave. “Interactive Blog: NPR Examines U.S. Immigration Policy in the Context of the President’s Immigration Executive Order – Rate This Clip.” ImmigrationReform.Com, May 4, 2020. (Blog)
Sprunt, Barbara. “READ: Trump Signs Proclamation Temporarily Suspending Immigration.” NPR, April 22, 2020. Full-text of the proclamation, which the president claimed would “ensure that unemployed Americans of all backgrounds will be first in line for jobs as our economy reopens."
“Immigration and the U.S.-Mexico Border during the Pandemic: A Conversation with Members of Congress,” Migration Policy Institute and Wilson Center, April 22, 2020. Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-TX), Member of the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship and Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX), Member of the House Homeland Security Committee and Ranking Member of its Oversight, Management, and Accountability Subcommittee discuss immigration issues affecting the border region during the pandemic. (Webinar)
Alvarez, Priscilla. “What Trump’s New Executive Order on Immigration Covers.” CNN. April 23, 2020. An analysis on who the executive order (EO) affects (people outside of the United States seeking to legally migrate to the U.S.) and who is exempt. Those who are exempt include spouses and minor children of U.S. citizens, health care professionals, any member of the U.S. Armed Forces and their spouses and children, and anyone entering for law enforcement or national security reasons. It also doesn't apply to investor visas and special immigrant visas for Iraqi and Afghan nationals who have worked for the U.S. government. (Video of CNN reporting on the EO)
Kainz, Lena. “As COVID-19 Slows Human Mobility, Can the Global Compact for Migration Meet the Test for a Changed Era?” Migration Policy Institute, April 2020. Kainz reports on COVID-19 permanently changing travel and immigration regulations globally: “Most countries have resorted to migration management tools such as border closures or travel bans to contain the spread of the pandemic, and public-health considerations are now at the heart of policy decisions on mobility. Kainz also reminds that the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration was supposed to be realized this year through national action plans. (Opinion)
Reichlin-Melnick, Aaron. “What You Need to Know About President Trump’s Latest Ban on Immigration.” Immigration Impact, April 23, 2020. The article notes that 2020 might be a “turning point in the battle to fundamentally alter our immigration system and redefine who can be an American.” (Webinar & PPT slides)
Hesson, Ted, and Mica Rosenberg. “U.S. to Test Some Immigrants for Coronavirus before Deportation.” Reuters, April 23, 2020. Reuters reports that the United States will begin testing some migrants in detention for COVID-19 before deporting them.
Sollenberger, Roger. “Immigration Ban Won’t Impact Temporary Workers after Fox News Host Complains about Her Au Pair on TV.” Salon, April 23, 2020. A Fox News reporter explained the value of her au pair to her family as the hosts of “Fox & Friends” discussed the president’s immigration order. When signed, the order did not apply to those seeking temporary visas, like au pairs.
Navarrette, Ruben Jr. “Trump’s Anti-Immigration Plan to Make America White Again Is Sick, and Stupid.” Daily Beast, April 23, 2020. Syndicated columnist Navarrette argues that the president’s recent immigration ban “has almost nothing to do with American workers, and everything to do with firing up his anti-immigrant base in an election year.” (Opinion)
Burnson, Robert. “Trump Sued for Denying Checks to Americans Married to Immigrants.” Bloomberg, April 24, 2020. An Illinois man sued the president “over a provision of the coronavirus relief package that could deny $1,200 stimulus checks to more than 1 million Americans married to immigrants without Social Security Numbers,” reports Bloomberg.
Flores, Adolfo and Hamed Aleaziz, “US Citizens Trying To Get Their Parents Green Cards Feel Hopeless After Trump's Latest Immigration Ban.” BuzzFeed News, April 24, 2020. A report examining the impact of the immigration ban on family members in the U.S. sponsoring their relatives to come. BuzzFeed explains that “Trump's proclamation suspends access to green cards for family members of permanent residents who are outside of the United States, parents and siblings of US citizens abroad, and thousands of people who come to the country as part of the diversity visa lottery system.”
Chishti, Muzaffar, and Jessica Bolter. “Vulnerable to COVID-19 and in Frontline Jobs, Immigrants Are Mostly Shut Out of U.S. Relief.” Migration Policy Institute, April 24, 2020. State-level data show that immigrants play outsized role on the frontlines of the war against the virus and are also disproportionately suffering from economic hardship, infection and death, and xenophobia and discrimination. [get the data here]
Edison, Michael, and Eddie Bejarano. “Trump’s Immigration Order Was Drafted by Officials With Ties to Hate Groups, According to Report.” Southern Poverty Law Center, April 24, 2020. The SPLC reports that the president’s recent immigration order was drafted by Stephen Miller and Robert Law, chief of the Office of Policy and Strategy for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), two officials with ties to hate groups like the Center for Immigration Studies, the Federation of American Immigration Reform, and VDARE.
Miroff, Nick, and Josh Dawsey. “Stephen Miller Has Long-Term Vision for Trump’s ‘Temporary’ Immigration Order, According to Private Call with Supporters.” Washington Post, April 25, 2020. Miller, the chief architect of Trump’s immigration agenda, said in an off-the record call that restrictions on guest worker programs were under consideration, but the “the most important thing is to turn off the faucet of new immigration labor.” (Video of Trump press briefing and signing April 22 EO)
Isacson, Adam. “Trump’s Immigration Crackdown Is Creating New Coronavirus Hotspots.” Business Insider, April 25, 2020. Isacson writes how “an obscure provision of the 1944 Public Health Service Act” is used to turn away all migrants without documents. This includes asylum-seekers and unaccompanied children, which means both the 1980 Refugee Act and the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2000. Remain in Mexico policy is affecting migrants who are seeing “their US court hearings postponed for months”, ICE is continuing to deport detainees from privately run detention centers, and border wall construction is ongoing. (Opinion)
Judd, Brandon. “Brandon Judd: As Coronavirus Sends Unemployment Skyrocketing, Trump’s Immigration Restrictions Clearly Needed.” Fox News, April 25, 2020 (Opinion). Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council argues that halting immigration “while millions of American workers struggle to get back on their feet” is a “no-brainer.” (Opinion and Video of Ken Cuccinelli appearance on Fox explaining EO)
Editorial Board. “We’re deporting people to vulnerable countries — and sending the virus with them.” Washington Post, April 26, 2020. Deporting infected people is “callous and irresponsible,” writes the editorial board. (Opinion)
Arthur, Andrew R. “Do We Need More Foreign Students Now? If 'distance learning' works, students don't need to enter the United States, or get OPT.” Center for Immigration Studies, April 27, 2020. Arthur, a resident fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies, points out that Trump’s April 22 proclamation exempts the entry of non-immigrant visa holders such as international students. He argues for the suspension of the “flawed Optional Practical Training Program,” which would prevent international students from competing with the 26.5 million unemployed American workers due to the lockdown. (Blog)
Rappaport, Nolan. “Will Trump’s Immigration Proclamation Ensure Americans Get Their Jobs Back after the Pandemic?” The Hill, April 27, 2020. Rappaport analyzes the suspension of immigration during COVID-19 and how the proclamation could possibly be changed and whether it exceeds Trump’s presidential power. (Opinion)
Ayuso, Tomás. “These migrant families walked north for safety. Now they face coronavirus.” National Geographic, April 27, 2020. A profile of three families from Honduras who had traveled north two years ago as part of the migrant caravans and were forced to remain in Mexico while their cases were being heard after the Trump administration implemented the “Remain in Mexico” policy. Now the virus has frozen their asylum applications.
Schacher, Yael, and Chris Beyrer. “Expelling Asylum Seekers Is Not the Answer: U.S. Border Policy in the Time of COVID-19.” Refugees International, April 27, 2020. On March 20, 2020, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services directed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) “to suspend the introduction of persons from designated countries or places, if required, in the interest of public health.” This issue brief argues the policy is not justified on public health grounds and illegally targets asylum seekers for expulsion. Taken together, they represent an attempt by the current U.S. administration to exploit the COVID-19 pandemic crisis in the service of a long-term political goal to limit asylum seeking at the southern border.
Rampell, Catherine. “Why Tom Cotton’s Immigration Idea Makes No Sense.” Washington Post, April 27, 2020. U.S. universities can’t afford to lose international students, mostly because of how they pay full tuition and because STEM immigrants are necessary in the U.S. economy and military: “But restricting student visas — or, worse, banning nearly all visas for Chinese students — would effectively be an act of self-sabotage. One reason is that higher education is among America’s most successful exports. …. More broadly, immigrants trained in STEM fields are critical to the U.S. economy and U.S. military might.” (Opinion)
Wasem, Ruth Ellen. “Immigration Suspension: All Hat and No Cattle?” The Hill, April 28, 2020. Wasem, a professor of policy practice at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas in Austin, argues that the president’s recent order temporarily suspending imgn, is a “drastic policy shift” that is not supported by the substantial body of empirical research that maintains immigration can have a positive impact on U.S. workers.” (Opinion)
Galvan, Astrid. “Lawsuit: US Citizens with Immigrant Spouses Should Get Help.” AP News. April 28, 2020. AP reports on Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund suing the federal government “over its denial of coronavirus relief payments to U.S. citizens who are married to immigrants without social security numbers.”
Fink, Jenni. “65 Percent of Americans Support Temporarily Suspending Immigration during Coronavirus.” Newsweek, April 28, 2020. Despite outcry from activists, Americans back a temporary halt to immigration into the country, as ordered by President Trump.
Balz, Dan and Scott Clement. “Americans support state restrictions on businesses and halt to immigration during virus outbreak, Post-U. Md. poll finds,” Washington Post, April 28, 2020. One week after the president indicated that he planned to halt timmigration, a new poll shows that support for the temporary measure is strong amidst the pandemic. In the past, majorities of Democrats, Republicans and independents all called immigration, in balance, good for the country.
Serwer, Adam. “The Sinister Logic of Trump’s Immigration Freeze.” The Atlantic, April 29, 2020. The Atlantic criticizes the Trump administration’s immigration freeze for being establishment-friendly: “it does not prevent the wealthy from exploiting temporary foreign workers whose legal status and employment can be used as leverage to keep wages low or stifle unionization. But it does block thousands of immigrants who were on the verge of obtaining the rights and privileges of American citizenship from coming to the United States and settling permanently. At the same time, it preserves the EB-5 immigrant investor program, which effectively allows wealthy foreigners to purchase green cards.”
Derysh, Igor. “Trump Leverages the Coronavirus Pandemic to Advance Anti-Immigrant Policies.” Salon, April 29, 2020. Derysh writes that “The objective of those who crafted Trump's order is ‘to maintain America's traditional aristocracy of race by any means necessary.’”
Moore, Mark. “Majority of Americans Back Immigration Halt during Coronavirus: Poll.” New York Post, April 29, 2020. NYPost quotes the Washington Post and University of Maryland survey to show that the 65 percent support Trump’s temporary block of immigration into the U.S.
Durkee, Alison. “Trump Suggests He’ll Use Federal Coronavirus Aid to Bend State Immigration Policies to His Will.” Vanity Fair, April 29, 2020. Vanity Fair reports that Trump is “hesitant to give states the funding they so badly need—at least, unless they fall in line with his harsh immigration policies. ... his administration would ‘want certain things’ from states in exchange for a federal bailout, ‘including sanctuary city adjustments.’”
Smith, Noah. “Trump Coronavirus Immigration Lockdown Will Weaken U.S Economy.” Bloomberg, April 29, 2020. Smith discusses the 60-day green card ban: “Trump’s leading anti-immigration adviser, Stephen Miller, has said that Trump will try to extend this ban indefinitely, shutting down most immigration by administrative fiat. ...immigration opponents such as Republican Senator Tom Cotton are proposing a ban on Chinese students studying science and technology at U.S. universities.” (Opinion)
Antle, W. James. “Sessions Supports Trump Immigration Order While President Backs Less Hawkish Primary Opponent.” Washington Examiner, April 29, 2020. Washington Examiner reports, “Trump issued an executive order last week curbing new immigration to limit the competition faced by nearly 27 million people in the United States who are out of work as the pandemic and resulting business closures wreak havoc on the economy. Immigration hawks almost uniformly panned it for not going far enough and for having too many exceptions, especially for temporary workers.”
Luthi, Susannah. “Court Upholds Trump’s Coronavirus Immigration Ban.” Politico, April 29, 2020. Politico reports that “a federal judge in Oregon refused to suspend President Donald Trump's recent executive order that put a 60-day ban on green cards for most immigrants due to the coronavirus crisis.” U.S. District Judge Michael Simon did not connect the class action lawsuit with the immigration ban, “since it could interfere with any attempt by a president to temporarily restrict immigration for urgent national security reasons."
Center for Immigration Studies. “Immigration Newsmaker: Former AG Jeff Sessions Speaks Out on Immigration.” Center for Immigration Studies, April 30, 2020. Video and transcript from the Center for Immigration Studies Immigration Newsmaker conversation with former Attorney General Jeff Sessions discussing his views on immigration policy. (Video)
Human Rights Watch. “US: New Report Shines Spotlight on Abuses and Growth in Immigrant Detention Under Trump.” Human Rights Watch, April 30, 2020. The report focuses on the expansion of the detention system, inhumane conditions within that precedes COVID-19 pandemic, extreme isolation and separation from resources. Grace Meng, senior researcher, Human Rights Watch: “But the administration is not the only one responsible for this abusive system—Congress should push back on the administration’s demands and reduce funding for immigration detention and enforcement.”
“Police and Immigrants in the Age of the Coronavirus.” Police Executive Research Forum, May 1, 2020. The report focuses on how “immigrants’ reluctance to be involved with police may increase if they fear that public health measures will be used as a pretext for immigration enforcement. So police are reassuring immigrant communities that they are interested only in protecting community health and safety.”
Lovera, Patricia Sulbarán. “Coronavirus: Immigration Detention Centres in Crisis.” BBC News, May 1, 2020. Inside an ICE immigration detention center in Otay Mesa, San Diego, detainees were not given face masks or gloves for protection despite the fact that there were already confirmed cases of COVID-19 within the facility. The description is also true to other immigration detention centers. According to Cynthia Galaz, an immigrant activist, “people have organized themselves in 30 facilities to demand changes and in 13 of them there has been retaliation.” Otay Mesa’s detainees who protested to demand changes were met with pepper spray.
Makhlouf, Medha D., and Jasmine Sandhu. “Immigrants and Interdependence: How the COVID-19 Pandemic Exposes the Folly of the New Public Charge Rule.” SSRN Scholarly Paper. Rochester, NY: Social Science Research Network, May 2, 2020. Medha and Sandhu write on the Public Charge rule and negative impact on health care system during a global pandemic: “On February 24, 2020, just as the Trump administration began taking significant action to prepare for an outbreak of COVID-19 in the United States, it also began implementing its new public charge rule. ...an immigration law that restricts the admission of certain noncitizens based on the likelihood that they will become dependent on the government for support. The major effect of the new rule is to chill noncitizens from enrolling in public benefits, including Medicaid, out of fear of negative immigration consequences.”
Dickerson, Caitlin, and Michael D. Shear. “Before Covid-19, Trump Aide Sought to Use Disease to Close Borders.” New York Times, May 3, 2020. Trump’s chief architect for immigration policies, Stephen Miller, sought to use the president’s public health powers to block immigration before the pandemic. Miller used diseases such as flu, mumps and suspicion of Central American migrants in 2018 as disease carriers to push for his anti-immigration agenda. The COVID-19 pandemic allowed Miller to mobilize the president’s authority of public health and the section of 212 (f) which allows the president to determine the entry of certain aliens as “detrimental to the interests of the United States” to restrict immigration.
Texas Tribune Staff. “Coronavirus in Texas: Carnival to Launch Cruises from Galveston in August; Oil Regulator Calls Idea to Cut Production ‘Dead.’” Texas Tribune, May 4, 2020. The Tribune staff reports that “the Trump administration has been hit with a lawsuit alleging it is systematically violating the basic constitutional rights of detained immigrants by making communication with attorneys nearly impossible. ...Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents from the El Paso field office are denying detainees access to counsel by severely limiting or eliminating telephone use inside the El Paso Processing Center and the Otero County Processing Center.”
Misra, Tanvi. “DOJ Hiring Changes May Help Trump’s Plan to Curb Immigration.” Roll Call, May 4, 2020. Roll Call reports that “new documents on hiring changes made by the Justice Department to an influential board that oversees appeals to immigration court decisions reveal additional ways the Trump administration may be achieving its goal of reducing immigration. They also highlight additional fraying of the firewall between the Justice Department and the neutral arbiters of the immigration court system under its purview.”
Semple, Kirk. “As World Comes to Halt Amid Pandemic, So Do Migrants,” New York Times, May 4, 2020. Some undocumented immigrants have returned to their home countries. Despite the danger there, their vulnerability as informal workers in the U.S. have left them with few economic options. It is a global phenomenon. “The pandemic has essentially—not absolutely, but essentially—stopped international migration and mobility dead in its tracks,” said Demetrios G. Papademetriou, co-founder and president emeritus of the Migration Policy Institute in Washington.
Peñaloza, Marisa. “Lawsuit Alleges CARES Act Excludes U.S. Citizen Children Of Undocumented Immigrants.” NPR, May 5, 2020. NPR reports that “U.S. citizen children of undocumented parents who are excluded from the $2 trillion federal coronavirus relief package filed a federal class-action.” (Audio story on advocacy for immigrants)
Lutz, Eric. “Coronavirus Could Help Stephen Miller Check Off His Anti-Immigration “Wish List.” Vanity Fair, May 6, 2020. Lutz charges that Trump’s senior advisor on immigration had long attempted to use laws designed to protect public health to crack down on immigration. These efforts failed in the past. But during the pandemic, the president “recycled drafts of executive orders and policy proposals” written earlier by Miller to “further the administration’s longstanding dream of cutting back immigration overall.”
“Immigrant Detention in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, and the COVID-19 Pandemic.” Center for Migration Studies, May 6, 2020. Webinar covering the conditions in immigrant detention facilities in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama; litigation that seeks the release of different populations of detainees; alternatives to detention; and the troubled history of detention in the region. With Kerwin, Donald, Hiroko Kusuda, Amelia S McGowan, and Mark Dow, May 6, 2020. (Webinar)
“Republican Senators urge President to halt all immigrant work visas,” Al Jazeera. May 7, 2020. GOP leaders including Tom Cotton, Ted Cruz, Chuck Grassley and Josh Hawley wrote a letter to urge Trump to include guest work visas including H-1B, H-2B, OPT for international students and EB-5 investor visas to his April 22 proclamation that suspended immigrant visas for 60 days.
Alvarez, Priscilla, Nick Valencia, and Kevin Liptak. “Inside the Campaign to Cut Immigration amid the Coronavirus Pandemic.” CNN, May 8, 2020. CNN reports on “Trump's political advisers view[ing] the immigration steps as motivating for his base supporters at a moment when the President's key election message—a strong economy—is badly weakened by the pandemic. ... Republican Sens. Tom Cotton, Ted Cruz, Chuck Grassley, and Josh Hawley sent a letter to Trump calling for new guest worker visas to be put on hold for 60 days, as well as 'certain categories' of new guest worker visas, for 'at least the next year, or until unemployment has returned to normal levels' to protect American workers.”
Shaw, Adam. “Republicans, Immigration Hawks Call on Trump to Further Expand Immigration Restrictions amid Economic Woes.” Fox News, May 7, 2020. Reporting on some Republican efforts to increase pressure on the Trump administration to expand immigration restrictions, specifically to limit the number of temporary guest workers coming into the U.S. (Video)
Wu, Nicholas. “GOP senators ask Trump to restrict guest worker visas amid coronavirus pandemic.” USA Today, May 7, 2020. Four Republican Senators including Tom Cotton, Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley and Chuck Grassley wrote a letter to the White House, arguing that the visa suspension would be “critical to protecting American workers as our economy gets back on its feet.” They wanted to see a halt on H-2B, H-1B, OPT, and EB-5 visas. Since American students would be forced to compete with international students, as the senators said, the suspension of visa would give younger Americans the opportunity that may otherwise go to immigrants. (Video interview of Mississippi doctor fighting deportation).
Hackman, Michelle, and Andrew Restuccia. “Trump Administration Pushes to Extend Coronavirus Immigration Limits.” Wall Street Journal, May 8, 2020. WSJ reports that “the Trump administration, having temporarily closed borders and curtailed immigration in response to the coronavirus pandemic, is moving to expand those restrictions while the president’s advisers push to leave them in place for months or even years to come, according to several people familiar with the matter. …on the assumption that the public, during the pandemic, will be willing to accept new limits on immigration.”
Caldwell, Alicia A. “Immigration Courts Are Closed, but Cases for Children Continue.” Wall Street Journal, May 9, 2020. Coverage on how the pandemic has shut down “nearly every facet of the immigration system: except for court hearings for the thousands of children in government custody who crossed the border without an adult.”
Selyukh, Alina. “Will Filing For Unemployment Hurt My Green Card? Legal Immigrants Are Afraid.” NPR, May 11, 2020. Due to the Trump administration’s “public charge” rule for green card application, many immigrants who lost their jobs during the pandemic are afraid of applying for unemployment benefits, fearing that this would affect their permanent residency application. (Audio)
Guttentag, Luca, and Stefano M. Bertozzi. “Trump Is Using the Pandemic to Flout Immigration Laws.” New York Times, May 11, 2020. The Trump administration has used the U.S. public health laws a pretext for summarily deporting refugees and children at the border. “The administration has weaponized an arcane provision of a quarantine law first enacted in 1893 and revised in 1944 to order the blanket deportation of asylum-seekers and unaccompanied minors at the Mexican border without any testing or finding of disease or contagion.” (Opinion)
Migration Policy Institute. “Mixed-Status Families Ineligible for CARES Act Federal Pandemic Stimulus Checks.” Migration Policy Institute, May 12, 2020. MPI reports on the exclusion of mixed-status families from pandemic relief checks based on CARES Act: “Majority of unauthorized immigrants, except for those with work authorization” are excluded even if they file using ITIN, as well as “anyone filing jointly with an ITIN filer, even if that person is a U.S. citizen or green-card holder with an SSN. Thus in families where even one member files using an ITIN, the entire family is rendered ineligible.”
Levin, Sam. “He lived in the US for 40 years. Then he became the first to die from Covid-19 in immigration jail.” The Guardian, May 12, 2020. Carlos Ernesto Escobar Mejia, who came to the U.S. from El Salvador fleeing the war four decades ago, died from Covid-19 in immigration custody. Advocates say that a long history of substandard conditions, overcrowding and unsanitary practices and the government’s refusal to release many detainees at particular risk of developing Covid-19 complications, has led to the crisis. Otay Mesa, a private prison company where Mejia was held, had 144 cases among its roughly 630 detainees.
Narea, Nicole. “Trump is continuing deportations during the pandemic. It's causing the coronavirus to spread.” Vox, May 12, 2020. The U.S. has suspended most of its immigration processes but has continued to charter deportation flights. Some deportees have carried COVID-19 to Central America and the Carribean where health care systems are already fragile and testing capacity is lacking. “In Guatemala, these deportees account for roughly 19 percent of the country’s total coronavirus cases.”
Gamboa, Suzanne. “U.S. Citizens with Immigrant Spouses Sue to Get Coronavirus Checks They Were Denied.” NBC News, May 12, 2020. Undocumented immigrants and their families have been shut out of coronavirus relief money, which can only go to people who have a Social Security number and not those who pay taxes with an ITIN used by many unauthorized immigrants and anyone in their households. Reporting on an Illinois class-action lawsuit and a separate lawsuit by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund that argues that the provision punishes U.S. citizens and deprives them of fundamental constitutional rights.
“The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Immigrants and Refugees in Louisiana and Mississippi.” Center for Migration Studies, May 13, 2020. Webinar featuring immigrant community leaders and service providers who discuss the economic, educational, health, and safety consequences of the pandemic for vulnerable immigrants and newly resettled refugees in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and Central Mississippi. With Alulema, Daniela, MariLo Martinez-Rivera, Kimberly Mukerjee, Julie Norman, Dauda Sesay, Monica Soto, and Sue Weishar. (Webinar)
Miroff, Nick. “Under Trump border rules, U.S. has granted refuge to just two people since late March, records show.” Washington Post, May 13, 2020. The Post reports that “since March 21 just two people seeking humanitarian protection at the southern border have been allowed to stay, according to unpublished U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services data obtained by The Washington Post … Citing the threat to public health from the coronavirus, the Trump administration has suspended most due-process rights for migrants, including children and asylum seekers, while 'expelling' more than 20,000 unauthorized border-crossers to Mexico under a provision of U.S. code known as Title 42.” (Video reporting of U.S. deportees going through ‘disinfection tunnel’ ordered by the Mexican government)
Shear, Michael D and Zolan Kanno-Youngs. “Trump Administration Plans to Extend Virus Border Restrictions Indefinitely.” New York Times, May 13, 2020. The Trump administration plans to extend its coronavirus border restrictions indefinitely, the Times reports. The move would advance the use of broad public health justifications to “effectively seal the US to migrants seeking protection from persecution.”
Nowrasteh, Alex, David J Bier, Daniel Griswold, Stuart Anderson, Michael Clemens, Michelangelo Landgrave, Jack Graham, et al. “12 New Immigration Ideas for the 21st Century.” Cato Institute, May 13, 2020. The authors argue that previously failed comprehensive immigration reforms all centered around three issues: legalization of undocumented immigrants in the U.S.; border enforcement; liberalization of legal immigration and work visa programs for lower-skilled workers, the authors argue. Policy analysts, economists, political scientists and others have offered 12 new immigation ideas. (Report)
Shear, Michael. D, and Zolan Kanno-Youngs, “Trump Administration Plans to Extend Virus Border Restrictions Indefinitely.” The New York Times, May 13, 2020. The Times reports that “orders that have effectively sealed the United States to migrants seeking protection from persecution would remain in place until a health official declared the virus no longer a threat.” On March 20, CDC imposed a 30-day restriction on all nonessential travel into the U.S. from Mexico and Canada and allowed the border authorities to return immigrants who crossed the borders illegally. The order was extended for another 30 days on April 20. A new order that will extend the restrictions indefinitely is under consideration. Immigration advocates accused Trump and Stephen Miller of using the public health laws to advance their restrictive immigration agenda.
Ainsley, Julia, and Laura Strickler. “Trump administration weighs suspending program for foreign students, prompting backlash from business, tech.” NBC News, May 15, 2020. Among the DHS’s recommendations was to suspend the program for foreign students to stay in the U.S. to obtain one or two years of occupational training (OPT). University and business communities are fighting back. The new guideline is expected to be announced in an executive order this month. Critics say that Stephen Miller and other anti-immigration hawks are using the pandemic to decrease all immigration.
Anderson, Stuart. “Report: Trump Policies Delay Citizenship For Immigrants Before Election.” Forbes, May 16, 2020. According to a report, with USCIS’s suspension of interviews and oath ceremonies during the pandemic, more than 100,000 would-be Americans have been left in limbo. Given the solutions such video conferencing are obvious, the USCIS’s inactions raise questions about the Trump aims at slowing down the pace of immigration before the 2020 election.
Ring, Wilson. “Virus rules tighten illegal immigration on northern border.” ABC News, May 16, 2020. The Trump administration has suspended immigration laws on public health grounds, authorizing border officials to rapidly expel those who cross the borders without papers or seeking asylum. The Canadian government also implemented its own borders restrictions after the pandemic which allow its border officials to return the asylum seekers to the U.S.
Jordan, Miriam. “Immigration Agency That Issues Visas, Green Cards Struggles to Stay Afloat.” New York Times, May 17, 2020. Due to the drop in applications for green cards, citizenship and other programs during the pandemic, USCIS could run out of money by the summer and asked for $1.2 billion from Congress. The agency is planning to put a 10 percent surcharge on applications. Critics blamed Trump’s stringent policies which have led to backlogs, red tape, and application denials and said the agency was ill-prepared for the economic shock from the pandemic.
O’Toole, Molly. “Under Trump policy, U.S. plays custody keep-away with migrant children,” Los Angeles Times, May 18, 2020. The LA Times reports, “Under the cover of the coronavirus, Trump officials are targeting unaccompanied migrant minors for deportation even as lawyers fight to force their release to relatives in the U.S. who’ve applied to sponsor them.”
Kriel, Lomi, “The Trump Administration Is Rushing Deportations of Migrant Children During Coronavirus,” ProPublica, May 18, 2020. While the pandemic draws the attention of most Americans, “the U.S. government has aggressively begun to rush the deportations of some of the most vulnerable migrant children in its care to countries where they have been raped, beaten or had a parent killed, according to attorneys, court filings and congressional staff,” reports ProPublica.
Johnson, Jenna. “Joe Biden fights skepticism with a simple immigration message: I’m not Trump or Obama.” Washington Post, May 19, 2020. Biden told a Spanish-language radio broadcaster that he would introduce comprehensive immigration proposals on his first day as president. At a previous private occasion, Biden also distanced himself from Obama’s policy that deported more than 3 million undocumented immigrants.
Kopan, Tal. “Immigration courts in 'chaos,' with coronavirus effects to last years.” San Francisco Chronicle, May 19, 2020. Thousands of immigration and asylum cases are in limbo with court hearings being canceled and postponed. Meanwhile, the Justice Department is requiring judges to work on cases of immigrants who are being detained while asylum seekers who are not in detention and waiting to gain their permanent asylum status have to continue to wait indefinitely.
Saxon, Shani. “California Is First State to Offer Pandemic Financial Assistance to Immigrants of Undocumented Status.” Colorlines, May 19, 2020. California governor Gavin Newsom launched the $125 million relief fund to support people whose citizenship status makes them ineligible for federal stimulus payments.
“Trump Administration Will Continue to Block Most Asylum Seekers Until End of Pandemic.” ImmigrationProf Blog, May 20, 2020. CDC issued an order that prohibits individuals from a country where there is an outbreak of COVID-19 from entering the U.S. It also prohibits any asylum seekers from entering the U.S. through any ports of entry or Border Patrol stations along U.S. borders with Mexico and Canada. Earlier on March 20, CDC issued an order authorizing the summary expulsion of undocumented noncitizens arriving at the border. (blog)
“USCIS Financial Crisis Means a Crisis for Immigrants Seeking Benefits.” ImmigrationProf Blog, May 20, 2020. The USCIS is losing its revenue funded by user-fees, which decreases the agency’s capacity to process visas, green cards, DACA, work permits, and other applications related to immigration. A USCIS officer is quoted saying, “Agency leadership blaming this on the pandemic instead of horrible mismanagement and misguided policy priorities is insulting. The goal of the administration since the start has been to reduce all immigration, not just illegal. This is just furthering that goal along: reducing legal immigration.” (Blog)
Hernández, David, Beatriz Marquez Aldana, Isabel Anadon, John Eason. “The Hotspots in Hiding: COVID-19 and Immigrant Detention.” Medium, May 20, 2020. Three scholars argue that “the combination of immigrant detention and COVID-19 is a travesty happening in real time, expanding rapidly, and resembling the situation in prisons and jails nationwide as well as in African American and Latina/o/x communities.” They call for immediate release for safety and for humanitarian reasons. (Opinion)
Hinojosa, Maria. “The Moving Border: Part One, The North.” NPR: Latino USA, May 20, 2020. Latino USA focuses on the collaboration between Mexico and the U.S. to push asylum seekers further south and investigates “the increasing pressure put on refugees seeking safety in the United States via its southern border... [and] the surprising support the Trump administration has received from a Mexican administration that once publicly spoke out against Trump’s rhetoric.” (Podcast)
Hackman, Michelle, Alejandro Lazo, and Alicia A. Caldwell. “Trump Administration Changes Rules for Migrant Children During Pandemic.” Wall Street Journal, May 22, 2020. The Wall Street Journal reports that “more children are being deported faster, and jailed parents are given the option to separate from kids, fulfilling long-held goals of government.”
Rose, Joel. “Immigration To The US Comes To A Standstill During The Pandemic.” NPR, May 22, 2020. The podcast episode discusses the plummeted citizenship and green card applications and the White House’s further cuts to work visas. (Podcast)
Hackman, Michelle, Alejandro Lazo, and Alicia A. Caldwell. “Trump Administration Changes Rules for Migrant Children During Pandemic.” Wall Street Journal, May 22, 2020. The Trump administration has returned more than 900 minors to their home countries under new restrictions during the pandemic.
Miller, Greg, Josh Dawsey, Aaron C. Davis. “One final viral infusion: Trump’s move to block travel from Europe triggered chaos and a surge of passengers from the outbreak’s center.” Washington Post, May 23, 2020. Trump’s restriction of travels from Europe unleashed chaos; many American passengers—unaware that they are exempted from the restriction—rushed back to the U.S. only to find crowds of people packed at chaotic airports with failed screen measures, risking infections in tight spaces.
Semotiuk, Andy J. “EB5 Investor Immigration Program Escapes Trump's Ban While Supporters Advocate Its Expansion.” Forbes, May 24, 2020. Trump proclamation on April 22 that restricts immigration exempts the EB-5 investor immigration program. Tom Cotton wrote a letter to urge Trump to expand the proclamation to include the EB-5 investor program. Responding to Cotton’s letter, Invest in the USA, the national industry trade association for the EB-5 Regional Center Program, defended the program as “a proven job creation and retention tool.”
Freiman, Jordan. “Trump Imposes Travel Restrictions on Brazil in Response to Coronavirus.” CBS News, May 25, 2020. Trump imposed a new travel restriction on Brazil; foreigners will not be allowed entry to the U.S. if they have been in Brazil during the 14-days prior to their arrivals in the U.S. Previously, the White House has imposed similar travel restrictions on China in January, Iran in February, and Europe in March.
Al Jazeera. “Second man with COVID-19 dies in US immigration custody.” May 25, 2020. Santiago Baten-Oxlag, a Guatemalan immigrant held under ICE’s custody, died of COVID-19. He is the second known migrant after Carlos Ernesto Escobar Mejia, an immigrant from El Salvador, who died of COVID-19 less than a month ago in immigration custody.
Benton, Meghan. “The Rocky Road to a Mobile World after COVID-19.” Migration Policy Institute, May 2020. More than 200 countries have imposed restrictions on the incoming migrants and visitors, but their rationales differ greatly. This is a report on the challenges that different countries face in restarting mobility during the pandemic and in the post-COVID-19 future.
Narea, Nicole. “Trump reportedly wants to restrict visa programs for skilled workers.” Vox, May 25, 2020. Trump is considering barring the issuance of new visas for skilled foreign workers and ending the OPT program for foreign students. Republic lawmakers including Ted Cruz, Tom Cotton, and others are urging Trump to suspend these temporary visas for skilled workers and the OPT program for a year until the employment rate returns to normal. Trump also has a mixed and inconsistent record on high-skilled immigration.
Murzda, Kay. “Trump Is Using the Coronavirus Pandemic as an Excuse to Permanently Close the Borders.” American Immigration Council, May 26, 2020. Trump’s ban on asylum seekers at U.S. land borders was also expanded to include immigrants arriving at coastal ports. Based on an order from the CDC, the ban allows CBP to use an expedited process of “expulsion” to remove migrants from the U.S. Since March 21, the CBP has expelled over 20,000 people among which almost 1,000 were children.
Ewing, Walter. “5 Ways Trump’s Anti-Immigrant Agenda Gets in the Way of an Effective Coronavirus Response.” American Immigration Council, May 27, 2020. According to a new report by the American immigration Council, the pandemic has led to new barriers to legal immigration. Border patrol agents have started “expelling” individuals who arrive at the U.S.-Mexico border. USCIS suspended in-person services until at least June 4 and resisted to grant status extensions which would prevent foreign nationals losing legal status. Detained immigrants and staff working in detention facilities are vulnerable to the pandemic threat. Many immigrants are left out of the CARE Act.
Ainsley, Julia. “Lawsuit says Trump admin's COVID-19 immigration order separates families with older kids.” NBC News, May 28, 2020. A lawsuit against Trump’s proclamation on April 22 alleges that the visa ban in response to the pandemic unfairly puts children over 21 into a new non-prioritized category, where wait time for immigrant visas can take up to 76 years. (Video of NBC reporting on the story)
Sonnenfeld, Jeffrey. “COVID-19 can't be used as an excuse to limit skilled immigration.” Fortune, May 28, 2020. The White House and some U.S. lawmakers are using the excuse of COVID-19 to prevent the entry of talented workers and students. The restriction on H-1B visa and OPT programs would have an enormous impact on the tech and engineering fields. Business enterprise, higher education, and health care systems will also be gravely affected. Sonnenfeld argues, “Welcoming highly skilled and talented foreign students and workers is our best path to promoting employment of native-born Americans.” (Opinion)
Chishti, Muzaffar and Sarah Pierce. “The U.S. Stands Alone in Explicitly Basing Coronavirus-Linked Immigration Restrictions on Economic Grounds.” Migration Policy Institute, May 29, 2020. So far during the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. is the only country that justifies the immigration restriction on the protection of jobs and economic wellbeing of U.S. workers. “It was the first time in U.S. history that a labor market rationale was cited to suspend entry of immigrants otherwise qualified under immigration law.” Although overall green card insurance is unlikely to drop significantly, the rumored ban on nonimmigrant visas would have a significant impact.
White House. “Proclamation on the Suspension of Entry as Nonimmigrants of Certain Students and Researchers from the People’s Republic of China.” May 29, 2020. “The PRC authorities use some Chinese students, mostly post‑graduate students and postdoctoral researchers, to operate as non-traditional collectors of intellectual property. Thus, students or researchers from the PRC studying or researching beyond the undergraduate level who are or have been associated with the PLA are at high risk of being exploited or co-opted by the PRC authorities and provide particular cause for concern.” According to a New York Times report, at least 3,000 Chinese students holding F-1 and J-1 visas would be affected.
Redden, Elizabeth. “New Restrictions for Chinese Students with Military University Ties.” Inside Higher Ed, May 29, 2020. The Trump administration issued a proclamation on May 29 to cancel the visas of Chinese graduate students and researchers who have ties to Chinese universities with military links.
Adelman, Robert M. “Cities and Immigrants: The Local in Anti-Immigration Federal Policies.” City & Community 19, no. 2 (2020): 288–94. Looks at rustbelt cities in the U.S., including Buffalo NY; argues that federal-level anti-immigration policies suppress any positive impact refugee communities can have in mid sized cities: “immigration policies are, in the end, not only explicitly anti‐immigrant but implicitly anti‐urban in their consequences.”
Montoya-Galvez, Camilo. “As Trump pushes to reopen, U.S. continues expelling migrants at border, citing pandemic.” CBS News, June 1, 2020. CBS News reports, “As President Trump pushes for an end to restrictions aimed at containing the coronavirus, his administration continues to cite the pandemic to justify an unprecedented policy that has sealed the country's borders to most migrants, including some seeking refuge and unaccompanied children.”
Monyak, Suzanne. “ICE Tells Senate It Lacks Testing Policy For Deportations.” Law 360, June 2, 2020. This is a coverage of Henry Lucero, the executive associate director of ICE's removal and enforcement unit, before the Senate Judiciary Committee. He acknowledged “reports from Guatemala and other countries that the U.S. has deported individuals who tested positive for the disease after they arrived, but said that ICE never knowingly sent an ill immigrant abroad.”
Alvarez, Priscilla. “White House prepares new immigration limits, using coronavirus as cover.” CNN, June 9, 2020. CNN reports, “the Trump administration is preparing to roll out another set of restrictions on legal immigration, citing the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, even as it argues for the reopening of the US economy, according to sources familiar with the deliberations.”
Lind, Dara. “Advocates Sue Trump Administration over Mass Border Expulsions.” ProPublica, June 10, 2020. Reporting on the lawsuit to stop a 16-year-old boy from being summarily sent back to Honduras after he crossed into the U.S. last week to join his father. “It’s the first challenge to the Trump administration’s policy of mass expulsions of border-crossers, under which nearly 45,000 migrants—including 2,000 children—have been pushed out of the U.S.,” ProPublica reports.
Anderson, Stuart. “Trump Jobs Boast Undercuts New High-Skill Immigration Restrictions.” Forbes, June 11, 2020. Forbes reports that Trump’s optimistic remarks on the prospect of the U.S. economy and jobs contradict his administration’s legal and policy rationale for further immigration restriction such as the suspension of H-1B visa. (Opinion)
Ainsley, Julia. “New Trump admin proposal would make it harder for immigrants to claim asylum in US.” NBC News, June 11, 2020. NBC reports that “the Trump administration on Wednesday unveiled a proposal that would make it harder for immigrants to claim asylum in the U.S., even after the COVID-19 pandemic.” The new rule would allow immigration judges to deny asylum seekers a hearing if they find flaws in the application. (Video: Trump Admin used COVID-19 health crisis to defend recent surge in migrant child deportations)
Krogstad, Jens Manuel, Mark Hugo Lopez, and Jeffery S. Passel. “A majority of Americans say immigrants mostly fill jobs US citizens do not want.” Pew Research Center, June 11, 2020. According to the Pew Research Center survey conducted from April 29 to May 5, Amerians in general, with a majority across racial groups and political parties, agree that most immigrants regardless of legal status do not work in jobs that U.S. citizens want. (Report)
Rampell, Catherine. “Trump wasted so much money harassing immigrants that his immigration agency needs a bailout.” Washington Post, June 11, 2020. Rampell contends that while USCIS and immigration system in general have designed policy to exclude immigrants who might become a “public charge” and an economic burden for U.S. taxpayers, the USCIS itself has become a “public charge.” The agency’s financial crisis is an outcome of its drain on resources designed to make immigration applications harder since Trump came to power. (Opinion and video: Trump’s new rule framing legal immigrants as economic burdens doesn’t add up.)
Miroff, Nick. “Border arrests jumped 36 percent in May despite Trump emergency crackdown.” Washington Post, June 12, 2020. Despite the Trump administration’s emergency order to rapidly expel all border crossers during the pandemic, border apprehensions increased more than 35% from April to May.
Carranza, Rafael. “U.S. has turned away 41,000 migrants at southern border since pandemic restrictions began.” Arizona Republic, June 12, 2020. Arizona Republic reports that the U.S. government has turned away more than 41,000 migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border since late March, when the Trump administration implemented emergency orders to block asylum-seekers using the protection of U.S. public health as the justification.
Kanno-Youngs, Zolan and Maggie Haberman. “Trump Administration Moves to Solidify Restrictive Immigration Policies.” New York Times, June 12, 2020. The Times reports on a proposed rule that would raise the standard of proof for asylum seekers when coronavirus border restrictions are lifted. The rule would allow judges to dismiss claims deemed too weak without a court hearing and limit who is considered part of a “particular social group.” Critics warn that the proposal would cement restrictionist policies post-pandemic.
Dinan, Stephen. “Illegal immigration rose nearly 40% amid coronavirus reopenings.” Washington Times, June 13, 2020. There is a surge of human and drug smuggling to the southern border since America’s reopening.
Editorial Board. “Trump's Immigration Choice.” Wall Street Journal, June 16, 2020. The editorial board argues that the economic recovery needs foreign guest workers, yet Trump may ban them. (Video: Trump is beating Trump)
Rodriguez, Sabrina. “U.S.-Mexico border closure extended for another month but could stay shut much longer.” Politico, June 16, 2020. As border restrictions have been extended until July 21 and Trump blames Mexico for coronavirus deaths, Politico reports that both Mexican officials and U.S. lawmakers are concerned that border restrictions will continue through the fall.
Totenberg, Nina. “Supreme Court Rules For DREAMers, Against Trump.” NPR, June 18, 2020. The NPR reports that “the U.S. Supreme Court has blocked the administration's plan to dismantle an Obama-era program that has protected 700,000 so-called DREAMers from deportation.” (Video: How does it feel to be a Dreamer?)
Garcia, James E. “COVID-19 Cases Quadruple at Federal Migrant Detention Center in Arizona.” Latino Rebels, June 18, 2020. Latino Rebels reports that “the number of migrant detainees testing positive at a federal migrant detention center in Arizona has jumped more than 400 percent in the past five days, accounting for 50 percent of the growth in coronavirus cases among detained migrants nationwide.”
Alden, Edward. “Trump's Anti-Immigration Crusade Is About to Strike at the Heart of the US Economy.” Foreign Policy, June 18, 2020. Alden argues that Trump’s recent immigration restriction policies jeopardize the U.S. advantage of attracting best science and engineering talents, undermining its strength in the ongoing technological competition with China. (Opinion)
Hackman, Michelle. “How Trump Has Worked to Restrict Immigraton.” Wall Street Journal, June 19, 2020. Wall Street Journal reports that Trump “has sought to curb both legal and illegal immigration, a central theme of his administration.” The article offers a timeline of Trump’s immigration policy changes from January 2017 to the present.
Shaw, Adam. “Trump expected to sign executive order expanding immigration restrictions.” Fox News, June 20, 2020. Fox News reports that “President Trump is expected to sign an expansion of immigration restrictions in the coming days in response to the economic downturn from the coronavirus pandemic—an order that will reportedly suspend a number of guest worker programs.” (Video)
Slisco, Alia. “Fewer Americans Worried About Immigration, Terrorism in 2020 Than in 2019.” Newsweek, June 21, 2020. A new poll released by Hill-HarrisX shows that only 4% of U.S. voters regard immigration as the top issue in 2020, compared to 10% in 2019. 3% regard terrorism as the primary concern, as compared to 12% in 2019. Pandemic is 30%, economy is 14%, and race relations 12% rank as the most popular concerns in 2020. (Video)
O’Toole, Molly. “Trump to Announce New Visa Restrictions on Immigrant Workers but Exempt Agriculture, Food Service, Health.” Los Angeles Times, June 22, 2020. The LA Times reports that “Trump announces new visa restrictions on immigrant workers but exempts agriculture, food service, health.”
“Proclamation Suspending Entry of Aliens Who Present a Risk to the U.S. Labor Market Following the Coronavirus Outbreak.” White House, June 22, 2020. This proclamation extended 60-day the block of immigrant visas in his April proclamation to the end of 2020. It also suspended issuance of non-immigrant visas including H-1B, H-2B, J, and L until December 31, 2020. (Document)
Hackman, Michelle. “Trump Order to Temporarily Suspend New H-1B, Other Visas.” Wall Street Journal, June 22, 2020. Wall Street Journal reports that “Trump Moves to Temporarily Suspend New H-1B, Other Visas Amid Covid-19 Pandemic. Tech-industry officials warn the decision would cramp companies’ ability to recruit top talent to the U.S.” (Video: Coronavirus Update: Tech Industry on Visa suspension)
Shear, Michael De., and Miriam Jordan. “Trump Suspends Visas Allowing Hundreds of Thousands of Foreigners to Work in the U.S.” New York Times, June 22, 2020. The president issued a new sweeping immigration order temporarily suspending new work visas and barring hundreds of thousands of foreigners from seeing employment of the US. The "move is fiercely opposed by business leaders, who say it will block their ability to recruit critically needed workers from countries overseas,” reports the Times.
Miroff, Nick, and Tony Romm. “Trump, citing pandemic, orders limits on foreign workers, extends immigration restrictions through December.” Washington Post, June 22, 2020. The Post reports that “President Trump issued a proclamation Monday barring many categories of foreign workers and curbing immigration visas through the end of the year, moves the White House said will protect U.S. workers reeling from job losses amid the coronavirus pandemic.” (Video: How one visa program keeps America fed)
Alvarez, Priscilla. “Trump extends limits on some work visas through 2020.” CNN, June 23, 2020. Trump’s new executive order is “part of a concerted effort to roll back the visas available to people overseas as a result of high unemployment in the US resulting from the coronavirus pandemic, a senior administration official told reporters Monday.”
Schacher, Yael and Rachel Schmidtke. “Harmful Returns: The Compounded Vulnerabilities of Returned Guatemalans in the Time of COVID-19.” Refugees International, June 23, 2020. This report examines the harmful effects of the deportations and return of Guatemalans in the U.S. to Guatemala amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Visas and the Fury.” New York Times, June 23, 2020. Business leaders speak out against Trump’s executive order that suspends work visas throughout 2020, especially in the tech sector, which takes up “about three-quarters of all H-1B visas.”
Miroff, Nick. “Trump’s new restrictions on foreign workers, explained.” Washington Post, June 23, 2020. The Post reports that “the administration defended its moves as an effort to help U.S. workers facing the worst unemployment crisis since the 1930s. But the moves also use executive powers to impose the kind of immigration restrictions that Trump adviser Stephen Miller and other hard-liners have been promoting for years.”
Dellon, Leslie. “The Trump Administration Expands Legal Immigration Ban, Using COVID-19 Pandemic as Excuse.” Immigration Impact, June 23, 2020. The ban is not pro-job but anti-legal immigration. (Opinion)
Shead, Sam. “Google, Apple, Amazon and Tesla slam Trump's immigration crackdown.” CNBC, June 23, 2020. Leaders from tech corporations that rely on skilled guest workers lamented Trump’s new executive order. (Video: Trump administration to pause several visa categories through 2020).
Schultz, Marisa. “Federal immigration agency delays 13400 potential furloughs until August.” Fox News, June 23, 2020. Fox News reports that “the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) delayed the expected furloughs of more than 13,000 employees by at least two weeks as the federal agency seeks to secure $1.2 billion from Congress to stay afloat after the global coronavirus pandemic has dried up immigration revenue.” (Video: President Trump expected to sign an additional executive order on immigration)
Aleinikoff, Alex. “Tempest Tossed.” Tempest Tossed, June 23, 2020. This podcast series is described on its website as: “Conversations on immigration and refugees that go beyond the predictable soundbites.” The special series, Entry Denied: Immigration policy in the time of Trump, specifically looks deeper at how Trump administration’s immigration policies have been carried out and the reaction to these changes. (Audio)
Bier, David J. “Foreign Worker Visas Were Down 93% Before Trump’s Order.” CATO Institute, June 24, 2020. Trump claimed the new ban would preserve 525,000 jobs. Bier writes, “This number appears to come from the total number of visas issued in the affected categories last year divided in half since the ban will last about six months, but the fact is that since the State Department suspended visa processing at consulates in March, visas in these categories were already down 93 percent last month compared to the first quarter of FY 2020 before the order took effect.” (Charts)
Weise, Julie M. “Trump's latest immigration restriction exposes a key contradiction in policy.” Washington Post, June 24, 2020. Historian Julie M. Weise asks, “Why simultaneously accelerate immigration in agriculture while restricting it in other industries? … Because U.S. farmers have long found a way to access cheap, foreign-born labor in times of depression and prosperity, xenophobia and openness alike.” (Opinion)
Goulimis, Nicky. “Trump's H-1B visa and immigration ban will ruin the economy.” Fortune, June 24, 2020. Fortune reports, “This policy won’t simply make life harder for immigrants—it will have devastating consequences for the economy, robbing U.S. businesses of skilled, tech-savvy workers, hampering economic growth, and stifling job creation as we push through the coronavirus downturn.”
“The H-1B Visa Program A Primer on the Program and Its Impact on Jobs, Wages, and the Economy.” American Immigration Council, June 24, 2020. This is a fact sheet on the importance of the H-1B visa program for native-born American workers and dealing with national emergencies. The visa program’s importance also goes beyond Silicon Valley or tech-industry but across the nation. (Report)
Klar, Rebecca. “Immigration Agency to Furlough Nearly 70 Percent of Its Workforce.” The Hill, June 24, 2020. USCIS might have to furlough 70 percent—about 13,400 people—of its employees as the new immigration application numbers drop. The Hill reports that “the spokesperson said USCIS has seen a 50 percent drop in receipts and incoming fees since March, and estimates that application and petition receipts will drop by about 61 percent through the end of fiscal year 2020.” (Video)
Williams, Pete. “Supreme Court hands big win to Trump on expelling immigrants seeking asylum.” NBC News, June 25, 2020. The Supreme Court ruling of 7-2 vote allows the Trump administration to deport asylum seekers without additional court hearings. (Video: ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy weighs on asylum seekers ahead of Supreme Court decision)
Cheng, Yangyang. “This Land Is Not Your Land.” SupChina, June 25, 2020. Cheng, an immigrant scientist from China, responded to Trump’s “America First” policy and the recent visa ban in particular. Cheng warns against the trope of immigrant excellence and argues that migration is a human right and an immigrant’s value should not be measured by the logic of capitalism. (Opinion)
Johnson, Tory. “ICE AND CBP Agents Were Deployed at Black Lives Matter Protests.” Immigration Impact [American Immigration Council], June 25, 2020. Johnson reports that the Department of Homeland Security has sent immigration officers from Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement to cities where residents were protesting in the wake of the killing of George Floyd. Over 700 personnel to the Washington, D.C. area alone to provide “support” to other federal law enforcement bodies responding to protests in the city and near the White House.
Alvarez, Priscilla, “Trump administration's swipe at legal immigration puts thousands of lives in limbo,” CNN, June 25, 2020. CNN reports on how the Trump administration’s executive order impacted employment-based visa holders. (Video: "I've been told to 'go back to my own country'")
Narea, Nicole, “The Supreme Court could soon allow Trump's expansion of deportations to go unchecked.” Vox, June 25, 2020. Vox reports on Department of Homeland Security v. Thuraissigiam. For asylum seekers challenging fast-track deportation, there is not much option left, because “in a 7-2 decision, the justices found Thursday that newly arrived immigrants don’t have the right to challenge their expedited removal in federal court.”
Carafano, James Jay. “James Carafano: Trump's immigration wins — despite opposition, here's how he produced real results.” Fox News, June 25, 2020. Carafano argues that “President Trump has broken through the traffic jam blocking immigration and border security reform — and produced tangible, constructive results.” (Opinion and video: Trump to sign executive order suspending some foreign work visas amid COVID-19 economic downturn)
Miano, John. “Trump Takes Steps to Protect American Workers.” Center for Immigration Studies, June 26, 2020. Miano argues that H-1B visa workers replace Americans in the job market and the conglomerates, who want to drive down wages, blame President Trump for being “racist” for shutting down immigration. (Opinion)
Bosque, Melissa del and Isabel Macdonald. “Exporting the Virus: How Trump’s Deportation Flights Are Putting Latin America and the Caribbean at Risk.” The Intercept, June 26, 2020. A report revealing how the U.S. has sent more than 350 deportation flights to Latin America and the Caribbean since February, resulting in devastating public health risks in the region.
Wagner, Caroline S. “The Trump Administration Is Curtailing Visas for Chinese Scientists. That Could Backfire.” Washington Post, June 26, 2020. Both Trump’s ban on work visas and restriction of Chinese researchers and graduate students’ entry could damage U.S. science and innovation.
Stevis-Gridneff, Matina. “E.U. Plans to Bar Most U.S. Travelers When Bloc Reopens.” New York Times, June 26, 2020. The Times reports that “European Union is ready to bar most travelers from the United States, Russia, and dozens of other countries considered too risky because they have not controlled the coronavirus outbreak.”
Bier, David J and Alex Nowrasteh. “Trump Shouldn't Ban Migrants Who Create Jobs for Americans.” CATO Institute, June 26, 2020. Regarding the plan to stop issuing work visas to most temporary migrants, Bier and Nowrateh comment that “a sharp recovery requires that employers be able to follow through on their hires and get back to normal as soon as possible. By targeting their foreign employees, Trump is undermining, not aiding, the recovery.” (Opinion)
Romo, Vanessa. “Judge Orders ICE To Free Detained Immigrant Children Because Of COVID-19.” NPR, June 26, 2020. District Judge Dolly Gee of California noted that “although progress has been made, the Court is not surprised that [COVID-19] has arrived at both the [Family Residential Centers] and [Office of Refugee Resettlement] facilities, as health professionals have warned all along” and ordered ICE to release all children in its custody for more than 20 days by July 17, 2020. (Audio)
Hackman, Michelle. “As Pandemic Keeps Borders Shut, Closed Consulates Are Biggest Barrier for Many.” Wall Street Journal, June 27, 2020. The Journal reports how international travel has become next to impossible due to consulate closures.
Somin, Ilya. “The Danger of America’s Coronavirus Immigration Bans.” The Atlantic, June 28, 2020. Somin offers a conservative response to the Trump administration's immigration restriction efforts: "The official justifications for these policies are the prevention of the spread of the coronavirus pandemic and the protection of American workers from wage competition. Neither rationale can justify such a sweeping restriction on immigration. ...It makes a mockery of conservative jurists’ insistence that there are constitutional limits to the amount of authority Congress can delegate to the executive." (Opinion)
O’Toole, Molly. “Trump policy and coronavirus leave agency bankrupt, tens of thousands of potential voters in limbo.” Los Angeles Times, June 28, 2020. The closure of USCIS’s in-person ceremonies in March 2020 impacted 110,000 green card holders whose citizenship application was approved; as of June the backlog is down to 65,000, but might face another increase due to pandemic-related furlough and budget cut as “USCIS is a fee-based agency—by law, nearly all its funds come from the programs it administers.”
Zakaria, Fareed. “Last Look: US Tech Needs Immigrants.” CNN, June 28, 2020. Fareed argues that forcing tech companies to replace H-1B visa workers with Americans will hinder the recovery of U.S. economy, as the companies move to where the talent is. (Video)
Duttagupta, Ishani. “Trump’s H1-B order makes it impossible for many Indians to return to their lives in the US.” The Economic Times, June 29, 2020. Trump’s suspension of work visas, such as H-1B and H4, has led to family separation and fear of losing jobs among immigrants.
Brandom, Russell. “The Human Cost of Trump’s Guest Worker Ban.” The Verge, June 29, 2020. The article focuses on first-hand experiences of four immigrants who have been affected by the visa ban.
Peters, Margaret, “Trump wants to limit immigration to protect jobs. Will that work?” Washington Post, June 29, 2020. Rather than protecting jobs, Trump’s executive order on June 22 to cut visas will harm job opportunities for American workers.
Wu, Yung. “Commentary: America, You’re Making a Big Mistake on Immigration. And Canada Thanks You.” Fortune, June 30, 2020. Wu focuses mostly on the merits of highly skilled immigrants and their contribution to the economy and Canada’s immigration policies such as Global Talent Stream, which is still in place despite the global pandemic. (Opinion and video: Trump halts visas for foreign worker through 2020)
Aleaziz, Hamed. “The Immigration System Is Set To Come To A Near Halt, And No One Is Paying Attention.” BuzzFeed News, June 30, 2020. BuzzFeed News quotes former DHS and USCIS officials, who believe agency furloughs will stop immigration system with drastic increase in wait time, and notes that “of the 2,200 staffers in the division that runs the refugee and asylum work, 1,500 received furlough notices.”
Stevis-Gridneff, Matina. “E.U. Formalizes Reopening, Barring Travelers From U.S.” New York Times, June 30, 2020. While the EU is asking its 27 member nations to reopen their borders to non-EU member travellers based on country of residence, the U.S. is not yet on the safelist. Considering that the U.S. was the first country to ban travellers from Europe, many businesses and families on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean have been negatively impacted.
de la Hoz, Felipe. “The Shadow Court Cementing Trump’s Immigration Policy.” The Nation, June 30, 2020. The Nation reports that “the Board of Immigration Appeals, once an impartial appellate court, has become a new front in the Trump administration’s war against migrants.” The article outlines BIA’s 80-year institutional history and notes how the institution’s status as part of the executive branch under DOJ allowed the Trump administration to exploit its powers and change BIA into a restrictionist institution.
Sirohi, Seema. “View: Trump’s H-1B Visa Suspension May Have More to It than Meets the Eye.” The Economic Times, July 1, 2020. The visa suspension is part of Trump’s strategy of exploiting fear and anxiety to improve his chances for re-election, but the execution of the order has severe regulatory issues. Sirohi also notes that while U.S. immigration needs comprehensive reform, the possibility seems distant due to partisan divide. (Opinion)
Miroff, Nick. “New Trump immigration policy would disqualify asylum for people from countries with spreading disease.” Washington Post, July 1, 2020. The Post reports that “the Trump administration is preparing broad new immigration restrictions that would deny humanitarian refuge to anyone from a country with a disease outbreak, deeming those asylum seekers to be a danger to public safety.”
Miroff, Nick. “The US immigration agency needs a $1.2 billion bailout, and negotiations have put Democrats in a bind.” Washington Post, July 1, 2020. The Post reports that “the federal agency that runs the U.S. immigration system is preparing to furlough 13,400 employees unless Congress provides a $1.2 billion bailout by August, a looming crisis that could further slow green card renewals, citizenship processing and ripple through the U.S. economy.”
Younis, Mohamed. “Americans Want More, Not Less, Immigration for First Time.” Gallup, July 1, 2020. New poll shows that “support for increased immigration is at historic highs this year among both Democrats and political independents. Republicans' views on increasing immigration have not changed much over the past decade.”
Kanno-Youngs, Zolan and Emily Cochrane. “Immigration Officers Face Furloughs as Visa Applications Plunge.” New York Times, July 4, 2020. The Times reports that “nearly 70 percent of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services employees will be furloughed because the immigration processing fees that fund the agency have plummeted.”
Currier, Cora. “As Coronavirus Surges in ICE Detention, A Message in the Skies Says, RELEASE.” The Intercept, July 4, 2020. Performance artists use skywriting to protest immigration policies.
Editorial Board. “Trump brings Atlantic City-style bankruptcy to America's immigration agency.” Washington Post, July 6, 2020. The Post’s editorial board argued that under the Trump administration, USCIS has “become a model of dysfunction,” forcing the agency overseeing legal immigration to plan for massive furloughs and beg Congress for a bailout.
Alvarez, Priscilla, and Catherine E. Shoichet. “International students may need to leave US if their universities transition to online-only learning.” CNN, July 6, 2020. CNN reports that international students “will have to leave the country or risk deportation if their universities switch to online-only courses, Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced Monday.”
Svrluga, Susan. “International students must take classes in person to stay in the country legally this fall, ICE announces.” Washington Post, July 6, 2020. According to the new ICE rule, the State Department will not issue new visas to international students whose schools and/or programs move fully online and students in the U.S. must leave the country or switch schools if their courses move online in the fall spring. The new rule has left many university officials scrambling to adapt to the unexpected changes.
Alvarez, Priscilla. “Federal appeals court blocks Trump administration rule limiting asylum claims by Central American migrants." CNN, July 6, 2020. A federal appeals court has blocked a Trump admin rule that dramatically limits the ability of Central American migrants to claim asylum in the U.S.—the second court move against the rule in less than a week.
“SEVP modifies temporary exemptions for nonimmigrant students taking online courses during fall 2020 semester.” U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. July 6, 2020. The ICE rule regarding nonimmigrant international students whose schools and/or programs will move fully online in the coming fall semester. Students falling in this category have to either leave the country or change to a school that is not fully operated online in the fall semester. (Document)
McGill, Keven. “Immigrant advocates say US policy change endangers workers.” Minneapolis Star Tribune, July 7, 2020. The Star Tribune reports about a federal lawsuit in which immigrant advocates in New Orleans claim that “federal rule changes made last year by the U.S. Department of Labor will make foreign workers fearful of reporting workplace abuses or human trafficking for fear of being deported.”
Editorial Board. “Trump uses the coronavirus to impede immigration. His aim at foreign students is a new low.” Washington Post, July 7, 2020. The editorial board argues that Trump made it “a personal and political crusade to ride the nation, to the extent possible, of foreigners.” U.S. universities and Americans are the ones that will pay the price. (Opinion)
Alvarez, Priscilla. “Trump administration proposes blocking asylum seekers on public health grounds.” CNN, July 8, 2020. CNN reports, “The Trump administration unveiled a new regulation...that would bar asylum seekers coming from countries with disease outbreaks, marking the latest push that would make it more difficult for migrants to seek refuge in the United States.” "The Departments seek to mitigate the risk of a deadly communicable disease being brought to the United States, or being further spread within the country," the text of the rule reads.
Lee, Erika. “Americans are the Dangerous Disease-Carrying Foreigners Now.” Washington Post, July 8, 2020. Perspective on how the U.S.’s history of blaming foreigners for bringing disease into the U.S. has left the country unprepared to face the reality that Americans are the dangerous disease-carriers now. Meanwhile, xenophobia continues to drive U.S. immigration policy while the virus spreads within U.S. borders. (Opinion and video: Trump vs. the Coronavirus)
Shoichet, Catherine E., and Priscilla Alvarez. “How Trump is using the pandemic to crack down on immigration.” CNN, July 8, 2020. CNN reports that the Trump administration has been swift and sweeping in changing the U.S. immigration system. The latest changes are the new proposal to bar asylum-seekers on public health grounds and the ICE rule threatening to deport international students if their courses move online.
Dwyer, Colin. “Harvard, MIT Sue Immigration Officials Over Rule Blocking Some International Students.” NPR, July 8, 2020. Harvard and MIT sued the federal government to have the ICE policy on international reversed, calling the directive “arbitrary and capricious.”
Pearl, Julie. “Trump's attacks on legal immigration show just how desperately the US needs to change our system.” Business Insider, July 8, 2020. Julie Pearl, CEO of Pearl Law Group, one of the nation’s largest immigration firms, discusses the harm to U.S. jobs and economy that Trump’s recent ban on work visas has brought, and makes a few suggestions on immigration reforms including connecting the visa to the applicant’s education and the employer’s creation of American jobs. (Opinion)
Miroff, Nick. “Arrests along Mexico border jumped 40 percent last month, defying Trump administration’s immigration crackdown.” Washington Post, July 9, 2020. The Post reports that “the number of migrants detained along the Mexico border jumped 40 percent in June, defying a Trump administration emergency crackdown that has cited the coronavirus pandemic to swiftly ‘expel’ those who cross illegally, according to enforcement statistics released Thursday by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.”
Specia, Megan, and Maria Abi-Habib. “‘Maybe I Shouldn’t Have Come’: U.S. Visa Changes Leave Students in Limbo.” New York Times, July 9, 2020. The new ICE rule on F-1 international students would affect around one million students. Many universities see the directive as an attempt to force schools to reopen instead of offering courses online. Harvard and MIT have sued the White House to block the directive.
Alvarez, Priscilla, and Catherine E. Schoichet. “The last 4 months have brought an unprecedented crackdown on legal US immigration.” CNN, July 10, 2020. In the past four months, Trump has effectively shut down most avenues for legal immigration to the U.S. (Charts)
Kassie, Emily, and Barbara Marcolini. “‘It Was Like a Time Bomb’: How ICE Helped Spread the Coronavirus.” New York Times, July 10, 2020. This investigation by the Times and The Marshall Project reveals how Immigration and Customs Enforcement became a domestic and global spreader of the coronavirus through unsafe conditions and inconsistent testing—and how the Trump administration led countries to accept taking sick deportees. (Video)
Reuters Staff. “Trump's Planned Order on 'Dreamer' Immigrants Will Not Include Amnesty - White House.” Reuters, July 10, 2020. Reuters reports that “Trump’s planned executive order on immigration will not include amnesty for migrants who are in the United States illegally but arrived in the country as children.” The clarification came after Trump said in an TV interview that his planned order would include a path to citizenship for immigrants known as “Dreamers.”
Spagat, Elliot. “Border authorities use pandemic powers to expel immigrants.” ABC News, July 10, 2020. The AP reports about a Honduran family’s quest for asylum in the U.S. which shows how difficult it is to seek asylum during the pandemic. During this public health emergency, Customs and Border Protection has been allowed extraordinary power to expel asylum seekers immediately and waive immigration laws that include rights to seek asylum. (Video)
Metcalfe, Amy Scott. “ICE Rules Are an Attack on Immigration and Higher Education.” Inside Higher Ed, July 11, 2020. Metcalfe argues that Trump’s directive on international students should be seen as “highly visible, racist and politicized” on foreign nationals who use higher education as a gateway to immigration, and “policy malware against the entire higher education section.” (Opinion)
Parvini, Sarah. “Trump's visa ban splits these Indian families apart.” Los Angeles Times, July 11, 2020. This is a story about family separation due to Trump’s proclamation on June 22 that restricts visas being to foreign employees.
Garcia, Sam. “Congress's Inaction May Halt Immigration.” Wall Street Journal, July 13, 2020. Without the emergency funding from Congress, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services risks furloughing 70% of its staff which will further slow down the immigration process. (Video)
Cano, Regina Garcia, and Julie Watson. “Immigration courts reopen despite rising coronavirus cases.” ABC News, July 13, 2020. ABC News reports that “U.S. immigration courts are resuming hearings for non-detained immigrants despite a record rise in coronavirus cases in many of the states where they are reopening.”
Aleaziz, Hamed. “The Government's Own Experts Say Separating Immigrant Families During The Coronavirus Pandemic Will Add to Their Mental Trauma.” BuzzFeed News, July 14, 2020. In a letter to Congress, a group of doctors hired by the DHS opposed to any potential policy that would separate families. As they wrote, “we have a professional obligation to raise our grave concerns about DHS’s reattempt to separate children from their families in response to a federal court order to release the children when it is within ICE discretion to release the families intact.”
Kruzel, John. “Trump Administration Rescinds Foreign Students Rule.” The Hill, July 14, 2020. The Hill reports that “the Trump administration has agreed to rescind rules it issued last week governing whether international students can enroll at U.S. universities this fall, settling a lawsuit filed by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston federal court.” After 9 lawsuits filed, DHS backs down to "the status quo as established by the March 9, 2020 policy directive." (Video)
Montoya-Galvez, Camilo. “Third immigrant detained by ICE dies after contracting the coronavirus.” CBS News, July 15, 2020. Onoval Perez-Montufa, an immigrant from Mexico, died of COVID-19 in a south Florida hospital. This is the third known case of the death of an ICE detainee linked to COVID-19.
Kanno-Youngs, Zolan, “Asylum Officers Condemn What They Call ‘Draconian’ Plans by Trump,” New York Times, July 15, 2020. TheTimes reports that “a Trump administration plan to overhaul the asylum system would subject vulnerable families to danger and violate international law, officers who would carry out the policy said.”
Kuzmich, Holly. “Immigration reform belongs in Congress not executive orders by the president.” Houston Chronicle, July 15, 2020. Kuzmich looks at how DACA is being challenged by the current administration, and these divides keep DACA-related actions out of the Congress. (Opinion)
Alvarez, Priscilla, and Geneva Sands. “Judge Agrees to Extend Deadline for Releasing Children from Immigration Custody.” CNN, July 16, 2020. This is an article on what happened after Judge Dolly M. Gee, who oversees Flores Agreement, ruled in June to release migrant children from detention centers.
Douglas, Genevieve. “Revamped Suit Challenges Presidential Power to Bar Entry to US.” Bloomberg Law, July 17, 2020. Bloomberg Law reports that “a new class of plaintiffs claim President Donald Trump’s June 22 proclamation suspending U.S. entry by certain classes of visa holders is an attempt to ‘unilaterally rewrite the federal immigration laws’ and exceeds the scope of his statutory authority.”
Malagón, Elvia. “Naturalization backlog could keep many immigrants from voting in November.” Chicago Sun-Times, July 17, 2020. Chicago Sun-Times reports that “21,000-plus Chicago area immigrants have pending citizenship applications slowed by COVID-19 shutdowns” and “more than 700,000 people” nationwide. The huge backlog keeps many immigrants from voting this November.
Levine, Jon. “Trump planning executive order to exclude illegal immigrants from census.” New York Post, July 18, 2020. New York Post reports that “Trump is expected to sign an executive order that will officially forbid illegal immigrants from being included in the 2020 United States census.”
Colvin, Jill, and Astrid Galvan. “Trump Offers Confusion, Contradictions on Immigration Order.” AP News, July 20, 2020. The AP focuses on confusion over guidance over DACA bill, with clashing points within the Trump administration’s multiple announcements.
Glennon, Britta. “Why the Trump administration's anti-immigration policies are the United States' loss and the rest of the world's gain.” Brookings, July 20, 2020. Trump’s anti-immigration policies will motivate companies to move jobs out of the U.S. and entrepreneurial immigrants to start businesses outside the U.S.
Anderson, Stuart. “Trump Cuts Legal Immigrants By Half And He’s Not Done Yet.” Forbes, July 21, 2020. Focuses on the reduction in legal immigration negatively affecting U.S. economic growth by including projection charts: the continuation of immigration restriction will “most harms refugees, employers and Americans who want to live with their spouses, parents or children, but it also affects the country’s future labor force and economic growth.” (Opinion and charts)
Clark, Dartunorro. “Trump Signs Memo to Omit Undocumented Immigrants from Census Apportionment Count.” NBC News, July 22, 2020. NBC reports that “The Supreme Court blocked the administration's attempt to include a citizenship question on the census questionnaire.” (Video)
Wilkinson, Francis. “Trump’s Immigration Strategy Is a Casualty of Covid-19.” Bloomberg, July 22, 2020. A new poll commissioned by the Center for American Progress Action Fund suggests that Americans are rejecting the divisive, anti-immigrant actions of the Trump administration during the COVID-19 pandemic in favor of more progressive immigration policies. For the actual poll, see Center for American Progress Action Fund, “Winning the Immigration Debate During COVID-19.” (Opinion and key findings from a national survey conducted June 30 to July 5, 2020)
Anderson, Stuart. “H-1B Visa Lawsuit: Trump Takes Sledgehammer To Immigration Law.” Forbes, July 22, 2020. Anderson quotes the problems caused by Trump’s immigration ban to the business sector and also notes the money each visa category brings in. He also focuses on the legal aspects of presidential power and the Immigration and Nationality Act. (Opinion)
Donohue, Thomas. “Why the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Is Suing the Trump Administration.” New York Times, July 23, 2020. Chief executive officer of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce argues that Trump’s suspension of work visa on June 22 and the commitment to cancelling DACA are the most restrictionist immigration policies in nearly a century. These policies not only hurt the U.S. economy but exceed the White House’s authority on immigration laws. A coalition of trade associations and businesses filed a joint lawsuit against the implementation of the non-immigration visa ban. (Opinion)
Redden, Elizabeth. “New International Students Told to Stay Home.” Inside Higher Ed, July 23, 2020. Although ICE reversed the visa restriction that would require international students to take at least some in-person coursework in order to stay in the U.S., it did not offer relief to new international students. ICE FAQs direct new international students who are not in the U.S. to stay in their home country. Harvard and USC told its incoming international students to not to travel to the U.S.
Seidman, Lila. “How Trump’s coronavirus immigration orders affect visas and green cards,” Los Angeles Times, July 23, 2020. LA Times reports on the confusion created over President Trump announcing that he would “temporarily suspend immigration in the United States” among the immigrants.
Dickerson, Caitlin. “A Rare Look Inside Trump’s Immigration Crackdown Draws Legal Threats.” New York Times, July 23, 2020. The Times reports on the documentary on ICE and immigration detention facilities behind the scenes.
“ICE Continues March Guidance for Fall School Term.” U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, July 24, 2020. ICE announced that international students who are newly enrolling will not be allowed to enter the country if their universities are fully online this fall.
Sands, Geneva. “Immigration Agency Pushes Back 13,000 Furloughs until the End of August.” CNN, July 24, 2020. The federal agency responsible for legal immigration processing, pushed back a planned furlough date for more than half of its workforce until August 31.
Salama, Jordan. “The Great Au Pair Rush.” New York Times, July 25, 2020. With visa restrictions preventing the arrival of new au pairs into the U.S., those already in the country experienced a dramatic power dynamic in their work and living options.
Holland, Steve, and Mica Rosenberg. “With Election Looming, Trump Hardens Stance against ‘Dreamer’ Immigrant Program.” Reuters, July 28, 2020. New DACA applications have not been accepted since 2017, but “will extend the eligibility by a year for those DACA immigrants whose protection from deportation was due to expire, as long as they do not have a criminal record.” United We Dream, an advocacy organization, notes that this is “outrageous [for] absolutely refusing to do what the Supreme Court ruled, which was to return the program to its original 2012 state.” It includes a video on how the Trump administration is taking steps to limit DACA. (Video)
Chishti, Muzaffar, Sarah Pierce, and Kira Olsen-Media. “Impending USCIS Furloughs Will Contribute to a Historic Drop in U.S. Immigration Levels.” Migration Policy Institute, July 28, 2020. MPI researchers explain how the Trump administration’s plan to defund USCIS, which processes the paperwork for legal immigrants, would dramatically reduce legal immigration. (Report with charts)
Yale-Loehr, Stephen, and Mackenzie Eason. “Skilled Immigration Is Just What We Need to Recover Our Economy.” The Hill, July 28, 2020. Based on their previous proposal, Yale-Loehr and Eason argue that a pilot program based on Canadian and Australian points system that adds additional skilled immigrants are needed to boost the U.S. economy. (Opinion)
Schacher, Yael. “A Primer on the Trump Administration’s Most Ambitious Effort to End Asylum.” Refugees International, July 29, 2020. This issue brief addresses some of the most regressive and harmful elements of the DHS and DOJ proposed rule of June 15, 2020, such as “Procedures for Asylum and Withholding of Removal” and “Credible Fear and Reasonable Fear Review”, that are in striking contrast to the intent of Congress in implementing U.S. obligations under the Refugee Convention and Protocol.
North, David. “A Different, Disturbing View of the H-1B Program.” Center for Immigration Studies, July 29, 2020. North believes that “the H-1B visa program is ... used to bring low-cost labor to the U.S. IT industry”. The whole process is “riddled with India-based fraud” through which Indian immigrants with few skills are hired and hold jobs that would have been available for U.S. citizens and green card holders. (Opinion)
Aleaziz, Hamed. “A Judge Blocked Trump’s ‘Public Charge’ Policy On Immigrants During The Pandemic.” BuzzFeed News, July 29, 2020. BuzzFeed reports that U.S. District Judge George Daniels “blocked the Trump administration from enforcing the public charge policy during the coronavirus pandemic. This policy allows the government to deny permanent residency to immigrants who officials believe are likely to use public benefits.”
Narea, Nicole. “A Federal Judge Blocked Trump’s Rule Creating a Wealth Test for Immigrants.” Vox, July 30, 2020. Vox reports that a federal judge in New York recently blocked the Trump administration from continuing to enforce the public charge rule, which has “created barriers to low-income immigrants seeking to enter the U.S.” and has had a “chilling effect on immigrants seeking testing and treatment for Covid-19.”
Montoya-Galvez, Camilo. “Judge Orders Trump to Halt Immigration Wealth Test during National Coronavirus Emergency.” CBS News, July 30, 2020. Looks at the background to the “public charge” rule since its implementation in February 2020 and notes Judge George Daniels blocked the State Department from “implementing its own version of the public charge rule.”
Pierce, Sarah, and Jessica Bolter. “Dismantling and Reconstructing the U.S. Immigration System: A Catalog of Changes under the Trump Presidency.” Migration Policy Institute, July 30, 2020. MPI examines the “rapid-fire pace of” immigration policy changes made under the Trump administration during the COVID-19 pandemic and the long-lasting effects this will have.
Welna, David. “Twin Rulings By Federal Judge Block ‘Public Charge’ Rules For Immigrants.” NPR, July 31, 2020. NPR reports that “Judge George Daniels of the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of New York says the national health emergency from the coronavirus pandemic provides grounds for granting the preliminary injunctions. In a decision that applies nationwide, the judge blocked further the implementation of a...widened...definition of a 'public charge.'”
Barros, Aline. “Increase in US Immigration Fees Announced.” Voice of America, July 31, 2020. VOA reports on the newly announced policy change: “The Trump administration...would dramatically increase U.S. immigration fees in multiple categories, including a first-ever fee for asylum applicants and an 80% increase for naturalization services” starting October 2, 2020.