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Immigration during COVID-19: uncharted territory

In a time where nothing is certain, immigrants are even more unsure than ever before. Before the corona virus outbreak, President Trump had been strict on immigration. Ever since the outbreak, asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border has ended, pushing many into Mexico or other countries.

During this pandemic, immigrants are not being represented. In the U.S. and other countries, people are at risk of not receiving critical care because of their immigration status, putting paperwork in front of basic human care.

What’s happening to asylum seekers?

Asylum seekers have been targeted even before the outbreak reached the U.S. In late March, President Trump closed the U.S.-Mexico border to asylum seekers. This opened the risk of being detained or deported. Immigration hearings have halted with promises of being postponed.

What’s happening to immigrant detainees?

Many immigrants in the U.S. are being refused treatment because of their immigration status and their lack of insurance. Immigrant detainees are at an even larger risk of contracting the virus because of the close quarters they live in. Recently, a detainee tested positive at the Bergen County Jail in New Jersey. This is happening in many centers all over the country because of the lack of care the facility practices.

With the World Health Organization encouraging everyone to practice social distancing and proper health precautions, many immigrants are not given that right in these centers. Silky Shah called every immigrant in this position a sitting duck because they are unable to do anything in their position.

COVID-19 is affecting everyone, but immigrants are being refused the proper care and, what should be, basic human rights. Everyone is begging for this pandemic to subside sooner rather than later. If it doesn’t, it will impact millions more.