COVID-19 Pandemic Poses Huge Threat to Immigration System

COVID-19 Pandemic Poses Huge Threat to Immigration System

The outbreak of the novel coronavirus outbreak has adversely affected numerous countries including the United States. Travel and entry restrictions to stop the spread have impacted non-immigrant visa holders as well as certain immigrants. In addition, many airlines, rail and bus services have suspended routes into, out of, and transiting through affected areas.

According to Los Angeles Times, the COVID-19 outbreak is severely affecting immigration system. Immigrants here are at higher risks because many of them are working for essential businesses, working in restaurants and grocery stores, and making delivery. Still, many of them don’t have access to healthcare and certainly these people don’t have access to well insurance.

However, as per the advice of medical experts and health professional social distancing is observed to slow the spread of the virus. Unfortunately this present a serious challenge in immigration courts where many people are often packed in relatively compact spaces. Also there may present serious health risks over the conditions in immigration detention centers. Though the immigration judges and local staff are trying their best to disinfect spaces, and keep safe distance, still the task is quite challenging.

According to stat news, Los Angeles is a city of immigrants; 1 in 3 residents of the county is foreign-born and 1 in 5 is either undocumented or living with someone who is undocumented. Many of these immigrants are at increased risk of complications.

There are already backlogs in immigration cases and some are even not able to move forward. Amid lockdown, many of immigration courts have been closed, a significant number of hearings are postponed. There is lack of clear guidelines for this inevitable delay.

This entire dwindling situation demands a proper action plan from the Federal Government.

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