A few weeks ago, President Trump put many restrictions upon immigration into the United States. These restrictions are expected to be expanded in the upcoming weeks.
Part of President Trump’s COVID-19 immigration policy has been the ramping up of deportation. The logic behind these recent policy decisions has been stated to be an effort to thwart the spread of the virus.
The problem with this logic, however, is that many of the individuals who were deported later tested positive for COVID-19. Most of the countries these individuals are being deported to have little in the way of social safety nets and also, poor quality healthcare systems.
Countries like Haiti, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and Jamaica, amongst others, are seeing large numbers of deported individuals from the United States sent over to their countries. In Guatemala, these deportees account for roughly 19 percent of the country’s total coronavirus cases, according to Vox.
“Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Haiti have very limited capacity for testing, surveillance, and treatment and a limited supply of medical equipment such as ventilators,” Sergio Martín, general coordinator for the nonprofit Doctors Without Borders in Mexico, said in a statement. “A major outbreak of Covid-19 could be catastrophic.”
In turn, United States immigration policy has been responsible for exporting COVID-19 abroad.
In doing so, they are not only exporting COVID-19 but exporting it to those who –also due to U.S. immigration policy– cannot escape it. Asylum seekers are being denied, and are being denied in the long term.
With borders closed, asylum being denied, visas being denied, and hearings being postponed, the COVID crisis has had a large impact on the state of immigration. Immobility is the characteristic of this state for the time being.
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