Immigration in Pandemic Times Vol. 1, No.8

Using the pandemic as a cover, there have been increasing attempts by the Trump administration to limit immigration to the United States. Read more, below.

  • As of June 22, the USCIS has announced a change to try to stop undocumented immigrants from entering the US illegally. This new rule overlooks intent and instead prevents all undocumented immigrants who entered without legal status from obtaining employment permission when their asylum case is still pending. Moreover, this rule increases the amount of time an asylum applicant has to wait in order to obtain work authorization and includes additional grounds of deniability for work authorization. It also automatically ends any work authorization an immigrant may have the moment their asylum is denied and limits the authorization to only two years. The rule is effective as of August 25; full details can be found here.  
  • Despite USCIS calls for increased funding, its many requests have not been heard and as of June 24, the agency plans to furlough 13,400 out of its 20,000 staff members in August. USCIS stated that its revenue drop is due to the decreasing numbers of applicants, and consequently decreasing amounts of applicant fees that are used for the majority of the agency’s budget. A furlough could incapacitate the USCIS from resuming its activities in the future.

Image Credit: Yuri Samoilov

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