Responding to reports that a new Trump administration policy is forcing undocumented migrant parents to choose between family separation and indefinite detention in crowded facilities riven with COVID-19, a group of faith, law enforcement and policy leaders called Thursday for an immediate end to this “binary choice.”
Since 2017, the government has built 194 miles of wall along the 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexico border, most of it replacing existing walls or fences. Three miles of wall have been constructed where none was before. The U.S. has plans to build 731 miles at a cost of $15 billion.
A plunge in immigration enforcement activity led a downward trend in cases referred to U.S. prosecutors by the five major federal law enforcement agencies from 4,500 in February to 1,800 at the end of March, according to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC).
The Trump administration extended a public-health order to reject migrants crossing U.S. borders without giving them access to the asylum system until the government determines coronavirus no longer poses a public danger.
The Department of Homeland Security, the nation’s third largest federal agency, has been so deeply compromised by White House politics and systematic violations of the Constitution that only a major restructuring will help it escape calls for abolition, says a bipartisan Washington, DC think tank.
A federal judge in Ohio ordered the release of eleven Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainees after finding that their imprisonment in a county jail was preventing them from recovering from COVID-19.
Border agencies say they must restrict asylum claims and border crossings during the pandemic to prevent the virus’ spread. Migrants’ advocates call that a pretext to dispense with federal protections for children.
Thousands of immigrants have been waiting for months in border cities in Mexico trying to get into the U.S. for asylum hearings under the Trump administration’s Remain in Mexico policy. U.S. officials, immigration attorneys and health care workers fear that people living in crowded shelters where families share beds may be a new hot spot for infections.
The strain on resources caused by the coronavirus and U.S. pressure to curb border-crossers are among the reasons why Mexico’s war against narcoviolence has made little headway. A new report issued by the International Crisis Group says massive corruption continues to allow the cartels to thrive.