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Can I Still Be Deported in the Midst of COVID-19?

Posted on in Immigration

Can I Still Be Deported in the Midst of COVID-19?Since COVID-19 hit the U.S. in early March, normal life in America has essentially been put on hold, at least in some aspects. Restaurants have adjusted their means of service, employees have been told to work remotely for the time being, and travel has been restricted and highly discouraged. Despite these societal implications, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is still in full action.

In order to address the high global contagion of COVID-19, the Trump administration has halted international students moving to the U.S. and enrolling in American universities in the coming school year. This is hardly the only area of immigration or international travel being affected in the U.S., and deportation is a harsh reality for many immigrants and foreigners seeking asylum in the U.S.

Coronavirus Outbreaks in Detention Centers

The novel coronavirus manifests through close contact and the transfer of respiratory droplets from coughing, sneezing, or talking. For this reason, Americans have been mandated to wear masks in public places or when around those who are outside of their immediate family. With some of the highest case numbers in the world, it is no surprise that U.S. immigration detention centers are seeing their fair share of outbreaks. Asylum seekers from a Texas detention center noted that detainees were not given masks or gloves and were kept in close quarters. As of June 1, over 1,406 detainees had tested positive for COVID-19 – this number now sits at 3,917 confirmed cases.

Despite the high number of cases, detainees continue to be deported to their home countries. ICE stated that Guatemalan migrants are being tested before being sent home, but a Homeland Security official said that this is only common practice if the receiving country is requiring tests to be conducted before the immigrant is sent home. Not only are the facilities’ close quarters concerning for those being detained, but those being deported also risk continuing the spread of COVID-19 to their home countries.

Contact a Houston Immigration Attorney

As a U.S. immigrant, you may be concerned about the validity of your visa and your ability to remain in the U.S. Being held by ICE is always a concerning possibility, but with the high risk of catching COVID-19, the fears about deportation are only further exacerbated. At The Foray Firm, we are committed to helping you and your family complete the proper documentation to obtain your Green Card or become a U.S. citizen. Our legal team is working tirelessly to keep immigrants safe and healthy during these tumultuous times. Contact our Katy immigration lawyers at 832-919-6400 to discuss your case – we speak English and Spanish to provide better assistance to our clients.

Sources:

https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/06/04/us-suspend-deportations-during-pandemic

https://www.ice.gov/coronavirus

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html 

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