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The Chipping Away of U.S. Legal Immigration: May Edition

This article is part of our ongoing series tracking the many changes in immigration legislation.  You can access the full series here.

4/30: Federal judge orders ICE to release immigrant detainees from South Florida detention centers

5/1: Construction of Border Wall continues, bringing workers from across the country into border towns amid coronavirus outbreak.

5/3: The president’s chief advisor on immigration, Stephen Miller, has been planning on using a disease to ban immigration for several years; the coronavirus has made it easier to implement successfully. 

5/4: Administration preparing to reduce post-graduate optional year of work for international students

5/4: Hiring changes in the Department of Justice suggest preference for judges with record of denying asylum claims

5/4: Lawsuit from advocates and health experts demands release of 18 immigrants in Alabama

5/5: CARES Act Excludes U.S. Citizen Children of Undocumented Immigrants 

5/6: The first coronavirus death of a detainee in ICE detention happens in San Diego

5/6: The President is pushing to have sections of the border wall painted black, which could cost an estimated $500 million. 

5/7: Advocates submitted a complaint to DHS concerning lack of coronavirus protections for ICE detainees

5/10: In response to the fact that the U.S. has continued to deport immigrants during the coronavirus pandemic to countries ill-equipped to handle public health crises, a Haiti presidential panel requests halt of U.S. deportation of Haitians

5/12: Migrants headed for the U.S. southern border stop traveling; many return home during pandemic 

5/13: The U.S. has admitted only 2 people seeking asylum since March 21 

5/13: Journalist writes that current administration’s immigration policy is spreading coronavirus, not stopping it

5/13: “Remain in Mexico” camps continue operating, even though the border is closed. Those seeking asylum at the U.S./Mexico border are being sent back to Mexico in an average of 96 minutes.

5/14: A report from Boundless Immigration finds that the closures of USCIS services are preventing the naturalization of thousands of new citizens. USCIS stopped doing naturalization interviews and ceremonies on March 18. 

05/15: Guatemala bars incoming deportees from U.S. after some test positive for coronavirus on arrival 

5/15: In a step towards implementing the 2005 DNA Fingerprint Act, ICE started collecting DNA of undocumented immigrants in Dallas

5/19: Order is extended indefinitely allowing the federal government to reject migrants at the border, regardless of their potential asylum claims 

5/19: Largest border wall contract to date is secured by Fisher Sand and Gravel, a firm which counts Steve Bannon as an advisor and which is currently under review by the Defense Department inspector general. The contract is for $1.3 billion dollars. 

5/19: 1,000+ migrants in ICE custody now have coronavirus

5/19: A report has found that the U.S. has failed to provide adequate protection to Salvadoran and Honduran asylum seekers under the U.S.-Guatemala Asylum Cooperative Agreement.

5/20: Hundreds of unaccompanied minors have been deported alone, sometimes without notice to their families, since coronavirus outbreak

5/20: Immigrant deported on same day that the judge orders halt of ICE’s removal plan

5/25: The President is expected to extend his April 22 immigration proclamation and to expand it to include further foreign worker restrictions

Don't miss the rest of this series avaliable here.

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