Administration officials insist the policies are necessary to stem the outbreak. Immigration news is on groups pushing for the release of thousands of detainees from detention facilities unable to handle spread of the disease and negotiations to close borders temporarily with Mexico and Canada.
The New York Times: Under The Virus’s Cloak, Trump Pursues Long-Sought Conservative Policies
The White House, under the guise of its coronavirus response, is quietly advancing policies that President Trump has long advocated, from tougher border controls to an assault on organized labor to the stonewalling of congressional oversight. And across the government, departments have been citing the “whole of government” response to the pandemic as they push through the same policies they sought before the crisis. Just this week during a coronavirus briefing, Mr. Trump said his administration would use authority granted to the surgeon general to immediately turn away those who crossed the border illegally. (Kanno-Youngs and Karni, 3/20)
CNN: ICE Detention And Coronavirus: Immigrants Feel Like ‘Sitting Ducks’
There are nearly 40,000 people in ICE custody across the United States. And there’s a big question looming as the novel coronavirus spreads. What will happen if there’s an outbreak inside one of Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s detention facilities, which have long faced criticism for how they handle even routine medical care? (Shoichet, 3/19)
The Hill: ICE Medical Staff Member Tests Positive For COVID-19
A medical staff member at a private detention center in New Jersey has tested positive for COVID-19, an official with the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), told The Hill. The agency oversees the relocation and housing of unaccompanied immigrant children. (Moreno, 3/19)
WBUR: Thousands Of Immigrant Kids Are Detained, Far From Their Parents. They Need Protection From COVID-19, Too | Cognoscenti
As a pediatric intensive care physician, I like to think I have an unusually strong stomach for heart-wrenching scenarios. While they impact me deeply, I am not easily rattled. But COVID-19 has rattled me. Everyone I run into is experiencing extreme anxiety over the uncertainty of what lies ahead. How many people will get sick? Will our local hospital run out of ventilators? Will my parents die? Will I die? (Peeler, 3/20)
The Associated Press: US, Mexico Discuss Halting Much Of Cross-Border Travel
The United States and Mexico are working on plans to halt much of cross-border travel without disrupting trade during the coronavirus outbreak, officials said. Mexican Foreign Relations Secretary Marcelo Ebrard said Thursday he proposed steps to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that “won’t paralyze economic activity and keep the border open to commerce and work.” He promised details on Friday. (Spagat, 3/20)
CNN: Canadian-US Border Closing Is Unlike Anything We’ve Seen Before
[O]n Wednesday, at a time when major coronavirus mitigation decisions are being made with mind-numbing speed by governments worldwide, US President Donald Trump tweeted that “we will be, by mutual consent, temporarily closing our Northern Border with Canada to non-essential traffic. Trade will not be affected.” (Michael Bociurkiw, 3/19)
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