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Immigrants on the US-Mexico border / REUTERS
Immigrants on the US-Mexico border / REUTERS

Only two people have been granted asylum in the United States during the Pandemic

The administration has taken advantage of the circumstances during the public health crisis to reject almost all asylum seekers.

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Hidden in the jungle

May 26th, 2022

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The Coronavirus pandemic has allowed the Trump Administration to put in place the blockade on undocumented immigration that the president has always promoted from the podium of his campaign rallies.

According to the Washington Post, the government has taken advantage of the situation to close the immigration system since March 21, so strictly that only two people have been granted humanitarian protection status during the past two months.

Citing unedited Citizenship and Immigration Services data, the Post has reported how the Administration's decision to give the Customs and Border Protection Agency the authority to "bypass immigration laws" and "quickly turn away most unauthorized migrants" has resulted in the mass expulsion of more than 20,000 people who attempted to cross the border without authorization.

The argument of Homeland Security officials is to prioritize emergency protocols and "protect Americans" by reducing the number of detainees in Border Patrol cells and immigration jails, which are now considered significant hotspots for COVID-19.

"The statistics show that USCIS conducted just 59 screening interviews between March 21 and Wednesday under the Convention Against Torture, effectively the only category of protection in the United States that is still available to those who express a fear of grave harm if rejected," the media explained. "USCIS rejected 54 applicants, and three cases are pending, according to the data, which does not indicate the nationality of those screened or other demographic information."

Similarly, the U.S. government has now become a Coronavirus exporting machine, carrying out approximately 232 deportation flights to Latin America and the Caribbean between February 3 and April 24 of this year, and handing over to countries like Mexico, Haiti, and Guatemala, several individuals who tested positive for COVID-19.

Meanwhile, the right to subsidiary protection continues to be overlooked in immigration offices.

Lucas Guttentag, an immigration law specialist who served in the Obama administration and now teaches at Stanford and Yale universities, told the Post that the border measures "are designed to pay lip service" to U.S. law and international treaty obligations "without providing any actual protection or screening."

"The whole purpose of the asylum law is to give exhausted, traumatized, and uninformed individuals a chance to get to a full hearing in U.S. immigration courts, and this makes that almost impossible," Guttentag said. "It's a shameful farce."

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