‘Becoming worse’: as the pandemic COVID-19 impact on immigration in the United States

Since the coronavirus spreading around the world, the administration of U.S. President Donald trump blocked most of the routes of legal immigration to the United States. This writes CNN.

'Становится все страшнее': как пандемия COVID-19 повлияла на иммиграцию в США

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Within four months the people who legally immigrated to the US (or just trying), were deprived of normal life due to a whole series of changes associated with the pandemic. Dramatic changes have led to the fact that immigrants and their families have been in limbo and struggling to figure out what to do next.

The reasons presented by the administration trump, ranging from protecting American workers during the period when the unemployment rate is very high, to the point that the first priority is public health.

This week the future of more than 1 million foreign students attending universities in the United States, became uncertain.

Monday, July 6, Immigration and customs enforcement (ICE) announced that foreign students attending courses online, you may need to transfer to other universities or to leave the United States. It is worth noting that distance education is becoming more common as universities are moving away from individual lessons in the context of the pandemic.

Among these students there were and Shreya Tussu. For the last three years, 21-year-old student of senior courses of the University of California, Berkeley, she lived and studied in the United States. But now from the place that she calls home, she can easily be deported because of the workload of her University course.

“We don’t really know what’s going on. Everyone is trying to find ways on how to plan individual lesson, but the options are not so much” — shares his experiences Thussu, who is also President of the International students Association at Berkeley.

Just a few days ago companies and foreign workers have experienced a similar state of anxiety. Many people who are trying to come to the US on a green card, learned that it would be impossible to do before the end of the year.

“We can expect that during this large-scale public health crisis and economic crisis, the agenda of the administration will be revised,” said Sarah pierce, an analyst at the migration policy Institute, based in Washington.

“I was shocked”

The ad ICE, prohibiting foreign students from attending only online courses in the United States, caught many by surprise after the Agency has provided more flexibility in spring training during quarantine.

“I was in shock, — tells Valery Mendiola, student at Harvard University. — We plan our lives depending on specific circumstances. We work hard to get here, and suddenly all this is happening, halfway to the goal.

Visa requirements for students has always been strict, and the arrival in the United States for the completion of online courses was banned. In accordance with the rules, according to officials, was designed for maximum flexibility, students can stay in the universities offering online classes, but they are not allowed to do it and stay in the United States.

“If the University is not going to open, or if they are going to hold 100% of the classes online, then students will be in the US for training,” — said acting Deputy head of the Department of homeland security Ken Cucinelli.

Before declaring ICE Harvard announced that all courses will be available online during the fall semester.

Mendiola says she and other classmates are currently pushing the University to review and offer of full-time study. If this does not happen, she is afraid that she can’t be any other choice but to return to Mexico. It adds unnecessary worries: what will become of her apartment and the lease, which it had already signed? With her furniture? With her student loans?

“If I take vacation, I can lose all of your loans and all scholarships, said Mendiola. — Very hard to get enough money to even be here.”

Harvard and mit sued for the property trump to try to abolish this rule.

Legal immigration is almost stopped

During the presidency trump the administration has revised the immigration system of the United States, reducing the number of receptions of refugees to a historic low and severely limiting legal immigration.

Pandemic COVID-19 accelerated the process of change in the system, it was not proposed to pass people seeking asylum, for reasons of public health.

“During a pandemic, the administration has effectively closed the road to the refugees on the southern border,’ said pierce. Sharply reduced legal immigration, especially family. Also actually stopped the lottery green cards and significantly reduced the number of temporary foreign workers arriving in the country”.

If in 2016 in the United States fell about 6,000 refugees, to 2018-2019, this level is significantly decreased and ranged from 1 500 — 2 500 people. In 2020 the level of reception of refugees has fallen even more, during the pandemic, only 134 of the refugees managed to get into the United States.

A couple of proclamations on immigration the White House released in April and June, the administration has suspended most family-based immigration and visas for several of the workers before end of the year, with some exceptions. According to estimates by the migration policy Institute, about 167 000 temporary workers will not be tolerated in the United States, and 26 000 green cards will be blocked on a monthly basis.

In the outbreaks of the virus, consulates abroad had to be closed. Since January, the number of issued nonimmigrant visas fell by 94%.

If in 2018-2019 the number of issued non-immigrant visas has fluctuated in the range from 600 000 to 900 000, that during the pandemic, this type of visa received only about 41 thousand people.

If in 2018-2019 the number of visas issued, there were on average 40 000 per month, for 4 months in quarantine, only 697 immigrants were able to obtain a visa.

“I know companies who think that this is the end, they can no longer take workers from other countries,” says Nandini Nair, partner at the immigration law firm Greenspoon Marder in new Jersey, the representative of many companies, including technical, marketing and accounting firms, and medical and dental clinics.

Sandra Feist, counsel for the immigration service in Minnesota, asked professional staff to contact their companies and worry about the employees they planned to hire. Feist I remembered a conversation in which she said that if the company can’t deliver its chief operating officer in the United States, “it will be death for them.”

Also, many people are concerned that the ICE rule may encourage foreign students to seek Universities in other countries. This is true for Possible Vitor, the Brazilian, who received his doctorate in Economics from Yale University.

“I’d say stay in the US, the main option for the development of my career, he said. — Now, honestly, Canada, Europe, New Zealand and Australia seem to be a much better choice”.

Tussu that was planning to attend medical school in the United States, said she increasingly feels that the country in which she wanted to build a future, and consider it “disposable”.

“Such things keep happening. For example, the ban on the issuance of H-1B before the end of this year, said Tuss. It is becoming frightening.”

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