As of this writing on March 23, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control reports over 40,000 cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in the U.S, with approximately 500 deaths reported. Many experts have been calling for the closure of immigration detention centers but then the issue is raised of what to do with those in detention. The Trump administration has announced plans to turn away all asylum seekers and anyone trying to cross the U.S./Mexico border illegally, according to the New York Times. The U.S. and Canada border has been closed, to all but essential travel. The Times reports that El Salvador and Guatemala have suspended deportation flights for its citizens.
What does the coronavirus (COVID-19) mean for your immigration case, what does it mean if you have a family member or loved one in detention, and what does it mean if you are concerned about deportation. As of this writing, immigration courts remain open, but as the situation is evolving, be sure to be in touch with the deportation lawyers like J. Joseph Cohen regarding any potential updates to your case. If you don’t feel well, it is necessary to let the courts know about your situation to protect public health and prevent the spread of disease. Reach out to J. Joseph Cohen today if you have any concerns.
Coronavirus: Deportation, Immigration, and Detention—What You Need to Know
- ICE Arrests. It has been reported that ICE has stopped most immigration arrests in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, according to NPR. Cases where ICE will continue to pursue arrests will remain focused on those who pose a risk to public safety and to those who face mandatory detention due to criminal charges. For the other remaining cases, ICE has noted that it will postpone arrests. ICE will not be making arrests at health care facilities, hospitals, urgent care facilities, and other places where people receive care (unless an urgent situation warrants it). This move has been praised by health officials who are concerned that fears among the immigrant community regarding deportation may prevent them from seeking the medical care they need.
- Immigration Courts. As of this writing, the Department of Justice announced that all immigration hearings for those who are not detained have generally been postponed to April 10, 2020. Courts in different jurisdictions may be closed or operations differently modified. Courts generally remain open to hear cases for those who are in detention. So, if you have a loved one or family member in detention and have questions about the next steps, J. Joseph Cohen can answer questions you may have.
- ICE Isn’t Stopping Deportations. ICE indicates that it will not stop deportations, though some countries have halted deportation flights in an effort to control the spread of the coronavirus. It would be anticipated, as with other areas of immigration, this public health emergency will disrupt operations. ICE also notes on its website, that it will continue to investigate situations of human smuggling, child exploitation, gangs, narcotics trafficking, human trafficking, and will continue work with the Joint Terrorism Task Force.
For those facing deportation, detention, or an upcoming immigration case, the recent coronavirus pandemic has created uncertainty in the process and operations are subject to change at any time. However, you are not alone. J. Joseph Cohen is a deportation lawyer in San Antonio, Texas that is here for you if you have any questions. Reach out to us today or connect with USAttorneys.com to get connected with J. Joseph Cohen.