This week in immigration news — May 28, 2020

news on immigration | This week in immigration news

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services continues to face budget shortfalls

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service agency (USCIS) relies on fees from immigrants who submit applications. However, since the Trump administration has ramped up restrictions on immigration during the COVID-19 pandemic, the agency is now facing a budget shortfall of $1.2 billion. The agency announced that without money to close the gap in their budget, they will have to begin furloughing USCIS employees.

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USCIS is calling on Congress to make up the shortfall, but this money could be repaid by raising application fees by an additional 10%, when they were already set to increase.

Meatpacking industry faces worker shortage

President Trump’s harsh immigration restrictions have been affecting the meatpacking industry, where around 40% of workers are immigrants. In South Dakota and Nebraska, these figures are even higher—58% and 66%, respectively. Estimates of the number of workers who are undocumented at these plants vary widely, from 14% to the majority.

Thousands of workers in meatpacking plants have tested positive for the virus, and at least 20 have died. Meatpacking is already considered a dangerous job, but the threats from the virus and Trump’s policies continue to strain the industry.

Second ICE detainee dies from the coronavirus

More than 1,200 immigrants in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody have tested positive for the novel coronavirus since the pandemic began. A 34-year-old Guatemalan man is the second person to die in ICE custody.

ICE continues to be harshly criticized for their response to the pandemic, which advocates say has fallen short when it comes to protecting immigrants.

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