President Trump, who signed an order in April to restrict immigration to the United States, is now moving to further restrict visas for immigrants. Civil rights advocates argue this is an attempt to use the COVID-19 pandemic as cover to push a hardline anti-immigration agenda.
The Supreme Court is widely expected to issue a decision on DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) in this term, and it’s possible the court may decide tol allow President Trump to end the program. While a decision has not yet been issued, President Trump is not expected to end the program right away, but to try and use these young people’s status for negotiation for hardline immigration priorities.
ICE and Customs and Border Protection officers were sent to Washington, DC, along with agents from other federal agencies by the Department of Justice to support police during the protests. At the height of the agencies’ involvement, there were 400 officers in Washington, DC.
Their presence was heavily criticized, including by Washington, DC mayor Muriel Bowser. Additionally, although they are being “demobilized” from the capital, ICE and CBP officers remain in Arizona and California to support police as protests continue.
The ACLU announced this week that a federal judge had blocked the deportation of a 16-year-old boy from Honduras who had come to the United States alone. The ACLU explained that unaccompanied minors from countries that do not border the United States are supposed to be placed in the care of the Office of Refugee Resettlement within 72 hours of their arrival, to be released to a close relative or sponsor, if possible, while they wait for a hearing on their asylum claim.
The Trump administration, according to the ACLU, tried to ignore this process. The ACLU further said that the administration is using the current COVID-19 pandemic as a pretext to turn away asylum seekers at the border.