Thursday, July 02, 2020

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ImmigrationandCovid19The Coronavirus outbreak has impacted the U.S. legal system in profound ways and immigration is no exception. Congress wrote a statute called the Immigration and Nationality Act, which outlines the primary categories in which a person can seek admission to the United States, the reasons a person might be deported, or the bases for applying for relief from the government. Congress delegated much of the administration of immigration law to federal agencies. Three federal agencies that play a significant role in making decisions affecting immigration are the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Department of Justice (DOJ), and Department of State (DOS). These same agencies have played a pivotal role in making or revising immigration policy in the time of COVID-19. DHS is an agency created in the wake of September 11, 2001, and effective March 1, 2003. DHS houses important immigration agencies in the realms of services and enforcement. In the wake of COVID-19, DHS has used social media or electronic means to communicate office closures and changes for the immigrants they serve and the attorneys who represent them. In the time of COVID-19, it is crucial that DHS maximize its use of prosecutorial discretion for vulnerable immigrants.


 

 

 

 

 


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Vernellia R. Randall
Founder and Editor
Professor Emerita of Law
The University of Dayton School of Law

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