The Trump administration’s changes to the US immigration system during the pandemic have been swift and sweeping.
Many measures were initially billed as temporary but have been extended repeatedly as coronavirus continues to spread. And it’s likely there’s more to come as the 2020 election looms.
The latest change came on Monday, when Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced new rules for international students.
Critics accuse the administration of using the pandemic as a pretext to enact unnecessary immigration restrictions and advance particularly harsh policies that had struggled to gain momentum prior to the public health crisis. Trump maintains he’s making good on his core campaign promise to put America first.
Citing the pandemic, the Trump administration has…
• Suspended routine visa services at US consulates (March 13)
• Paused all refugee resettlement in the US (March 18)
• Closed the borders to non-essential travel (March 21)
• Suspended new green card applications from abroad (April 22)
* Note: Travel bans included exceptions for US citizens and permanent residents. Some immigration courts have now reopened. Some USCIS offices have also reopened and officials have resumed conducting citizenship ceremonies.