WASHINGTON (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 28th March, 2020) The US government's effective freeze on immigration during the growing coronavirus pandemic could have long term negative ramifications for the economy, experts told Sputnik.
"Hearings have been put on hold, courts closed, deportation flights halted and admissions lowered, with greater testing at border of incoming refugees," Grosscup said. "The effect has put a further squeeze on the labor market."
Ironically, the suspension of operations will give temporary relief to many thousands of illegals who would otherwise have been targeted, Grosscup noted.
"The fact the ICE has suspended most of its enforcement operations (a good thing) reflects the dangers they associate with the virus not out of any sympathy to the undocumented and their families," he said.
A March 19 internal Homeland Security document leaked to "The Nation" political magazine indicates that nine US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainees are now under isolation for 'medical' reasons, Grosscup recalled.
"ICE's Health Services Corps is also monitoring 24 more detainees in 10 other ICE facilities. ...There is little doubt the isolation is in response to the Covid-19 pandemic," he said.
"I suspect Trump will try to keep immigration efforts on the front burner for political reasons as the United States heads to the election, but resources will be cut and with the new restrictions, unless the virus is gotten under control, admissions will by definition go down," he said.
The US crackdown denies allowing refugees who test positive for the virus from even applying for asylum, contravening the International Refugee Convention, Independent Institute Center on Peace and Liberty Director Ivan Eland pointed out.
As the epidemic spreads, many asylum seekers will be prevented from even applying, Eland noted.
"So the number of those applying and, as a result, those given asylum could decline dramatically," he pointed out.