Since USCIS still requires paper submissions Due to the mandatory deadlines and still functioning immigration courts in detention centers, the COVID-19 crisis has forced immigration lawyers to take more risks than others, and many provide essential services to clients such as first responders, medical personnel, and deliverers. When some people do not take risks in certain professions to help others in a crisis, everything breaks down.
While some lawyers had the privilege of working from home but effectively solving cases, other lawyers were forced to get out of their house to serve detained clients before the Immigration Court and until Tuesday, March 17, when adjustment and to represent naturalization talks. Not all work can be 100% removed, and some hundreds of pages of submissions may still need to be assembled in the office. Legal officials have left their homes to put the case together and submit it to USCIS in time just before the client loses their status or misses the asylum deadline.
Those who live in big cities like NYC may still take the subway to help their customers as this may be their only form of transportation. An empty subway car is probably less risky than a taxi or Uber because you can keep the recommended six feet of social distance. All brave efforts by lawyers and their staff during these dangerous times in the special circumstances of clients must be welcomed until the government comes to its senses and stops the immigration hearings and automatically extends all periods by three months.
The USCIS and other agencies have done so some modest concessions B. do not insist on wet signatures, but that is not enough if the submission still has to be on paper and not electronically. The submission must also be accompanied by a check and not by credit card or ACH payment. Due to the large number of such submissions, important processes cannot be handled remotely. This includes sorting out emails from USCIS and other agencies, organizing and compiling the submissions, scanning and making large copies, and sending packages by Fedex or US mail. The USCIS has put the immigration ban in a terrible place. They are forced to risk their health and safety to handle cases and are even sanctioned for violating restrictions under state laws or failing to fulfill their duty to their customers.
To further insult the injury, the DOJ has kept the immigration courts in immigration detention centers open. ICE needs lawyers provide their own protective equipment to visit clients in detention. It would be in everyone’s interest to release prisoners from non-citizens. There is no reason to detain non-citizens in deportation procedures during the COVID-19 period unless they pose no flight risk or a threat to public security. Non-citizens who have already been convicted and have completed their terms and sentences a deportation procedure do not have to be in detention If they were US citizens, they would not be detained, and non-citizens, even legitimate permanent residents, will be punished twice if they remain detained and are at higher risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19. We also learned that the Immick Court on Varick Street in New York was closed today because of a coronavirus case, which further confirms that immigration detention and the courts within that court should be closed at this time.
Various calls to extend the deadlines and to further facilitate them American Immigration Lawyers Association and the Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers have gone unnoticed. Is this foot deliberately slow due to Trump’s known hostility to immigrants, or is it because a bureaucracy can’t work together fast enough? Failure to act while other federal agencies have acted, such as B. the extension of the tax period by IRS is not understandable. The quickest way to eradicate the disease is to unite everyone, whether citizen or non-citizen, and to put aside, or better still, burn all of this government’s previous prejudice against immigrants. President Trump isn’t doing much to help by calling COVID-19 the Chinese virus. Just that ignites tensions against not only Asian Americans, but against all people who are perceived as “foreign” and undoes the historical role that presidents have played in the past to heal and unite the nation.
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