How is the COVID-19 pandemic affecting immigrant communities in the United States? How are those in the Trump administration and in the immigration restrictionist movement broadly using the emergency to further their policy goals? Dr. Carly Goodman, a visiting assistant professor of Modern American History at Lasalle University, and Camille Mackler, the Executive Director at Immigrant Advocates Response Collaborative, both discuss the legal, health, and economic challenges immigrants face due to the pandemic and the Trump administration. Dr. Goodman discusses how the immigration restrictionist movement is using the pandemic to further restrict legal immigration. She also talks about the longer bipartisan history of hardline immigration policy in the US, and how the U.S. often plays a role in creating conditions that cause people to migrate. Mackler talks about the risk of infection at Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facilities and the difficulties of conducting immgration court during the pandemic. Dr. Goodman stresses the importance of historian voices to help us understand this moment. Mackler highlights the need for activism, volunteerism, and everyday acts of solidarity to help the immigrant communities in the United States. For further reading: “President Trump’s Immigration Suspension Has Nothing to do with Coronavirus” “ICE Moved Dozens Of Detainees Across The Country During The Coronavirus Pandemic. Now Many Have COVID-19” “The poultry industry recruited them. Now ICE raids are devastating their communities.”
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