Congressional Democrats and state governments are pushing a range of ways to assist illegal immigrants in their response to the coronavirus crisis, calling for the release of those in detention and lobbying to make them eligible for over a thousand dollars each in stimulus payments.
President Trump, for his part, has responded to the crisis by cracking down on both illegal and legal immigration — slapping travel bans on China, Iran and the European Union and limiting entry on land borders to the north and south, while border officials are immediately returning illegal immigrants and asylum seekers to their home countries.
Democrats, however, are taking the opposite approach. Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., have introduced a bill that would release immigrants in detention into the country, and halt any immigration enforcement against anyone not deemed a “significant” threat to public safety.
“We have an obligation to do everything we can to prevent the spread of this deadly disease, and that means moving people out of detention centers when they do not pose a public safety risk,” Booker said in a statement. “This is really a matter of life and death: it’s time that we act quickly and decisively to save as many lives as possible, and that means ending the unnecessary detention of immigrants during this public health crisis.”
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