How COVID-19 Affected Immigrants and Immigration

The pandemic has led to unfair policies and the mistreatment of migrants.

In its 3rd year, the pandemic continues to affect immigration, and visa numbers are still below pre-COVID levels.

The number of new visas dropped from 750,434 in October 2019 to 48,376 in April 2020, almost a 94% decrease. And the near-stoppage of visa processing in 2020 added over 460,000 applications to the backlog.

Labor shortages that already existed in America were made worse by the pandemic and the lack of immigrant workers.

Between February and April 2020, the US labor market lost 6 million immigrant workers-a 21% drop in the immigrant workforce. On top of that, 1.2 million fewer work visas were issued between March 2020 and July 2021.

By December 2021, the number of working-age immigrants in the US had dropped 2 million.

As many as 19.8 million immigrants were essential workers during the pandemic, with almost 1.5 million just in healthcare. Out of those healthcare workers, almost 200,000 were Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients.

The north and southwest land borders closed in March 2020 because of the pandemic. Making things worse, the US government gave the CDC the power to block asylum-seekers and deport people without a hearing. But all this did was increase border crossing numbers because deported people just turned around and tried again.

However, even though border agents only met 45% more people at the border in 2021 compared to 2019, they detained twice as many people.


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