President Donald Trump announced on Monday that he intends to sign an executive order “to temporarily suspend immigration into the United States” to continue his extraordinary fight against the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.
As the U.S. makes plans to begin to help our economy and return to normal by allowing states to slowly open their businesses in less hit areas of the country, Trump feels like it is important to halt immigration to secure the jobs of our citizens.
“In light of the attack from the Invisible Enemy, as well as the need to protect the jobs of our GREAT American Citizens, I will be signing an Executive Order to temporarily suspend immigration into the United States!” he wrote on his social media account.
While all of the details of the president’s planned executive order were not immediately released, an exemption for temporary guest workers, like farm workers, has been reported as being considered. More details can be expected as the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) sorts out all of the details of the executive order.
Due to the pandemic, almost all processing of visas by the State Department, including immigrant visas, has been suspended for several weeks.
As usual when Trump has an indication that American citizens are in trouble; he acts quickly. A top DHS official indicated that there are “22 million unemployed Americans and counting due to COVID-19″ and is what prompted Trump to act.
Rep. Paul Gosar, (R-AZ) is thrilled with the executive order and suggested a total immigration suspension should continue indefinitely. “Thank you, @realDonaldTrump!” he wrote on his social media account. “All immigration to the United States should halt until every American who wants a job has one!”
“Given tens of millions of Americans are out of work right now and we’re battling a virus that spreads through human-to-human transmission I am dying to hear one coherent argument against this,” wrote Spectator USA’s Washington editor Amber Athey.
And the Democrats have their typical response, as Rep. Don Beyer, (D-VA) said Trump was looking for “someone to blame for his own failure.”
“Immigration has nearly stopped and the US has far more cases than any other country,” Beyer wrote, without adjusting his statistic to consider the larger population in the United States. “This is just xenophobic scapegoating.”
Sen. Kamala Harris, (D-CA), who couldn’t handle the pressure of the presidential race and dropped months ago, said “Trump failed to take this crisis seriously from day 1. His abandonment of his role as president has cost lives. And now, he is shamelessly politicizing this pandemic to double down on his anti-immigrant agenda. Enough, Mr. President. The American people are fed up.”
In addition to the pending immigration ban, the U.S. has already enacted other restrictions for entry. The U.S. recently agreed with both Canada and Mexico to extend border restrictions on nonessential travel for another 30 days, through May 16 and May 19, respectively. Those with temporary work visas, students and business travelers were exempted, as were emergency personnel.
Trump has also already has blocked most travel from other hotspots around the globe, including most of Europe, Iran, South Korea, and China.