'To protect Americans': Trump said he would temporarily suspend US immigration
US President Donald Trump on Monday, April 20, said he would sign an order to temporarily suspend immigration to the United States amid a coronavirus pandemic. This statement raised questions about the timing and extent of the suspension. Writes about it The Hill.
"In light of the attack from an invisible enemy, as well as the need to protect the jobs of LOVELY American citizens, I will sign a temporary suspension of immigration to the United States," Trump wrote on his account in Twitter.
The suspension of all immigration, if it is introduced, will be an extension of the restrictions on entry into the USA that the Trump administration has already imposed for residents of most countries in Europe, China, Canada, Mexico and Iran.
It is unclear whether Trump informed other countries about this decision before posting a tweet, but his past attempts to suppress immigration have led to chaos at the borders and at US airports. Trump also did not provide details about when the suspension will take effect or how long it will last.
For most of his term, Trump seeks to limit US immigration. He was engaged in the construction of the border wall, pursued a policy; restricting the possibility for immigrants to seek asylum and controlled the separation of families illegally entering the country.
The decision to suspend all immigration is likely to provoke fury among Democrats and immigrant rights groups, some of whom claim that the president continues to advance controversial points in his policies, even despite the coronavirus pandemic.
Late in the evening on April 20, Democrats accused Trump of using the pandemic as an excuse to satisfy his desire to tighten immigration policies.
“This action (intent to suspend immigration) is not only an attempt to distract attention from Trump's failure to stop the spread of the coronavirus and save lives, but it also looks like an authoritarian move to take advantage of the crisis and promote his anti-immigrant agenda. We have to unite and turn down his offer, ”Texas Democrat Joaquin Castro wrote on Twitter.
“Immigration has almost stopped and there are far more infections in the United States than in any other country. The coronavirus is just a xenophobic scapegoat, ”wrote a member of the House of Representatives, Democrat from Washington, Don Beyer.
This Trump decision was met with the approval of some conservatives, who saw it as a way to protect Americans facing economic difficulties due to the pandemic.
“22 million Americans lost their jobs in March due to the virus. Let's help them get back to work before we accept more immigrants to take their jobs, ”wrote one of the Senators, Republican from Arkansas, Tom Cotton, who is one of China's most outspoken critics throughout the pandemic.
Rep. Alabama Republican Mo Brooks praised Trump for putting "American citizens in the first place."
The coronavirus has infected nearly 2,5 million people worldwide. According to Johns Hopkins University, the United States has the most confirmed cases of infection, today there are more than 786 cases in the country.
The president has said in recent weeks that the United States has peaked in the number of deaths from the pandemic, which made the announcement of stopping immigrants even sharper. He spoke approvingly of protesters opposing isolation and other measures to limit the spread of the virus, and speculated that some states would quickly remove these restrictions in order to revive the economy.
About 22 million Americans have applied for unemployment benefits in the last few weeks alone, as the virus has prompted businesses to shut down. The recession was a blow to Trump, whose campaign focused on strengthening the economy.
Despite the fact that experts are actively discussing the potential impact of the decision to suspend immigration, in general it may not be too large, given the current restrictions and the reduction in international travel due to coronavirus.
How the administration intends to suspend immigration
Representatives of the White House told a few details about the idea of trump, writes NBC News.
The move, he said, "has been under consideration for some period of time." An administration official said that while Trump is confident that the US is winning the fight against the coronavirus, he also believes it is important to make every effort to get ahead and defend borders to prevent further spread.
The source said the details of how the plan will be implemented and how many countries will be affected "will be known shortly."
The order may be signed already this week, but the administration representative did not provide any details on what stage the process of its preparation is at.
US immigration is already functionally closed. The Trump administration closed the US-Canada border and began deporting asylum seekers and other immigrants to the southern border. International air travel is also suspended.
Immigration advocates and activists criticized Trump's statement, calling the move radical and unprecedented.
“The implication is that immigrants pose a threat to the American economy, but we know the opposite is true,” said Krish O'Mara Vinyaraja, president and CEO of the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service. “Immigrants across the country are at the forefront of the fight against danger, risking their lives to save ours. To slander them is simply unfair. "
Possible exceptions to the ban
It was not clear from Trump’s tweet what specific actions he would take to limit immigration: he could just stop crossing American borders for a certain period of time or even cancel a certain immigration program.
According to three people familiar with the situation, the Department of Homeland Security is still developing an executive decree.
One possibility discussed is an exemption from the ban on temporary workers, including those working on farms, as this industry could be hit hard without immigrants.
When asked what contributed to this decision, one senior DHS official replied: “22 million Americans are unemployed because of Covid-19.”
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