“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!”
This will likely anger his critics even more
President Donald Trump tweeted on Monday that he would issue an order to suspend all immigration to the United States.
The extraordinary announcement builds upon the initial response that the president had to the coronavirus breakout when he ordered a travel ban to those trying to enter the United States from China.
Critics of the president initially claimed that his travel ban was “xenophobic” and racist, but some have admitted as the contagion grew that his action was likely the correct course.
Trump has previously boasted that closing the borders to foreigners traveling from China demonstrated his administration‘s serious and early response to the threat from the coronavirus. International travel has come to a virtual standstill as countries across the globe have imposed travel restrictions to prevent the spread of the disease.
Since the pandemic began, the administration had already restricted foreign visitors from China, Europe, Canada and Mexico, and had paused processing for immigrants trying to come into the U.S. on non-worker visas because of office closures. That means the impact would probably address only immigrants coming here to work.
“The president’s comments reflect a sensitivity to a primary purpose of all immigration laws of every country, and that is to protect a nation’s vulnerable workers,” said Roy Beck, president of NumbersUSA
The threatened executive order is consistent with his anti-immigrant rhetoric – during the 2016 presidential election he even floated a “Muslim ban” – and aggressive policy enforcement that saw parents separated from children when they entered the country illegally.
Trump’s late-night tweet also referenced a need to keep jobs for American citizens, another longtime campaign pledge. More than 22 million people have filed for unemployment aid since he declared a national emergency on 13 March.
Countries around the world have taken drastic measures, including border closures, in an attempt to curb COVID-19.
The United States, Mexico and Canada are extending restrictions on nonessential travel for an additional 30 days due to the coronavirus crisis, the Department of Homeland Security said Monday.
“In close collaboration, the U.S., Mexico and Canada have each agreed to extend restrictions on nonessential travel across their shared borders for 30 additional days,” Wolf said Monday. “As President Trump stated last week, border control, travel restrictions and other limitations remain critical to slowing the spread and allowing the phased opening of the country.”
The first order, which was implemented on March 20, defined “essential travel” as U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents returning to the U.S.; individuals traveling for medical purposes; individuals traveling to work in the U.S.; individuals traveling for emergency response and public health purposes; individuals engaged in diplomatic or official government travel; individuals engaged in lawful cross-border trade; and individuals traveling for military-related purposes.
The first order came last month after the president also announced a temporary halt on air travel to the United States from Europe. Those travel restrictions came after the president also implemented a travel ban from China to the U.S. earlier this year.
Within hours of President Trump’s decision to restrict travel from China on Jan. 31, top Democrats and media figures immediately derided the move as unnecessary and xenophobic — and they are now beating a hasty retreat from that position as the coronavirus continues to ravage the economy and cause scores of deaths.
Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden led the way, quickly attacking what he called Trump’s “record of hysteria, xenophobia and fear-mongering” after the travel restrictions were announced, and arguing that Trump “is the worst possible person to lead our country through a global health emergency.” Biden, on Wednesday, didn’t criticize the travel ban in any way, and instead accused Trump of “downplaying” the virus early on in remarks to Fox News.
“I had Biden calling me xenophobic,” Trump told Fox News’ “Hannity” on March 26. “He called me a racist, because of the fact that he felt it was a racist thing to stop people from China coming in.”
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