- The Washington Times - Monday, April 20, 2020

President Trump announced Monday he would temporarily suspend immigration into the United States due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The president said he would do so through an executive order.

“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,” the president tweeted.

Mr. Trump didn’t say what his planned order would cover, but there has been a raging debate in recent weeks over whether the U.S. should continue to admit foreign workers at a time when the unemployment rate is expected to set modern records.

Immigrant-rights groups were bracing for the worst.

“When you’re a xenophobe, bans on migration are the only tired, failed, hateful solution you can think of,” said Charanya Krishnaswami, advocacy director at Amnesty International USA. “Suspending immigration won’t make the US — which currently leads among COVID cases worldwide — safe. Our policies need to be grounded in public health, not bigotry.”

Mr. Trump has already imposed border restrictions, including an agreement with Mexico and Canada to ban nonessential travel across those borders.

U.S. health officials have also triggered a section of law that allows the U.S. to block illegal immigrants. Most are now returned back across the boundary to Mexico within a few hours of being caught.

But the president did not say in his Twitter post whether he meant to halt all immigration, including those already here applying for perming status, or just to block foreign guest workers who plan to come on temporary visas.

Homeland Security, citing the coronavirus, earlier this month put on hold a planned 35,000 visa expansion of a seasonal guest-worker program that provides employees for summer resorts and landscaping businesses.

• Stephen Dinan can be reached at sdinan@washingtontimes.com.

• Alex Swoyer can be reached at aswoyer@washingtontimes.com.

Copyright © 2022 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide