U.S. President Donald Trump plans to suspend immigration temporarily to protect American jobs. Days after the U.S. government allowed applicants for H-1B visas to continue in the country, President Donald Trump on Tuesday announced a temporary suspension of immigration into the country. “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 suspend immigration into the United States temporarily!,” the U.S. President wrote in a Twitter post.
More than 786,000 people have been infected with the coronavirus in the U.S. and more than 37,000 have died. It’s unclear how wide-ranging the suspension would be, and the White House and Department of Homeland Security did not immediately reply to Huff Post’s requests for clarification. A top DHS official told the outlet that “22 million unemployed Americans and counting due to COVID-19” had prompted Trump to act. Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Arizona, applauded the planned executive order and suggested a total immigration suspension should continue indefinitely.
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“Thank you, @realDonaldTrump!” he wrote. “All immigration to the United States should halt until every American who wants a job has one!”. ” Immigration has nearly stopped and the U.S. 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.” Added Sen. Kamala Harris.
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D-Calif.: “Trump failed to take this crisis seriously from day 1. His abandonment of his role as president has cost lives. And now, he’s shamelessly politicizing this pandemic to double down on his anti-immigrant agenda. Enough, Mr. President. The American people are fed up.” Due to pandemic, almost visa processing by the State Department, including immigrant visas, has been suspended for weeks.
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. And, the president already has blocked most travel from other hotspots, including most of Europe, Iran, South Korea, and China. However, people with temporary work visas, students, and business travelers were exempted, along with emergency personnel.
“This is not about immigration,” Mark Morgan, the acting commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, said earlier this month, according to the Los Angeles Times. “Right now, this is purely about infectious disease and public health.” The Washington Post noted that if Trump’s immigration suspension order is signed, it would be a first in U.S. history, indicating that even during the devastating Spanish flu outbreak in 1918, the U.S. let in tens of thousands of immigrants.